Top tips to keep pool heating costs down

The ongoing energy costs of owning a swimming pool can be significant for some owners. So how you can still enjoy your pool year-round without burning a hole in your wallet?

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) there are more than 4.5 million in-ground residential pools in the United States and they consume between $1.1 and $1.6 billion in energy costs per year.

Maintaining your pool is a year-long commitment, even if you are not using your pool regularly during the cooler months. There are several simple steps you can take to keep your pool running smoothly while also being as cost effective as possible.

Switch to a variable speed pump

One of the most significant consumers of energy for swimming pools is the pool pump and can consume between 3,000 to more than 5,000 kWh per year.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the most efficient type of swimming pool pump is a variable-speed pump.

“A variable-speed pool pump will allow the homeowner to achieve the ideal filtration flow rate with the least amount of energy consumption. They are noticeably quieter, require less maintenance, last longer, and, through slower water filtration rates, allow for better and more effective filtration of the pool water.”

The upfront cost of a swimming pool pump represents just 20 percent of the total expenditure on an average pump, with the ongoing electricity costs representing the other 80 percent. When shopping for a pool pump, pool owners need to think long term. Using variable speed pumps custom programmed to your pool’s cleaning, filtration and sanitation requirements will save you hundreds of dollars per year on your energy bills compared to a traditional fixed-speed pump.

Switch to a solar power pump

A solar water heater pump is more cost-effective than a gas water heater as pool owners are using the heat from the sun.

The pump circulates pool water through the heated panels on the roof and then returns warmer water to the pool until the chosen temperature is reached. The rise in temperature will be on average 2 to 5 degrees F for each circulation of water through the solar system. Remember, to take full advantage of the solar panels, they must be positioned correctly to receive as much full sun exposure as possible.

Turn down the heating temperature
A quick and simple way to reduce your swimming pool energy bill is to adjust the temperature. According to, for each degree rise in temperature, it will cost pool owners 10%-30% more in energy costs.

If you use your swimming pool less during the cooler months, it would be an ideal time to turn down the temperature. If you mostly use your pool on the weekends, turn the temperature down on Sunday night, then increase again on Friday. It may seem like a small change, but over time, it can save you a significant amount on your energy bill.

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