Save Money Heating Your Swimming Pool  

by Pool Builders on 02-04-2010 in Articles

Simple First Steps

Heating a swimming pool is a nightmare when it comes to paying your utility bills. But you can take some simple steps to reduce those costs significantly without losing any enjoyment of your pool, and you could save as much as 75% of your pool heating energy for very little outlay.

Start with the circulating pump. It might seem as if the larger the better, but this is not the case. A 0.75 hp pump should be perfectly adequate for an average size pool. If your pump is larger than this, you are wasting energy and should think about fitting a smaller replacement.

Next, look at the pipe system. You need to reduce flow resistance and choke points. Shorter pipes with larger diameter, and fewer sharp corners, will mean less work (and less energy consumption) for the pump. It should be possible to change any 90 degree bends to 45 degree ones or, even better, use flexible pipe to produce smoother corners. A larger filter will also make a huge difference to flow.

By taking these steps you will manage a 40% saving in energy costs immediately.

The next step is to reduce circulation times. Many people leave their pool pumps running for hours and hours every day, when one hour is enough. The main task of circulation is to mix the pool chemicals. Once that has been done the chemicals should stay suspended in the water without needing any further mixing.

You can remove any pool debris by skimming or vacuuming. There should be no effect on algae formation, if the chemicals are doing their job.

Use an accurate pump timer and program it to switch the pump on for short bursts throughout the day. Remember, a single long period of operation will simply waste electricity.

By doing all these things you should be able to save at least 75% of your electric bill during the pool season. But we haven't finished yet.

Reduce Evaporation Losses

Almost all the energy used by your pool goes in replacing heat lost or water evaporating at the surface. It is easy to see that heat is lost to the air, but remember that any water that evaporates has already used energy when being heated or treated with chemicals. Fresh water to replace it will need to be heated and treated all over again.

Ugly though they may be, pool covers really are a sensible conservation measure. They are very good at preventing heat and evaporation losses from the pool's surface, and also they keep the debris out when the pool is not in use.

There are many types of pool cover, and there should be one available within any budget. They can be fitted with easy covering/uncovering mechanisms to make then easier to operate. This is a very worthwhile investment, since it will encourage use of the pool cover.

Ensure that your pool is covered properly at night, which is when most of the energy losses take place.

A final step would be to build a suitable fence beside the pool, to act as a windbreak and help reduce energy losses even more.

Solar Pool Heater

Solar energy is an extremely effective way to heat your pool. The system works by circulating the pool water through a solar collector, where it is gently warmed and then returned to the pool. Since the pool already has a circulating pump it is easy to modify the system to include the solar part. This is environmentally friendly, renewable, virtually free energy, and it works beautifully.

If cooling rather than heating your pool water is necessary in very hot weather, you can pump the water through the solar collectors during the night - it will cool the water quite well.

Because fitting a solar heating system is one of the easiest projects to do yourself, even if you have no previous experience, we have a good quality instruction manual [http://practical-solar.com/solar-pool-heater/], available online, to help you. The kit costs very little, it has good step-by-step instructions, and it has a proper guarantee.

It is well worth a look, and could be the key to both extending your swimming pool season and also saving a packet on utility bills using pool solar heating.

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