Researchers have studied pool pump energy use and found that it is the second largest user of electricity for the typical home, averaging 4,200 kW of electricity each year. Pool pumps can amount to $1 or more a day based on current electricity rates in Southwest Florida.
LCEC recommends setting your thermostat no higher than 84 degrees, which uses approximately six to eight kW per hour of run time. Each degree higher adds about 8-12 percent to your energy costs. You can also cut costs by lowering the thermostat to 70 degrees when the pool will be unused for three or four days. Less energy is utilized to reheat a pool for a weekend or special occasion than to maintain a constant temperature all week.
Shielding your pool from wind helps reduce temperature loss. Winds above three to five miles per hour can lower the pool temperature significantly, and a seven-mile-per-hour wind can increase a pool’s heat loss by 300 percent. The use of shrubs, trees, or fences can provide an effective windbreaker.
Waterfalls, fountains and other features can also increase heat loss and evaporation.
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Solar pool heaters are the best source for heating your pool because there are no additional operating costs involved. The heat from the sun heats the pool for you. The payback of a solar pool heater is just under three years. The key to a quick return of your money is to retain the heat in your pool by using a pool cover, especially at night when temperatures drop and heat is drastically lost.
Although some advertisements indicate that heat pumps only cost a dollar a day, a 32-amp, 220-volt heat-pump pool heater actually costs just under a dollar for one hour of operation. Think of the daily cost of a heat pump running four to eight hours per day. This misconception may leave customers who have purchased a heat pump unhappy once they have received a high winter electric bill.
Your monthly energy costs depend on the temperature of your spa, your usage and your spa pump. Select a spa and heater size that match how quickly you want to heat up the water. Many owners want their heaters to be capable of raising the water to the desired temperature in about an hour. A larger heater can actually cost less to operate than a smaller heater because the shorter heating time minimizes heat loss to the air.
Using a quality pool cover when the pool is not in use can reduce heat loss by more than 50 percent. It has also been estimated that a pool cover can cut water evaporation in half. Covers keep the water clean and extend the life of the chemicals in the pool. There are different types of covers (bubble/solar, vinyl and insulated) and various types of systems (automatic, manual, etc.). Talk to your pool contractor to determine the best cover for your pool.
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