Swimming Pool vs. Air Conditioner: What’s Your Best Bet For Staying Cool and Energy Efficient?

Summer is almost here! The temperature is going to rise, and you’re going to desperately want to stay cool. But you don’t want to waste too much money on energy costs…so what should you do?

Two of the most common ways that people stay cool during the summer are jumping in the pool or by relaxing inside and enjoying the air conditioning. These are both great options, each of which has their pros and cons…but which is more energy efficient?

Swimming Pool

When it comes to strictly electricity costs, the vast majority of your pool’s energy costs come from operating the pump. A fairly conservative estimate for your pool pump’s energy requirements puts the cost at $240 per year, or roughly $20 per month. While this number is competitive with air conditioners just by itself, there are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your pool pump and make this cost even more affordable!

Realistically speaking, the other costs associated with properly maintaining a pool year round can drive the overall price tag of pool ownership up quite a bit. However, if you have both an air conditioner and a pool, your best bet for energy savings is to keep that air conditioner off as much as you can and use your pool instead!

Air Conditioner

The amount of energy that your air conditioner consumes depends on a few factors: what kind of model you have (measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs), how often you turn your air conditioner on, and what settings you’re using.

As a starting point for our calculations, let’s assume that you have a 6,000 BTU air conditioner, which can cool a room of up to 260 square feet. This air conditioner would cost roughly $73 per month at an average electricity rate if it were running constantly, or $36 per month only running for 12 hours per day—a much more reasonable figure. Assuming that you will be cooling more than one room of your house—and that your rooms will be bigger than 260 square feet—the costs will likely be much higher.

That said, air conditioners are much cheaper than owning and operating a pool. What’s more, swimming pools aren’t an option for homeowners with limited yard space, renters without permission to install a pool, or apartment dwellers.

Even though a swimming pool uses less electricity by and large, don’t discount the convenience and availability of air conditioners!

Thinking of buying an energy efficient pool pump or a new air conditioner? Make your purchase with the Star Energy Rewards app to receive cashback on your purchase!