Home energy auditors may be well-versed in the energy-saving value of thermostats and insulation, but many neglect to include the pool in their energy assessments of homes.
To raise awareness of the green potential of efficient pool design and equipment, industry experts are offering energy efficiency seminars across the nation.
Through these classes, the efficiency experts aim to train pool professionals and home energy auditors to work together on improving the eco-friendliness of their projects.
Jeff Farlow, program manager of energy initiatives for Pentair Water Pool and Spa in Sanford, N.C., has been running specialized classes in states as diverse as California and Florida. Some of the sessions are targeted at home energy professionals; others are aimed at pool builders, service technicians and retailers. Joining him for some of these classes is Rodney McCall, an IntelliFlo field application specialist for Pentair.
The seminars geared toward home energy auditors often are organized with the help of local utility companies. The goal of these classes is to increase awareness of the energy-saving potential of, say, a variable-speed pool pump or solar cover — devices rarely mentioned in home energy audits.
Meanwhile, classes designed for the pool industry encourage techs, builders and retailers to dialogue with home energy auditors, in the hope that clear communication between these groups of professionals will result in greater energy savings for homeowners.
Farlow said awareness of the energy-saving potential of pools has begun to grow among home energy auditors, but a great deal of work remains to be done before the pool and home energy auditing communities work together as a matter of course.
Ultimately, Farlow and McCall want to help home energy auditors think beyond the walls and roof of the house, and work with pool professionals on evaluating and improving pool energy usage.
While an inefficient pool may consume more energy than a home does, an energy-efficient pool can be much more environmentally friendly than the process of driving across town — or across the country — for leisure.