Carvin DiGiovanni, vice president of technical and standards at the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, said today’s consumers are looking for environmentally-friendly green solutions.
“Nearly two-thirds of businesses say customers demand they offer more environmentally considerate solutions,” DiGiovanni said by email. “Eighty-eight percent of consumers feel a responsibility to purchase environmentally responsible products.”
Of primary concern for residential swimming pool owners, DiGiovanni said, are water usage and energy conservation.
“Consumers are interested in conserving energy and preventing the loss of water unnecessarily,” he said, with written standards and code addressing conservation slowly being adopted into law to ensure that energy-efficient pools, spas and hot tubs are being designed and built.
“All chemicals used in pools must be EPA Registered Sanitizers, ensuring that no harm comes to the environment,” he said. “There are strict state and local health codes that must be adhered to.”
Even knowing that, some homeowners further prefer a more natural approach, he said, with a niche market quickly growing for natural pools that incorporate plants in an agricultural eco system to keep the water healthy rather than using chemicals.
Another potential point of concern is the construction of a pool, but DiGiovanni said, like the way construction materials for homes and public buildings are regulated by building code requirements, so, too, are the materials governed for swimming pools, with the installations subject to inspection standards.
Aside from attention to the pool itself, landscaping around it can soften a backyard swimming pool’s environmental impact. For instance, positioning the pool to capture wind current helps move surface water to collect surface particulates, increasing the efficiency of the pool skimmer and reducing the workload of the pump/motor, thereby conserving energy, DiGiovanni said. Moreover, setting a pool to take advantage of the sun’s rays can help heat the surface water.
Maximizing a swimming pool’s energy efficiency
• Use a pool cover when the swimming pool is not in use to reduce water loss through evaporation, potentially saving 50 percent to 70 percent on the pool’s heating costs.
• Determine the best temperature for the pool, keeping in mind the size of the pool’s heater and costs to keep the water warm. Most pools are kept at 78 degrees F to 82 degrees F, with each degree rise in temperature costing 10 percent to 30 percent more in energy fees, depending on the pool’s location.
• Install an efficient swimming pool heater. Learn about the options and estimated costs for gas, heat pump or solar pool heaters.
• Install an energy-saving pool pump and operate it efficiently.