.
ECO Innovations to help reduce swimming pool ownership & running costs

How much your garden swimming pool will cost to own and run will depend on a number of varying factors, these include, (but are not limited to), the temperature you run your pool at, the type of swimming pool you have, your pools size and volume, it's depth, the materials the pool is made from, if it has any insulation built in, whether the pool is positioned in a sunny or shady area of the garden, exposure to wind (wind chill) & ambient air tempertures.

How often the pool is used and by how many people, the type and size of any heating system utilised, the power and efficiency of the filtration pump, the distance the plant room is situated away, if the pools plumbing is underground, all these examples will have a direct impact on your actual running costs and as you will quickly realise or will have experienced, there is no exact science when it comes to calculating a swimming pools efficiency. Every pool installation is bespoke and has its own merits and challenges, so managing energy costs or calculating projected chemical consumption can at first seem to be a little more than challenging.

Typically in the UK, a m3 (1000 litres) of water from the tap or hose will currently cost the average household on a water meter around £1.20 with electricity on average costing around £0.13 a kW, so why would we waste it ?

To put those figures into prospective, let's look at a few common pool sizes, starting with a typical Above Ground Splasher Pool which is 12ft round with a wall height of 3ft6 holding around 7m3 (7,000 Ltrs) of water, (so will cost approx. £8.40 each time it is filled). If it uses a 3kW electric heater for 10 hours a day it will cost £3.90 a day during the season to heat, plus let's allow around £1 a day for chemical consumption and filtration costs; so in total then we are talking about a fiver a day, not bad to keep the kids entertained during the holidays, do you know how much LegoLand would cost to take just one of your kids out for a day ?

So whilst most Above Ground Splasher Pools cost around a fiver a day to run, does owning a bigger pool cost more to operate, treat and heat ?

Let's see if it does! Now for this example, let's take a lovely family pool like a Plastica Belgravia 5.5m x 3,6m Wooden Pool with a wall height of 1.31m (52inch) and a water volume of 20,000 Litres which is heated using a Summer Season 5.6kW Air-Rage Heat Pump (approx. total purchase value £6,500). Now x £1.20 a m3 by 20, the pools water volume = £24 initial fill, but as a Summer Season Heat Pump typically uses only 20% of the energy it outputs, the Heat Pump only draws 1.16kW an hour, so lets apply the same science of 10 hours running a day, so 1.16kw x 10 hours at 0.13p a unit = £1.51 + £1.20 filtration and chemical allowance and yes you are right, (you have not made a mistake), a larger pool running a suitably sized Summer Season Heat Pump costs just over half what a smaller pool is to run a day, amazing !

So what about a larger swimming pool, well lets take the Uk's most popular outdoor in-ground domestic swimming pool size, a 10 x 5m hopper swimming pool with a hopper depth of just under 2m, so to calculate the water volume, 10 x 5 x 1.4 (ave. depth) and we have 70,000 Ltrs or 70m3, (approx. total installed value £30,000 to £35,000 if we were supplying and installing it for you) so let's calculate the fill cost first which comes in at £84, (again a lot less than what you probably expected it to be). So to be really fair, let's say you are going to back wash 5% of the pools water each week to clean the filter over a season and allow for a little bit of water evaporation for the times you get drunk at your pool parties and forget to put the cover back on), so now double the pools fill cost to give a good indication of expected water usage and costs and we still come in at £168 (without getting into heavy corporate demographic market research (you all know what I mean), the cost of water through the summer season is probably the same cost as what most average in-ground pool owners spend on a Hotel Room for just one night, if not, trust us they will spend a lot more). So now we have 70,000 Ltrs of water to heat, so obviously you will have a solar or heat retention cover fitted to the pool, won't you ? OK, now we have the small matter of a decent cover cleared up, take our Air-Rage Heat Pump which outputs 17kW of energy / heat (at 15o/c of ambient air temperature) but only draws 3.5kW an hour, apply the same 10 hours running time (which is normally sufficient to run and heat a pool to 28o/c during a typical summers day here in the lovely good old UK) and the heating costs come in at £4.55, add £1.50 for filtration and chemical costs (probably slightly higher than it would be, but we have to put something in to do the equation comparisons) and you will see that your swimming pool costs less to run a day than just one gallon of diesel at the pumps, break this cost down further, around £150 a month, so now, really, where could you go or take the kids on just £150 a month ? Mind you, if you have a gas or oil boiler, you are probably paying in excess of £500 a month to run and heat this size pool and are begrudging every penny you spend on energy costs.

Most of us wouldn't want to waste energy, would we ? Over the last five years, the swimming pool industry has experienced a significant increase in customers looking to dramatically reduce their pools running costs. It is this influx of demand for the latest energy saving ECO innovations and pool products that is driving swimming pool suppliers and manufacturers forward, all with the same aim of producing more efficient ideas and intelligent designs to best help reduce and manage these running costs.

As either a prospective or current owner of a swimming pool, whether it is a small inflatable above ground, a large in-ground diving pool, you can contribute to lowering your pools running costs and reducing its carbon footprint simply by, locating / siting and setting the pool up correctly; using the correct grade and sized accessories that are designed to enhance the pools performance. One of the first things we recommend our customers do is to use a timer to set your pools required operation time; most of us live very busy lives and are not at home all the time to remember to switch the pool on and off, you would be surprised at how many pool owners don't have one fitted. If your plant equipment is wired directly into a domestic consumer board and you have a spare spur available, we would recommend fitting a digital timer next to your breaker, these timers are readily available from any electrical wholesale stores for around £30 to £35; you don't need to be Einstein to work out the energy savings available to you if you just reduce your pools operation time to let's say 8 to 12 hours a day compared to leaving it on 24 / 7. If this is not possible then buy a dial timer that can handle your pool equipment's electrical supply, the sooner you do, the sooner you will start to save a considerable amount.

If you already have a swimming pool that is sited in your garden, t
hen strict adherence to covering your pool when not in use will in most cases offer the fastest and most potential savings in energy and chemical consumption, i.e. ensuring minimal chemical evaporation and heat loss from the pools water surface is achieved.


Most of us wouldn't go out in the middle of winter without a thick jacket or a woolly hat on if we wanted to stay warm, most of us have double glazing and insulation fitted to our homes to help keep the heat in, so why would we want to expose our pools to losing heated and treated water ? A human being typically loses about 95% of their body heat through their head when not wearing a hat, so apart from the added benefits of keeping your pool water cleaner, less water loss and less chemical evaporation, is that not a good enough example on its own to assure us to fit a decent cover to our pools ?

There are a number of different types of Swimming Pool Covers available ;

One of the most cost effective ways to minimise a swimming pools water from losing temperature throughout the day and overnight when not in use is to fit a Heat Retention Cover. When fitted correctly, these specially formed foam covers should typically reduce between 1 to 3 degrees of heat loss over night. Not only will the covers pay for themselves overtime from the energy costs saved, you will also enjoy the added convenience of your pool staying closer to your desired temperature or being able to heat up faster when you come to use it. Most domestic customers normally opt for a 5mm hemmed Supercover, as the weight of this cover is still manageable for most pool users to load and unload off the pool using a suitable Reel System
Most Commercial Pool Operators using Heat Retention Covers usually opt for a 8 to 12mm foam cover thickness with a reinforced leading edge to aid handling the cover, obviously a thicker cover will perform better than a thinner one, but remember, these are heavier and more awkward to use, so think carefully.

Pool Solar Covers offer the best of both worlds as they will gently heat your Pools water throughout the day directly from the sun's rays, leaving you with a warmer, more comfortable water temperature to swim and play in. Whilst not as effective as Heat Retention Covers, Solar Covers will assist with heat retention, also reducing water and chemical evaporation. In some cases, with the recent introduction of double bubble solar covers, manufacturers are now advising that you should be able to achieve a difference in temperatures, of up to 8o/c by using a quality solar cover as opposed to nothing at all. Again, Solar Covers will also aid Heat Pumps in their job of heating the pool, the less heat and water you lose through evaporation, the less heat you have to pay for. 

Air Source Heat Pumps have recently become a runaway success and proved to be a very popular ecological choice when it comes to heating in-ground and larger Above Ground Pools; most machines can achieve an extremely efficient CoP (Coefficient of Performance) of around 5, i.e. they output up to around five times more energy as heat into your pool as they consume when operated at a certain ambient air temperature, these thermal values are normally compared at an ambient air temperature of 15o/c (but watch out, some machines out there are measured against a higher ambient air tempature to make their results look better). With more swimming pool owners looking to save money on their heating costs and either use or ditch their expensive oil or gas boilers less, manufacturers are constantly looking to develop and refine the technology and performance of these machines making them a lot more affordable and quieter in operation, (many machines now run quieter than a pools filtration pump). In essence, Swimming Pool Heat Pumps are a reversed air conditioning unit, i.e. they abstract the warmth of the air outside, compress and transfer it as energy to heat your pools water as it passes through their Heat Exchangers. Again prices for these machines, (especially our own affordable Air-Rage Brand) have come down considerably compared to what they used to cost, a typical Summer Season only Heat Pump will generally cost around half as much as a decent all season reverse cycle Heat Pump like the one in the picture below.
 
We have a number of customers throughout the country who have bought Summer Season Heat Pumps to complement their oil and gas boilers during the summer months to save on energy costs, other customers use these Heat Pumps as a standalone heating source during the summer season only, whilst other customers have bought Calorex Reverse Cycle, All Season Heat Pumps that they use all year round on their outdoor pools with great success. Heat Pumps have also proved to be extremely efficient and reliable and can quickly become a pool owner's best friend. In our minds, Calorex are the Bentley's and Rolls Royce's of the Swimming Pool Heat Pump market.

If you are building a new poolinsulating the sides and floor of your in-ground pool using XPS insulating panels makes great economic sense. XPS thermal boarding is an Extruded Polystyrene closed cell board (XPS), an ideal insulating instrument that can speed the heating process, (especially on season start up) and prevent minimal heat loss through the pools walls and floor. Over the years we have built a number of insulated in-ground swimming pools using XPS Thermal Blocks, everyone with great results, typically, fully insulating your swimming pools floor and walls in this way will only cost around 5 to 7% of the pools total build specification ? XPS Thermal Boarding Panels comply and exceed indoor pool insulation requirements

With swimming pool lighting legislation soon to change in the UK, many pool owners have already swapped over to low wattage LCD Lighting which is not only safer and cheaper to run then traditional halogen pool lighting, it also offers a number of other advantages like smaller light units, along with a number of new varying lighting effects. Fun Fantastic offers a complete range of white or RGB remote lights with supporting accessories for new and retro in-ground pool installations, we also offer an easy fit, hang over the wall, or an option to fit a light in a separate or redundant inlet fitting design for larger Above Ground Pools to use.

Our preferred Brand for LED Pool Lighting is Spectravision; in our experience, we believe Spectravision LED Lighting offers a far superior light and quality of fitting (for similar money as cheaper brands sell for).


AFM Active Filter Media is a relative new recyclable filter media that can filter down to 5 microns, (most sand filters filter to around 40 to 50 microns) ensuring that your swimming pool water remains crystal clear. Unlike silica sand, AFM does not need to be changed every five years. AFM will almost certainly outlast your filter tank. Pools using AFM will use less sanitizer and need to be backwashed less frequently; dumping heated treated water can be expensive, (we have already covered that if you excuse the pun). You can expect a payback period of less than 12 months when converting from silica sand to AFM, but the real beauty is the clearer and healthier water you will achieve compared with Silica Sand.

Watch out for other innovative ECO Friendly swimming pool products on this site that can further reduce your running costs, please see our ECO Pool category for further selections.

Swimming Pool & Spa Water Treatments fight to protect the waters clarity & purity against bacteria and other foreign objects, your pools water needs to be balanced & chemically adjusted. If you have just bought a swimming pool, then it is a good idea to purchase one of our Starter Packs, these chemical kits provide a comprehensive selection of treatments & relevant testing kits to help maintain your Pool waters within the guided parameters, they also contain a useful guide on how to treat your pools water.

Another convenient way to look after your Swimming Pools water is to buy Treatment Tablets which dissolve in your pools water over a given period of time, these are extremely easy to use with a Floating Chemical Dispenser.