Let’s talk about pool pump efficiency. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) there are more than 4.5 million in-ground residential pools in the United States, and they consume between $1.1 and $1.6 billion in energy costs per year. Energy usage will differ depending on swimming season length, energy rates, and if your pool is heated. A pool pump can be the 2nd largest energy consumer in a home with a pool. Most often, the largest. Pool pumps are huge energy hogs, but they serve a great purpose.
Why Pool Pumps Are Needed
Pool pumps provide an important function for water circulation through filtration. Pool pumps are necessary for your water filtration. The filtration system keeps your pool water clean and clear. In short, there is no getting around not having a pool pump.
Single Speed Pool Pump
A single speed pump runs 5 – 6 hours a day (some even 24 hours) consuming energy. These pool pumps are typically oversized & overused. A single-speed pool pump by design can’t change its’ flow rate. The pump ends up running when it is not needed. This means that 90% of the time these pool pumps will provide greater circulation than what is needed. Single-speed pumps only have 30% – 70% efficiency ratings.
Variable Speed Pool Pump
Now, let’s talk about variable speed pool pumps. Variable speed pumps are designed with a 90% efficiency rating. These pumps are designed to reduce flow rate when it is not needed (i.e. tasks that require minimum flow). This means less energy usage. You can save $600 – $1100 off your utility bill annually because of the lower energy usage. The amount does vary depending on your utility and the size of your pool.
The Additional Advantage
The advantage of variable speed pumps go above and beyond energy savings. Variable speed pumps tend to last longer, require less maintenance, and are quieter. The slower circulation rates also put less strain on the filters, plumbing, & other parts of your pool equipment. All of this reduces the chance of leaks, repairs, or premature plumbing problems. This means less maintenance costs as well!
Variable speed pumps are more costly. The average cost with installation ranges from $1,500 – $2,000. In comparison, replacing a single-speed
pump will range from $400 to $700. Some utilities provide rebates for upgrading your single speed pool pumps. DSIRE is a great resource to see if your local utility provides a rebate.
Variable speed pump are a great option for pool pump efficiency. They cost more up front but have a huge payback in the end. Upgrading not only saves money but can also extend the life of your pool equipment. In the end, it is worth it to upgrade your pool pump to a more energy efficient variable speed pump.