The Latest in Pool Technology

Spend more time relaxing in the clear, cool water of your pool and less time making trips to the pool store for new equipment. Here are some of the latest trends in pool technology to help you keep your backyard oasis maintained and running efficiently.

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The last thing you want to do this time of year is to fool around with your pool's pump and other system components. You'd much rather be in the pool enjoying the clear, cool clean refreshment of your watery backyard oasis.

The pump is the heart of your pool's system, and keeping it primed during the dog days of summer is vital. Here are some tips to keep you out of the pool store and in the pool this year:

Pump it up or down. The pump is the heart of your pool's system, and keeping it primed during the dog days of summer is vital. Keeping the water in your pool flowing is a key element of good water quality. But operating a pool pump 24/7, which is optimal for maintaining high water quality, can be costly. Recent advances in pump technology include variable speed motors, which are much more energy efficient. You can control the pump's speed, dialing it up when needed—to power water features or spa jets—or down when your pool is not in use. Variable speed pumps can be connected to pool automation systems, so you can program pump speed according to your needs. Also, make sure your pump is Energy Star certified.

Come into the light. The fundamental way pools are maintained has more or less remained the same for the last fifty years, but all that is now changing. SpectraLight offers a UV system that bombards water a powerful ultraviolet light as it travels through the pump system with that destroys the algae, viruses, bacteria and other organic matter that can contaminate swimming pools. The system can significantly reduce chemical demands, which makes your pool much easier to maintain. That saves you both time and money, and improves your pool's overall health.

Chemistry lessons. The chemistry (alkalinity and chlorine and pH levels) of your pool can change every time your kids do a belly-flop, when it rains or when debris blows in. Even the addition of "make up" water from the garden hose can alter the chemical composition of your pool. All this leaves you with the repetitive, tedious and often-performed chemical balancing act. Today, many manufacturers like Pentair offer systems that will automatically monitor and adjust your pool's chemical levels and keep them optimally balanced. These systems will also save you money on costly pool chemicals.

Auto-clean. While it may be hard to replace your handy telescopic net for removing leaves and other floating debris from your pool, advances in automated pool cleaning systems are real time savers.

The newest kind of automatic pool cleaning system is "in-floor cleaning." They involve low-profile fixtures that will pop up automatically to drive all debris down to the drain and out of the pool, much like an automated sprinkler system works.

Robotic cleaning systems are becoming more and more popular. We've all seen them—they involve an automated cleaner/sweeper that travels around your pool as it cleans. There are several models available from Pentair, Hayward and Polaris, all with different features, benefits and pricing.

One-touch control. Most new pools built today have an available automation system, or these can also be added to an existing pool. Automation gives you complete one-touch control of your pool and spa environment. It allows your pool pump, light, spa and other features and functions to turn on and off at designated times. You can program your pool via a remote control or on the automation unit itself. Manufacturers such as Zodiac, Pentair and Hayward all have automated systems that connect to your mobile device or computer. By automating your pool system, you can decrease the energy required to operate your pool.

Next > Energy Tip: 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill
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