When you see the gleaming water in a backyard pool, it evokes images of fun and relaxation in the sun. While this is true enough, any pool owner can tell you that the privilege of having a pool comes at a price. After it is installed, you also have to factor in the cost of pool maintenance, both in terms of time and money. What are the real costs of pool maintenance? After reading this article, you may be surprised to learn that it may actually be cheaper in the long run to pay your pool installer
a little more for energy saving features and get a pool maintenance
professional to clean and repair your pool than to save a few dollars trying to do it yourself.
In order to get a realistic idea of the cost of pool maintenance, it is best to break it down first into its various components:
Electricity is needed to heat the pool, run the pumps, etc.
- If you have a natural gas or propane heater, the cost of fuel needs to be factored into the cost of pool maintenance.
- Water is needed to replace pool water lost to evaporation and other factors.
- Chlorine or other water treatment chemicals are needed to help prevent the growth of algae and other harmful substances.
- Filters and other elements need occasional inspection, cleaning and replacement.
- Pools require occasional repairs.
- Regular pool cleaning is required.
Of course, all of these costs will vary depending upon the size of your pool, how often you use it and other factors, but pool owners often notice increases in their electric bills of up to 150% or occasionally more. Natural gas or propane is regarded as a cheaper and more energy-efficient heating option, but it can involve a higher initial investment. Some pool owners report significantly higher water bills, while for others the increase in water usage is negligible. The cost of chemical additives is a relatively minor one and repairs are infrequent. Aside from an investment in time, pool cleaning can be cost-free, but it is important to make pH level and other maintenance checks a regular part of your pool cleaning regimen.
How to Save on the Cost of Pool Maintenance
Since energy consumption is the biggest cost of pool maintenance, it makes sense to reduce the amount of energy your pool consumes as much as possible. There are many ways to do this:
- A pool cover is arguably the cheapest way to conserve energy. If you cover the pool when it is not in use, the water will retain its heat longer and this will reduce the amount of electricity or gas you need to heat it. The blanket will also help reduce the loss of water due to evaporation, reducing both power and water costs. Yet another benefit of a pool blanket is that it will help keep leaves and other debris out of your pool.
- Solar power is the cheapest form of electricity available. The cost of installing an active solar power system is high, but in most parts of Australia, government incentive programs are available. A solar pool blanket is a passive solar heating option if an active solar power system is not viable for you.
- There are many types of pool accessories available that make pool maintenance cheaper and easier. Some of these include mobile cleaners, while others include ozone and salt water chlorine water purification systems.
- Employ a pool maintenance specialist periodically to ensure your pool is always in peak condition. The cost of occasional maintenance is more than offset by the prevention of possibly expensive repairs later on. A pool maintenance service will also be able to give you invaluable advice about how to save in other ways on the cost of pool maintenance.
Remember, a swimming pool is a long-term investment and the longer you use it the more you will spend or save on the cost of pool maintenance, depending on your initial investment and choice of energy saving options. When it comes time to sell your home, you will probably find that your well-maintained pool has actually added more value to your home than it has cost and all the while, you have had a sparkling clean pool for you and your family to enjoy.