You just bought a home with a swimming pool, and you’re really excited about it – your kids can’t wait for all the house buying “stuff” to be out of the way, so they can jump in and start playing. But you’re also concerned about being environmentally aware. So here are some tips for making that new pool more eco-friendly:
A pool cover. Consider buying a cover for the pool. One of the biggest sources of water loss for a pool is evaporation. If you run water through the filtration and heating system, and then just allow it to evaporate, you lose not only the water, but the energy used to heat and clean it. You’ve just diminished the effectiveness of the whole pool, and if the pool sits for long days without being protected, the energy loss can be substantial. There are a range of options for a pool cover. The simplest is a solar cover which looks like a giant sheet of bubble wrap, and lays on top of the pool. It is simple – but very effective. At the more complex end of the spectrum are custom designed covers which can deploy at the push of a button. Whatever solution you choose, you’ll decrease heating costs and use less water. Here are some great resources with more information:
An energy efficient pool pump. The purpose of the pump is to circulate water through the filtration and heating system, to keep the water fresh for swimmers. The question is – just how big a pump is needed to take care of the task? Many times the installed pump is bigger than necessary. When you have your new pool checked out, if it’s time – or near time – to replace the pump, consider changing it out for a smaller, more energy efficient pump. A professional can calculate the dimensions of your pool and determine the proper sized pump. A smaller pump will circulate the water, but use less energy for the job.
A pool pump timer. It’s not necessary to run a pool pump all the time. The point is to stir up and circulate the water, and many pools can be properly circulated in about 8 hours. When the pump runs more than that optimum amount of time, it’s just using excess energy. That’s where adding a timer onto the pool pump can save substantial amounts of energy – not to mention allowing the pump last longer. To determine how long the timer needs to run, set the timer to the recommended settings for the size of your pool. After a couple of days, shorten the pump cycle by 30 minutes, and watch to make sure the water is still properly circulated. Experiment that way to find the correct time needed, and now you save as much energy as possible. If there are energy savings for off peak electricity usage, the pump can also be set to run during those times.
A solar pool heater. Once you get all the “move in” details established, put a solar pool heater on the list of upgrades to consider. By using solar power, the amount of energy needed to run the pool is greatly reduced. If the present heating system is due for replacement, that’s the time to go solar. The biggest consideration is that you have a place to install the solar panels, but a pool professional can help you set that up.
As you watch the kids splash and play, you smile with great satisfaction, knowing that they have the fun of a pool, but you’ve been eco-friendly in providing that for them.
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her best friend and lives in Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking, biking and enjoy nature. She just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.