How To Use Solar Pool Covers
Solar pool covers can be one of the most useful tools that a pool owner can have at their fingertips. They help save time, money and energy.
If you have owned a pool cover for some time or you are new to this subject, I am sure the information we are proving below can at least teach you something new and useful about solar pool covers.
What IS a solar pool cover?
Did you know that 75% of heat loss in your pool water is due to evaporation? Imagine having a cover on your pool and then making it solarOh yeah, now we are talking! The covers trap heat and reduce evaporation. It also helps keep out debris, leaves and such.
Solar pool covers or also known as solar blankets, is made up of a thin, lightweight sheet made from a special plastic that is UV resistant. The covers are typically double sided, with a smooth side and a bubble wrap side.
How DOES a solar cover work?
Most days in Florida are filled with a lot of sunshine that give your pool water natural solar heat. With that sunshine however, can also come rain in the bling of an eye. Either way, it doesnt provide enough heat for a steady, comfortable swim year-round.
A common purchase to fix this is a pool heat pump theyre a reliable source for on demand heat. However, even with the best pool heater, evaporation is still a major problem.
How to use a solar pool cover
Thats it! Now you can place and remove the cover as needed with no other custom needs.
When to use a solar pool cover
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What Is Better Solar Blanket Or Liquid Pool Cover
Now you might be asking yourself why you would use a liquid solar cover rather than a physical solar blanket. While there are pros and cons for each, one of the biggest reasons simply comes down to the size and the storage required to keep a solar blanket in good condition!
Why use liquid solar cover instead of a plastic solar blanket
- no need to cover and uncover the pool every day
- easier to store
- reduce costs associated with heating your pool
Some pool owners are even convinced they use their pool less because they dread having to deal with their solar blanket every time they get in and out of their pool.
On the other hand, the liquid solar blanket continues to work when people are swimming in the pool. The tension formed at the surface of the water is broken by the swimmers but reforms quickly.
How Fast Can A Solar Pool Cover Heat A Pool
Though the effective heat retention offered by a solar pool cover is based on multiple factors, such as initial temperature of the water, temperature in general, weather , wind etc. A decent solar pool cover can add anywhere from 5-15° degrees to your pool in a time period that is between 9-12 hours.
Obviously if the day is very sunny, the pool cover will absorb and transfer more heat in less time and in most cases will raise the temperature. Usage during the night will retain the temperature accumulated during the day.
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Cons Of Using A Liquid Solar Cover
There are some things you should keep in mind before using a liquid cover, however:
- Less effective. Liquid pool covers are shown to be about 75% less effective than regular bubble solar covers.
- Affected by weather. If you live in windy areas, this probably isnt the solution for you. The liquid pool cover works because its molecules disperse and then come back together to form one cohesive invisible layer. So, if you live in areas of high winds or heavy rainfall, the cover will be constantly moved around and become less effective.
How Fast Solar Covers Heat A Pool:
The rate at which water is heat depends significantly on the intensity of the sun and the period the water receives direct sunlight at large. Besides this, the size of your pool and the weather condition of the area you live in other dependable factors. Generally, it takes the cover 12 hours to heat pool water by 5 degrees.
However, to attain this measure, you need to cover up the pool as much as possible and also the pool needs to get at least 6 hours of sunlight every day.
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Are Pool Solar Covers Worth Buying
Definitely. Like I said, I believe these to be the most cost effective method for heating your pool. They use nothing but the sun to heat and prevent a great deal of evaporation and heat loss.
Not only that, but they are so simple and basic. You dont have to worry about them breaking or any technical difficulties that you would have to deal with for other pool heaters.
The only downside to them is that they can be a pain to put on and take off your pool. There is no great and easy way to do this. A solar cover reel makes it easier, but its still a pain. Half the time when you roll the cover up, it becomes uneven as you are rolling it and then you have to unroll it and straighten it back out.
There is no way around this struggle with the normal solar pool covers. But I have found that its well worth dealing with, especially if you are trying to save money on pool heating.
A good alternative to the normal solar pool covers are solar rings . These have some benefits and look much more visually appealing.
How Long Does A Solar Pool Cover Last
The life of a pool cover varies greatly depending on which brand of cover you buy. The cheapest covers may only last one season. Expensive brand name cover may last 3-7 years.
You may see that the warranty periods vary greatly depending on where you buy. Some companies seem to not offer a warranty while others offer, 1 year, 3 years, 7 years, and pro-rata warranties.
Why does the life of a pool cover vary so much?Isnt a pool cover a pool cover you say? Well yes, but not really.
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Automatic Swimming Pool Covers
Automatic swimming pool covers offer a killer combination of strength and convenience. These retractable, automated covers are built into your pool , and allow you to open and close your pool with the push of a button — or the turn of a crank if you prefer a non-electric version.
Like other types of pool covers, automatic pool covers keep dirt and debris out of your pool water and they also protect kids and pets from accidentally falling in. They help your pool retain heat, which can help save wear and tear on your pools heater and keep your pool water swim-ready for longer.
Of course, theyre also expensive: By far, automatic swimming pool covers are the most expensive type of cover you can buy. Theyre especially expensive when you consider the fact that the average lifespan of an automatic cover is around 5 to 7 years. Another thing to think about: Even though theyre strong enough to function as safety covers, automatic pool covers dont hold up especially well to winter weather, so if you live somewhere with lots of snow and ice, this might not be the best choice for your swimming pool.
How Do You Put A Pool Cover On
That depends on the type of cover and the type of swimming pool you have. For example, if you have an inground pool with an automatic cover, all you need to do is push a button and your cover is on. On the other hand, if you have an above ground pool with a solar cover, youll simply float the solar cover on top of your pool and secure it with specially designed clips or hooks. Your best bet is to check with the instructions that came with your pool cover or ask the manufacturer.
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How A Solar Cover Works
A solar cover, placed bubble-side down, provides a dual purpose. First, the solar cover will absorb the heat energy into the plastic, and heat-up the air-filled bubbles. The solar energy is then transferred to the water, by the simple act of conduction, in the same way that a cup of coffee will warm your hands.
The second purpose of a solar cover is to prevent evaporative heat loss. An uncovered pool loses surface heat at a rapid rate, especially with a steady breeze and during cool nights. For many pools, stopping radiant heat loss is the major benefit of using a solar cover.
Recent research has shown solar pool covers to be over 95% effective in stopping heat loss and water evaporation. And although they will also warm your pool, your pool will absorb solar energy without a solar blanket, but just can’t hold on to the warmth without snuggling with a solar blanket!
Another less often touted benefit to a solar cover is that solar covers can reduce chemical degradation from UV radiation, making a smaller chlorine dose last longer. It does this by absorbing UV radiation and shielding the pool water, and also by reducing off-gassing of chlorine at the surface.
Our Conclusion On How Solar Pool Covers Work
There you have it. A complete guide with everything you need to know about solar pool covers and how they work.
As you can see, solar pool covers will work by entrapping and preserving the heat without costing you more on electricity bills!
Also, itll keep all dirt and debris out of your pool and maintain the waters chemical stability for longer.
For that reason, a solar pool cover is an excellent investment that you should consider if you want to worry less about your pool.
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What Happens If The Bubbles Are Facing Up
Installing a solar pool cover with its bubbles facing up towards the sky may slow the process of warming the pool water. Additionally, as we discussed previously, it may completely destroy the solar pool cover if the cover gets overheated due to the direct sunlight. Also, the water does not get warm since the air bubbles cannot transfer the heat absorbed by the direct sunlight into the pool water straight away.
To ensure the durability of your solar pool cover, you must never forget to cover it with a sheet that reflects the rays when not in use.
Solar Cover Color Does It Make A Difference
Yes it does, but in ways that may be unexpected. There are many colors of solar blankets now available, in light blue, dark blue, silver/grey colors, and translucent clear blankets.
Clear solar covers will allow more light energy, across the spectrum, to penetrate the water. Because of the easier passage through the plastic, clear solar covers may absorb less heat, although the heat gain provided by the blanket can be more than colored solar covers.
However, clear solar covers also transfer most of the UV light directly into the water, which can degrade chlorine levels near the water surface, and raise your overall chemical cost. And, some people remark that a clear cover is not as attractive as the blue.
Light Blue solar covers do a better job at trapping heat in the pool, reflecting the heat back into the pool that can radiate out of a clear solar cover more rapidly. Blue Covers also will help conserve chemicals as they can block UV rays more effectively.
However, blue solar covers also block some of the heat, and according the the US Dept of Energy, opaque colored solar covers can block nearly twice of the pool warming light energy, as compared to transparent covers.
Dark Blue solar covers do the best job at keeping the heat in a pool, and although heat absorption and convection is higher with a darker colored solar blanket, the net heat gain during the day is less than with clear blankets.
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Does A Pool Warm
During hot and windless days, it may be the case that the pool water will heat up quickly without the solar pool cover since more of the suns energy will reach the water directly.
However, the pool cover also prevents heat loss and evaporation, which usually occurs frequently and much quicker in windy conditions so that it may heat up quicker with the lid on.
Our #1 Pick: Sun2solar Heat
- 12 x 24 foot coverage
- Raises temperature by 15F
- 246 x 246 x 0.25 inches
If youre looking for the best solar pool cover for a rectangular pool sized 12 x 24 feet, the ever-reliable Sun2Solar delivers as promised.
This is a multipurpose solar blanket that gets thing off to a strong start by inhibiting up to 95% of the evaporation that can blight an uncovered swimming pool. Fill up your swimming pool less often, saving you hassle and money, while also conserving water.
When the sun has been penetrating your swimming pool all day long as you splash about, its a shame to let that heat go to waste. With this blanket, you dont need to. Cover your pool at the end of the day and the heat-retaining properties of this blanket will warm your water instead of being squandered.
In addition to preventing evaporation and warming your pool water, this blanket also stops debris from tumbling into your pool when its covered. This will cut down on the work of your pool filter, and will resultantly prolong its lifespan.
One of the welcome touches about this solar pool cover is the fact you can easily trim it to fit. While you should use it for a pool roughly sized as recommended by the manufacturer, youll have some leeway with slightly smaller pools if youre prepared to tailor the cover with some scissors.
Aside from a slight flimsiness, this is our favorite solar pool cover in a glutted field. See what you think.
|Things We Like|
- Raises temperature by 15F
- 396 x 396 x 0.5 inches
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Do Solar Pool Covers Work
How well do solar pool covers work? If solar blankets didnt work they would have died a long time ago. A 2016 study by Cal Poly found that solar blankets can reduce heat loss and evaporation of pool water by as much as 95%. Solar Pool Covers can also heat water to an average of at least 10 degrees.
A 2014 research by collage found that pool covers can cut energy costs by as much as 30%. Meanwhile a 2012 study by the Michigan Energy Office found that pool covers cut energy costs by about 50%. The effectiveness of a solar pool cover depends on how much pool coverage the blanket has and how much direct sunlight the swimming pool is exposed to.
Should Solar Cover Bubbles Up Or Down
Lets begin that with a simple answer: solar pool covers should face down, always. These covers generally work in the way the sun rays heating the air trapped within the bubbles. The heat, therefore, is then transferred into the pool water. Thus, this is precisely why the bubbles in the solar pool covers should always face down towards the pool water instead of facing up towards the sky. Moreover, since these solar covers function by absorbing heat into the pool water, on colder weather days, the pools water retains the energy gained during the day hours by the help of these bubbles to trap the required heat.
Whats more to that is a solar pool cover also uses effective technology to make swimming effortlessly comfortable during the swim season. So to jot it down, installing a solar pool cover with the bubbles facing up may hinder the process of heating up the pool water, ultimately slowing the process and even damaging the bubbles severely at times. They may simply overheat while facing the suns direct rays and with the heat captures to transfer nowhere.
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Why Do I Need A Solar Pool Cover
Traditional pool covers keep out dust and debris from your pool. They also cut down on maintenance and energy costs.
A solar pool cover serves all these purposes with a few added benefits. These solar-powered covers heat up your pool by preventing water from evaporating.
If its not covered, it can lose up to two inches of water a week. While it may not seem like much water, it can add up to at least 10,000 gallons of water each year.
They also trap in the suns heat during the hot summer months and retain it inside the pool.
Anytime no ones using the pool, you can leave it covered. Itll absorb the suns heat during the day and retain it during the night. Its also a great way to prevent any debris or bacteria build-up.
Besides heating your pool, solar pool covers have many benefits. Here are a few reasons why you might want to invest in a solar cover.
- Reduces water evaporation
- Reduces debris and algae spores from creeping into your pool
- Gives you an extended swim season because it keeps the water warm for longer
So Exactly How Fast Does A Solar Cover Actually Heat A Swimming Pool
How fast a solar pool cover hears a pool mainly depends on how many hours of direct sunlight your pool is getting each day.
A solar cover can increase the temperature of the pool by 5 degrees every 12 hours.
Remember that your pool should be covered as much as possible. Plus, it should be getting no less than 6 hours of sunlight daily.
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