Swimming Pool Energy Efficiency
Looking for a way to lower your pool's operating costs? One way might be to review the recommendations of the U. S. Department of Energy, which has extensively studied various energy conservation methods for heating swimming pools and the resulting costs savings. Their findings hit the bottom line - it is possible to reduce energy costs by as much as 50 - 70%!
Costs savings like these can:
- Ease operating budgets.
The Department of Energy has found that water evaporation is overwhelming the single largest source of energy over consumption, accounting for 70% of total energy lost in both outdoor and indoor pools. With evaporating water goes much of a swimming pool's heat. For every gallon of water that evaporates it takes with it over 8,500 BTUs, and a typical pool loses 1 to 1 ½ inches of water a week. For a 1,000 square foot pool, an inch equals 625 gallons or over 50 therms of natural gas. A therm is equal to 100,000 BTUs. Because of all the energy required to evaporate a gallon of water, evaporation turns out to be 70% of heat loss from a pool.
Also consider that it takes only 1 BTU to raise a pound of water 1 degree but each pound of 80 degree water that evaporates takes 1,048 BTUs of heat out of the pool. In other words, it's much more efficient to keep as much of the water you've already heated (and paid to heat) in the pool than to keep replacing that heat when lost. And, over consumption of energy is not only costly, it also increases air pollution
For more information please also view the Department of Energy's website regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy.
U. S. Department of Energy Conservation Recommendations for Swimming Pools
Indoor swimming pools typically have higher energy costs as they are usually open year-round, do not receive heat from the sun and require ventilation systems to reduce humidity levels that cause damage to structural components. For these facilities pool covers are important in conserving pool heat and reducing ventilation requirements. Heat recovery units installed in the ventilation system can salvage heat from ventilating air, while installing dehumidification systems can reduce the amount of ventilation needed. Utility costs can also be reduced by turndown building temperatures when the facility is not in use.
In addition, outdoor swimming pool owners and operators should consider the appropriateness of installing windbreaks as even modest winds increase evaporation rates. A mere 7mph wind on the pool surface can increase energy consumption by 300%! Windbreaks should be tall enough and close enough to the pool to limit air turbulence over the pool surface.