Variable Speed Pool Pumps And The Savings They Offer

Though they may have a higher price tag, many swimming pool owners quickly come to find that by offering great energy savings, variable speed pool pumps are well worth the investment.

First and foremost, they help you save a significant amount of money on your electricity bills. By running the pump at lower speeds for longer periods, these newer models consume less energy than their single-speed predecessors, resulting in energy savings of 82.5% or more*. This means that your investment can be paid back within a couple of years, with additional savings throughout the lifespan of the pump.

Furthermore, variable speed pumps offer other valuable benefits such as quieter operation, improved water clarity, and lower environmental impact. These pumps offer a more energy-efficient and cost-effective pool system that will save you money in the long run.

Variable Speed Pool Pump Savings: Frequently Asked Questions

Many pool owners agree that purchasing a variable speed pool pump is very much worth it.

According to industry experts, these pumps are the most energy-efficient and cost-effective types of pool pumps on the market today. While they may be more expensive upfront than a single-speed pump, variable speed pumps save energy and lots of money for pool owners. This is because they can be programmed to run optimally for your pool’s specific needs, so they typically run at lower speeds for longer periods of time, reducing the pool pump’s energy consumption and extending its lifespan. In fact, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Energy, switching to a variable speed unit can offer savings upward of 80% on your energy bills.
Determining what size variable pool pump you need depends on various factors, including the size of your swimming pool, the plumbing configuration, and the desired flow rate. The flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM) and should be equal to or less than the maximum flow rate of the pool filter, which is charted by the manufacturer and can be found in the user manual for your pump. Additionally, a measurement called TDH, or total dynamic head, is considered when calculating the flow rate of your pool water. The TDH includes factors such as the distance between the pool and pump, the pipe diameter, and the number of fittings. Consulting a professional or using an online calculator can also help you determine the right size swimming pool pump for your pool.
Calculating how many watts your pool pump uses depends on the size of the pump, the speed at which it is running, and the number of hours per day that it is in use.

Traditional single speed swimming pool pumps consistently use as much as 1,800 to 2,500 watts while running. Variable speed pumps use just as much energy when they are running at full speed, but because their speeds vary throughout the day, they often operate at a much lower energy level, averaging 50 to 500 watts.

On average, a variable speed unit will use between 1,000 and 2,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This is significantly less than energy-guzzling single-speed pumps, which typically use up to 3,000 kWh per year.

To calculate the exact energy usage, pool owners can use a pool pump kWh calculator, which takes into account the old and new pump's horsepower, flow rate, and speed settings.
Determining how long to run a pool pump is a crucial aspect of maintaining pool pump energy efficiency and reducing a pool pump’s energy cost.

The easy answer is the minimum amount of time to keep the water clean and clear, which is suggested to be 1-2 pool “turnovers” through the filter per day. Fortunately, for many people, the preset schedule that their variable speed pump comes with can get them very close.

However, there are other factors to consider to best optimize your pool pump’s usage levels. These include the flow rate your swimming pool system achieves in comparison to your pool size, how often your pool is used, and the amount of dirt & debris that typically gets in the pool. A swimming pool professional can help you figure out how much to run your pump for the highest efficiency level.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a conventional single-speed pool pump costs an average of $400-$500 annually to run. When switching to an ENERGY STAR-rated variable speed pump, the average cost drops to $100-$150, resulting in significant savings. When upgrading to an energy-efficient variable speed model, homeowners can expect to recoup their costs in less than two years.

Swimming Pool owners can also save energy and money by optimizing the way they are running their variable speed pump, aiming to achieve the minimum adequate circulation and filtration for the pool, which is measured in pool “turnovers,” usually 1-2 per day. Anyone knowledgeable about the world of pools will attest that these newer models offer great savings in terms of pool pump energy consumption while providing superior circulation and filtration.

To optimize a variable speed pump’s savings and minimize a pool pump’s energy consumption costs, it is advisable to measure your pool system’s flow rate. This can be done with a simple-to-use device called a flow meter. By adjusting the pump speeds and run times based on their resulting flow rates, pool owners can achieve precisely the minimum amount of pool “turnovers” without expending a single watt of excess and unnecessary energy.

If you’d like help capitalizing on pool pump energy savings, your best option is to consult a professional technician who will determine the optimal run time and speed for your pump.
These pumps are designed for energy savings and are programmed to run at varying RPM rates throughout the day. On their lowest settings, they may run with as little as 172 RPM, but their maximum speed could be as much as 3,450 RPM. By comparison, single-speed pool pumps operate only at the highest speed, typically 3,450 RPM.

Based on your pool size and the number of water “turnovers” your pump completes in a 24-hour time period, you can make adjustments to the RPM settings to get the maximum pump energy savings. Consult with a swimming pool professional to make adjustments based on your needs.

The Advantages of Variable Speed Pool Pumps: Energy Efficiency, Cost Savings, and More!

Pool pump energy consumption is an important consideration for swimming pool owners looking to save money on energy costs. Because of how much a pool costs per month in electricity, efficient units help you save money on utility bills. Variable units also come with a host of other benefits. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and with a longer lifespan, they are better for the environment and will reduce your carbon footprint. Also, while conventional single speed pumps can be loud and disruptive, newer variable speed pump models offer dramatically quieter operation, making them more appealing for quality of life.

Variable pumps offer energy savings by, as their name says, running at various speeds throughout the day. Since pump energy efficiency improves significantly as its motor speed runs at lower and lower levels, these units can save 82.5% or more in terms of energy consumption while providing the same or better amount of pool circulation and filtration.

Overall, pool pump energy savings are an important consideration for any pool owner looking to save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and have an overall better running unit.

Variable Speed Pumps Available at Discount Salt Pool

Comparing Single Speed Pumps

There is a stark contrast between single speed, the oldest technology, and variable speed pool pumps, with savings on energy costs, big differences in how many watts the pool pump uses, their overall energy-efficiency, convenience, and noise levels.

Single speed pool pumps operate at a constant speed, which is typically very high, resulting in high pool pump energy consumption and bothersome noise levels. While they are generally less expensive upfront, their higher energy consumption results in costly energy bills over time. For variable units, their energy efficiency means they pay for themselves over time, generally within just 1-2 years.

Variable speed models, on the other hand, are designed to operate at a range of speeds, depending on the needs of the pool, making them more customizable for different swimming pool types and sizes. Additionally, they are much quieter, which can be a significant benefit for your quality of life.

Overall, with energy efficiency, quiet operation, and long-term cost savings, variable speed pumps are the best choice for a new or upgraded pool system. And if your pool pump isn’t functioning or is on its way out, a variable speed unit is the clear winner when looking for a replacement.

Single Speed Pool Pumps Available at Discount Salt Pool

Comparing Dual Speed Pumps

Dual speed pool pumps, also known as two-speed, debuted in the 1970s as an incremental improvement over traditional pool pump technology. As their name states, these units operate at two different speeds: high and low. High typically operates at 3,250 rpm, and low is half that at 1,725 rpm.

One advantage of dual speed pumps is their lower initial cost compared to variable speed models. However, dual speed pumps require someone to purchase and install an additional piece of equipment, such as a timer or relay, to automatically activate the pump’s low-speed mode and ensure they operate at the most energy-efficient speed for the majority of the day. This can add additional costs to the initial purchase price, and the only alternative is manually switching from high and low speed operations based on time and need.

In contrast, variable speed units have the functionality to run at various speeds, depending on the desired flow rate. Despite a higher price tag, a variable speed pump will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Since they run with more than just two settings and are scheduled to operate at varying speeds automatically, they can lead to 40-50% energy savings, quickly making up for their higher initial cost. However, it is important that you choose a variable pump that is appropriately sized for your pool because if the lower speed is not able to create ample turnovers, then the higher speed will kick in, impacting energy efficiency. Finally, even though dual speed units may be quieter than single speed, variable speed models are even quieter overall, and they are longer-lasting as well.

For most pool owners, upgrading to a dual speed model with 1970s technology does not make the most sense, especially when you consider the superior, newer variable pumps. In terms of pool pump energy consumption, variable speed pool pumps really do save you money, and will improve your overall swimming experience.

Two Speed Pool Pumps Available at Discount Salt Pool

Find Out How Much You’ll Save with a Pool Pump Kilowatt Hour (kwH) Calculator

If you're looking to save money on your swimming pool pumps’ energy consumption, a variable speed model is a smart investment. According to experts, switching to a variable speed pool pump can save pool owners hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year. For an average-sized swimming pool of about 16,000 gallons, owners can expect to save about $50 to $60 per month on their energy bill, and those with larger swimming pools could be looking at well over $100 per month in pump energy savings.

Energy savings with variable speed pumps

If you’re interested in finding out more, there’s a simple way to calculate your potential pump energy cost savings. Use Energy Star’s pool pump kilowatt hour (kWh) calculator and input your local energy rates, pool size, and estimated pump usage and you’ll see exactly how much you can save both annually and throughout the lifespan of your unit.

Is A Variable Speed Pool Pump Worth It? Yes, Indeed!

When you consider all the components that go into efficiency and savings, variable speed pumps really do save money. While the initial cost of a variable speed unit may be higher than a single-speed or dual-speed pump, the long-term savings on energy bills make it a wise investment for any swimming pool owner. If you might need to replace your pump in the near-term future, take a long-term point of view and consider the lifetime pump energy savings you’ll get as a result of choosing a variable speed pump.

By running a variable unit at lower speeds, pool owners will reduce their pool pump’s energy consumption and save money on their monthly electricity bills, while still getting the same, or even better pool filtration and circulation. The use of a pool pump kWh calculator can help determine just how much money can be saved, and the results are often significant. Additionally, by using an efficient pump, pool owners can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment.

Overall, the benefits of variable speed pumps far outweigh any initial costs, and pool owners who switch to this energy-efficient option can enjoy long-term savings and a more sustainable swimming pool operation. There’s no question about it - if it’s time for new or upgraded pool equipment, variable speed pumps are worth it!

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*Savings based on Energy Star savings calculator with 2.0THP variable-speed pump compared to a 1.5HP single-speed pump running US average run times and energy costs on a 20,000 gallon pool as of 2023. Actual savings may vary based on local utility rates, pool size, pump run time, pump horsepower, pump RPM, plumbing size and length, pump model, service factor and/or other local or hydraulic factors. Read more

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