Energy Efficient

Pools, spas and water feature designs

An Energy EfficientAn energy efficient raised perimeter overflow pool, powered by a single variable drive pump.
There Are A Variety Of Reasons For constructing an energy efficient or "green" pool. Rising energy costs, global warming and cost savings are all part of the equation.
     The most energy efficient design involves replicating a thermos. For instance, a fully insulated covered pool that is removed from all outside environmental influences will approach an energy efficient nirvana. However in the real world clients use their pools, water features, fire features and living environments. By nature these simple activities increase energy costs and lower the efficiency levels of any project.
     The best time to incorporate energy efficiency into a project is at the planning stage. Before a shovel hits the ground a well-designed and thought out project will provide enormous long-term energy and cost savings. Some of these items can be retrofitted to an existing project.
Insulated AutomatedInsulated automated slatted cover in the closed energy efficient position.

LOCATION
     The pool or spa should be located in an area of maximum sun exposure. Consider sheltering the project from cooling winds by using screens, raised walls, glass fences or soft landscaping. earth they run through travelling from the pool heater to the pool shell.
HEATING
     The most energy efficient heating systems are solar, geothermal and heat pumps. The d
Pool LocatedPool located in the sun, sheltered from lakeside wind.
rawback with these systems is the ability to heat up quickly on demand. High efficiency gas heaters are the quick heat solution. The most energy efficient design for most new homes pools is to piggyback off of the home's boiler system. A dedicated heat exchanger can be installed for the pool or spa. These boilers can also be used for driveway and walkway snow melts in the cold winter months.
POOL DEPTH
     Deep pools contain more water that is both difficult and more costly to heat. Consider building a shallow or sport pool.
INSULATION
     Every home is i
EntranceEntrance to energy efficient bunker surrounding this glass enclosed indoor pool
nsulated; why not insulate the pool? Applying spray foam (R10-1.5 inches) to the shell of the pool keeps the water insulated from the relatively cool earth (55oF) surrounding the structure. The insulation further acts a thermal break and has the added bonus of keeping heat absorbing ground water away from the exterior of the pool shell. Insulation is particularly important for hot spas. Insulation becomes more important the greater the temperature differential between the water and the environment. Also consider insulating all of the plumbing lines from the relatively cold
PLUMBING
     Large diameter, 3-inch and larger, rigid PVC plumbing
Pool ShellFrom left, insulated spray foam pool shell, variable drive pumps in an insulated pool bunker and radiant in-floor heating in a pool floor.
allows for the use of extremely energy efficient variable drive pumps. Variable drive pumps combined with large diameter plumbing and automation can easily maintain an average pool for $10-20 per month in power consumption for filtration.
     Another consideration is to place the return jets into the deepest part of the pool. The hot filtered water will then evenly distribute throughout the pool. This even water distribution will avoid thermoclines or cold water layers that can develop in poorly circulated pools.
SIMPLE FEATURES
     Waterfalls and water features can be a welcome aesthetic addEnergy Efficientition to any project. Unfortunately they waste a tremendous amount of heat, water and energy in order to operate. Consider designing water features to be simplistic in nature or one that does not use heated pool water in its operation.
     Underground bunkers or equipment vaults save large amounts of space and energy in new construction builds. Bunkers located directly beside the pool minimize plumbing runs, save heating costs and never freeze even in cold climates.
     Pumping or circulating the pool's water can cost a small fortune. Old style pumps with small diameter plumbing running 24 hours a day can cost hundreds of dollars a month to operate. Consider installing a simple timer, automation or ideally a variable drive pump combined with large diameter plumbing. The cost and energy savings are staggering.
     Automation allows users to program pump(sEnergy Efficient) to operate as required. Pumps can be programmed to operate during off peak, low cost hours. Large energy-consuming pumps used for high volume water features and spa jet pumps can be programmed to run for a limited time. Low energy LED pool lights and outdoor lighting can be programmed to operate for selected durations.
WATER LEVEL CONTROLS
     Every water feature, pool or spa should be equipped with an automated water level controller. These simple devices are programmed to run for a limited time ensuring that a leaking body of water is not simply filled forever, wasting water. Surge tanks are normally constructed to handle the overflow water from vanishing edge or perimeter rim pools. In areas with water restrictions, surge tanks can be used to capture rainwater from house downspouts or sloped concrete pool decks. This "free" water can then be cleaned and filtered ready for use in residential pool or water features.
     Indoor pools a
Water Feature.Energy efficient perimeter overflow water feature.
re notorious energy hogs. Every indoor pool should be fitted with an automated cover to reduce evaporation. Indoor pools without covers constantly evaporate into their environment, this moisture then needs to be removed by a very energy intensive dehumidification process. This cycle repeats endlessly. The pool shell, plumbing, HVAC ducts and decks should also be insulated during construction.
     The addition of pool covers can save 70% of a pool owner's heating costs. Automated pool covers prevent the pools heated water from evaporating.
     The majority of these energy-saving features need to be considered before the watershape is constructed. Some simple design elements will allow pool owners to enjoy the pool or spa at a reasonable cost, and help save energy resources.

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