How To Use A Solar Pool Cover
If you own a pool, then chances are youve heard of solar pool covers. And if you havent, then all the more reason to continue reading.
Because solar pool covers are one of the most useful tools at a pool owners disposal. They save energy, time, and money. Of course, if youre reading this, then youre probably already thinking about buying one.
But if not, this post will still fill you in on everything you need to know about solar pool covers. From how they work, to the multitude of benefits that come with using them. With that said, heres a simple guide on how to use a solar pool cover.
How To Use Solar Rings: Theyre Not Just For Looks
Unlike the solar blankets air-filled bubbles, solar rings are flat and must be inflated before you place them on the water. Youll inflate the inner portion only slightly, and the outer portion until its firm, the way youd blow up a balloon. Then simply place them on the water and let them do their job.
Some solar sun rings have magnets around the circumference of the outer portion. This not only helps the rings stay connected to each other, thereby reducing gaps, it also keeps them from overlapping and leaving even more water exposed.
Its important to note that neither solar sun rings nor squares will cover every inch of your pool water. There will be gaps, even when theyre connected by their magnets. Its for this reason that solar rings and squares are not as effective as a solar blanket at either heating your pool water or preventing evaporation.
Tip: You can continue to run your pump while solar rings are on the pool.
Invest In A Solar Pool Cover
While it wont heat your inground or above ground pool as much as a traditional electric or gas heater will, any type of solar pool cover will keep more heatand more waterin your pool.
But it doesnt have to be a one or the other choice. You can use any kind of solar pool cover in tandem with an electric or gas heater, which will help you save money on utilities, water replacement, and pool chemicals. For such a modest upfront investment, you cant afford not to have one.
Should I Take My Solar Cover Off During The Day
In dry and/or windy conditions, the evaporation rate of the pool increases. Therefore, it is generally beneficial to have a transparent or bubble cover on during daylight hours. In warm, humid conditions the evaporation rate decreases. In this case, it may be more beneficial to leave the cover off during the daytime.
Are Liquid Solar Covers Safe
There’s very little chemical in a liquid solar cover, making it extremely safe for anyone in the pool.
Studies show that there’s not much to be concerned about as far as this chemical harming humans or animals. And its even biodegradable so its safe for the environment.
But, just like with any substance, there’s always a chance that someone might be sensitive to it and it could cause irritation.
So, its always best to test it out before purchasing a years worth of product.
Aside from the safety of the product itself, its important to note that unlike a plastic cover, there’s no chance of a child or animal getting trapped underneath.
Also, a plastic cover can create a breeding ground for bacteria and algae. But with a liquid cover, you can still let your pool breathe and reduce this risk.
It’s also 100% safe for your filtration system!
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What Is The Best Pool Solar Cover Thickness
There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing the thickness of your pool cover.
|heavier so harder to cover and uncover the pool|
|do not last so long||more expensive|
The normal range of solar cover thicknesses runs from 8 mil to 16 mil. In case you are not aware a mil is one-thousandth of an inch .
12 mil solar covers are the most popular thickness as they do a good all round job, are easy to handle and last quite a few years.
You really get what you pay for when it comes to solar blankets. Buying cheap can be a false economy.
One of the most popular brands of solar pool covers is Sun2Solar. They produce them in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Sun2Solar Ovalfrom 10ft x 15ft to 21ft x 41ft
Centre Your Solar Cover
Once your solar cover is completely open, youll need to move it around so it is centered over your swimming pool. Centering your blanket ensures youll have full coverage, and that you dont mistakenly cut your blanket in the wrong shape, or too small.
Using the seam lines in your solar cover can be helpful for finding a centre point and lining up your solar cover. Once your cover is lined up, youre ready to begin cutting
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Should I Get A Solar Cover For My Pool
thehavesolar pool coversolar cover cantheyourpoolyour
. Simply so, do I need a solar cover for my pool?
75% of a swimming pool’s heat loss is due to evaporation. A solar cover minimizes heat loss from evaporation by acting as a barrier between swimming pool water and the air. Specifically, you can reduce your swimming pool heating costs by up to 70% by using a solar cover.
Also Know, what does a solar cover do for a pool? In addition to heating the water, a solar blanket helps prolong the effectiveness of pool’s chemicals. A solar blanket looks like a large sheet of bubble wrap. It effectively heats the pool water by allowing more of the sun’s rays to enter the pool, while its air bubbles trap the pool’s heat during the night.
Keeping this in view, are pool solar covers worth it?
Research shows that pool covers can increase water temperature by 4 degrees. This can make the difference between swimming and not swimming on some cooler days. Plus, when you consider how much money it would cost to warm your pool using a gas or electric heater, a solar cover clearly saves money.
How much does a solar pool cover heat a pool?
The cheapest and most effective solar–heating system for your swimming pool is a solar cover. You can get one for around $0.30 a square foot, so covering an average size pool costs about $130. Using a plastic cover alone can extend your swim season a couple of months on each end of the summer.
How Fast Does A Solar Pool Cover Heat A Pool
This obviously depends on many factors such as the weather , the air temperature, the wind, the cover thickness and color and even the depth of the pool. See the sections below.
Its ability to heat the pool up is as much a factor of retaining the heat overnight as it is heating the pool up during the day.
In good sunny weather you can see daily gains of as much as 1-2ºF.
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Winter Solar Cover Care
During winter, store your solar blanket out of the elements, indoors if possible, as very cold cold temps can cause cold cracking. Do not leave a solar blanket on the pool during winter.
Clean and dry your solar blanket, then fold or roll it up for safe storage. A large Rubbermaid bin or upright drum can be used for maximum protection from sun, dirt and nesting rodents.
If you have no space to store a large solar blanket during the off season, you can keep it rolled up tightly on the solar reel. If stored outside, wrap it up with our Solar Blanket Winter Cover shown above .
The US Department of Energy would like pool owners to increase their use of pool covers, to reduce energy demands and pool heater emissions. Do your part by investing in a solar blanket that will save you money and make your swimming pool more enjoyable. Read the full DOE article.
If you have any questions about sizing a solar blanket or you have determined that you need to purchase a larger custom solar pool cover, please give us a call at 1-800-288-7946 we are here to help!
How To Use Liquid Pool Cover
- Purchase the right amount of liquid pool cover for a swimming season. The “right amount” will depend on the size of your pool.
- With circulation running, add liquid pool cover product to the skimmer . If you want, you can also pour the right amount of liquid pool cover directly into the pool. You may have to manually circulate the water so that the liquid cover properly covers the surface
- Create a schedule to add more liquid pool cover, at least one time a month. Keep and sticking to a schedule will make sure that the liquid pool cover is effective.
- If desired, use a physical solar blanket and liquid solar blanket at the same time for double the protection
Now you’ve got the low-down on solar covers, get some helpful tips for maintaining your pool!
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How Much Does A Pool Solar Cover Cost
There is a spectrum to the costs for solar pool covers. On the low end, liquid solar cover costs less than $40 per bottle, which may last a few months. In the mid-range, solar blankets can last a few years for an average of $200 if you do the installation yourself and do not use a pool cover reel. On the high end, custom solar pool covers can cost upward of $1,000 with a pool reel installed.
It costs an average of $4,500 to install a traditional pool heater, which will also increase energy costs and will likely require an additional pool cover. A solar pool cover will not offer as much control over the water temperature. However, If you are looking to extend the season for your swimming pool on a budget, a solar pool cover may be the way to go.
Alternatives To Solar Pool Covers
If you arent quite ready to purchase a solar cover, consider one of the alternatives.
Liquid Pool Covers
You wouldnt think that you could reap the same benefits with a liquid solar cover as you could with a physical cover. But surprisingly enough, liquid pool covers are nearly as effective as traditional solar covers when it comes to heat retention. And in case you were wondering, yes theyre non-toxic and perfectly safe for swimmers.
That said, the main drawback of using a liquid cover is that it cant shield your water from unwanted debris. Also, consider that liquid pool covers need to be reapplied, or in other words, repurchased.
Solar rings are pretty much solar pool covers but broken up into smaller rings, or circles, that connect magnetically. They wont cover your water as snug as a traditional cover, but you only need as many as it takes to cover the surface. So in the end, they may end up being a little bit less, or more than the cost of a regular cover.
Installing Your New Solar Pool Cover
Depending on the shape of your pool, you may have an easier time putting your solar cover on. Pool shapes play a big role in the installation process. A pool that is round, oval, or rectangular in shape is a lot easier to deal with compared to one that is specially designed with an odd shape.
This is because solar covers are designed to fit the most common pool shapes. Oftentimes, you can find a solar pool cover that is fabricated to fit perfectly over your pool, thus making installation a veritable walk in the park. But dont worry if you have a freeform pool. Well cover those, too.
If you have been fortunate enough to find a solar blanket that fits your pool, simply place the cover in the water. When doing this, you want to ensure that the bubble side on it is facing down. This is vital for the heating process to work properly. The smooth side always faces toward the sky.
For a freeform pool, its easier if you can get another set of hands or two to help with the installation. This makes it easier to stretch the cover so that it touches the perimeter equally on all sides. Its a good idea to place weights around the outside in order to keep the material from blowing away and losing position.
This also goes a long way in reducing any wrinkles in the solar blanket. Just be doubly sure that you dont use any weighted objects that might cause damage to the solar cover. Depending on the type of cover you bought, its possible to tear or puncture the solar blanket.
Care And Installation Instructions
Installation of a solar pool blanket should be a simple procedure, and with care the solar blanket should fit neatly on your pool, effectively cutting the costs of heating and cleaning.
All year round the solar blanket works to conserve water and heat loss, raising the temperature of your pool approximately 5 to 8 degrees above that of an uncovered pool. The solar blanket is an innovative and effective way to save on the costs of maintaining your swimming pool. Using the free energy of the sun the solar pool cover keeps your pool warmer all year round, extending your swimming season beyond that of an uncovered pool. The solar blanket also helps to keep your pool clean and free of debris, saving on filter maintenance.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pool Solar Covers
There are a lot of covers you can choose from when deciding the best way to protect your swimming pool. Some of them are extra safe for children, others are super durable – all have their benefits. If youre looking to keep your pool extra energy efficient and save yourself some money, a solar cover for your pool is a great option.
What is a solar cover?
Solar covers have many names: solar blanket, thermal blanket, solar cover, pool blanket – all of these refer to a cover that floats on the surface of your pool and magnifies the suns rays to warm the water while preventing evaporation.
What does it look like?
Solar blankets come in all shapes and sizes and can be cut to fit your pool. Some solar covers are clear, which comes with the added benefit of raising your pool temperature by up to 12 degrees. Conventional solar covers that are opaque or two-colored only reflect a portion of the suns rays. The clear versions magnifies and radiates more of the heat, increasing the water temperature.
A solar cover is made up of thousands of tiny air pockets, much like bubble wrap, that work to keep in the heat. The clear versions allow the sunlight to pass through the sheeting and heat the pool.
Solar blankets come in all sizes, thicknesses, and materials. Look for a brand that is made out of a UV resistant vinyl that wont deteriorate in the sun.
What does it do?
Reduced Chemical Depletion
How do I know what size to get?
Are Solar Pool Covers Worth It
Solar pool covers provide the same benefits as regular pools covers. They keep debris out of your pool, prevent algae growth, and reduce pool evaporation. The less algae there is, the more time you can spend actually enjoying your pool. By using a solar pool cover, you can also limit the evaporation of your pool water.
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How Do I Clean My Solar Cover
Solar blankets can start to get an algae build-up just like other pool accessories if you dont keep it clean.
To clean your solar cover, you will need to remove it completely from the pool and lay it out flat on the grass or turf.
You’ll then use a soft broom or cleaning brush to scrub away any signs of dirt or algae you see.
Rinse it well with a water hose and then dry well, either with a towel by hand or by hanging it over a solid-edged fence.
For tough algae you might notice growing, its okay to use a chlorinated solution with your brush as long as you rinse it away immediately.
Dont leave it on the grass, whatever you do! Since it acts a little like a magnifying glass, you could remove it to find a burnt patch of grass underneath.
Solar rings are cleaned the same way. Just lay them out on the grass and scrub and rinse as needed.
The Best Automatic Cover For Existing Pools
As discussed earlier, when adding an automatic cover to an existing pool, your best option will be one of the on-deck track automatic pool covers. Adding one is a fairly straightforward process, as it is mounted on top of your pool, and won’t require any changes to your existing deck .
The one aspect where you’ll have to make a decision is in budget and operation.
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Our Recommended Deluxe Option
An electric-powered fully-automatic pool cover replaces the hand-crank with an electric motor, making opening and closing as simple as pressing a button. As these covers require a motor, they are more expensive up-front, and will also cost a bit more to install as you will need to have electrical power to the motor.
The housing for the motor, cover reel, and rolled up cover all lives inside a deck-mounted bench, meaning no changes will be needed to your deck.
This makes these on-deck automatic covers the best possible solution for those looking to add a fully-automatic pool cover to an existing pool.
When it comes to the pool ownership experience, there is an amazing feeling that comes with flipping a switch to reveal clear, swimmer-ready water.
No need to haul out the pool net and vacuum for half an hour while your children constantly ask if they can get in yet.
When your pool has an automatic safety cover, you not only have safety … but you also have a warm, clean pool at a moments notice.
Additional Resources for Pool Covers: