Feature Article - March 2009
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Save Some Green

Smart Cost-Cutting Strategies

By Dawn Klingensmith

Going Under Cover

Heating and cleaning the pool is costly and consumes a great deal of energy. However, facilities aiming to reduce operating costs cannot simply reduce the temperature of the water by a couple of degrees, warns David Sangree, president, Hotel & Leisure Advisors, Cleveland.

"If you reduce the temperature, people will notice, and they'll complain," he said. "You have to identify ways to make cuts that customers won't notice or that they'll think favorably of. You can't make cuts that negatively affect their experience."

Simply using a cover on a heated pool can save 50 percent to 70 percent of the pool's energy use, 30 percent to 50 percent of its makeup water, and 35 percent to 60 percent of its chemicals, according to the EPA. Indoor pool covers typically pay for themselves in a year. Covering heated outdoor pools and hot tubs may yield even better savings.

Pool covers block evaporation, keep in heat, reduce room ventilation needs and allow fewer corrosive chemicals to be released into the air.

Lap pools are obvious candidates for covers because of their regular shape, but leisure pools, because of their higher water temperature, would certainly benefit by going under cover.