Tips for Buying and
Using a Solar Pool Cover
A solar pool cover is a wise investment for your pool, whether it's an above ground or in ground pool. Why not utilize the sun's energy to keep your pool cleaner and warmer for a few more months of the year? These are some tips for choosing and using a pool solar cover that will save you money for years to come.
Solar covers for pools resemble a huge piece of bubble wrap. Each of those bubbles is an air pocket, which transfers the warmth of the sun's rays directly into the pool water. You'll save money on chemicals and you'll enjoy your pool a few months after the official swimming season has ended.
Tips for Buying a Pool Solar Cover
- Consider the thickness - Solar covers vary when it comes to the thickness of the plastic that is used to create the cover. A thicker cover at 16 mm will definitely cost more than the ones that are 8 mm or 12 mm thick. The thinner covers tend to wear down quicker and deteriorate in the sun's rays.
The thickest solar covers take longer to heat up the pool water, but are more durable and will keep your pool better insulated. A thicker pool cover may also be the best route to go if you have children who will handle the cover and you'd like them to not be able to lift it out of the water. Safety is an important consideration, and a thicker cover will also be useful if you'd like to have warmer water following cool nights.
The down side of a thicker solar pool cover is that they are much heavier and harder to lift, and may become more waterlogged over time. For this reason, some people who do not have young children will use a thinner one that may not last as long, but is easier to lift. Some experts say that any cover over 12 millimeters thick will make your pool cover reel sag.
- What color to choose? - Colors for solar pool covers are blue, black, clear, or silver. The darker colors absorb more of the suns rays, the lighter colors heat the pool more quickly, and the silver colors reflect heat back into the pool with a special coating that transfesr even more of the heat absorbed from the sun back into the water.
Some people say that the black solar pool covers last longer than the blue or clear covers as they contain a UV protection coating. Other people say that the black deteriorates faster because it absorbs more of the sun's rays. The more opaque covers cut down on chlorine loss in the pool.
Some say that the pool solar covers work by simply halting evaporation, and so you want a pool cover that blocks the least amount of the sun's rays. From this perspective, llue covers block 20-40% of the sun's rays and clear blankets will block 5-15% of the sun's rays.
Each of the colors available does an ample job of preventing unnecessary chemical evaporation and water. Experienced pool owners that use solar covers have said that after trying several different colors, they prefer a light blue pool solar cover.
- Consider using a solar pool cover reel - solar covers are heavy, regardless of the thickness so you'll want to consider a reel in order to manage it properly.
Make sure to purchase a reel that is designed specifically for either an in-ground or aboveground pool. A reel on a solar cover gives one person the freedom of removing or replacing the pool cover.
- Choose a cover that is the right shape for your pool, and purchase a cover that actually larger than your pool so it can overlap the ides of the pool. It's easier to secure with ropes or bungee cords if you have excess with which to work.
Tips for Using a Solar Pool Cover
The cover should be over the entire surface area of the pool whenever the pool is not in use. The cover will soak up the sun's rays during the day and keep the pool insulated overnight.
The cover effectively keeps debris from entering the pool and a cover can be a deterrent for anyone thinking about swimming in your pool when you're not at home.
As mentioned above, a reel for removing and replacing the pool cover can be convenient and helpful given the sheer weight and bulkiness of the cover.
Be sure to always remove the entire cover from the pool when swimmers are in the water or else someone could get caught under the cover and possibly drown.
Some zoning regulations require that you have a pool cover over the pool when it's not in use, so be sure to check your local city ordinances.