Conventional pools may not meet "green" standards but there are actions we can take to use our pools optimally to reduce energy and water consumption. Here are a few tips to reduce the carbon footprint of pools and save on energy bills:
1. If installing a pool for the first time, use natural materials such a stone, especially regionally quarried, to leave less of a carbon footprint than concrete or vinyl.
2. Install a pool cover - helps keep chemicals from polluting the atmosphere, maintains pool heat and saves on cleaning time. Using pool covers made of recyclable or organic material is a plus!
3. Maintain lower water temperature: During the months you heat your pool, consider using a lower temperature and if possible, reduce the number of months you heat the pool.
4. Maintain pool equipment to optimal working condition to increase efficiency and save wear and tear on equipment.
5. Replace pool filter with a water-saving pool filter to reduce the amount of water used for back-flushing.
6. Run pool equipment during off-peak hours to save money. Off-peak times are usually weekends and between 6pm and noon weekdays.
7. If you wish to make an even bigger change, convert your chlorine pool to salt water. Salt water pools save water, reduce chemical use and minimize electric costs. Even more exciting is that an article in e-how.com offers a "moderately easy" step-by-step article on changing a chlorine pool to salt water. To read how simply and cost-effectively the conversion can be made, read, "How to Change to a Saltwater Pool" at: http://www.ehow.com/how_2034707_convert-saltwater-pool.html#ixzz0sFqMLDo1
If anyone implements and of the above-listed suggestions, let me know how the process went for you!