For many homes with the space to fit them, outdoor pools are the pride and joy of any residence. However, they’re not exactly cheap to run through traditional means. Fortunately, help is at hand with a number of natural or eco-friendly solutions. These tips won’t just keep your bills down, they will help reduce your footprint and provide a greener way to enjoy your pool!
The biggest expense in most pools is often the water bill, so why not find a way to preserve the water you have? By decorating and placing plants outside the pool, you can provide shade and decrease evaporation. This keeps water in the pool longer, as well as providing more pleasant surroundings. Such plants should be used around the pool at a safe distance – you want to be able to walk around the pool freely – but close enough to be beneficial. Taller plants have the added bonus of providing shade or privacy.
After water, your power bill is often another one of the biggest costs you’ll face, as well as being one of the most environmentally damaging parts of owning a pool. Fortunately, power efficient alternatives for most of your pool equipment, such as water pumps, are available. Smart pumps, specifically, can adjust their power usage to preset times of day, ensuring you only use energy when you need to!
On a similar note, why not switch to a green source of energy entirely? Solar power may be an investment at first, but you save money over time and it’s a greener way to maintain and power your pool. Of course, this requires plenty of exposure to the sun but, if you’re not getting adequate sunshine, then who wants to go for a swim anyway?
Chlorine has its purposes, but it doesn’t have the most aromatic of smells. It’s also not very eco-friendly to import and use on a regular basis. Luckily, nature has always had its own way of keeping water clean. Salt water is an effective alternative that keeps your pool nice and clean. Furthermore, it’s not harmful or irritating to human skin and it prevents algae from building up just as well as chlorine.
Generally, you want to keep your pool covered up when not in use, to stop water, leaves or other debris finding its way in. However, rainwater can be a useful way to test your pool, especially if you haven’t used it in a while. Let the pool collect the water and see how well it drains way, or if there are any areas that aren’t as efficient. This will highlight any problems that need maintenance without having to waste water or power pumping the pool with water.
When your pools not in use – and when you’re not trying to collect rain water, your pool should always be covered up. This is to stop debris coming in, as already mentioned, as well as to protect any water within the pool. This way your pool isn’t exposed to the elements unnecessarily. Even a simple tarp can provide enough cover, so there’s no need to rush out any buy something expensive.
Similarly, you don’t just need protection from the sun up above either. The wind can be just as damaging, helping to blow in unwanted items, influence the temperature and more. Set up barriers, screens or other wide windbreaks and see how much of a difference it makes. Less heat will reduce your energy usage, for instance, all thanks to a simple screen! Plants, again, can be useful here, when placed in large numbers or concentration.
Lastly, there’s something to be said about ensuring you get into your pool and do some handiwork. Many of the bigger problems arise when your pool is left to its own defenses. Leaves build up and damage filters and pumps, for instance, which causes you money and other issues in the long run. A little regular maintenance – such as once a month – goes a long way. This is especially true in the autumn and winter seasons, where you’re less likely to use the pool, as this is when dead leaves are going to build up in numbers.
As you can see, there are more than a few ways to make your pool a little more greener. Whether it is finding solutions that are both cost cutting and energy efficient, or simply making the most of nature’s abundance, you can easily reap the benefits of an eco-friendly pool. Furthermore, you can simply enjoy your pool with the added peace of mind that comes from knowing you are doing the right thing.
About the Author: Tim Sparke is the CEO at 4pumps and for several years, he has been an active advocate of organic farming and sustainability. He also has a passion for writing and he writes the blog at 4pumps.