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Outdoor living

Pools and spas

Three children floating in swimming pool

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Swimming pools and spas are the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day or relax under the stars. They can also use significant amounts of energy and water to fill and maintain. For a typical home with an in-ground pool this can be as much as 30% of the household's energy. So why not pool your energy and water know-how with ours to reduce pool running costs and make significant savings. Ways you can save include:

  • Selecting an energy-efficient pump. A pool pump can be the largest user of electricity in a home—sometimes using more energy than your washing machine, clothes dryer and dishwasher combined. Keep your pool and spa crystal clear and your energy costs down by selecting a minimum 5-star energy-efficient pool pump at the smallest pump size effective for your pool or spa. The more stars the better. For example, choosing an 8-star pool pump can use up to 4 times less electricity than a 2-star pool pump—saving you more than $285 a year.
    • NOTE: Savings are based on an average electricity price of 28.55 cents per kilowatt hour and will vary depending on individual circumstances.
  • Running your pump efficiently. Reduce daily pumping time with the help of a timer, and run your pump at the lowest recommended speed to maintain pool hygiene.
  • Maintaining your pool. Reduce the amount of work your pump has to do by keeping your pool well maintained. Regularly clean out the skimmer and pool pump baskets and pool filter. Keep the intake grates clear of debris.
  • Minimising evaporation to save water. Invest in a well-fitting cover and roller, and ensure the cover is compatible with your pool treatment chemicals. A good quality cover also reduces the need for heating in cooler climates. Bubble covers made from transparent plastic bubbles can reduce cooling by 3 to 4°C and cut heat losses from a heated pool by as much as 75%. The translucent bubble covers trap heat from the sun and can warm your pool by as much as 7°C.
  • Managing the chemical balance of your pool and spa. Ensure you have adequate sanitiser to kill bacteria. Registered chlorine, salt-water chlorinators and chlorine-free sanitisers are available and each has different benefits and impacts. For those with asthma or other allergies chlorine-free sanitisers are a good option.
  • Considering solar energy for heating your pool. If you require heating, solar is cheaper to run than electricity or gas. Only heat your pool or spa when needed and don't over heat—particularly if you're using expensive-to-run electricity or gas models. You can also prevent heat loss in your spa by ensuring the insulation—including your pool cover—is in good condition.
  • Going natural. For a chemical-free option that uses less energy than a conventional pool why not look into a natural pool. The natural pool system is designed to pump water into a separate filtration zone where the water is cleaned by passing through gravel—just like you might find in natural lakes and waterholes. Aquatic plants can be added for additional filtration. Natural pools can be designed for your garden or retrofitted into existing in-ground pools. Look for a supplier in your area.

Remember, it's your responsibility to ensure your home pool or spa is safe for everyone and minimises the risk of young children drowning. Ensure your pool and spa complies with safety and fencing regulations in your state or territory, and carry out regular checks to minimise the risk of accidents.

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