How to Use Solar Pool Covers5 min read

The swimming pool solar covers, also known as solar blankets or summer covers have the ability to bring the temperature up to your pool and keep it there too, without using electricity or gas. Nowadays, they have become one of the must-have pool accessories. During the cold season, the pools are left exposed to nature’s elements, such as tree debris, rain, leaves and others and also to its temperature changes. Therefore, most people are using this lightweight cover to keep out unwanted debris that may fall into your pool during the day. Plus, you will keep the water temperature warm.

How do they work?

As we already mentioned, these items trap heat, that is normally coming from the sun, in the water. When the sun is hot, the air becomes warmer than usual and this factor makes your pool warmer. Unfortunately, the water gets cooler at night. As such, they will stop the heat from escaping the pool at night and even on cold days. Usually, the swimming pools lose energy through evaporation which comes with its rates based on the air temperature, humidity and wind speed. Low humidity, higher temperatures and wind speed will result in evaporation. However, it’s important to know that these amazing products will minimize evaporation and will help you save up to 70% on heating costs. Their purpose is to transfer the solar energy back into the water as heat.

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Choose the right model

There are various models available on the current market, but if you have a tight budget and you need an affordable product, you need to consider the bubble cover which is made of thicker plastic. Actually, it looks more like bubble packing materials. Another alternative is the vinyl model. This is constructed of a heavier material and it is more durable than others. Plus it is a bit more expensive than other products. There are also insulated vinyl cover models which come with multiple layers of vinyl that improve heat entrapment. Keep in mind to choose a clear and translucent solar cover because it helps the pool collect solar energy.

Furthermore, when choosing such a product, it’s quite important to consider the installation. There are multiple methods to install it, but the simplest and the most affordable way is to cover your pool manually. However, if you consider that this will take a lot of your precious time, you can choose a reel that rolls the unit up automatically or manually. Opt for the solution that fits your budget.

They heat the pool

It goes without saying that solar covers will provide a lot of benefits. When used properly and safely, these units do a lot more than bringing their aesthetic touch to your backyard. One of the most important advantages of owning a such a product is that it collects the UV rays from the sun and heats up the bubbles which will transfer the heat into the water. This is quite ingenious, isn’t it? The water temperature depends on how much sunlight the pool will receive per day. In fact, these units have been known to raise temperatures by 10-15° F.

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They help you save energy

Most people are amazed to discover that solar covers are not the ones which heat your water. This action is the result of an environmentally friendly way. In short words, they are using solar power to heat the swimming pool and they don’t require any energy cost to run, such as gas or electricity. 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.

They keep the pool clean

The main purpose of this unit 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. 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%.

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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 such as 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 mono-layer 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 such as a child or a pet, it will break apart on impact