Whether you have an above ground or inground swimming pool, a solar cover is one product you should not do without. Solar pool covers are reasonably priced, last several years, and can help save hundreds of dollars over time. They not only help keep the pool warm, but they also help to reduce water evaporation, and cut down on chemical usage and cost. This guide to solar pool covers will inform new pool owners on the many benefits of using a solar cover, and detail how to use one.
What is a solar cover? – Solar covers look very much like one large sheet of bubble wrap. When laid over pool water, the sun warms the bubbles. The air inside the bubbles acts as an insulator, which transfers heat to the water. Solar covers are available for both inground and above ground swimming pools of all sizes. You may have heard them referred to as ‘solar blankets’ or ‘bubble covers’, but these products are all the same.
Benefits of using a solar cover – Because solar covers are a heat insulator, they help reduce energy costs. Since the cover sits on top of the pool water, they also help keep out debris, which reduces pool cleaning time. In addition, solar covers minimize water evaporation, which will help reduce the amount of chemical that is transferred into gas and lost. Oddly enough, by preventing dirt from falling in the pool and reducing chemical usage, it also helps to prolong the life of your pool filter as it will not have to be removed and cleaned as frequently.
How to install a solar cover – If you don’t know your pool’s measurements, be sure to get them before shopping for a solar cover. Buy a cover that is slightly larger than the pool itself. Lay the cover on top of the pool water, bubbles down, and let it set overnight. This will give the material time to relax to its true size. Use scissors to trim the cover to the pool. Some people like to trim the cover so that it has flaps that set inside the skimmer space, but this isn’t necessary.
How to use a solar pool cover – When the pool is not in use, keep it covered with the solar cover. Removing and setting the solar pool cover in place can be a hassle, especially if there is just one person doing the job. A solar reel can help make the process easier. With a solar reel, the cover is attached to it and is wound around the reel with the help of a crank, much like a garden hose would be stored on its reel. This makes removing and replacing the solar pool cover easy, even for one person.
Solar pool cover cost – Solar pool covers are very affordable, especially when you consider the return you’ll get back on energy and chemical savings. The price you pay will vary on the size of the cover and the thickness of the cover you select, but will cost anywhere from approximately $ 50 – $ 200.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
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Choosing a pool filter system that’s right for you
Source: Professional experience