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How to Use Solar Pool Covers


I magine this situation. The summer is set, the sun is burning, and you come home from work all stressed out and covered in sweat. The only thing you think about is taking a quick shower, put up your swimsuit, and get into the refreshing and comfortable waters of the pool. But, then, your whole afternoon is ruined by a bunch of leaves or a dead bird that has landed just in the middle of the water.

Now imagine you have already bought a pool solar cover. There’s nothing in the pool and the water is all nice and warm, and all without spending a dime on pool heating. This is the life you should live, so stay with us while we explore the benefits (and the minor drawbacks) of a solar cover.

How Do They Work?

These products trap the heat that comes from the sun, in the water. As the sun shines brighter and provides more warmth, the air becomes warmer than normal too, which makes the pool water temperature rise. During the nighttime, however, the water gets cooler because of the dropping temperatures. The purpose of the cover is simple – stop the warmth from escaping the pool regardless of how cold nights get.

Air temperature, wind speed, and humidity influence another important aspect – energy loss through evaporation. Again, covers are here to save the day as they minimize evaporation. As a matter of fact, by using the cover, you end up saving upward to 70% on heating costs as the purpose of these covers is to pass on the solar energy back into the pool as heat.

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Pick the Right Model

The market is filled with models from the cheaper bubble products to multilayer vinyl models that cost more but provide better heating. One thing that you should always remember when picking the cover is that it should be translucent. Thus, it will collect more energy from the sun, warming up the water more efficiently. Furthermore, although you will pay extra, go for an insulated model, which will not only capture solar power but entrap the heat inside the pool.

When you make your pick, it’s quite important to consider the installation. There are multiple methods to install it, but the simplest and cheapest way is manual coverage. However, if you consider that this will take a lot of your time, you can go for a reel that rolls the unit up automatically or manually. Opt for the solution that fits your budget.

Pool Heating Capabilities

It goes without saying that these products will provide a lot of benefits. When used properly and safely, they do a lot more than bringing their aesthetic touch to the backyard. A huge advantage of owning the cover is that it collects the ultraviolet rays that are emitted by the sun and heats up the bubbles which will pass on the heat into the water. This is quite ingenious, isn’t it? The warmth of the water in the pool relies on the amount of sunlight received per day. In fact, these products have been known to raise temperatures by 10-15 F.

Looking for a budget-friendly heater to help you create better swimming conditions temperature-wise? Then look no further and check out our selection of the best solar pool heaters to utilize solar power to the fullest extent.

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Energy Savers

Most people are amazed to discover that these products are not the ones that directly warm the water. They work in quite an Eco-friendly manner, using solar power to warm up the water, not costing a cent to run like electricity-based products would. Additionally, it’s important to know that some units are not completely transparent, so they are able to reduce energy absorption by 5 to 15%. As such, if you are thinking about saving some energy and protecting the pool from evaporation at the same time, you need to keep it in daily use throughout the swimming season.

Help Keeping the Pool Clean

The main purpose of this product is to act as a debris blocker for the pool. By having this plastic layer that sits atop the water surface, you will be able to prevent debris, insects, leaves, and other things from entering your pool.

Even with the cover, gunk will still fall in the water as you will eventually uncover the pool. Use a robot pool cleaner to more easily get rid of the debris that ends up in the water and to scrub the surfaces of the pool. There are options for all budgets, so just take your time to analyze and compare products, and you are sure to find one that fits your needs in no time.

Moreover, these pool accessories will reduce chemical consumption. As such, when the water will evaporate, chemicals in the water will go with it. The chemicals should be replaced in order to maintain proper pH levels in the pool. Therefore, by using this product, you will stop the evaporation and prevent the need to add more chemicals. Besides reducing energy, it will also reduce your chemical consumption by up to 60%.

Learn here how to balance the pool water chemistry to maintain safe swimming conditions for you and your loved ones, preventing algae growth and other issues from emerging.

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How To Get More Bang For Your Buck

Now that you know the numerous benefits a pool cover will bring, you should know a few extra tips that will allow you to get more for your money. Some of these are:

  • Filter – You should run your filter during the hottest part of the day. This will help you mitigate heat loss from evaporation. The only drawback about this is the fact that it will consume a lot of energy so your energy bill will go up
  • Windbreak – Prevent increased evaporation due to the wind by creating a windbreak around the pool. Don’t worry, you don’t have to engineer anything. All that you will need to do is to disrupt the wind with a pool cage, plants, and patio furniture
  • Limit Attraction – You should only enjoy pool features like waterfalls only when you’re there to enjoy them. Running them when you’re not there will increase water evaporation meaninglessly

Alternatives To Pool Covers

If you don’t want to use pool covers, there are two alternatives to choose from. You can choose between liquid pool covers or solar rings. These are some of their features:

  • Liquid Solar Cover – These are made with aliphatic alcohols which form a monolayer film on the surface of the water. Therefore, it will heat up the water fast. In addition to this, the alcohol molecules will prevent the water from evaporating which means that the water will remain warm as it cannot evaporate
  • Solar Rings – These are similar to solar pool covers as they are formed from smaller rings or circles, that connect magnetically. What you have to remember is that they are not protective and safe. Thus, in case something falls in the water like a child or a pet, it will break apart on impact


A solar pool cover is an investment in more convenient pool upkeep. It prevents gunk from getting in while the pool is not in use, and helps preserve the temperature of the water during the night when uncovered pools generally lose a lot of heat. If you have a solar pool heater, the cover helps amplify its efficiency as well because of this. When used properly, there are a lot of advantages to reap from this addition, so needless to say, any pool owner would be lucky to install one.

Tobey Hunter
Tobey Hunter
Tobey is the editor-in-chief at Optima Institute, his prior experience as a niche product reviewer in air quality improvement systems helping shape his path to conduct thorough research toward selecting and analyzing products so that customers are satisfied with the provided recommendations. During his carrier, Tobey also gathered technical input that makes him well versed in understanding advancements in modern systems, helping readers in turn to better understand how modern devices help improve life quality.