How It Works
Pool filters maintain water purity and keep your pool safe,
usually by pumping water through a series of debris-catching filters and
smaller mesh filters. Many filters are also equipped with a system to maintain
pool temperature. A pool filter pump is often controlled by an adjustable timer
and temperature sensor.
Pool heaters are typically small heating boilers that may
use natural gas, propane or electricity to operate. Pool water passes through
the boiler as the sensors determine the boilers temperature. Pools may or may
not be equipped with a passive solar cover which can dramatically lower the
need for pool heating.
In addition to filters, salt-water pools utilize a salt
conversion “generator” to produce algae-deterrent chemical balances. A properly
operating saltwater pool can practically eliminate the need for chlorine
chemicals that are required to maintain chemical purity of fresh water pools.
What Can Go Wrong?
Pool filters should be cleaned out regularly for maximum
effectiveness. A clogged motor can put excessive stress on the pump and cause
the motor to fail. Even when pool equipment is operated and maintained
properly, the pumps, motors, boilers and “generators” all have a relatively
short lifespan - typically 10 years or less.
Pumps are typically three horsepower or less, but their size
and power can vary widely. Larger and more powerful pumps are needed for larger
pools and larger discharge pipes. Energy consumption depends on the power of
your unit and how often it’s used. Typical operating hours range between 3 and
12 hours per day. Natural gas and propane-fueled pool heaters are far more
energy efficient than electric units. Given the many variables, a “typical”
electric filter uses approximately 700 kilowatt-hours per month, resulting in
about 1,064 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). Pool heating will add
more energy consumption on top of that number.