Ways to Improve Pool & Spa Efficiency
Faced with rising energy costs and growing environmental concerns, pool and spa owners demand better operational efficiency than ever before.
Here are 5 ways to keep your pool and spa running at peak efficiency:
1. Variable-speed Pumps
Switching from a traditional single-speed pump to a variable-speed pump has been shown to easily cut energy use up to 50 percent — and in some cases up to 90 percent. Reducing pump speed/RPM of 3,450 by 600 RPM to 800 RPM is a simple way to cut energy consumption by 50 percent, but still typically provide enough flow to operate the swimming pool properly. And as an added bonus, many utilities offer rebates for switching to variable-speed pumps. Depending on your location, you may receive far better rates at off-peak times. Run the pump during the day at low RPM and at higher RPM to clean the pool during off-peak hours.
2. Automation Systems
Regardless of your pump type, there are two key reasons automation saves money. First, you don’t need to run a pump 24 hours a day to turn over the pool or spa. In most cases, turnover can be accomplished in much shorter time frames controlled through automation. Second, automation gives you the ability to control the amount of power the pump actually uses. For example, running higher RPM cycles at night on a single-speed pump can produce 30 percent to 75 percent in savings.
Adjust the pump’s speed to the flow required to turn the pool over once a day, or what’s required to keep the pool clean and clear. Then only use higher speeds to operate in-floor, spa jets, solar and cleaning systems. Remember to run the pump as much as possible during off-peak hours to further reduce energy costs.
3. High-Efficiency Gas Heaters
New pool and spa gas heaters are more efficient than ever. In fact, the Department of Energy has changed the thermal efficiency requirement to state that all gas heaters for residential swimming pool use need to be 82 percent thermal efficiency or above.
Check the current efficiency rating of your heater. If it’s an older style heater, more than likely a replacement could save on gas costs and heat the pool or spa quicker. An added benefit is that the newer heaters have much smaller footprints and require much less space when installing them.
4. LED Lights
LED lights use less energy and have a longer life span than incandescent bulbs. Requiring less than 50 watts of power to operate versus the 300 watts required by incandescent bulbs, LED lights have been known to cut energy expenses by up to 90 percent.
5. Automated Water Balance Readings
When your water is out of balance, potential costly problems can arise like algae blooms, which can stress your system and cost you precious time in your pool. Staying on top of your water chemistry can be time consuming though. Ideally, you would do a water check every hour to ensure that water is balanced and safe to swim in. A more efficient way to track your reading is with an automated device, like the The Blue Connect Smart Water Analyser. With this easy-to-use device, you never have to worry about your pool water being out of balance. The Blue Connect Analyser takes precise readings and automatically delivers real-time reports, along with chemical recommendations, right to an app on yours and your pool pro’s phone for round-the-clock watch over your water chemistry. This device works in any pool — above-ground, in-ground, spa, salt or otherwise — to provide constant vigilance with automated alerts so common pool problems associated with off-balance chemicals can be solved before they even begin.