Energy-Efficient Pool Equipment Upgrades to Save You Money

Homeowners with backyard pools experience many benefits. Every pool owner has their reasons for loving their pool, but we’ll bet that operational costs are not on anyone’s list. 

Increasing your pool’s energy efficiency is a great way to reduce operational costs. Those savings add up!

Why is Energy Efficiency Beneficial for My Pool?

Swimming pools are a fabulous addition to many backyards, but the costs of maintaining a pool can demotivate many people. Heating and cooling your home throughout the year is one of the most significant energy expenses for homeowners, and operating a pool is no different. For many pool owners, the daily costs of keeping their pool running are second only to the costs of their home HVAC system.

If pools require energy to run and maintain, how can these costs be reduced to make pool ownership more cost-effective? Let’s dive into how you can reduce costs with energy-efficient pool equipment upgrades.

What are Pool Equipment Upgrades That Can Make My Pool More Energy Efficient?

Pump Timer for Off-Peak Energy Usage

The easiest way to reduce your daily maintenance costs is to run your pool equipment during the off-peak hours of your region’s energy grid. This means you’ll pay less for the electricity used per kilowatt-hour. For most areas in Ontario, off-peak hydro hours are between 7 pm and 7 am. 

Using a timer allows you to set the time when your pool equipment turns on and shuts off again. An 8-hour daily maintenance cycle to ensure proper water turnover can be completed overnight at off-peak prices, saving you considerable cash. Many variable-speed pumps already have a timer built-in so you can select the time and speed intervals for the pump.

Variable Speed Pumps

Another way to decrease your pool’s energy consumption is by upgrading to a variable speed pool pump. Variable speed pumps allow you to adjust the speed at which the pump circulates water, saving you money. According to US manufacturer Pentair, “With variable speed technology, pool pumps working at lower speeds more consistently can even give pool owners like you up to 90% energy savings.” Additionally, variable speed pumps may have unique speed settings that allow you to select specific functions: turning on your pool’s water features or running the filtration system.

Consider installing an ENERGY STAR-certified pool pump to reduce your pool’s energy consumption, and enjoy a quiet, long-lasting pump for your home pool.

LED Pool Lighting

LED lighting is known for being an efficient alternative to incandescent lighting in homes, but did you know it can also help you save money on your pool?

Upgrading your pool with LED lighting has numerous advantages. LED bulbs produce brighter, more direct light than incandescent bulbs. Fewer watts are required to light an area, equalling lower energy costs per bulb. Many LED bulbs can also emit coloured lighting, such as red, green, and blue, adding additional ambiance to your pool area. Bright LED lighting also increases the safety of your pool at nighttime, reducing the risk of children or pets drowning in poorly lit water. LED pool lighting is long-lasting and has low operating costs, allowing you to recoup your investment in just a few years.

Energy-Efficient Pool Heaters

Pool heaters are a great option for maintaining the temperature of your pool and extending its usability in cooler weather.

The most common types of pool heaters are either gas/propane, electric or solar. 

Gas-powered heaters use natural gas or propane to heat water before sending it back to your pool. They can heat your pool to a desired temperature more quickly than electric heaters. 

Electric heaters, or heat pumps, draw air from the outside atmosphere to heat pool water. 

Solar heaters are an energy-efficient option that some pool owners are integrating into their backyards. These systems use solar mats to draw energy from the sun, which is then used to heat the pool water.

In terms of energy efficiency, it’s essential to choose a heater with adequate power to heat the size of your pool. Different heaters have different capacities (measured in British Thermal Units), so choosing equipment that matches the needs of your pool is essential.

Consider installing a pool cover to better retain the heat generated by your pool heater and save you money on energy. Proper-fitting covers, especially solar covers designed to harness the sun’s warmth, can help trap heat.

To ensure your pool heater and other equipment continue to operate as efficiently as possible, schedule regular maintenance.

Automatic Pool Covers

Automatic pool covers can reduce the energy load on your pool equipment. One of the most common ways pools lose energy is through the evaporation of water into the atmosphere.

Using an automatic pool cover significantly reduces evaporation and prevents rainwater from entering. Minimizing evaporation and rainwater means less money spent on maintaining your pool’s chemical balance and cleanliness.

The less time you need to run your pool equipment to maintain safe water, the more cost-effective it will be. Automatic pool covers also help keep your pool area safe, as they can prevent children and pets from accidentally falling into the water.

Advanced Pool Filtration System

Choosing the correct filter for your pool can be a daunting process.

Everyone has their own opinion on which filter type is best, which can vary depending on the size of your pool, budget, and expectations. Three commonly used pool filtration types are sand, DE and cartridge. Let’s briefly examine the energy efficiency potential of each filter type.

Sand Filters

Sand filters run your pool’s water through fine grains of sand to remove impurities.

These filters require a cleaning process called backwashing to keep them running smoothly, which is typically done monthly during pool season. This process uses water from your pool to clean the filter, disrupting your pool’s water level and chemical concentration. These factors, combined with the water pressure required from your pool pump, can make sand filters less energy efficient. 

DE Filters

DE stands for diatomaceous earth, a natural powder produced from fossilized aquatic organisms known as diatoms. These filters operate similarly to sand filters, as your pool water is filtered through the DE powder. DE filters require a backwashing process for cleaning, making them less energy-efficient. After the backwash process, new powder must be added to replenish the filter. 

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters consist of many layers of folded material, typically made of polyester or another durable fabric. These tiny folds catch debris as it passes through the filter. Cartridge filters are less complicated to clean than sand or DE filters, but they must be replaced every few years. 

No backwashing is required since cartridge filters are cleaned by removing debris with a garden hose. 

To determine the best pool filter to maximize the energy efficiency of your pool, please contact us.


Overall, many methods are available to pool owners to upgrade their equipment for maximum energy efficiency. With options available for every budget, increasing your pool’s energy efficiency can be relatively inexpensive and save you considerable money in the long run.

Have questions about increasing your pool’s energy efficiency or looking for an upgrade recommendation? Contact us to start discussing your pool today!