From Google to Consumer Reports Magazine, a wealth of consumer information is available. But it can be overwhelming. When you are assessing your home for energy efficiency, one of your best sources of information is provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Those familiar EnergyGuide labels affixed to air conditioners, washing machines, water heaters, refrigerators, televisions, and boilers (to name a few), provide the best guide to advise you how much energy an appliance will use.
An appliance’s features are very important when deciding what electrical device suits your needs. But when you want to get a good idea of recurring costs, once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few manufacturers/models, you can let the little yellow label help make your final decision.
It’s the same for your backyard entertainment center. The more energy efficient a pool component is, the less money it will cost to run, and the less impact it will have on your utility bills.
Pool heat pumps and pool heaters are similarly tagged, so lowering your energy bill inside and out is within the realm of possibility.
One caveat from the FTC is to make certain you are comparing apples to apples as there are different labels.
“Appliances that are rated with updated energy efficiency tests have EnergyGuide labels with bright yellow numbers. Other appliances have original labels with black numbers. Before you compare the features of different models, check the labels. Make sure the models you are comparing have EnergyGuide labels with all yellow numbers or all black numbers.
The ENERGY STAR label helps you identify high efficiency models. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR, a product must meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). To learn more, visit energystar.gov.”
Another proactive step in saving money is to take advantage of the sun’s powerful rays while using a solution as simple as a solar pool cover. They can:
- Minimize water loss
- Raise the temperature of your pool water
- Reduce energy costs
Because safety first is rule number one when it comes to outdoor pools, you likely use a safety cover to protect small children and pets while helping to keep your water debris-free.
When the safety cover is off, the sun is on the job helping to heat the water in tandem with the pool heater.
However, whatever heat you gain, you lose to evaporation. This evaporation is contributed by both the air and water temperatures. Wind and humidity also help it along. These forces of nature are working against you and the sun to steal what was naturally bestowed.
According to Swim University, the science behind the heating of water is eye-opening.
A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a measure of the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one-degree Fahrenheit.
Let’s say you keep your pool at a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When one pound of your pool water evaporates, it doesn’t just take that one BTU with it. Oh, no. It actually takes a whopping 1,048 BTUs of heat out of your pool water.
However, when you deploy a solar pool cover, you are seizing the sun’s energy and transferring it to the water that heats beneath. This addition to a smart energy saving plan keeps the water in the pool, and minimizes your having to heat new water that must be added to compensate for what was lost to evaporation.
Solar pool covers come in a variety of thicknesses. For the most longevity, you need not only care for the cover according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but it’s probably advisable to buy the thickest one your budget allows. They generally come in blue or are clear. The clear covers will allow you to capitalize on capturing as much of the sun’s solar-saving power as possible.
As a less expensive alternative, a solar blanket looks like a large sheet of bubble wrap. It effectively heats the pool water by allowing more of the sun’s rays to enter the pool, while its air bubbles trap the pool’s heat during the night. You should keep the cover on as much as possible between swims. Some owners attach a metal reel to one end of the pool deck, making it easy to roll the blanket on and off. You don’t have to attach a solar blanket to the sides of the pool; it can float freely on the surface.
This option may prove a little awkward at first as you’ll likely have to cut the blanket to fit or fashion sections of it into wide strips to make it easier to handle and then place on top of the pool’s water. There are however different delivery systems including metal reels to make deployment easier.
Like a huge roll of bubble wrap, the bubble side is placed down to help the blanket float. The bubbles themselves amplify the sun’s rays to heat your pool. Although reliant on that heat source during the day, it is fine to leave the blanket on at night to help retain as much water, and therefore heat, as possible.
After the pool season, like the rest of your essentials, clean and dry the blanket according to the care instructions and stow it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Maintaining Your Pool Heater
Preventative maintenance is the key to a safe and efficient home. Whether you’re talking about smoke detectors or changing your car’s oil, keeping a calendar to ensure you’ve done all you should will prove cost-effective. Medallion Energy offers their 7 Ways Pool Heater Maintenance Saves Time & Frustration by explaining how preventative upkeep will give you the maximum efficiency for the unit you purchased.
At the end of the day, when you combine these tips with a solar cover or blanket, you’ll have more money for party platters and maybe even to hire a band for your next backyard BBQ!
Providing pool and home improvement financing solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves offering advice that saves you money and gives you the best return on this refreshing investment. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about installing your corner of paradise.