How to Build an Eco-Friendly Pool This Spring
Pools are a residential luxury that can make sweltering summer days much more pleasant. Water features increase people’s happiness and boost their exercise levels, but they can be rough on the planet. Fortunately, building an eco-friendly pool is possible.
You can utilize sustainable features to reduce energy expenditure and water waste. Coverings, filtration, heating, decks, windbreakers, lighting and pumps can reduce your home’s carbon footprint. That way, you can enjoy your summertime staple while contributing to the planet’s health. It’s a win for everybody.
Pumps, filters and chemicals are added to pools to reduce algae and harmful bacterial growth. These unwanted water elements flourish through photosynthesis, feeding on sunlight. Adding a cover to shade your pool is a sustainable solution.
You can also plant trees around your pool for shade. They preserve the water, reduce chemical and energy use, and filter air pollutants. Solar covers are another eco-friendly option for shading water.
Panel shading reduces energy expenditure and provides renewable power for the homeowner’s use. Coverings also reduce the amount of leaves and debris ending up in your pool, limiting the need for vacuuming.
Natural swimming pools are the new method for eco-friendly pool filtration. These systems utilize the organic structure of wetlands and are the ideal green solution.
A closed water nutrient cycle relies on plants for filtration. Native and climate-adapting vegetation is added to a pool to filter bacteria and other harmful contaminants. Rather than relying on environmentally degrading chemicals, this system uses the aquatic ecosystem for clean water.
Most natural swimming pools have a designated vegetation region where filtration occurs. You can add a small pump to filter water in and out of the plant-filled area. Organic water purification creates little to no carbon emissions, making it the most sustainable form of filtration.
One of the highest greenhouse-gas-emitting components of a pool is the heater. Scientists crafted solar-powered heaters to utilize renewable energy and reduce air pollution.
Solar heaters increase efficiency by regulating at lower temperatures than traditional systems. Conventional heaters raise small sections of water to high degrees at 30% to 50% efficiency. Solar systems can increase the temperature of thousands of gallons of water to 80° F at 70% to 80% efficiency.
The renewable energy system pumps the pool water through a filter to the solar collector. There, it is heated using coils connected to panels and returned to the pool. Adding this system to your water feature can increase its sustainability and lower your utility bills.
You can also add to the sustainability of your pool deck by using eco-friendly building materials. Most designers choose to make decks out of exotic woods due to their aesthetic appeal. These rare and tropical materials contribute to deforestation and contain a large carbon footprint.
Avoid supporting environmental degradation while maintaining the deck’s allure by using wood-imitating materials. Composite decks look just like natural wood but have a much smaller footprint. They are also more durable and have a longer life span than traditional materials.
Using this material can reduce the environmental harm associated with pool decks. Capped composite decking, eco-friendly bricks and other environmentally-friendly materials can also protect the area from wood-harming insects, UV exposure and moisture.
Swimming pools lose over 25,000 gallons of water annually from evaporation. Owners typically top off their water features weekly to maintain adequate levels. To challenge this amount of water waste, you can put a windbreaker wall up alongside your pool.
The wall will limit sun exposure contributing to evaporation. Wind can also promote water loss while cooling it down. As the pool’s temperature drops, the heater has to work harder to maintain the set degrees.
Without a windbreaker, the energy expenditure of your water feature can increase significantly. Adding this wall will reduce the carbon footprint and water waste associated with your pool.
Another way to construct a sustainable pool is to include energy-efficient lights. They increase the nighttime safety of homeowners and help the planet at the same time.
LED lightbulbs last 25% longer than conventional ones. This reduces the amount of bulb waste produced by pool owners annually. They also cut back energy consumption by 80% over traditional lights.
To further reduce the footprint of your pool’s lighting, you can replace perimeter illumination with solar-powered ones. Solar lights are easy to install and emit little to no carbon. These products will also save the pool owner money on their electricity bill.
Pumps circulate water around the pool for even temperature distribution. They also move water to the heater and filter. The pump is a vital element of the system, and it is the second-largest residential energy consumption component.
The water-circulating tool costs pool owners up to $560 annually in energy use. To limit the degradation of this component, you can install an Energy Star or other energy-efficient pump. This will reduce the fossil fuels burned when filtering the water and controlling the temperature.
You can also have a trained professional check your pump’s efficiency to see if it is too big. Most pool pumps are for commercial-sized pools, not residential ones. Ensure yours is adequate for the amount of water it is pushing.
Manually setting the tool can also decrease its energy expenditure. Pumps hooked up to timers tend to run more often than needed. Limit the daily circulation time to reduce the carbon footprint.
When It Comes to an Eco-Friendly Pool, Awareness Is Key
When building an eco-friendly pool, it is essential to inform yourself about water and the power needed to run them. If the owner can identify the components using the most energy or creating high amounts of water waste, they can address them to find solutions.
It is also helpful to stay on top of environmental news to explore the different ways you can increase your pool’s sustainability. A solar-powered filter has yet to hit the market, but one should appear in the coming years. Maximize the environmental friendliness of your swimming pool by implementing new features as they are released.