Protecting your pool is important and keeping it in shape for the next use can be made easier with the right pool cover. These covers act as barriers and keep out various debris, cutting down on required maintenance. While you can use a traditional cover, a better choice is a pool solar cover.
How Pool Solar Covers Work
Solar covers create a barrier between the air and the water inside your pool, minimizing the amount of heat loss due to evaporation. Evaporation occurs daily and increases with various weather conditions, such as high winds. With a solar pool cover, you can create a protective barrier against the elements which cause that evaporation.
In addition, the evaporation of the chemicals you use in the water declines, which means you’ll save money on chemicals in the long run.
Your pool collects heat throughout each day but can’t retain it without a cover. Tiny air pockets in the design capture the sun’s heat and transfers it to the water below. This can increase the water temperature up to 12 degrees or more. These covers also serve as insulators, keeping that transferred heat from dissipating from the water’s surface. This lessens the need for expensive electric heat pumps or gas pool heaters.
By retaining heat, minimizing evaporation, and lowering the amount of chemicals you’ll need to add makes the solar cover a smart investment.
So, how do you decide on the right type of solar cover for your pool?
Different Types of Pool Solar Covers
You have three choices when it comes to the type of solar pool cover for your pool. Each has its own pros and cons, and weighing these can help you to decide which is the best cover for your pool.
A solar blanket pool cover looks similar to a large piece of bubble wrap. This is because it is designed with thermal bubbles to capture the most available UV rays throughout the day, creating a greenhouse-type effect. This process not only warms up your water but also minimizes the amount of evaporation, keeping your pool full of water while also keeping it heated.
Each solar blanket is UV-protected as well, so you can expect it to be durable and last a long time. These covers are a good choice for both inground and above ground pools.
Purchase a solar blanket slightly larger than pool measurements. You can then place it over your pool’s surface and trim it as needed to create a perfect fit.
These covers are best for those seeking full coverage and more efficient heat retention and less evaporation, and also don’t mind the awkward maneuvering to put them in place.
PROS: full coverage, relatively lightweight, highly efficient, inexpensive
CONS: takes effort to install and remove, not effective as a safety cover even though it covers the entire pool surface
Solar Rings are an efficient option for those who prefer connecting pieces instead of wrangling with a large blanket-size pool cover. Purchase as many of these rings as you need to cover your pool’s surface.
Each solar ring attaches to the others via magnets, so can be customized to fit any pool size or shape. This also makes them easier to put in place and remove when ready to enjoy your warm pool.
One downside to these solar rings is the lack of full coverage. Small areas will not be covered and can result in debris getting in and heat slipping out.
The principle behind these solar rings is much like the solar blanket in that they absorb the sun’s heat and transfer it to the water below.
Designed with a UV-resistant double layer, these rings are durable and long-lasting. Also, if one or two wear out faster than the others, you simply buy two more instead of having to buy an entire blanket.
Solar rings are best suited for those pool owners looking for a less cumbersome cover option and easy set-up.
PROS: easy storage, easy installation, durable
CONS: less heat efficiency, less overall pool coverage
Liquid Solar Covers
Liquid solar covers are biodegradable chemical additives that you add to your pool via a pill form or dispenser. As a result, it forms a surface layer that absorbs and retains the sun’s heat each day. While only approximately 75% as effective as the solar blanket, it still holds its own when it comes to minimizing evaporation and holding in heat.
Uniquely designed to dispense itself in the water little by little, the use of a liquid cover makes it easy to protect your water with the least amount of effort. The amount you use will depend on the size of your pool and the manufacturer’s guidelines.
In addition, swimmers won’t even know this cover is in place, and you don’t have to worry about it messing up your filters or harming anyone. Safe and environmentally friendly, this liquid will part as you swim or frolic in the water, settling on the sides and corners. As soon as the water is still again, it spreads out evenly without you having to do a thing.
You also don’t have to worry about it blowing away in the wind. Instead, it will disburse to any sheltered sides and re-form once the wind dies down.
Liquid Solar Covers are best for pool owners preferring an easy option or who may be away from home often and unable to tend to the pool for guests and family.
PROS: convenient, easy to use, biodegradable, constant protection even when swimming
CONS: only lasts 28-30 days and will need to be replaced
Overall, a solar cover can help add heat to your pool naturally, slow down the evaporation of both water and pool chemicals, and save on water and energy costs overall. Not a bad solution at all.
Clear vs. Blue Solar Pool Covers – Does Color Matter?
There are some pros and cons to the different colors of solar covers. The most popular are clear and blue. Blue solar covers block more UV out of light, which will slow the rate of chlorine evaporation. Blue covers also do a better job of trapping heat in your water once it warms up. Clear covers allow more light energy into the pool, which allows for faster heat gain. A happy medium between the two options is a light blue solar cover, which does a relatively good job of heat absorption and retention.
Don’t Forget Your Other Pool Accessories
If you’re looking at installing a new pool you’ll also want to think about pool access and accessories. Global Pool Products is an American manufacturer of top-quality pool slides, ladders, railings, games, and swim-up bars. Follow the links to check out our product catalog.