Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency put the finishing touches on its Energy Star program for residential pool pumps. This is a very exciting development, as it marks the first pool-specific product to be included in such a program.

So far, the Big 3 manufacturers – Hayward Pool Products, Pentair Aquatic Systems and Zodiac Pool Systems – have received Energy Star certification for some of their products. But providing maximum energy savings for your customers doesn’t end with product choice. Some installers will also need to change their building practices a bit.

For instance, larger plumbing is generally needed. This minimizes head pressure and makes it possible for the pump to do its job while moving the lower flows that result in energy savings.

The pumps also should be programmed differently. The pumps need to run for longer periods at lower flows, as opposed to going full-boar for a few hours a day.

Here is a primer on properly installing, programming and supporting variable-speed pumps.