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> Learning Center > Solar Pool Benefits

The Benefits of Solar Power: Swimming Pools

By: E. Taylor - Contributor - September 8, 2009

Article Highlights:

  • Solar Power can lower the costs of swimming pool operation
  • Increase your home's value
  • Ease swimming pool upkeep

Where there is sunlight, there is energy.  Solar power takes advantage of our Sun's light, converting it into electricity or storing its heat.  Swimming pools then, for obvious reasons, can benefit greatly through the employment of photovoltaics, or PV for short.  The following are just a couple of the possibilities that can help any pool owner run and maintain a pool by lowering costs and assisting with general upkeep.

Lowered Costs
Perhaps the greatest benefit in the area of solar powered pool equipment is the great reduction in total upkeep costs.  Owning and maintaining a swimming pool can be a massive expense.  In fact, for most, swimming pools are cost prohibitive.  It is estimated that heating a pool for a single season can raise heating bills by $500.  Another $50 a month can be expected when running the pool's filter.  On top of that, hiring a pool service for vacuuming, adding chemicals, and other general maintenance, even for an unheated pool, can cost between $1,500 and $2,000 per year.

A relatively small array of solar panels can power a filtration mechanism.  Solar heating, which uses heat absorbent materials to harness the Sun's heat, can be employed to heat and store water, which ultimately heats the swimming pool.  To supplement this, a solar pool cover (also known as a solar blanket,) can help maintain a comfortable temperature when the pool is not being used.  These soft plastic sheets are covered in small air pockets, like bubble-wrap, helping to absorb and transfer heat.  They are also among the cheapest of all pool covers.

Home Value
As a side note, when it comes to the real estate market, homes with swimming pools received mixed enthusiasm.  Depending on the climate, an in-ground swimming pool can add 6-11% to a home's resale value.  However, the very presence of a pool can eliminate a large body of potential buyers.  Families with children or the elderly often consider pools a liability, and the high cost of maintenance further alienates a number of possible buyers.  This is where solar energy comes in.  The reduction in heating and cleaning costs can alleviate much of this disadvantage.

Ease of Upkeep
The money saved through the use of solar pool equipment can be dramatic, and at the very least can free up room in the budget to afford the hiring of cleaning services.  But solar power doesn't stop there,  products are available that can effectively eliminate time spent cleaning and skimming a pool.  Solar pool cleaners and skimmers power themselves at no cost.  They usually employ a set of programming that governs its movement to patrol the entire pool and ensure thorough cleaning.  Many even employ sensors that detect chemical levels.  In fact, some manufacturers boast that their products can keep water so clean that only minute levels of chemicals are necessary.  One device, called the Floatron, can clean a pool so well that it meets the EPA standards for drinking water!  This would have a number of benefits.  First, negative effects of chemicals on the hair and skin would be greatly reduced.  The life of the pool itself can even be extended, as harsh chemicals will, over time, damage the concrete structure.

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