Inefficient Pumps, Evaporation, And Leaks: Minimizing Your Pool's Energy Consumption

The average pool takes about 20,000 gallons of water to fill, and in addition to the extra water usage, homes with swimming pools use 42 percent more electricity than similar-sized homes without pools. Owning a swimming pool is relatively energy intensive, but with the following tips and tricks, you can reduce your energy consumption while still getting enjoyment out of your pool. Here are the areas you need to consider:

Inefficient Pumps

Your pool's pump is the only appliance in your home that uses more electricity than your air conditioner. However, you can cut down on your pump's energy consumption with the following tactics:

  • Reduce dirt and debris by covering the pool when not in use

  • Buy a more energy-efficient pump

  • Look for a variable speed pump that can change its energy usage in response to your filtering needs

  • Don't over run the pump


Every day, some of the water in your pool evaporates, and over the course of a summer, the average pool loses about 19,665 gallons of water. Essentially, that means that you have to fill your pool twice per year. However, evaporation doesn't just affect your water consumption. It also has an effect on the pool's energy consumption.

Each pound of water that evaporates from the pool removes 1,048 Btu (British thermal units) of energy from the pool. To provide perspective, this is the same amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1,048 pounds of water by a single degree. In other words, for every 20 pounds of water that evaporates, you lose enough energy to increase the temperature in an average-sized pool by a degree.

Evaporation is based on a number of factors like sunlight intensity, wind, humidity, and temperature. You can reduce the effects of evaporation by doing the following things:

  • Cover the pool when not in use

  • Install a windbreak (fencing, shrubs, etc.)

  • Leave room for splashing by not filling the pool to the top

  • Reduce humidity levels for indoor pools


In addition to evaporation, much of the water that a pool loses over the course of a year is due to leaks. Fortunately, it is easy to diagnose leaks, and a pool repair person can easily fix them as needed. To see whether or not your pool is leaking, you need to do a bucket test. Here are the steps involved:

  • Turn off the pool's autofiller

  • Ensure that no one is going to be splashing in the pool for a day or two

  • Fill a bucket with water and place it on one of the pool's steps

  • Ensure that the level of water in the bucket is the same as the level in the pool

  • Mark the bucket's level of water with a wax marker inside the bucket

  • Mark the pool's level of water with a wax marker on the outside of the bucket

  • Leave the bucket in the pool for a day or two

When you return to assess the results of the bucket test, you need to compare the level of water in the bucket to the level of water in the pool. If both have gone down a little bit, it indicates that both the water in the pool and in the bucket have evaporated slightly. If the water in the pool has gone down more than the water in the bucket, it indicates that the pool has a leak.

If you believe that your pool has a leak, contact a pool repairperson such as one at He or she can fix the leak, ensuring that you aren't losing water unnecessarily. If the results of the bucket test are inconclusive, contact a repair person as well. He or she can help you stage a more accurate assessment for potential leaks.

Pools are ideal for exercise, relaxation, and entertainment. However, they can also be a burden on your energy bills. To ensure that you are conserving energy and saving money, integrate the tips explored above.


About Me

Home Renovation Expectations: Knowing What's To Come

When I bought my first house, I did it with the expectation of needing to do some remodeling. I wasn't, however, prepared for how complex the renovation process was. From upgrading the retaining walls to adding cosmetic features like the stone patio, I was inundated with decisions to make and materials to select. I wished that I had known how much was involved from the beginning so that I could be better prepared. That's when I decided to use what I'd learned to help others better prepare for their own remodeling projects. I hope the information here helps you to see what you can expect as you get ready to expand your property or renovate the existing space.



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