Owning a swimming pool can be something of a double-edged sword – a pleasure for the cool relaxation it provides, but a burden because of the constant maintenance required. If the problem isn’t regular checks of chlorine levels, pH and alkalinity, it could just as easily be the ongoing physical clean-up you need to perform. Most people rely on pool cleaners for the lion’s share of this work, and with good reason – scavenging robots can be surprisingly effective at cleaning the walls, surface and floor of any pool. Even with so many safeguards in place, however, you still need internal systems to pick up the slack.

Pool filters are essential to reliable operation. The truth is that no matter how hard we try, it is inevitable that dust, dirt and debris will make their way into the water of any swimming pool. Leave such unwanted pollution untreated and it’s likely to accumulate rather quickly, creating cloudy water and ideal conditions for an algae population. It is for this reason that every pool sold in the United States comes with a filtration system attached. Which variety you opt for can be as much a matter of personal preference as it is necessary.

How do pool filters work? The basic operation is the same across the board – such filters operate by pumping your swimming pool’s water through some kind of barrier to trap particulates in the solution. Nearly every pool will completely cycle its water through the filtration system several times a day, and some especially busy municipal pools are required to keep the water cycling more than once an hour. Choosing which filter to buy requires that you understand something about the benefits, cost and maintenance regimen associated with each. Knowledge such as this can help you make an informed decision about how much commitment you really want to offer this machine.