Since we installed our home swimming pool, it has been a wonderful source of entertainment and enjoyment for our family with minimal impact on the environment, because we use eco friendly pool products.
But keeping the environment in mind and limiting the size of our pool’s carbon footprint, there are a number of things I have done (or plan to do) to keep our pool as “green” as possible. Although the season is winding down in some parts of the global, its never too late to start planning for next swim season.
Here are my top 7 eco-friendly pool products that help minimize our pool’s carbon footprint, and further reduce my family’s overall carbon footprint
1) A solar pool heater. Heating a swimming pool using solar energy is cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters, and very low expense to operate on an annual basis. In many climates, the solar pool heater is actually the most cost-effective use of solar energy. The principle is similar to a conventional pool heater in that it requires a filter and pump. But unlike a conventional heater which uses fuel to heat the water, the solar heater sends water through a solar collector, where the solar energy heats the water. This eco friendly pool product will save a considerable amount of energy over its lifetime that would otherwise be spent heating your water.
2) A pool cover. Since the largest source of energy loss for a swimming pool is evaporation, a pool cover makes good sense. Each pound of 80 degree F water that evaporates leaks 1,048 BTU of heat out of the pool. The rate of evaporation varies, depending on the temperature of the pool water, the temperature and humidity of the air, and the wind speed at the pool. A pool which is covered when not in use provides the single most effective means of reducing pool heating costs. Savings of 50 to 70 percent are possible. There are a variety of covers available, all the way from a large sheet of plastic, to specially designed covers which can be easily rolled out at the push of a button.
3) A smaller pool pump. The less time a pool pump is running cuts down on energy and maintenance costs. By using a smaller pump, while still high efficiency, we’ve heard that some pool owners have seen savings of 75 percent over their original pumping bills when they had a larger pump. Choosing the right pump for the size of the pool can make a significant difference in energy costs. As well, a lot of pool pumps typically run longer than needed, so cutting back to the proper time needed to circulate the water, and no more, can save on costs as well. An eco friendly pool product that’s simply properly sized for the job.
4) Efficient pool filter. We installed the most efficient pool filter available, which comes down to the filter keeping the water clean with as little effort as possible. That means a saving in water, because the pool doesn’t as often need a backwash to clean it out. Backwashing is necessary sometimes, but uses extra water, so the less we have to do it, the better.
5) Energy efficient pool pump. We installed a variable speed motor on our pump, and it has worked great. The pump doesn’t just run “all out” all the time, but can run at low speed at times. This allows it to still circulate the water, but use less energy. The more I researched pool pumps, the more I realized that a lot of them are just more than is needed. We got the pump that matches our pool, and it works the most efficiently for us.
6) Pool pump timer. An automatic timer allows the pool pump to run in short intervals during the day, which is more effective than running the pool continuously for long periods of time. As well, since we live in an area where energy costs are high, and there are rate differentials at different times of the day. We set our pool pump to run during the most economical times of the day. Honeywell and Intermatic, make a wide selection of pool timer options.
7) Robotic pool cleaner. I researched this item while working for PoolCenter.com, and my husband Ed loved this one. He is the one who was in charge of cleaning the pool, and it was sometimes a drag for him, and he’d forget, or just get too busy. That led to more junk building up in the pool filter, which made it run less efficiently. The robotic just quietly goes about the job of cleaning, allowing the pump and filter to work less. Oh, and since Ed has to work less, he is very pleased – sometimes he just goes out and watches the robotic, and comes back in the house with a smile on his face. Dolphin, Hayward, and Aquabot all make some useful automatic cleaners. The coolest eco friendly pool product of them all.
There are a number of products which can help a pool owner maintain a more eco-friendly swimming pool. Using them means I can relax, sit back and watch the kids play in the pool, knowing our family has done our part to help maintain the environment, reduce the carbon footprint impact from our pool, and further reduce my family’s overall carbon footprint.