By Grant Weaver
A pool can add tremendous value and create joy for your family, but the costs of an indoor or outdoor pool may be equally tremendous. Neil Anderson Associates calculates the cost of heating a 5 feet deep, 525-square foot pool between one hundred dollars in the summer time and one thousand dollars in the winter. If you want to cut down on the costs of your pool heating bills, solar panels may be the ideal solution for hefty utility fees.
Solar Vs Gas
A gas pool heater may be less expensive than filter and chemicals, but this does not make it cheap. The Department of Energy suggests that most heaters may run about two thousand dollars if the pool is not adequately covered. Solar Swim calculates that it takes around half a million BTUs of energy to heat a pool, which is about the energy requirements of an entire house. By installing a solar grid, you can cut down on the energy output by a huge amount.
According to Solar Heating For Dummies, a single 4x20 foot solar panel costs a little over two hundred dollars, a steep discount from a decade ago. What's more, most pool supply stores sell solar panels and grids, so that you need not deal with a contractor to buy and install a grid for your own pool. If you install solar grids in and around your pool, you need only worry about larger objects that block the path of the sun.
The amount of power that a solar grid creates will depend on the amount of sun that it can soak up. When you start to think of installing solar grids, plan to uproot any and all trees or shrubs around a pool that can interfere with solar collection. You can check out which areas of the country have the most sunny days in order to determine cost efficiency. The National Renewable Energy Laboratories created a graphic that shows which areas of the country get the highest yields; the southwest and Great Plains states rank highest, while the Pacific northwest and Alaska rank lowest.
Energy Efficiency For A Pool
In addition to installing a solar grid, pool owners can take other steps to cut down on the amount of energy their pool requires. The pool covering as well as its liners will minimize the heat lost and ensure better efficiency. PoolProducts.com inground liners cut down on the heat loss of a pool by insulating the water from the cold cement. What's more, you can install these liners yourself and save money in the process.