Future Energy Oakville

Exploring Sustainable Solutions For Eco-Friendly Heating and Filtration Systems For Your Pool

As the warm weather approaches, many homeowners are preparing to reopen their backyard swimming pools. 

Swimming pools have continued to be a popular home improvement, according to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation’s analysis of Ontario home building permits. In 2022, MPAC counted 6,617 swimming pool permits issued provincially, a slight decline from 2021’s total of 9,059. Even with the splash-back, Oakville landed tenth place for most installations in the province, after a strong 2021 in third, and an even stronger showing at second in 2020.

However, with growing concerns about cost, environmental impact and sustainability, more homeowners are exploring green alternatives for pool maintenance. But what can homeowners do – and what they should be aware of – when considering sustainable options for pool heating and filtration.

residential swimming pool heating can account for significant energy consumption, with gas heaters using around 50% more energy than electric heaters.

Solar Pool Heating Systems

According to data from Natural Resources Canada, Ontario receives an average of 2,000 hours of sunshine annually, making it suitable for solar energy applications.

And that means one of the most eco-friendly options for heating your pool is to harness the power of the sun through solar heating systems. Solar collectors can be installed on rooftops or in sunny areas of the backyard to capture sunlight and convert it into heat for the pool water. These systems are not only sustainable but also cost-effective in the long run, as they rely on renewable energy sources.

According to data from the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), solar energy has experienced significant growth in recent years, with Ontario being a leader in solar energy adoption. Research has shown solar heating systems can reduce pool heating costs by 50%–80% compared to conventional methods, significantly lowering carbon footprints. Domestic water heating contributes approximately 6 million tonnes of CO2 each year toward Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. By installing a solar water heater, you can make a difference. Solar water heating could eliminate up to 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

When considering solar pool heating, homeowners should ensure that their property receives an adequate amount of sunlight throughout the day. Investing in high-quality solar collectors and efficient circulation systems can maximize energy absorption and distribution, ensuring optimal performance throughout the swimming season.

Heat Pumps

Unlike traditional gas heaters, heat pumps transfer heat from the air or ground into the pool water, making them more environmentally friendly. According to the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines, heat pumps are recognized for their energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Heat pumps extract heat from the surrounding air and transfer it to the pool water. While they may have higher upfront costs, heat pumps are energy-efficient and can significantly reduce carbon emissions associated with pool heating, making it a greener choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.

Moreover, modern heat pump technology has evolved to prioritize energy efficiency and performance, allowing for seamless integration with existing pool systems. While they require electricity to operate, modern heat pump technologies are highly efficient, with some models able to produce six times more heat energy than the electricity they consume. 

Something to keep in mind when making comparisons – solar water heating (SWH) systems produce anywhere from 15 to 25 times more energy than what they consume in electricity. A SWH system is operating a circulating pump which consumes less energy, in comparison, heat pumps operate a compressor to extract the available heat.

Energy-Efficient Pool Pumps and Filtration Systems

In addition to heating, pool filtration plays a vital role in maintaining water quality and clarity. Traditional filtration methods often rely on constant electricity consumption, contributing to energy wastage and environmental degradation. Opting for energy-efficient pool pumps and filtration systems can further reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. Variable-speed pumps, for example, can adjust their speed based on the pool’s needs, leading to significant energy savings compared to single-speed pumps.

One sustainable approach is investing in variable-speed pumps that adjust motor speed based on filtration needs, resulting in substantial energy savings compared to single-speed pumps. Additionally, incorporating eco-friendly filter media such as diatomaceous earth or cartridge filters can further enhance filtration efficiency while minimizing environmental impact.

When upgrading pool pumps and filtration systems, homeowners should look for products with high ENERGY STAR ratings and consult with professionals to design an efficient and effective setup. Most pool professionals are up to date on these technologies.

Natural and Chemical-Free Water Treatment

Traditional pool maintenance often relies on chlorine and other chemicals to keep the water clean and sanitized. However, these chemicals can have negative effects on the environment and human health. Homeowners interested in green solutions can explore natural and chemical-free water treatment options.