If you have a swimming pool or spa, you’ll have higher than average energy bills. That’s because pools and spas cost a significant amount to operate. An electric spa can use approximately 90 kilowatt hours to warm up (from 70°F to 100°F) and almost 5 kilowatt hours per hour for the pump motor and another 2 kilowatt hours per hour for the pool cleaner.
Use the optimal temperature settings – A sufficient temperature for spas is 102°F or lower. Higher temperature water can be a safety hazard and cost you a lot more money to maintain that temperature. Check on the accuracy of your pool or spa thermostat. An inaccurate thermostat can increase consumption needlessly.
Consider a timer – A timer gives you day-to-day, automatic control of your filter and heater which will reduce your operating costs.
Do not over-filter – Filtering is a major cost of owning a pool or spa. The average spa requires a minimum of one hour of filtering a day – just enough to maintain water clarity. An average swimming pool often requires approximately 4 to 5 hours of filtering each day in the summer. Generally, one complete water exchange every 24 hours will provide adequate filtering. If you use a pool maintenance service, ask about reducing the hours of filtration. For extra savings, when you replace your filter pump motor consider purchasing an energy efficient model.
Protect your pool or spa – Wind has the same effect on your pool or spa as blowing on hot soup. It will cool it off and increase evaporation. Well-trimmed hedges, trees and shrubs, gazebos, and fencing can all provide a nice windbreak.
Invest in a pool or spa cover – You can save as much as 90% of your summer pool heating costs by using a solar cover. Not only does it help minimize nighttime heat loss (up to 5°F), but it will also prevent chemical loss and water evaporation (hundreds of gallons per month). When shopping for a cover keep these features in mind: durability, price, warranty, transparency of material, insulation values, and safety.
Go solar – Solar pool heating systems are especially effective during the summer months and can back up a regular pool heater in the spring and fall. A solar pool heating system can be a significant investment, so make sure the savings have a pay back period of less than or equal to the useful life of the equipment.
Turn off those bubbles – The device that adds bubbles to your spa uses up to 4 kilowatt hours per hour to operate. Bubbles may be soothing, but they cool down the water, making the heater run longer to keep the water warm.