Pumped for Savings

Pumped for Savings

Photo courtesy of Via

Once upon a recent time there was a man who built a palace of a home, and he filled with luxury amenities for nearly all of his whims. There was a surround-surround system, a pool, whole-house music and automation and a raft of high-end home electronics.

But his house used an ungodly amount of electricity. The king wasn’t pleased with his soaring electric bill. He looked at all of his electronics systems and determined that these were the culprits. To prove it he had his electronics installation company Via install a Powerhouse Dynamics eMonitor (now SiteSage) energy monitoring system to show to that is was all their fault.

And what he found was …

His biggest energy user was his pool pump.

Savant SmartEnergy monitoringPool pumps are notorious, but often overlooked energy hogs. They can use 1,600 to 2,000 watts of power and run for much of the day, escalating a home’s electricity usage. Yet this doesn’t stop people from owning or wanting pools. What is one to do?

A similar problem vexed Jim Carroll, founder of home control company Savant Systems, who discovered with Savant’s SmartEnergy monitor that his precious pool was an embarrassing energy waster. So he limited the number of hours the pool pump ran, from about eight hours a day to six, and saved some money.


Other Ways to Save

Variable-speed pool pumps can cut the energy usage of a pool by up to 75 percent, and they should be installed whenever possible. EcoPump says its new dual condenser motors will save even more.

Zodiac iAquaLinkSeparate apps like Jandy’s iAquaLink can control pools, spas, waterfalls, spillovers, fountains, temperatures, pumps, even landscape lights. The app provides efficient management tools for pool professionals, allowing them to monitor, diagnose, and even reconfigure all their clients’ pools from a single app, without needing to be at the physical location. An Eco mode could be set up by the installer as a whole group of settings to reduce the energy consumption of the pool, a company spokesperson says

A new-home and retrofit pool energy management system called BrioWave uses “economy” and “swim” modes to reduce run times and filtration levels, and can also do so by reading ambient air temperatures and blocking out more expensive peak usage times in areas using variable Time of Use electricity rates and smart grid programs. It can be used with a web application.

One the best ways to save energy with a spa or “portable” hot tub (meaning not built in)? Use a simple cover, as water cools quickly in the air, and only run the jets when in use.

Happy swimming and soaking.

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