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Water's Edge

Can Less Money Equal More Green?  –  Each week we hear of yet another increase in the cost of a barrel of oil.  This upward trend seems to have no end and here in these islands it hits us pretty hard. All of our fossil fuel is imported and receives a double hit, as the cost of transporting it here is becoming increasingly expensive as well.  So our incentive to reduce our carbon footprint is not only the right thing to do, it is also quickly becoming the economical thing to do as well.

For some time now, the operating costs associated with running our homes have been weighing heavily upon us.  Some of the biggest energy hogs in the home are water heaters, refrigerators and any type of appliance that runs continuously.

In our field, the pool circulation pump is the major culprit when it comes to consuming clients’ money; every day of the year it will run for a number of hours, eating through kWhs.  Pool pumps are the motors that allow your swimming pool water to be filtered then sanitized, which means that enough sanitizing components such as chlorine can be mixed into the water to keep algae at bay and allow for the breakdown of undesirables in the water.  Both humans as well as leaves and other small dirt particles leave residue in the water that needs to be oxidized (sanitized).  Pool pumps should run long enough to perform these important functions.

 

For this relatively simple process to be as efficient as possible, we should look at the size of the equipment being used and also ensure that the water is in balance.  Much like having your car tuned up and serviced, most pools can benefit from a good review of the size of pumps and filters that are working every day of the year.

For pool circulation pumps, bigger is definitely not better; however, for filters the opposite is true. Most residential pools can run on a small ½- to ¾-HP pump.  Larger pumps would typically be needed to run spa jets or waterfalls.  The only person who benefits from running a bigger pump in a simple circulation system is the electricity provider.  A good review of your pump, filters and sanitation methods can, in many cases, reduce your annual consumption by a significant amount.

Expertise on efficient plumbing and sanitation systems, combined with solar energy for both water heating and circulation, exist now and are available to you.  As the energy price curve may have taken yet another upward swing since I penned this article, you can begin lowering your monthly bills and feeling good about it. 

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