Pools became a hot commodity during the pandemic. As public pools and water parks closed to limit public exposure to the virus, many homeowners invested in a pool to stay cool during the summer.
Reuters reported on the tsunami of interest that hit the pool industry last year; the news service interviewed a sales director at an Indiana pool retailer who said that sales surged by more than 40 percent. However, homeowners likely found energy bills to be higher thanks to the water and electricity those pools required. An energy-efficient pool pump can help save electricity use and cut down the monthly bill.
While the water bill will likely still be a bit steeper during summer’s pool season, a new pump that conserves energy helps control some of the operating cost of that lagoon-like retreat. Here’s what homeowners need to know when shopping for an energy-efficient pool pump.
What Is an Energy-Efficient Pool Pump?
When considering an energy-efficient pool pump, many homeowners may be on the lookout for one simple logo on the pump: ENERGY STAR. Pool pumps that are certified as ENERGY STAR are available for in-ground and above-ground pools.
ENERGY STAR explains that these pumps save energy as they can run at variable speeds, and they can be programmed to meet the specifications of different pools; in addition, energy-efficient pumps also can have more advanced mechanics, including better performing motors.
How Much Can Homeowners Save?
Pool ownership can be expensive. Not only do homeowners have to pay for the installation of the pool, but they also have to pay for maintenance and upkeep.
While above-ground pools are the most budget-friendly, even their upkeep can be a time commitment for homeowners. Pools need to be skimmed and cleaned of debris. Homeowners also have to ensure the chlorine level is adequate.
Filling the pool also adds cost. Some pools are massive and can require about 36,000 gallons of water! Pool Pricer notes that the typical cost of water in the U.S. is about $2 for every 1,000 gallons. While that isn’t too terribly expensive, filling a large pool could tack on about $70 to the monthly water bill.
However, ENERGY STAR explains that the pool pump could be a massive energy guzzler: “Your pool pump could be your home’s second largest energy user, costing you as much as $720 in energy every year.”
According to ENERGY STAR, an energy-efficient pump could save homeowners a significant amount of money each year. However, energy savings vary between in-ground and above-ground pumps. Homeowners choosing an energy-efficient pump for their above-ground pool can save hundreds of dollars each year ($450), while in-ground pool owners can save more than $100 a year.
Where to Find Energy-Efficient Pool Pumps
Installing an energy-efficient pool pump isn’t a DIY project. Instead, pool owners should look for a contractor that’s insured and licensed or has other qualifications as required by the state.
Homeowners may decide to upgrade to a new energy-efficient pump to save money, or they may wait until their current pump is getting a bit old or outdated. However, ENERGY STAR recommends calling a pool pro when the pump exhibits the following signs:
- It’s about a decade old (seven to 10 years)
- The pump is making noise (humming, buzzing, etc.) and won’t start
- The pump doesn’t start as quickly or efficiently
- It’s noisy
- It’s heating up and then shutting off
- The pump has lost some of its power…maybe it seems weaker
While homeowners may be hoping for monthly savings from an energy-efficient pump related to using less energy, energy-efficient pumps may include other savings potential, too. ENERGY STAR reports that some energy companies could offer rebates related to energy efficient pumps. In California, for example, homeowners could get a $200 rebate from TTD Water and Power. EVERSOURCE in New Hampshire, however, offers a $500 rebate.
Curious about rebates in a specific area? Homeowners can contact their energy company to see if their new energy-efficient pump qualifies for any rebates. In addition, homeowners also could use HomeSelfe to find other valuable energy rebates in their area. Rebates are offered for various reasons; some rebates are tied to energy-efficient appliances.
Use HomeSelfe to conduct a home-energy audit to find all the hidden energy drains in the home to maximize energy savings. HomeSelfe will ask homeowners to take a picture of a room and enter data related to energy use. The app will then make suggestions for energy savings and help homeowners find all the available rebates.
For homeowners who are ready to replace a dying pool pump, opt for an energy-efficient pool pump to maximize both energy use and savings. Those installing new pools this summer also could look into these efficient pumps to save money on pool costs.