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Reduce pool and spa running costs
Having a pool or spa can make a significant contribution to your energy bill. By making smart purchasing decisions, using your pool or spa pump efficiently and following our maintenance tips you can reduce your pool and spa running costs and still enjoy all the benefits.
- Maximise your pool and spa pump's performance and minimise wastage
- Keep your pool and spa clean and functioning well for less
- Make significant savings on energy and water
- Relax while enjoying your efficiently-run pool and spa
At a glance
- Savings 3
- Ease 2
- Impact 3
Water filtration by pool pumps can account for 70 per cent of swimming pool electricity use and 16 per cent of total household energy use so it makes sense to choose one that's right for your situation.
- Opt for the smallest pump size for your pool or spa—the larger the pump the greater the pumping and maintenance costs. Check with the manufacturer or an industry expert to work out the best size for your circumstances.
- Consider a multi-speed or variable-speed pump as they are often more efficient and use less energy than single-speed pumps. This is because they can be run slower for filtering which uses less energy, and can be sped up to run pool cleaning equipment which uses more energy.
Purchase a minimum 5-star energy-efficient pool pump from the list of pool pumps participating in the voluntary labelling program. Although it may feel like you're splashing out, buying a high-efficiency pump will save you energy and money over the long term in running costs. The more stars the better.
- For example, choosing an 8 star-rated pool pump can use up to 4 times less electricity than a 2 star-rated pool pump—saving you more than $285 a year. NOTE: Savings are based on average electricity price of 28.55 cents per kilowatt hour and will vary depending on individual circumstances.
Over a year, a pool pump running 24 hours a day can produce as much greenhouse gas as a large car. To keep your costs and energy use down consider these options:
- Reduce daily pumping time. Depending on your climate and pool usage it's usually enough to pump the entire volume of water through the filter once or twice a day. Read the manufacturer's instructions or consult an industry professional to assess the number of hours your pump should run.
- Use a timer to manage your pump's run-time. When setting the timer take the season and pool use into consideration.
- Reduce your pump's energy use by running it at the lowest recommended speed that still maintains correct pool hygiene.
- Check the plumbing. The most efficient pool plumbing usually has larger diameter pipes with as few bends as possible. Bends and elbow angles should be wide, as pumps use more energy to move water around corners.
- Regularly clean your skimmer basket, pool pump basket and pool filter and keep your intake grates clear of debris. This'll reduce the load on your pump so it works more efficiently and uses less energy as having clogged pipes makes the pump work harder using more energy.
- Consider running your pump during an off-peak tariff period when electricity is cheaper. It won't save energy, but it'll cost you less. Contact your electricity provider for more details.
- Pumps can be noisy. Check with your local council to see if there are restrictions on when you can run it.
- Only heat your pool or spa when needed. If the spa has a standby heater, switch it off when the spa isn't in use.
- Where possible consider using solar energy (PDF 307KB) to heat your pool. It's much cheaper than using gas or electricity and better for the environment.
- If your pool or spa isn't used during the cooler months there are a number of steps you can take to reduce energy, water and chemical use. Your local pool professional can also provide advice.
- Use passive design principles to minimise evaporation and heating requirements. A carefully placed windbreak of trees or a fence can reduce evaporation. Seek advice from an industry expert to position your windbreak so that it doesn't create turbulence over the water as this can increase evaporation.
- Shading your pool or spa with a sail cloth can also help evaporation—but avoid shading the pool or spa from the sun if you live in colder areas and particularly during colder months as it helps heat the pool.
- Reduce evaporation and heat loss by using a pool or spa cover. A well-fitting cover could save you up to 30,000 litres of water a year, prevent chemical loss and stop unwanted garden debris entering the pool.
- If you live in a cool climate, opting for a higher quality cover can also reduce your need for heating. Bubble covers made from transparent plastic bubbles can reduce cooling by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius and cut heat losses from a heated pool by as much as 75 per cent. The translucent bubble covers trap heat from the sun and can warm your pool by as much as 7 degrees Celsius.
- Prevent further unnecessary heat loss by ensuring your spa's insulation is in good condition. Check your pool and spa regularly for cracks and leaks.
- If water restrictions apply in your area consider installing water tanks to top up your pool as an alternative to mains water.
- Manage the chemical balance of your pool or spa. This will reduce how often you need to empty it. Ensure your pool meets all safety requirements. Use adequate sanitiser to kill bacteria—a list of registered chlorine, salt-water chlorinators and chlorine-free sanitisers is available and each has different benefits and impacts. For those with asthma or other allergies chlorine-free sanitisers are a good option.
- Follow all fencing and water safety guidelines. Always check with your council and state government to find out about pool regulations in your area.
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