swimming pool

When you look out at your family swimming pool, you smile as you think of all the happy memories you’ve had there – your kids playing and doing cannonballs off the diving board for the biggest splash, neighborhood barbeques, lounging around in the evening talking with good friends. But now you see an opportunity – to make your pool friendlier to the environment. You begin to think of how to save on energy, and after some research, you have come up with a number of things you can do. Here are 4 excellent ideas to make your pool more energy efficient.

1) Energy efficient pool pump

A pump is basically to circulate water and keep it fresh. It also allows the water to go through the filtration system. So the question becomes – how big a pump is needed to take care of that task? During research for PoolCenter.com, it was found that many times the pump is bigger than it needs to be. By calculating the dimensions of the specific pool, a professional can determine the proper sized pump to install.  Using a smaller, more energy efficient pump will circulate the water, but with energy savings.

2) Pool pump timer

Running a pool pump all the time is just not necessary. The point is to stir up all the water in the pool every day, and many pools can be properly circulated in about 8 hours, which is where a timer comes in. Start with the recommended settings for a pool of your size, to determine how long the pump needs to run to properly circulate the water, then set the timer for that length of time. After a couple of days, shorten the pump cycle by 30 minutes, then watch to see if the water still circulates well. Keep experimenting until the optimum amount of time per day is established for the pump to properly circulate the water. A timer also allows the pump to be run during times of off peak energy rates, for additional energy savings.

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3) Pool cover

If water evaporates from a swimming pool, it allows water to escape, which has been through the filtration and heating systems of the pool. Evaporating water has diminished the effectiveness of the whole swimming pool, and makes the heating system expend more energy to heat new water. It’s a cycle which can lead to a lot of extra energy use. One answer to resolve this is a pool cover. There are many different types of pool covers, and the simplest is a solar cover which is just like a giant sheet of bubble wrap laying on top of the pool. More expensive models range all the way to custom designed covers which can be rolled out over the pool by pushing a button. Using a pool cover decreases pool heating costs thus saving energy, and also means less water needs to be added to the pool.

4) Solar pool heater

When it is time to replace your pool heating system, if you want to be friendlier to the environment and use less energy – maybe it is time to look at a solar pool heater. A solar system cuts down enormously on the electricity needed to heat a pool. The biggest consideration is that the solar system needs an appropriate place to install the panels. By using sun power, you eliminate having to use the more energy intensive gas or heat pump pool heaters. The costs of using solar are competitive with the other methods.

Using energy efficient methods of pumping and heating water for the family swimming pool just makes good sense. When you have them installed, you can lean back in your chair out by the pool and feel good about what you’ve done.


  1. Good article Becky, and thanks for the mention on solar. We are a manufacturer of solar pool heaters and, if I may, just wanted to clarify something you said.

    “The costs of using solar are competitive with the other methods.”

    This is certainly true of the upfront installation cost of a solar heater. However, once installed, there are no operating costs for solar. The sun’s energy is free, and you will never receive a monthly bill for sunshine.

    Again, thanks for the mention of solar pool heating! In my opinion, it’s a solar technology and application that simply does not receive enough credit or awareness.


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