by Sean Griffin, November 8, 2011
Evaporation is Stealing your Money: Protect your Swimming Pool
A major cost in owning a swimming pool is maintaining crystal clear pool water at the desired water temperature. Pool Filtration directly adds to your monthly energy bill as pumps run daily to filter every gallon of water. Perfect water chemistry comes at a cost and the last thing any swimming pool owner wants is to lose the valuable heated water you’ve paid good money to perfect. Evaporation accounts for the largest loss of heated and treated pool water so prevent evaporation and safeguard your water. Minimizing water consumption will help you reduce your swimming pools Carbon Footprint and lower the bills!
Before you start adding safeguards for evaporation I recommend going through and confirming the pool structure is sound and there are no leaks. You can gauge the amount of water loss due to evaporation and rule out any additional leaks by using a simple water Bucket-Test. On a hot, sunny, humid day evaporation can account for ¼” of water loss. If you discover additional water loss you will want to attend to fixing any pool leaks. Even small drips can add up to be gallons upon gallons.
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. If you have concluded water loss has been limited to evaporation you will want to begin to combat the thief. You can envision your evaporation prevention tactics as a series of barriers guarding against cold night time temperatures and cross winds. Draw out a strategy or make a checklist of ideas you can incorporate in your backyard.
Barriers around the pool can be your first line of defense. Limiting and redirecting wind flow across the surface of the pool water will drastically reduce evaporation. Landscaping can be the perfect wall. Hedges, shrubbery, and lattice fences can create privacy, add to the backyard landscaping, and help control where the wind blows. Pool Safety Fencing made up of mesh material will also serve as a wind deterrent as well as a safety barrier.
Install a swimming pool cover. The most important of any evaporation deterrents is a pool cover .A covered swimming pool can save up to 70% on operating costs, reduce chemical consumption by 35-60%, and reduce evaporation up to 98%. Pool covers are offered in several forms. Solid safety covers and automatic pool covers can reduce water loss almost entirely. Solar covers will optimize heat transfer from the sun and also prevent overnight heat loss. Solar blankets are offered in many forms. Liquid solar blankets invisible to the eye, solar rings, solar fish, and original solar blankets with solar reels will all protect the surface of the water.
Optimize your solar consumption and limit gas use. If you have solar paneling on the roof make sure you are controlling the flow of water to prevent adversely loosing heat by running water through cold panels. This is normally done with an automated solar system which will sense temperatures and automatically change an actuator valve to achieve desired temperatures. Tone down the temperature at the pool heater. A difference of even one degree can save you up to 10% in fuel consumption.
Once you’ve achieved your goal of limiting water and heat loss due to evaporation the savings will follow. The payoff is long term and you might not notice any drastic changes but over time the benefits will add up. Evaporation prevention is just one of many ways to make your swimming pool eco friendly and lower the cost of running. You can gain a better perspective on annual cost savings and propose new ideas by using Energy Expert’s Pool Energy Use Calculator.
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