In some sense, each swimming pools has its own cleaning and heating needs, due to differences in climate, size and usage patterns, which affects the pool’s circulation or the potential for energy savings. But whatever the differences, you can get significant energy savings by using a few energy conservation methods.
Most pool owners disregard basic conservation principles and, over the years, they waste thousands of dollars of electricity.
You can reduce energy and chemical consumption in your pool, by...
1) reducing the pool pump’s operating time;
2) using a timer to control the pump’s cycling;
3) paying attention to the thermostat setting of the pool heater;
4) installing a windbreak system around the pool, in windy areas;
5) using a pool cover;
6) redesigning the pool-pipe and the pool-filter system;
7) downsizing single-speed pool pumps or, better yet, by replacing them with a multi-speed pump.
Reducing the pool’s pump operating time
Many residential pool owners keep their pumps running 24 hours per day, which is quite unnecessary; limiting it to 3 hours per day, or less, is enough to keep the chemicals mixed and the pool free of debris.
Filters can’t remove leaves or other debris from the water, or scrub algae from the pool walls. That requires using a skimmer (to remove large debris) and a brush (to clean the walls). After an hour or so, most of the pumping power is wasted; it will not improve significantly the water quality or reduce the growth of algae.
In other words: reducing pumping to about three hours per day provides significant energy savings without reducing the quality of the water.
Use a timer to reduce the pool’s pump operating time and to control the pump's cycling. If debris is a problem, use the timer to activate the pump for several short periods each day.
Keeping an eye on the thermostat of the pool’s heater
If you heat your swimming pool, pay attention to the thermostat setting. It’s easy to waste energy by keeping it too high. Every one degree reduction will reduce energy consumption by about 5%. The pool doesn't need to be heated when nobody is expected to use it...
Most of the pool’s heat escapes through its surface by evaporation to the air and radiation to the sky. In other words: pool covers can be critical for energy savings, in climates with cool nights. . See: Energy Savings with Pool Covers.
Installing a windbreak system around the pool
Even moderate wind at the pool surface can increase heat loss by 200 or 300%; and that’s why a windbreak (fences, vegetation) around the pool is so important for energy savings in windy areas.
Just be cautious with its design. The windbreak should be designed to prevent the wind from moving across the surface of the water, and for that it should be high and close enough to the pool. On the other hand, it should not block solar heat gains.
Replacing the pump and redesigning the pipe and filter systems
Replacing old single-speed pool pumps with a multi-speed pump can provide huge energy savings.
Redesigning the pipe system and enlarging the filters can also be important.