Environmentally Friendly Pool

sustainable living with poolsPool season is rapidly approaching in some parts of North America and seems to be always there year-round in other areas closer to the equator.   As every pool owner knows and potential pool owner will soon know,  pools require plenty of energy and chemicals. Given that pools are a man-made oasis, the challenge is making your pool an environmentally friendly pool.

But done right, pool fun can divert you and your family from other carbon intensive activities and consumption – there are tons of ideas across the rapidly expanding Green Blizzard website.

Nowadays there are ways you can smartly manage your pool without drastically enlarging your carbon footprint.

Pools are a wonderful source of entertainment and countless hours of enjoyment for any family.  Given that pools are a cool outdoor activity that can distract your kids from consuming more energy with indoor air conditioning, lighting, and electronics and consuming highly packaged food products.  Pools can have positive impact on your carbon footprint, your sustainable lifestyle and even the environment with the right chemicals and tools.

Environmentally Friendly Pool

If you want to minimize your pool’s impact and make it an environmentally friendly pool, consider these eco-friendly pool products.  Each idea will help reduce your family’s overall carbon footprint, one decision at a time.

Solar Heaters  Heating a swimming pool using solar energy is  very inexpense to operate on an annual basis. In some areas, 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 on your roof, where the solar energy heats the water.

Covers  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.

Solar Covers  A solar pool cover delivers even more benefits.  See the recent Green Blizzard article on solar pool covers

Proper Sized Pump  In cocktail conversation about pool operating costs, we have heard other pool owners have cut their pool electricity costs in half compared to when they had a larger pump.  Many pool pumps are over-spec’d.  Carefully choosing the right pump for the size of the pool can make a significant difference in energy costs. In addition, many pool pumps are programmed to run longer than really required, so calibrating to the optimal run time, and no more, can save on energy as well.

Efficient Filters    A really efficient pool filter saves water because it requires less frequent backwashes to clean it out.

Energy Efficient Pumps  We installed a variable speed motor on our pump that can run at low speed. This allows it to still circulate the water, but use less energy. The more I researched pool pumps, the more I realized that many are just over designed, more than reasonably needed. We got the pump that matches our pool, and it works the most efficiently for us.

Automatic Timers  Since we live in an area where energy costs are high, and there are different rates during the day, we set our pool pump to run during the most economical times.  Usually late at night.

Robotic Cleaners  I researched this item while working for PoolCenter.com, and my husband Ed loved this one. He is the one who responsible for cleaning the pool.  The robot just quietly goes about the job of cleaning, allowing the pump and filter to work less.  
My husband loves to watch it do his work

Check out these other Green Blizzard lifestyle articles:  Making sense out of those recycling codes, Shower the Navy Way, and Go Geen with Your Food Choices.


About the author

Becky Flanagan

Becky writes about green living in the great outdoors, particularly around the swimming pool. Most warm afternoons, you can find her spending time with her family in their environmentally friendly backyard pool.