Energy efficiency is something many people are concerned about, and an especially important topic today for Texas pool owners. In mid-July of 2021, Texas’s Department of Energy passed a law mandating energy efficient pool pumps.

What makes a pool pump energy efficient?

In the past, pools often had a single speed pump with induction type motors. Although cheaper to purchase upfront, the continuously running high speed motor cost homeowners more on their electricity bills. In addition, the high rate of water flow had the potential to damage pool plumbing. Single speed motors are also tough on pool filters. Because the water is pushed through at such volumes, filters are not always able to catch all the debris, some of the debris is forced through the filter. 

What about a 2 Speed Pool Pump?

While 2 speed pumps are an improvement and are better than a single speed pump, there are still inefficiencies. Like the name suggests, this type of pump has 2 speeds.

  • High speed is generally used when vacuuming or heating the pool.
  • Low speed is generally used all the other times. With the lower speed, it is much quieter, making backyard time more enjoyable.

A two speed pool pump still has the same induction type motor as a single speed pump, making it automatically more inefficient. When it runs at the high speed, it has the same efficiency as a single speed pump.

What is an energy efficient pump?

A variable speed pump is the best pump on the market. Energy efficient pumps, also known as variable speed pumps, use permanent magnetic motors (like the kind found in electric cars). With this type of pump, homeowners can adjust the volume of water which is pumped through the filtration system. Moving a lesser volume of water, but over a longer period of time has several important benefits.

  • The energy savings add up significantly – the video above gives a better understanding of the energy saving benefits of a variable speed pump. You can also use Pentair’s Pool Pump Calculator to gauge your savings.
  • Variable speed pumps work with a lower water flow rate and are much quieter as they don’t have to work as hard
  • Variable speed pumps can be controlled from your smart phone
  • Variable speed pumps can have a customized program for your exact pool setup, leading to the most efficient use of energy and water flow for you
  • Because the pump has a magnetic motor, it produces less heat and vibrations than a traditional single speed pump, leading to a longer lifespan for the pump

The Complete Backyard has been installing energy efficient pumps since 2010. We’ve learned quite a bit over the years. One of our favorite parts of the job is educating homeowners about the best way to upgrade their outdoor living spaces. With every pool installation or remodel, we educate homeowners about the leading products on the market. Today, part of the education process is helping homeowners to understand the value of the variable speed pump.

Variable speed pumps have an added benefit for pools with water features like fountains and waterfalls, allowing homeowners to adjust the water flow for maximum enjoyment. These new pumps can also be programmed to automatically change speeds based on your pool usage. They save homeowners money in the long run by running water at higher speeds when homeowners are trying to heat their pool or vacuum it, but at much lower speeds when using the pool. Lower speeds means more energy savings and more quiet when you want it. There have been studies which show variable speed pumps are up to 90% more efficient and up to 4 times quieter than a standard single speed pump. In fact, with newer technology, pool pumps noise level falls between being in a library and a moderate rainfall. 

When homeowners switch to energy efficient pumps, the installer needs to be sure the pool has been plumbed for the correct size pipes. This allows the pump to operate at its most efficient, a real benefit to pool owners. At The Complete Backyard, we offer an Efficient Pool/Spa Circulation Package. Included with this package is an upgrade to the size of the plumbing pipes. Think of the pool pump as the “heart” of the pool and the plumbing as the “arteries.” If the heart is pumping blood through arteries which have been narrowed by plaque, we all know that can cause significant health problems for individuals. By the same token, if the pump is trying to push too much water through a pipe which is too small in diameter, everything will slow down, back up, and not run as smoothly as possible. Before installing a new pool pump, we check to be sure the existing plumbing is correctly sized for the new pump. If we need to replace or repair old plumbing, we take care of that first. 

Some people might try to tell you variable speed pumps don’t keep the pool clean. They cite examples of people who have switched to a variable speed pump and had issues. Knowing the proper way to run your new pump is key. The new pump moves a lower volume of water, but homeowners can run it for a longer time and it will still consume less energy than a single speed pump. Variable speed pumps can pay for themselves over their lifetime with the energy savings.

Are you ready to upgrade your pool or spa pump and enjoy some real energy savings? The Complete Backyard is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our Energy Efficient Pool and Spa Circulation Packages.