With outside temperatures hot enough to cook an egg, the cost of maintaining a healthy and clean pool can feel justified over Australian summers.
But do you really know just how much your pool is costing you?
Statistics show pool owners spend from $800 to $1200 per year on maintenance. That’s an expensive way to cool off. Fortunately, there are some great tips you can follow to reduce your energy use, save money, and still enjoy that pool all summer long.
Here are five ways to save your summertime savings by cutting back your pool’s thirst for energy.
1. Pump up the efficiency
If you’re searching for ways to cut back on your electricity bill, the pool pump is your number one culprit.
On average, a pool pump sucks up 18% of the electricity bill, often making it the largest energy user in the household. Selecting an energy-efficient pool pump could save you money in the long run.
On December 2018, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council agreed to new regulations requiring an energy rating label on pool pumps.
The rating scale is from 1 to 10 stars. Each star represents a 25% increase in efficiency, so the more stars, the more energy-efficient the pump.
Energyrating.gov.au gives the example of a 3-star pool pump using 824 kWh per year compared to an 8-star pool pump using 346 kWh per year. At a rate of 26.83 cents per kilowatt hour, that’s a savings of $128.25 each year.
While regulations will commence in 2020, many energy-efficient pool pumps are voluntarily labeling their products already.
2. Use the sun
Solar panels are a great long-term investment, especially for pool owners.
Most household appliances are used in mornings and evenings when the owner is home, but pool pumps can be set to run during the day while the sun is generating maximum energy.
But solar isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
While generating your own energy will reduce the amount of electricity you purchase from the grid, your tariff is still important.
For example; the average household pool in Sydney requires 10 hours of pump filtrations and chlorination a day to keep them healthy and clean.
During summer, the average solar period is from 9:30 am till 3 pm – that’s only 6.5 hours of energy producing sunshine. Not to mention, sunshine isn’t always guaranteed.
If you’re left purchasing 3.5 hours worth of electricity at controlled load rates, your bills could end up higher than before, depending on the rates and the cost of your solar system.
Weigh up your costs and benefits before determining if solar is the right move for you. Consider the location of panels, how much sun your location gets, and the cost of use on different tariff options.
Another possibility is to install a battery to work in conjunction with the solar panels to store excess energy. It will set you back a few thousand dollars, so if saving money is the ultimate goal, be sure to do your research and determine if it will pay itself off.
Solar can be a fantastic asset if used correctly. Before diving head first into installing solar panels, talk to your energy retailer about the best option for your home.
3. Cover up
A pool cover is a simple yet effective way to reduce your pool maintenance costs – not to mention it’s affordable!
Covering up your pool can reduce water evaporation by 97%. That means less filling up, fewer chemicals, and less money out of your pocket.
Covers also act as a barrier against falling leaves, dirt, and debris, which reduces the need for an energy-hungry pool pump running all day.
It also cuts back on chemicals by keeping the water clean and protecting it against the harsh sunlight, which is known to destroy chlorine.
4. Be filter-wise
Water filtration is an energy-thirsty process, so it’s best to ensure your pool filter is working to its full potential.
A clean filter basket equals an efficient one, so clean out the basket daily for optimal water circulation.
Another way to reduce filter use is to cut back running time by half an hour. If the water is clean and healthy after one week, reduce by another half hour till the perfect time is established.
5. Make lighting efficient
Energy-efficient LEDs aren’t restricted to the indoors. These light bulbs tend to cost less over time, because they last much longer than standard bulbs.
Replace pool and other outdoor lights with LED alternatives and brighten up the savings.
You could also use solar lighting; these types of lights are often available as standalone appliances that don’t require a hookup to a larger solar system.
If you haven’t already, set a timer for your pool lights so they’re not on when they don’t need to be.
6. Compare energy plans
This applies to cutting energy costs in your home, as well as your pool. A quick comparison really can save you hundreds of dollars each year in energy bills.