You may not be aware there are new advances in equipment design and technology for pools being developed all the time. If you haven’t assessed your pool system in the last five years or so, you may be in for a surprise.
With warmer weather coming, now is the time to turn attention to your backyard pool to make sure you’re ready for a trouble-free season.
Why Upgrade Your Pool System?
If your pool system equipment is over eight years old, you may want to consider upgrading simply because your pool pump is nearing the end of its typical lifespan. And just as you would rather not have your home’s air conditioning system go out in the heat of summer, evaluating your pool before the height of summer swim season can save you money and aggravation.
There are other reasons to consider upgrading your system other than equipment that’s on its last legs. Saving energy, money and time are other excellent reasons for taking the plunge.
Save Energy and Money
Newer equipment is usually more energy efficient, which is good for both the environment and for saving you money down the road. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates a pool pump can be a home’s second highest energy user. Here are some upgrades you can make that will help reduce your energy costs.
Switch to a Variable Speed Pool Pump
Many pool owners could benefit by replacing their single speed pool pump with either a dual speed or variable speed pump. While initially costing more to replace, the savings in your energy bill will quickly allow you to make up the difference. The Energy Star program estimates you could save $350 per year by switching to an energy efficient pump.
Single speed pumps only operate at the highest speed, but this speed is only required for the pool cleaner. With a variable speed pump, you can switch to lower speeds during the filtration process, significantly reducing your energy use. Reducing pump speeds by one-half allows the pump to only use one-eighth the amount of energy.
Switch to a Heat Pump
Many pool owners use an electric or gas pool heater to warm their pool during cooler months. Gas heaters are generally less expensive to run than electric or propane heaters.
An increasingly more popular option for pool heating is a heat pump. Because they do not require the use of gas or electricity to run, the energy costs are a fraction of those needed for a pool heater.
Heat pumps work by using heat from the outside air and transferring it into the pool water. The air is passed over an evaporator coil containing heated refrigerant, which then heats water going back into the pool. As long as the outside temperature is above the 45-50 degree Fahrenheit range, the heat pump will work efficiently.
Install a Pool Timer
Another pool system upgrade you can employ that can save both energy and time is installing a pool timer. Models range from simple clock devices to more sophisticated electronic devices you can control from a smartphone.
The biggest cost savings from using a pool timer come from choosing to set your pool pump to run during off-peak hours when energy rates are lower. You can also ensure you run your pump for the minimum amount of time necessary, usually not more than six to ten hours a day.
Explore New Innovations in Pool-Related Technology
There are also technology innovations you may wish to try that can also update your pool and simplify its maintenance. Here are a few to consider:
Jazz up Your Pool with LED Lighting
The most energy efficient lighting option available today are LED (light emitting diode) lights. They are brighter, longer-lasting, and use less energy than older, conventional options.
According to Aqua Magazine, LEDs use only 10 to 15 percent of the energy used by incandescent and halogen bulbs. Incandescent and halogen lights enjoy long, useful lives, in the 2,000 to 3,000-hour range. But LEDs make them pale in comparison, which can keep working for 80,000 to 100,000 hours.
But aside from the efficiency benefits, LEDs are bringing a whole new level of style to backyard pools. They come in a vast range of vibrant colors that can light up your pool and the surrounding area. For those looking to maximize the visual drama of their pool, you can install LED systems that provide flashing light shows of changing colors and patterns.
Simplify Your Life with Pool Automation
An automated system frees you from having to spend as much time working on your pool and gives you more time to enjoy it. It also helps keep you on a regular schedule and increases efficiency.
There is a range of options available for setting up your pool system to run remotely. You can focus on separate parts, such as the pool pump or heater, or you can set up a fully automated system that also manages pool chemical levels, lighting, and the pool cover.
Automation technology allows you to manage your pool’s maintenance from anywhere, using your smartphone or tablet as the control center.
Switch to a Salt Water Chlorine System
If you’re interested in moving away from handling and adding harsh chemicals to your pool, switching to a salt water chlorinator is a good option.
These systems have been gaining popularity in recent years because they offer benefits over the traditional chlorine systems. These include:
- Cleaner and clearer water
- Less drying out of your skin
- Less harsh on swimsuit fabric
- Less irritation to eyes and the respiratory system
The system works by installing a salt chlorine generator to the pool pump and filter system. A small amount of salt, less than a teaspoon per gallon, is added to the water. The salt water flows through the generator and is converted to pure chlorine by electrolysis.
Salt systems are easier to maintain on a regular basis and eliminate the need to deal directly with chlorine chemicals. The upfront costs are higher, however, as are the energy costs. Deciding which system makes more sense for you depends on which pool system matches your personal preferences.
Look to the Pros to Upgrade Your Pool System
If you’re thinking of exploring a system upgrade, whether to a single component or a major overhaul, it’s best to consult with pool system professionals before proceeding. In addition to fiberglass pool resurfacing and repair, Texas Fiberglass Pools Inc., can help you with a full range of pool equipment repairs and upgrades.
If you’d like a free evaluation of your current pool system, contact Texas Fiberglass Pools Inc. today.