Warm weather has arrived and the pool’s open, but remember to cover it when not in use.
Rick Specht, of Pool to Spa Services in Wenatchee, says installing a pool cover is the most important step a pool owner can take to save energy and water. The Department of Energy agrees: “Swimming pools lose energy in a variety of ways,” the agency says at energysavers.gov, “but evaporation is by far the largest source of energy loss. Evaporating water requires tremendous amounts of energy. It only takes 1 Btu (British thermal unit) to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree, but each pound of 80ºF water that evaporates takes a whopping 1,048 Btu of heat out of the pool.”
Pool covers usually are made of either plastic or vinyl. A plastic (bubble) cover is best for maximizing solar heat gain. Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing up to 85 percent of the solar energy that strikes the water surface. A transparent bubble cover reduces the solar absorption by 5 percent to 15 percent, while an opaque cover will reduce it by 20 percent to 40 percent.
Pool covers also help you:
• Conserve water by reducing the amount of make-up water that must be added
• Reduce the pool’s chemical consumption
• Reduce cleaning by keeping dirt and debris out of the water
Another tip, says Specht, is to make sure there are no leaks in your pool’s plumbing or equipment.