How Do Solar Swimming Pool Covers Work?

Time to hit the pool! But it’s cold. And needs more water. Holy cow, is that a pile of leaves at the bottom? That’s what we call instant pool buzzkill. Your guests run out of the water and now you either have to crank the pool heater up, spend time cleaning and re-filling it with water, or just call quits on your swim party.  The solution is simple (and budget-friendly!). A solar pool cover will not only keep your pool warmer, cleaner, and minimise evaporation, but save you a ton of money in the process.

How Do Solar Pool Covers Work to Keep Water Temperatures Up?

Everyone knows that on the hottest days the pool will be at its peak temperatures. The pool has been collecting that solar heat and warming itself up. Solar pool covers create a barrier to keep all that warmth in.

Solar pool covers are made similar to bubble packing material, but with a lot more awesome features. Without the solar cover acting as a blanket, sunlight passes right through.

For starters, these bubble covers are made of a thicker grade of plastic with tiny air pockets. The thickness is important because it makes them less likely to rip, easier to maneuver, and also a better blanket to keep the heat in. The tiny air pockets that look like bubbles are designed to trap the sunlight as pool heat.

Think of the solar cover as a blanket for your pool. It first traps the heat from the sun into its bubble pockets. Next, it takes that heat and delivers it back into the water. Finally, it insulates the pool with the cover so that heat doesn’t escape. The best solar pool cover will save the average owner 50-70% on pool heating costs.

With these warmer temps, you can extend your swim season a couple of months. Imagine being able to start swimming in April or May instead of June. And with the temperature a lot more stable, you’ll be able to enjoy the pool comfortably every time you want to hop in.

Why Do Solar Pool Covers Minimise Evaporation?

Evaporation is the largest energy sucker for swimming pools. No pool is immune to it, it’s just part of nature. But using a pool cover can up to 95% of pool evaporation. Basic science reminds us that the hotter the pool temperatures are, the higher the wind blows, and the lower the humidity, then the larger the evaporation rate.

Even indoor pools are subject to evaporation. They require ventilated air just to control a large amount of humidity released into the air from pool evaporation.  Solar pool covers provide a barrier to the elements, for both outdoor and indoor pools.

Solar pool covers minimise that evaporation by keeping the water covered. This allows for less evaporation into the air. Covering a pool when it is not in use is the single most effective means to minimise evaporation.

If you are minimising evaporation, then you are saving money by conserving water. It’s really that simple.

Will My Pool Stay Cleaner With a Solar Pool Cover?

The short answer is yes. Just like anything that covers, it is going to protect. Expect reduced cleaning times and fewer leaves to make their way into your pool. Also worth mentioning is that it helps keep away algae spores which will keep that pool sparkling longer. Often times fewer chemicals and maintenance is needed. This all amounts to more time relaxing and having fun in the pool, not outside of it.

What to Look for in a Solar Swimming Pool Cover

Pool Size

Solar pool covers come in a wide variety of sizes. Measure your pool and use the widest and longest points to purchase the best fit. Trim the edges with sharp scissors to match your exact shape and fit into your skimmers. When in doubt, go up a size.

Cover Quality

Many pool owners report getting up to three years’ use of a quality solar cover. UV-resistant vinyl covers are generally more durable and can even carry warranties with them. 

Taking On and Off

Taking the solar cover on and off by hand has been a reported drawback from some pool owners. You can work around this by purchasing a manual or automatic roller or reel system. The pros definitely out-weight the cons.

Get the Most of out of Your Solar Pool Cover

Still wanting more? You can improve the effectiveness of your solar cover with a few simple additions.

Pool Heat Pumps

These heat pumps will harness the solar heat and combined with your pool cover you’ll get a quicker warm temp. Pool heat pumps use a coil and fan to draw in natural heat, converting it to in turn heat your water.

Solar Pool Heater

This is a combination of panels installed usually on a roof and a powerful pump. The panels work to collect the energy (heat) and the pump sends water to the panels. The water goes through heated tubing and back into the pool. Without regular sunlight, know that heat from this option isn’t likely.

Block Wind

A top offender of pool evaporation is wind. Wind increases water surface area by creating small ripples and waves in the pool. Many pool owners enclose their pool in a lanai for this reason. Other options include shrubbery or hardscaping around the pool deck.

Bottom line, use your solar pool cover anytime the pool isn’t in use. With its ability to cut down on energy and water costs, heat your pool naturally, and lower evaporation there is no reason you shouldn’t pull it out every day!

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