Solar Pool Covers 19 Things To Know Before You Buy
Are you thinking of buying a solar cover for your pool? Solar pool covers, also known as solar pool blankets, involve quite a large investment so it is important to ensure that the expenditure will be worth it for you.
Generally having a solar pool cover will save money in the long run, particularly if you heat your pool using electricity or gas. They will also extend your swimming season if you do not heat the pool and reduce the amount of money you spend on chemicals.
To help you decide whether to buy a solar pool cover for your in-ground or above-ground pool I try to answer all of the questions you may have so you can make an informed decision.
Best Solar Pool Cover In 2022 Reviews & Buying Guide
Here, you can find the best solar pool covers that are efficient and durable.
Solar Pool Covers are a cost-effective way to prevent water evaporation and protect the pool from debris. Apart from that, they can sustain pools water temperature for a long time and decrease the energy costs.
They are designed to use on in-ground and above-ground pools. It would be difficult to choose the right option from several options available for these pool covers.
We suggest you consider the following key factors before investing in the solar pool cover to get the best one.
For optimum functioning of the pool cover, it is essential to select the right size pool cover according to your pool size and shape. For instance, oval solar cover for rectangular pools or compact blanket for square pools. If there is a custom shape or unique shaped pool, then purchase a larger solar blanket and trim it to fit on the pool.
The solar cover used on the pool is made of either polyethylene, vinyl, or polypropylene. Each one has its set of pros and cons. Choose them as per your need.
- Vinyl is strong, tear-resistant, durable, blocks UV radiation, and allows you for quick removal of the cover from the pool.
- Polyethylene is a lightweight, affordable and quick heat transfer material with a thickness of 12 mils or less. Thus, they are more likely to tear easily.
- Polypropylene is durable, thicker, and blocks UV radiation, yet less flexible and a bit difficult to roll or fold.
Vingli Solar Pool Cover
Vingli is one of the most popular names to appear on our list today as it has sold a lot of solar pool covers in the past. Unlike most solar pool covers, Vingli offers a reel cover to make the process much easier.
Our 2nd choice for the best solar pool covers is the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set. As the name suggests, the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set combines the solar pool cover with a dedicated reel mechanism so that it can be easily rolled when not in use. This makes it much faster to use and also helps to save additional storage space needed for solar pool covers. Once completely unraveled, the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set offers a 14 x 18 feet effective area which is great even for large pools.
Although, you will have to assemble the device by yourself as it will be shipped in different packages containing various parts. There is a large 13.8 inches handle provided on the side, which reduces the force required to roll the solar pool cover. There is also a lockable telescopic tube that reduces vibrations and shocks while using the reel. The VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set has a solid build quality thanks to the stainless steel body and solid tires. You can also keep the assembly someplace else and bring it near the pool at the time of covering. It is backed by a year of warranty as well.
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+ Solar Covers In Stock
We carry 3 unique solar cover styles that can help to maintain the temperature in your pool. Whether your pool is too cold to enjoy consistently throughout the Summer or you’re currently spending a fortune heating it, you’ll be able to extend your swimming season and save money with a new solar blanket. We are Canada’s source for swimming pool solar covers, with over 10,000+ cover shapes and sizes in stock and ready to ship!
How To Save Money While Heating Your Pool Water
Now you know how each type of solar cover works, a few benefits of using them, and the best way to do so. But wait! Theres more! Weve got a few extra tips to help you save even more money.
- Run your filter during the hottest part of the day. This can help mitigate heat loss from evaporation. However, youll need to weigh this practice against power use during peak hours.
- Remove your solar blanket or rings before shocking your pool. The high concentration of chlorine will damage them.
- Prevent additional water evaporation due to wind by creating a windbreak around your pool. The higher the wind speed above your water, the more water will evaporate. Disrupt the wind with a pool cage, plants, patio furniture, or privacy screens.
- Run water features only when youre around to enjoy them. Vanishing edge swimming pools and waterfalls can double your water evaporation rate because they create more surface area by constantly moving the water.
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Are Pool Solar Covers Worth It
Yes, pool solar covers are worth it. They help retain heat in the pool, and they can also add heat to the pool by absorbing energy from the sun.
Without pool solar covers, swimming pools will lose water and heat by evaporation. When this happens, you will have to refill the pool. When you refill the pool with new water, you will need extra energy to get the new water to the desired water temperature again. Summarily, your pool will be unable to maintain the desired warm pool temperature without a solar pool cover, and your utility bill will be higher.
Consistent with the result of a study by researchers of California Polytechnic State University, solar covers generally offer over 90% efficiency in controlling evaporation from pools. This is significant since evaporation is the main way pools lose heat.x
Besides heating the pool and sustaining heat in the pool, pool solar covers also help keep debris out. So, you can spend more time enjoying the pool and less time decluttering it.
My Experience Of Using A Solar Cover
We live in the Canary Islands, which are off the coast of north Africa, so the climate here is pretty warm generally. We have solar heating panels on the roof which obviously heats the water up quite well, but without a solar cover, much of that heat is lost overnight.
We are not masochists, and dont want to die of shock when we get in the pool, so we want the temperature to be at least 82ºF/28ºC before we put a toe in.
Before we bought the solar cover we usually managed to swim comfortably from mid-April until mid-October. With the solar cover we are often in the pool by early March and swim until mid-November at least..
My pool normally loses 1.5-2ºF overnight without the cover on but hardly loses anything overnight when it is on.
In the summer, on a sunny day , without our solar heating on, I often see an increase of 2-3ºF during the day when I have the solar cover on.
Interestingly, we had a power outage for just over 24 hours last summer and I had the pool cover on. My wife and I wanted to swim late afternoon so I rolled the cover back and in we went. The water temperature in the top foot was much higher than the water below by at least 10ºF. Of course the pool pump had not been running so the water had been undisturbed which is why this was so noticeable.
As an aside, it was amazing how the warmer water had such a defined edge to the cooler water below. It was not a gradual transition from hot to cool as I would have expected but a sudden change.
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How Does A Solar Pool Cover Work
A pool cover works in three ways:
Obviously using the sun to heat a pool is very eco-friendly and can save you money if you use a pool heater.
Dohenys Solar Pool Cover
The bubbles available on a solar pool cover plays an important role in retaining solar energy and trapping the heat. Thus, Dohenys solar pool cover is a decent pick on our list as it features microbubbles over its surface.
Dohenys Clear Tek Micro Bubble Solar Cover is a decent solution for in-ground pools varying up to 18 x 36 feet in size. As this is a 1600 series solar pool cover, it features nearly twice as many bubbles over its surface. Due to the microbubbles, the heat transfer rate is nearly double that of any standard solar cover. It is made up of blue plastic and backed by 3 years warranty period. You can also get 2400, 2400 supreme, and 3200 series solar covers from Dohenys.
As the majority of heat loss in swimming pools is caused by evaporation, the Dohenys Clear Tek Micro Bubble Solar Cover is specifically designed to prevent evaporation. Thus, you can effectively avoid up to 70% heat loss in your swimming pool. If you are worried about the size and fitting for your pool, fret not. The Dohenys Clear Tek Micro Bubble Solar Cover can be easily trimmed with scissors without voiding the warranty period.
- Blue plastic solar pool cover
- 14 x 28 feet in size
- 1600 series solar pool cover
- Can be trimmed according to user preference
- 15 to 25% increase in energy absorption
- 3 years long warranty period
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Are Solar Swimming Pool Covers Worth It
Solar covers are incredibly efficient at helping heat up your pool while retaining this heat and ensuring you don’t have to rely as much on more expensive or less efficient pool heaters.
Like any other kind of cover, solar covers will also stop anything from getting into your water, decrease debris and the need for additional cleaning or swimming pool chemicals. Additionally, when your pool is covered like this, you reduce the risk of evaporation and chemical consumption.
When you combine solar covers with swimming pool solar heating, youll have a wonderfully eco-friendly and efficient heating system on your hands!
Read our more in-depth guide to solar swimming pool covers to find out more about their benefits.
Why Do They Not Last Long
When a pool cover is made, UV protection is chemically added to the material to prolong its lifespan. This protection only lasts so long though. UV rays from the sun are very effective at breaking down the bonds that hold the cover together at the molecular level. Nature is quite powerful in this regard.
Once the UV protections useful life has passed, it is just a matter of time before the material starts to become rigid. At this point, it becomes vulnerable to damage by wind, rain and falling debris.
If thats not enough, chlorine, the chemical that keeps our pools safe, also plays a big role in the deterioration of pool covers. Chlorine is a corrosive chemical that breaks down molecular bonds nearly as effectively as UV rays.
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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.
How To Properly Store Your Solar Cover
At the end of pool season, itll be time to break out the safety cover, and store the solar blanket. But before you do that, you must make sure the solar blanket is clean and completely dry so you dont get a nasty, moldy surprise when you open it up next season.
To clean your solar blanket, remove it from the pool, and lay it on a soft surface like grass. Concrete can damage the bubbles, making the blanket less able to float and do its job.
Once you have it spread out flat, use a soft push broom or soft scrub brush and clean water to scrub away dirt, algae or buildup, then rinse. Dry the blanket well by hand, using a leaf blower, or hanging it up to dry.
Tip: Dont ever leave your solar cover out to dry on your lawn. It can burn your grass.
After you wash and dry your solar blanket, reel it up. Some pool cover reels come with a weather- and UV-resistant storage cover so you can store it outside if you dont have any indoor space for it. If your reel didnt come with a cover, you can always pick one up.
If youre folding your blanket up, place it in a container with a sturdy lid to keep pests out. Then store the container somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight to prevent the cover from shrinking, and the plastic container from deteriorating.
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Intex Solar Cover For 15ft Diameter Easy Set And Frame Pools
Solar-heat-retaining cover for 15-foot round pools Reduces evaporation by 95 percent retains heat Includes carry bag for storage when not in use Fits just inside edge of pool and floats in place.Intex. krystal clear solar cover 15. Helps keep water warmer. Easy to use. Includes carry bag for storage when not in use. Fits just inside edge of pool and floats in place. Lighweight material
This cover is super light weight and easy to set up. I tucked the edges under the tube part of the pool. So far its kept the leaves out of the pool and the water isnt as cold as before.
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.
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In The Swim Pool Solar Cover
Available in many different sizes, this solar cover from In The Swim makes it easy to match it perfectly to your pool. With five to seven days of sunlight, it can raise the temperature of your pool water by eight to 10 degrees. Compared to some of the other covers we tried, this isnt very impressive. Its even worse when you consider that this is one of the most expensive covers weve seen. It is protected by eight years of limited coverage, but dont expect that to mean youll get a replacement if yours tears five years from purchase date.
This cover is marketed as being ultra-clear, but its actually a drab gray that doesnt look very attractive on a pool. Overall, we think its an overpriced and ineffective solar cover thats easily outperformed by other covers that are half the price.
- The gray color isnt very attractive
Does A Solar Cover Stop The Pool Getting Dirty
Although some seem to suggest that solar covers do at least help in keeping the pool clean, in my experience, this is not one of their benefits. You always have a small gap between the pool sides and the cover so dirt and debris often get blown towards the edges and then enter the pool.
Also, to keep the cover in good order it is good practice to hose any dirt off the cover before you roll it up so this ends up in the pool anyway while you are using the hose or when you roll it up.
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How To Maintain A Solar Pool Cover
- Do not leave the solar pool cover on the pool while shocking. The chlorine will degrade the material.
- Do not place your solar pool cover on the pool immediately after shocking the pool. Wait for at least 24 hours.
- Do not use the solar pool cover on the pool when the chlorine level is higher than 2 ppm. High levels of chlorine will degrade the material of the pool cover and make it brittle.
- Ensure you maintain the pH of the pool at around 7.4. Low or acidic pH levels also degrade the material of solar pool covers.
- To avoid unnecessary tugging and folding, use a solar cover reel to roll up your solar pool cover.
- When the solar cover is rolled up or folded, do not leave it under the sun. The air bubbles will keep focusing sun rays on the cover, and this will promote deterioration. It is better to wrap the solar cover with a UV-resistant material or store it in a shaded area.
- If you will not be using the pool cover in a long time, roll it up and store it in a shaded area. Before storing it, ensure you dry it and clean it. This way, you will reduce or remove any residual chemical that can degrade it in storage.