Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Which is Better, a Two-Speed Pump or a Variable-Speed Pump?

Efficiency is the name of the game when shopping for a replacement pool pump or when having one installed during construction. Many pool owners are shocked to learn that their pool pump can cost more to operate than the rest of their home appliances combined. Selecting the right pool pump can save a home owner thousands of dollars each year.

How to Select an Efficient Pool Pump 
An efficient pool pump will enable you to operate it at the lowest speed needed to accomplish the job – whether you’re filtering, heating, cleaning, running spa jets or other water features. Although it may take the pump longer to work at a slower speed, you’ll be using far less energy because reducing a pumps speed actually reduces the power needs. Just like with your car – you’ll get better gas mileage driving slower, than when driving at faster speeds. Some manufacturers claim that two-speed pumps are nearly equivalent to variable-speed pumps in their ability to conserve energy; however, the truth of the matter is – they aren’t. In fact, these pumps are vastly different. One critical difference between the two types is that two-speed pumps use less energy-efficient induction motors, while new variable-speed pumps use permanent magnet motors – like those used in hybrid cars. Two-speed pumps also come factory-built with two unchangeable speeds. These speeds are rarely the most efficient for all the functions of a pool. In fact, they can actually be less efficient than a single-speed pump.

Benefits of a Variable-Speed Pump:
1) Super-efficient permanent magnet motors used in variable-speed pumps can save pool owners up to 90% on energy costs compared to single or two speed pumps.
 2) Permanent magnet motors also produce less heat and vibration. This translates to less stress and wear on pump components leading to a longer life for a variable-speed pump.
3) Variable-speed pumps are exceptionally quiet.
4) Variable-speed pumps can be adjusted for peak efficiency even when equipment or features are changed or added. Adding a solar pool heater, changing a filter or adding a water feature? No problem. Just set the adjustable digital controls to the new optimum speed to operate with the lowest energy use.
5) Variable-speed pumps have built-in diagnostics to protect them from overheating, freezing, or voltage irregularities adding protection for a longer life.
6) Variable-speed pumps are completely adjustable in terms of speed and water flow. This allows a pool owner to be able to alter water features like deck jets, fountains or waterfalls.

Another Energy Saving Idea 
In addition to saving energy with a variable-speed pump, homeowners looking to extend the swim season in an eco-friendly way should consider having a solar pool heater installed.

 Solar pool heating is the most cost-effective way to heat your pool. Unlike a propane or natural gas pool heater with metal parts, a quality solar pool heater will keep you swimming in a warm, comfortable pool for the next 20 to 30 years. And, it’s truly a “clean and green” option!

Another thing most homeowners may not know is that if they buy their solar pool heater directly from a certified, professional solar company, instead of their pool builder, they will save $500-$1500 on the installation. Buying direct, homeowners are assured they’re getting a quality product and avoiding any potential finger-pointing involving a middleman for any warranty or repair issues.

Central Florida Solar is owned and operated by Bill Park. As one of Central Florida's solar industry's true veterans, Bill has over 28 years of experience in solar energy systems design and installation. He has completed the Florida Solar Energy Center's photovoltaic system design program and he holds State of Florida solar contractor license #CVC 056645. Central Florida Solar sells, installs and services solar energy systems for water heating, pool heating and solar electric power serving greater Orlando including Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Volusia, and Sumter Counties - including The Villages. For more information, or to get a free solar quote, contact Central Florida Solar at 407-76SOLAR (407-767-6527) or visit their website at http://cflsolar.com.

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