by Sean Griffin, June 29, 2009
Evaporation can be stealing water from your pool and money from your wallet. Water costs money yes, but water that has been treated and heated costs more!
There are a few simple tricks that can be implemented to reduce your evaporation and save you some green.
Evaporation is the process by which water is converted from its liquid form to its vapor form and thus transferred from land and water masses to the atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for up to 90% of heat loss from a swimming pool.
High ambient outside air temperature will increase a pools evaporation rates but an enclosure should slow it down. Pool covers can also decrease evaporation rate. Evaporation rates depend on the temperature in the water and the temperature in the air, the actual humidity of the air and the velocity of the air above the surface. Most of the heat required for the evaporation is taken from the water itself. Not only does evaporation steal water, but hot water is the first to go.
The best way to reduce evaporation and the loss of energy is to cover the pool with a solar blanket or automatic cover. Pool covers can reduce evaporation by up to 98% saving you money on water and pool chemicals. Pool covers can reduce chemical consumption by 35-60% and can save up to 70% on operating costs.
In cases where a cover is impractical you can reduce the velocity of wind traveling over your pool surface by planting bushes and plant life around the pool. Fences and gates will also deter heat and evaporation loss from pool. Liquid solar blankets are also available creating an invisible layer of protection on your pool surface.
For more information on saving water and reducing swimming pool evaporation, visit the U.S. Department of Energy page on swimming pool evaporation