Having a pool in your backyard has its perks: It can increase the value of your home, add to your backyard’s aesthetics, and serve as a built-in source of constant fun and recreation for your family. After all, what’s better than a cool pool on a hot summer day?
As much as we love our backyard pools, the environment begs to differ. The vast majority of pools rely on chemicals like chlorine for their everyday functioning and to reduce bacteria. These chemicals are well-known for being harmful to human health, but the damage doesn’t end there. Chemical-dependent pools are also big transgressors of eco-friendly principles. In fact, if a pool uses chemicals to kill bacteria, it poses the following environmental threats:
- Large energy consumption that drastically adds to the carbon footprint of a household
- Water waste via evaporation and leaks
- Production of greenhouse gases as the chemical-laden water evaporates into the environment
- Damage of waterways as chemically-treated water is drained and discharged
- The harm of organisms living in the pool water, soil, and areas directly surrounding the pool
Here at Reflections, we know how important it is to customers to have the best of both worlds: To have a swimming pool for leisure, aesthetics, and fun — while continuing to be as eco-friendly as possible. The good news is that there are some relatively simple fixes we recommend to help make your pool more eco-friendly.
Here are 9 of our favorite eco-friendly ideas:
- Install a solar pool heater
Solar power is one of the most cost-effective ways to heat your pool while still being environmentally friendly. You’ll pay more upfront to install one, but your return on investment in the long-run will include drastic savings on your energy bill.
- Choose equipment with great efficiency ratings
When you’re selecting pool equipment like pumps and lighting, look for the Energy Star certification. Using energy efficient equipment will help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Use a variable speed pool pump instead of a single speed pump
Of all pool equipment, pool pumps are often the biggest energy suckers. Variable speed pool pumps can help you reduce your energy consumption, though, as they only use as much energy as is needed for whatever task they’re completing at the time. Variable speed pool pumps are so much more energy efficient than single speed pumps that they’ve quickly become the industry standard for recently installed pools.
- Regularly inspect for leaks
One of the biggest causes of wasted water in backyard pools is hidden leaks. Over time, even the smallest of pool leaks could lead to gallons of water waste.
- Use a pool cover
When you leave your pool uncovered, the water will evaporate at a fairly quick rate. Reduce your water waste by remembering to cover your pool after each use.
- Install energy-efficient lighting
When it comes to pool lighting, you really have no excuse to be eco-friendly with all of the new and improved options on the market! LED lights and solar lights are two good options to replace traditional incandescent lights. These stylish alternatives both use far less energy than incandescent lights.
- Don’t forget about your landscaping
What you choose to do with the landscaping surrounding your pool has a big impact on the environment. We recommend choosing plants that are low-maintenance, drought-resistant, and native to your area. You can also reduce water evaporation and energy consumption by using trees and shrubs as windbreaks.
- Put your pool on a schedule
If you have an automated pool system, you could save tons of energy and money by only running pool equipment when necessary.
- Convert to a natural pool
This is the most involved way to make your pool more eco-friendly, but we cannot recommend it highly enough. Make the ultimate commitment to eco-friendliness by converting your chemical pool into a natural pool. Natural pools are essentially swimming ponds that use plants instead of chemicals to ensure Mother Nature’s approval. They also use a biofilter instead of a traditional pump, further reducing your carbon footprint.
At Reflections, we’ve converted and installed countless natural pools and can tell you with certainty that our customers and the environment are happier and healthier for it. Please see our recent featured project and portfolio for some of our many natural pool installation examples. To find out more information or to ask for a quote, please give us a call at 815-955-4911.