Cost and Energy: Savings Tips for Swimming Pool Owners
We all love having a swimming pool in our backyard but the cost of maintaining it – not so much. Fortunately, pool construction has evolved dramatically in the last few years and there are several things that swimming pool builders can do to make the operation and maintenance of your pool much less expensive than it was in the past.
With the focus on energy savings and "green" products being very much on people’s minds, consumers like the idea of saving money and also helping the planet. Much of the long term savings come from installing energy efficient equipment and plumbing in a pool. If you are inviting swimming pool builders to bid on your pool construction project, in addition to talking about design features and aesthetics, you need to make sure that you have the discussion about how he builds a pool, what type of equipment he uses, and what his recommendations are for cost savings.
The utility cost to run a swimming pool pump is the biggest monthly expense for pool owners. The function of the pump is to circulate, clean and filter pool water. It is also used to operate water features, in-floor cleaning systems, and spas. For years, the standard for swimming pool builders was to put a single speed pump in a pool in all the pools they installed. The problem or wasteful part of running a pump at a single (or high) speed all the time is that not all functions require it. Variable Speed pumps with programmable functions can adjust the water flow rate to the actual needs of each feature in the pool. This can save you from 30% to 90% on electrical expenses.
If swimming pool builders do not recommend or bring up the option of putting in a variable speed pump, then typically they are trying to be the lowest bidder to get your business but are not looking out for your best interests. They should explain the long term cost savings and the fact that the extra expense of the initial purchase will be recouped in a relatively short amount of time with the savings you will get from lower monthly utility bills.
Plumbing that carries the water in your circulation system is also a very important factor for having an efficient pool. Installing a larger pump will help push water faster which will result in cleaner water and better filtration. However, if swimming pool builders use plumbing that is too small, the pump will actually work harder to push the water through, which will use more energy and cause more wear and tear on your pump. Because the piping is underground, this is an area where some swimming pool builders may try to cut corners. Make sure that the dimensions of your plumbing and the specifications for your pumps are clearly noted on your contract. Another area where you can save on your monthly pool expenses is to have LED pool lighting installed.