What do pool pumps do? How do I pick one that is energy efficient? We’ve answered all your swimming pool pump questions here.
To keep your swimming pool sparkling clean, your pool pump needs to operate on a regular basis. Given that pumps use energy to run, you may want to install an energy efficient model if you want to reduce your energy bills.
Changing the way you use your pump could deliver big savings, too. So we’ve also provided some useful tips to help make your swimming pool pump more energy efficient.
What does a pool pump do?
In very simple terms, a pool pump (which is powered by a pool motor) draws in water from either an attached suction hose or drain, filters it, and spits it out again. Depending on the model you choose, it may also do the job of heating the water and chlorinating it.
All this consumes energy – a pool pump’s water filtration system consumes around three quarters (76%) of your pool’s total electricity usage.1
How much electricity does a pool pump use?
It’s difficult to give an exact figure for pool pump running costs and energy usage. It can depend on a range of factors, like:
- The size of the pool
- How long it runs for each day
- Whether it can heat and chlorinate the water as well
- The quality of the motor and pump
- Whether it’s single-speed or variable-speed
Despite so many variables, it’s generally believed that pool pumps use about 16% of your total annual energy consumption.2 Take a look at your annual energy expenditure to see what this could look like in real dollars.
Choosing and using an energy efficient pool pump
As mentioned above, pool pumps can guzzle a lot of electricity. If you want to reduce your energy bills, you could replace your existing pool pump with a more energy efficient model to reduce running costs. For example, swapping a 2 star unit with one that has an energy efficiency star rating of 6 could reduce your costs by more than half each year.3
So, it’s up to you to find the most energy efficient pool pump for your particular swimming pool and then use it in the most energy-efficient manner. Here are some tips:
- Look at the star rating – while energy ratings are not mandatory on pool pumps in Australia, many manufacturers now voluntarily include an Energy Rating Label and star rating on their products. This makes it easier for you to compare energy-efficient products side-by-side. To learn more, read our article on appliance energy star ratings.
- Get the right size – sometimes, people fall into the trap of buying a larger pump, thinking it will filter the water faster. It’s generally recommended that you choose the smallest pump that’s possible for the size of your pool.
- Go for variable speed – in most cases, multi or variable-speed pumps are more efficient than single-speed pumps, because you can slow down the pump (which uses less energy) for easier tasks like filtering.
- Run the pump only when needed – speak to your local pool specialist about how often you need to pump the pool’s water through the filter. The default setting may be too high, and you could possibly reduce run-time without compromising the cleanliness of the water.
- Invest in a timer – this will automatically switch off the pump when it’s not needed.
- Keep it clean – it’s important to clean out the filter, the skimmer basket and any other pump parts that have recommendations for regular cleaning. By doing so, the pump won’t have to work as hard.
The final word
Now that you’ve wrapped your head around just how much electricity a pool pump uses, you can start taking action to reduce it’s energy consumption. With an energy efficient pool pump in place, plus some simple strategies to use it more efficiently, you can divert those dollars saved on energy to some new inflatable pool toys.
- "Reduce pool and spa running costs." http://yourenergysavings.gov.au/energy/appliances-equipment/swimming-pools-spas-pool-pumps/reduce-pool-spa-running-costs. Accessed 28 May 2018.
- "Swimming pool pumps | Energy Rating." http://www.energyrating.gov.au/products/swimming-pool-pumps. Accessed 28 May 2018.
- "Pool pumps | Sustainability Victoria." http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-Your-Home/Save-energy/Appliances/Pool-pumps. Accessed 28 May 2018.