Pool & Spa
Running filtration equipment
You can help reduce your peak-period power demand by running filtration equipment before 4 p.m. and after 7 p.m.
Bigger may not be better
Replacing a standard pump and motor assembly with a high-efficiency variable-speed pump will yield impressive savings in electricity costs without a compromise to cleaning effectiveness. Replacing an oversized pool pump with an energy-efficient pump is an investment that usually pays for itself in just two to four years.
Running a pump at half speed reduces power use to one-quarter of that required for full speed. The pump will need to run twice as long at low speed to filter the same amount of water, but you will still save money. Running the pump for 16 hours on low speed costs about half as much as running eight hours on high speed.
Rebates of $350 are available on qualifying ENERGY STAR variable-speed pool pumps until funding is depleted.
Here's a real-life comparison of operating costs:
Pool No. 1, the traditional approach: $51.90 per month
This 25,000 gallon pool has a normal 1.5 horsepower pool pump. It runs eight hours per day. It pumps about 80 gallons per minute, which means that it circulates 38,400 gallons each day. The pump draws 9.0 amps at 240 volts. At a cost of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, that translates to a cost of $1.73 per day or $51.90 per month to operate the pool.
Pool No. 2, the multi-speed approach: $19.50 per month
This 25,000 gallon pool has a multi-speed 1.5 horsepower pool pump. It runs 12 hours per day in low speed. In low speed it pumps about 40 gallons per minute, which means that it circulates 28,800 gallons each day. (Remember that the pool only needs to turn the water over once each day). The pump draws 2.25 amps at 240 volts in low speed. At a cost of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, that translates to a cost of $0.65 per day or $19.50 per month to operate the pool.
The multi-speed pump provides just the circulation your pool needs at a fraction of the cost. These figures are for comparison only and actual savings will depend on rate structure and use.
Run the pump
Keeping the pool circulating a longer period of time each day has a couple of advantages:
- The longer periods of circulation will help to reduce algae.
- If you have a salt system, you can run the system many more hours per day and get increased chlorine production if needed.
A good pool cover keeps water temperatures about 10 degrees higher and reduces evaporation of water and chemicals by about 70 percent. Your pool stays warmer -- and cleaner -- as energy use and equipment wear are minimized.
Keeping a spa heated at all times can use a significant amount of energy. If your spa is always on, consider the following tips:
- Lower the temperature by about 3 degrees. This saves 5 to 10 percent in heating costs.
- Run the air jets only when using the spa. The cooling effect of the air bubbles counteracts the energy used to heat the water.
- Keep the spa covered until you're ready to use it. Heat loss is money wasted. Add a floating thermal blanket to the rigid cover used with most spas. The added layer conserves heat and reduces evaporation.
Consult a Professional
While it can be tempting to save money in the short term, you’re not always best served by maintaining your pool or spa yourself. Without proper knowledge and experience with pool equipment and chemicals, you may have to replace equipment more often and you risk structural failures such as cracked pool shells, which can be very expensive to replace. If you’re not sure how to handle a pool or spa issue, talk to a Certified Aquatic Equipment Installer (CAEI) SMUD Professional. To learn more visit www.fpsie.org