With hydro rates only increasing, one thing on the mind of many swim spa owners is how to save money on the energy costs of their swim spa. While most modern swim spas are quite energy efficient, cheaply made or improperly set-up swim spas can still end up costing quite a bit to run. With that in mind, here are 6 ways that you can make your swim spa more energy efficient and reduce its running costs.
1. Program Your Filtration
One of the easiest ways to reduce your swim spa’s energy costs is to properly program its filtration cycles.
Filtration systems in swim spas are needed to both remove contaminants and keep the water clear and safe to swim in. To do this, swim spas cycle the water through a micro-filter using one of their pumps. In order to properly do its job, the filtration system needs to run long enough to pass all of its water through the filter 2-3 times per day.
The filtration process is responsible for a significant part of the monthly hydro cost of a swim spa. Fortunately, most swim spas allow for some degree of control over their filtration, although they do so in different ways. For exact instructions on how to program your swim spa’s filtration cycle, consult your swim spa owner’s manual.
Once you know how to change your filtration cycles, program them to run during off-peak or mid-peak hours whenever possible to spend less without sacrificing water quality.
2. Keep Your Cover Locked When Not Using It
One of the largest sources of heat loss in swim spas comes from the cover. In order to properly do their job, swim spa covers need to form a tight seal around the top edge of the swim spa’s shell. The only way to get a tight seal with a standard swim spa cover is to use the locking straps attached to the cover.
While useful for keeping unauthorized people from using your swim spa, the real benefit of these straps is in pulling down on the sides of the cover; forming a tight seal that keeps more heat trapped in the swim spa water and reduces your energy costs. Whenever the swim spa is not in use, we recommend locking down the cover for peak energy efficiency.
3. Replace Your Old Swim Spa Cover
Swim spa covers utilize foam to provide insulation. Foam insulation works by trapping heat in the air bubbles that make up the insulation. While air is a great insulator, water is not. If the foam gets wet and those air bubbles fill with water, the insulation loses most of its effectiveness.
Fortunately, the foam in swim spa covers is covered in a plastic vapour barrier that prevents it from becoming waterlogged by the water in the swim spa. Over time, however, this layer of vapour barrier will slowly break down; water logging the cover and greatly reducing its energy efficiency.
You will know your cover is starting to take on water when it begins to feel heavier than normal. This added weight is water that is trapped in the foam. You should consider buying a new cover as soon as you notice a significant change in the weight of your swim spa cover.
When purchasing a new swim spa cover, make sure to look over all of your options. It’s no secret that standard swim spa covers are not the best. They’re hard to handle, are prone to damage that reduces their lifespan, and don’t provide the best insulating value.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. The best one that we’ve come across is the Rollaway Cover from Hydropool. Not only are Rollaway Covers easier to handle and longer lasting, they also come in one piece to for a complete seal around the swim spa. This greatly increases the energy efficiency of the cover.
4. Fix Leaks
Most swim spas today are insulated with spray foam. Much like the foam used in swim spa covers, this spray foam has one major weakness; water.
If you notice a leak in your swim spa be sure to have it fixed as soon as possible. Even minor leaks can, over time, cause your swim spa to lose a ton of insulating value by slowly saturating its insulation.
Spray foam insulation also holds onto water that it has trapped very well and will not dry out on its own. Once the leak has been fixed, it is best to remove all the wet foam and replace it with fresh, dry insulation to restore the energy efficiency of your swim spa to what it once was.
5. Practice Proper Filter Maintenance
Maintaining a regular filter cleaning schedule will not only give you better, clearer water to swim in, it can also help you save money!
Water cannot pass through a dirty filter as easily as it can through a clean filter. This causes the swim spa pumps to work harder in order to properly filter the water. For that reason, constantly pulling water through a dirty filter will increase the power consumption of the pump and reduce its lifespan.
To keep your filters clean, rinse them under running water to clean off large dirt and debris ever 1-2 weeks. To clean off oils and lotions that build up over time, soak your filter in a chemical solution every 3-4 months.
6. Lower Your Water Temperature Slightly
One of the easiest, and best, ways to spend less to run your swim spa is simply to lower the temperature of the water. Depending on the outside temperature, lowering the temperature of your swim spa water by just 1 degree can lower your energy bill by as much as 10-15%!
If you’re looking for ways to save money on the energy costs of your swim spa, try simply turning down the temperature by 1-2 degrees and see if it impacts your enjoyment of the swim spa.
- Program your filtration cycles to run during off peak hours while still ensuring that the swim spa is running long enough to keep the water clean and clear.
- If your swim spa uses spray foam insulation, keep it dry to ensure that its working at peak efficiency. If your swim spa leaks, get it fixed as soon as possible and replace the wet insulation.
- Swim spa covers can be a major source of heat loss. Keep your cover locked when not in use and replace worn out covers to keep your swim spa’s energy costs low.
- Rollaway covers are a great alternative to traditional swim spa covers; providing better insulation value, a better seal with the top edge of the swim spa, and also being easier to handle.
- Along with regular rinsing, you’ll want to chemically clean your filters every 3-4 months and replace them every 12-16 months to ensure that your pumps run smoothly and efficiently.