If you’re looking to reduce your summer electric bill, your pool is a great place to start.

Swimming pools offer hours of family enjoyment, exercise and cool refreshment on a hot day. They also can impact your energy usage, especially in the summer when energy bills are typically higher because of increased air conditioning use.

“Pool pumps are often a home’s second-largest energy user, after your heating and cooling system,” said Edith Garcia, Residential Energy Efficiency Product Manager for UniSource Energy Services. “However, there are a few easy steps you can take to reduce your pool-related energy costs.”

Here are six ways you can skim your pool’s energy use to keep your electric bill in check this summer while maintaining sparkling, clean water.

  1. Invest in a variable-speed pool pump. Replacing your older, single-speed pool pump with an ENERGY STAR® certified pool pump can reduce energy use by 65 percent and save you up to $450 each year. UniSource offers a $295 instant rebate when you replace a single-speed pool pump with a qualified variable-speed pump. “The payback period in cost savings is typically less than two years,” Garcia noted.
  2. Cover your pool. Pool covers can help you save energy and water. They can reduce evaporation by more than 40 percent, which reduces water usage by keeping the pool at the desired water level. A cover also keeps debris out of the pool so your pump doesn’t need to run as long. There also are liquid additives that create water surface tension to help reduce evaporation.
  3. Skim regularly. The more debris you can remove from the surface of the water and pool floor, the less your pump will need to run to keep the water clean.
  4. Clean strainer baskets and filters regularly. By doing this, your pool pump runs more efficiently. Dirty and clogged filters and baskets should be cleaned often – just like the ones on your AC unit – so your pool pump doesn’t need to work so hard.
  5. Reduce the pump’s run time. Typically, pool pumps run up to 12 hours in the summer and less in the winter. It’s possible you can reduce your pump’s run time and still have a clean pool. Try reducing the run time a little each day to find out just how long your pump really needs to run.
  6. Avoid running the pump during “on-peak” hours. Make sure your pool pump isn’t running from 3-7 p.m. in the summer. Those hours coincide with peak energy demand when energy costs are higher. Program your pump to turn off at 3 p.m. and then on again at 7 p.m., if necessary. This helps reduce the energy costs all customers pay and can save you money right away if you’re using one of our time of use pricing plans.
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