My sister has wanted a pool for I don’t know how long. She wants to look out at water and to make her backyard a relaxing, serene oasis for her and her family. I on the other hand, always think about cost and maintenance and the effect on the environment. The amount of energy a pool takes is incredible, the water needs to pumped and filtered- and not only that the chemicals!
I just Gotta Tell Ya
- Recent findings have even linked regular swimming in a chlorine pool to the development of asthma in small children
- There are more than 7 Million private swimming pools in America today
- The average private swimming pool uses 18,000- 20,000 gallons of water.
- The typical uncovered pool in Arizona loses 4-6 feet of water per year to evaporation.
- Losing an inch of water a day can add up to 102,000 gallons of lost water per year.
- One pool alone emits three to 10 tons of carbon dioxide each swimming season- which is like not driving your car for a year.
- The annual cost for heating a pool is $2,000 (about the same cost as installing solar)
- An outdoor pool loses 70% of its energy through evaporation; covering the pool when not in use can bring 50%-70% energy savings according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Top 9 Ways to Reduce and Save on Your Pool
- Check your Pump- pumps are becoming more energy efficient. Look for Applied Research Laboratories stamp, which means it meets US Standards for saving energy.
- Buy a timer for both the pump and the filter- which will assure they run when you want them too.
- Fix Leaks- mark the waterline with a grease pencil and check it in 24 hours, to determine if you have a leak.
- Clean Filters and Pumps for maximum efficiency. Consider installing diatomaceous earth (DE) filters, which only need to be cleaned about 4x per year.
- Homeowners can greatly reduce the electricity used by their pool by installing a variable-speed pool pump.
- Reduce the temperature and the number of months you heat your pool
- Create a windbreak with native plants to help reduce cooling and evaporation. Plants also absorb some carbon dioxide from common chemicals. You can even create a water cleaning system for your pool water using certain flora such as irises, cattails, arrowroot and reeds
- Use a pool cover- consider a solar pool cover. Not only are you helping to heat the water, but you’re reducing the need for chemicals and lowering evaporation by up to 95%
- Green the Chemicals
Putting in a Pool? Consider the below
Solar Powered Pool –Solar energy can lower monthly electric bills by $50 to $100. Payback of 18 to 24 months.
Natural Pools-Forget chemicals all together and put in a ‘natural pool’. These pools use no chlorine and should blend into the landscape- utilize plants to clean. For 23 great ideas go to Green Homes
Salt Pools-Consider switching to salt water. The absence of chemicals means it’s more gentle on the skin, and the salt helps keep the pool naturally clean and algae-free, translating to less money and less maintenance. For more information check out Casual Living.
Where to Find
- Eco Smart Pools– non-salt, non- chlorine and chemical free pools
- Viking Pools- non-porous finish – which means less chemicals are needed because algae is less prone to attach.
- Find Solar– database of Solar professionals endorsed by the US Department of Energy.
- Natural Swimming Pools- self sufficient pools, utilizing plants to clean
- Nature2- Natural mineral base pool sanitizers free of chemical odors-
- Orenda Technologies
- Floatron Real Goods- kills algae without chemicals- $269
- Solar Pool Heating Standard Kit-$370.00. Do it Yourself kit that can be installed in the yard or the roof.
Solar Pool Covers
- Solar Sphere Covers – carries conventional solar covers and smaller solar heat attractors that come in multiple shapes in case you don’t wanna spring for a whole cover ($25-$429).
- Leslies Pools-Thermo-Tex Solar Covers – Low-density polyethylene that’s lightweight and easy to handle ($43-$299).
- Speciality Pool Products Solar Blankets – covers made from sealed air bubble material Choose your pool shape and size and it’ll give you three solar cover options in varying thicknesses ($25-$575)