Have you ever calculated how much money you spend on heating and maintaining your pool every summer? If you haven’t, you really should. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), the average homeowner spends upwards of $2,000 every year on pool heating and upkeep, making it one of the most expensive “appliances” in your home.
First, and most importantly, get a pool cover. While these may seem like a real pain, you’d be amazed at how effective they can be. Shockingly, even if you cover your pool for only half of the summer, you could cut your heating energy consumption by 50 percent! Any conventional pool cover will do the trick, but the best option around is a solar pool cover. These have pockets of air in them which insulate and pass the sun’s heat onto your pool water, further reducing heating costs.
Once you’ve got a cover, think about how you’re heating and pumping your pool water. A solar thermal water heater for your pool is probably one of the best solar investments around. In fact, the amount of money you save on heating your pool water in one year can almost pay for the solar water heating system-in one season! So the payback period on a solar water heater is very short.
A solar water heater comes with many parts, all of which absorb the sun’s energy as heat and pass it along to the water that’s circulated through the system. It usually includes tubing or piping made of dark rubber or copper, which is snaked through an insulated box and often covered with glass. You can install your solar water heater on your roof or anywhere on your property.
You can further reduce your pools operating expenses by choosing solar power to run your water pump. These little systems include a solar photovoltaic panel which collects solar energy and converts it to electricity, which is then used to run the pump.
Together, these three solar products for your pool-a solar pool cover, solar thermal water heater, and solar pool pump-could totally eliminate the regular energy costs for maintaining your pool, making your summer swim completely sustainable! Jump in, the water’s warm.
While we may not think of our pools when searching for ways to increase our green living habits, there are some big-impact things you can do to reduce the energy you consume to keep your pool warm and comfortable all summer long.