Pool pumps – AEF | Australian Energy Foundation
Pool pumps

Pool Pumps

What is a pool pump?

The pump is essentially the heart of the swimming pool’s circulation system.

It creates the flow of water that circulates chemicals evenly throughout our pools so that they can effectively sanitize the water. The pump carries water from the pool to the filter, heater, and chlorinator so that it can be filtered, heated, and sanitized before re-entering the pool.

Having an effective pool pump allows you to turn over your water the recommended number of times per day based on the size of your pool. This helps remove debris from your pool while increasing the effectiveness of your pool chemicals that fight the growth of algae and bacteria in your water so you can enjoy your pool experience and stay healthy.

How can I save with an efficient pool pump

Pool pumps are by-and-large single speed, which means that they run at one speed setting when turned on. Throughout the summer months when we are using our pools frequently, the pool pump is often left on for many hours of the day and this isn’t the most efficient way we can keep our pools clean, and certainly not the most cost-effective.

Your choice of pump can affect your energy bills by hundreds of dollars. Swimming pool pumps make up approximately 18% of a pool owners electricity bill. While single speed pumps have improved over the years, they are still no match for the energy savings potential of a variable speed pump. The energy savings come from being able to begin your filtration cycle with a similar speed to that of the single speed pump, then running it for a longer amount of time at a lower speed to achieve the same result. You save a lot of energy by running your pump at a lower speed, even if it is for a longer period. It is important to note, however, if a variable speed pump is only run at the highest speed all the time, you will not save energy in comparison to a single speed pump. The efficiency purely comes from reducing the speed of the pump.

We recommend looking for a variable speed pool pump that has an energy rating of at least 8 stars. To see a list of pool pumps registered in a voluntary energy-rating scheme run by the Australian Government, please click here.

Single-speed pool pumps are usually between 2-3 stars, whereas a variable-speed pool pump is typically 8 stars or more. 

Energy star ratingAnnual energy costs (peak tariff)Annual energy costs (off-peak tariff)Annual emmissions (kg)
2 stars$512$3391914
4 stars$331$2171225
6 stars$212$139784
8 stars$136$89502
9 stars$108$71401

What are the costs?

Although the upfront cost of a variable speed pump is higher ($1,500-$2,500) compared to a single-speed pump ($500-$1,000), the cost savings in the long term are greater due to the reduction you will see in your energy bills. You can pay off your pool pump within only 2-3 years and whilst you’re saving you will be lowering your carbon footprint.

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