Examining Solar Pool Covers: The Solar Technology that Saves Money

by admin on April 27, 2011

Solar Pool Covers

Solar Pool Covers are an easy and inexpensive way to heat and retain swimming pool water, all the while lowering energy consumption and cutting pool maintenance costs. Solar Covers can raise pool water temperatures as much as 15 degrees by collecting and trapping the sun’s rays and transferring the heat to the water. Solar pool covers then act as blankets to retain the heat, keeping pool water warmer for longer.

The Difference Between a Pool Cover and a Solar Pool Cover
Winter Pool Cover | Doheny's Water WarehouseA conventional pool cover is used to protect pools and reduce evaporation of pool water over long periods of time where the pool is not in use; such as when closing a pool or going on vacation.

A Solar Pool Cover has a much different purpose and is used frequently- it insulates and heats pool water between swims, and helps with pool maintenance by keeping debris out of the pool. This reduces the need to run a pool heater and collectively, Solar Pool Covers lower overall pool care costs.

Solar Cover upcloseSolar Pool Covers have a familiar look. They look just like large, thick blankets of bubble wrap. They can be placed and removed by one person and do not require tie-downs, straps, or hooks – they float freely on top of the pool water. The bubble wrap design of the solar cover provides small pockets of air that warm in the sun and easily transfer the heat to the pool water. The cover then retains the heat in the water and insulates the pool.

Amount of Energy Saved by Solar Pool Covers
The California Energy Commission website, consumerenergycenter.org, explains that covering a swimming pool with a Solar Cover can reduce pool heating costs by up to 90% and reduce water evaporation by 70%, saving around a thousand gallons of water a month.

Here’s a breakdown:
Energy is measured in BTUs. It takes one BTU to heat one pound of water one degree. One gallon of water is equivalent to roughly eight pounds of water. That is 8 BTUs for every gallon of pool water heated only one degree. When that water evaporates, it’s wasted energy and wasted money. In addition, reducing the amount of pool water evaporated can help your pool chemicals last longer, therefore reducing pool chemical costs, and leaving your pool with clean, clear water for longer.

Solar Pool Cover Tips
Although Solar Covers are made of heavy-duty, durable resin or vinyl that last several years, they should not be left out in direct sunlight when not in use. This can cause the solar cover to get extremely hot and degrade.

For some people who find placing and removing a solar pool blanket to be bit tough, using a solar pool cover reel can be a helpful tool. They come in automatic and manual crank models. Automatic cover reels are easy to operate but are a little more expensive. Manual cover reels are more affordable but take some arm strength to crank the reel. Both automatic and manual cover reels are available for inground and above-ground swimming pools and are easily installed.
Some pools can be unique in design and therefore difficult to find a perfect shape of Solar Cover. Don’t worry about finding the exact shape of your pool. You can use a rectangular solar cover that spreads over a good portion of your swimming pool. This will still be sufficient for heating and insulating pool water.

Always remember! Solar Covers can be dangerous. Children and pets can fall into the pool and become entangled in the solar cover. Be aware and always completely remove pool covers before swimming in a pool.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

mick May 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Hey Guys, great little blog about solar pool covers

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Solar Pool Cover Guide May 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Great article about solar pool covers. Solar pool covers are a really great way to save money. Trying to heat a pool without a solar blanket is like trying to heat a house with the windows open. What a waste! They really don’t cost much either.

Keep up the good work!

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Faye@ pool cover August 25, 2011 at 4:55 am

Great facts about solar pool covers. Thanks for sharing this with us. I’m informed!

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Rudy October 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Are there different grades of solar blankets?

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