How to Use Solar Pool Covers
- Matt Giovanisci
To keep your swimming pool warm you can spend the dough and invest in a gas or electric pool heater or, you can save your money and purchase a solar pool cover.
A swimming pool solar cover (or solar blanket) will not only bring the temperature up in your pool, it will keep it there too, without using any gas or electricity.
What Are Solar Pool Covers?
Solar covers are also known as solar blankets or summer covers. During the year, swimming pools are left exposed to nature’s elements (rain, tree debris, bird droppings, etc.) and its’ temperature changes.
Solar pool covers are lightweight covers (which look like giant pieces of bubble wrap) that you can place over your swimming pool to keep your water temperature warm.
A bonus feature for solar covers is that they will help keep out unwanted debris that may fall in your pool during the day. However, the main purpose is to keep your pool warm and help it to get there.
How Do Solar Pool Covers Work?
Solar covers trap heat, that you naturally gain from the sun, in your water.
When the sun is hot and the air is warm, this contributes to your pool getting warmer. Unfortunately at night (when it gets cooler outside) all that heat that your pool gained during the day slowing escaping your pool water. A solar pool cover stops that heat from escaping your pool at night or on cold rainy days.
How and When to Use Your Solar Cover
The cover needs to be place on the pool water, bubble side down. Since the cover has air bubbles on it, it floats.
You don’t want your cover hanging over the sides of your pool or up on the deck. If the cover you have is too big, cut off the excess cover so that it fits inside the pool.
Obviously, the best time to use your solar cover is when nobody is in the pool. So, a good time would actually be at night. I know it sounds a little counter productive, but the truth is your pool loses heat at night when it’s cooler out. By using your solar cover, it will actually help keep the heat in your pool that you’ve collected during the warm afternoon sun.
Keep in mind that when you use a solar cover, you shouldn’t have your pool running. This could bind up the cover and prevent it from doing its’ job.
The Benefits of A Solar Pool Cover
One benefit to having a solar pool cover is the price. Solar covers are a very inexpensive way to control the temperature in your swimming pool. You can pick up a cover at your local pool store or online for under $100, depending on the size of your swimming pool.
Another benefit is they are light and easy to take on and off your pool. If you have a larger pool, you may want to invest in a swimming pool cover reel to make this process even easier.
Some pools have an odd shape, like a kidney or a lazy L. If you an odd shaped pool, you might have a hard time finding a custom solar cover. However, you can always get a cover that will fit the length and width and cut it to match the shape of your pool.
If you pool is REALLY big and you don’t want to invest in a solar reel, you can cut the cover into smaller pieces so that it’s easier to get on and off your pool. Instead of having a really giant cover, that can sometimes be difficult to deal with.
Another Quick Tip
If you have a swimming pool heater attached to your pool, using a solar cover is a great way to keep your utility cost down. It allows you to maintain the heat you initially pump into your pool for a long time.