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Go Green and save with Solar Pool Heating
Traditional pool heating increases your monthly utility costs. In fact, it can add up to over $2000 per year depending on geographic location, length of the usable season, and desired water temperature.
Gas pool heaters use natural gas to quickly warm water. That can be convenient, but improper installation and a lack of maintenance can lead to inefficient use of gas. Heat pump pool heaters use electricity and require liquid coolant, which can leech into the water.
Heating your swimming pool does not have to be an expensive or dangerous luxury. Use the following tips to help save:
Green Living Tips
Use a cover!
As simple as it may seem, making daily use of a pool cover can help cut costs of heating, as it prevents evaporation from stealing precious heat and keeps out the cool air.
Watch the temperature
If a traditional pool heating system is required or used as a back-up method, leave a floating or stationary thermometer in the water so you can see at what lowest temperature the water is still comfortable. Then mark the thermostat so that you can easily set it accordingly in the future.
Super Green Tips
Purchase a swimming pool solar heating system
Solar pool heating is an excellent way to save in household heating costs and focus on sustainability. Rather than constantly consuming natural gas or expending electricity, a solar pool heating system uses a renewable resource – the sun – to trap heat and warm water. The system is very detailed and can be quite costly up front, but will soon pay for itself.
Construct a DIY solar pool heating system
If you have the time and ability, going green is easy by creating your own solar pool heating system. The process, however, can be quite challenging, so it may be best to hire some help. There are many resources on the internet which guide you in the what’s and how’s of a DIY solar pool heating systems. It will not be free of charge, but it will still be cheaper than purchasing a system and paying for complete installation.
Effectiveness / Result
Always place a cover on an indoor pool when not in use. This keeps the pool clean and holds in the solar-produced heat for a longer period. An outdoor pool could actually lose heat since a cover partially blocks direct solar contact with the water surface, but a clear bubble/solar cover will allow more light to pass through than a thin or insulated vinyl cover. Keep that in mind when purchasing, and also consider that a cover will slow evaporation, therefore conserve water. It will keep the pool clean and reduce the need for harmful chemical additives, as well.
Used in conjunction with a cover, solar pool heating offers the most economic and environmentally friendly heating system for a swimming pool. Though a large solar panel must be installed, it is well worth the initial cost and effort. Operating costs of a solar heating pool are far less than those of traditional gas or electric pumps and will save big over a lifetime of use. Some people eventually use their solar pool heating system to heat their entire home and save even more money. However, a back-up heating plan should be installed to work during those times when solar-power heat is not available.
Unfortunately, if there is no roof space or other open area where the sun hits for the majority of the day, a solar pool heating system is not the best choice.
- Simply by using a pool cover when a swimming pool is not in use, approximately $700-$1000 or more can be saved in annual heating costs.
- A solar collector, the panel that absorbs heat from the sun, heats water up to five degrees warmer every time it goes through the collector.
- Swimming pool solar heating will lower your normal heating costs by 50%-80%.
- U.S. income tax deductions are given for installing a solar pool heating system.
- Solar Water and Pool Heating Manual: Design and Installation & Repair and Maintenance (January 2006)
- A Consumer’s Guide: Heat Your Water with the Sun (December 2003) http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/34279.pdf