By Bob Dumas, Technical Editor

Manufacturers, service technicians, and the Department of Energy all have their take on how to make a pool more energy-efficient.

Here?s a roundup of some useful advice from the experts:

In commercial settings, consider switching the lighting from 300-watt fluorescents to halogen lights. They are brighter, and therefore safer, and can be tied to a dimmer switch and throttled down to use less power.

If the pool has an automatic cleaner, have the customer switch to a collection-type (such as a vacuum sweep or robot) if they don?t already have one. This way, less debris reaches the filter, keeping it in top working order. Remember: Keep the auto cleaner in top working order as well.

Insulate any exposed PVC with tape especially designed for insulation purposes.

Talk the pool owner into brushing and skimming between your visits. It will reduce demand on the filter and automatic cleaner.

Shut off the waterfeatures when the pool is not in use and/or pool owner is away.

Wind is a primary culprit in heat loss and evaporation. Create windbreaks when and where possible: rockscapes, walls, shrubs, fencing, etc.

Set the filtration system to run during off-peak hours.

Keep the decks clean and encourage the homeowner to do the same. Debris from the deck finds its way into the pool. Anything you can do to keep debris out of the pool water eases the burden on the system and, consequently, it uses less energy.

[This article is a reprint from Pool & Spa News, November 2001.]