If you’ve been thinking about installing a solar pool cover, but have been hesitant to leap because of all the options available, don’t worry! We’ll help you narrow it down and find the best fit for your pool.
In this article, we will discuss how to install and maintain solar pool covers so that they last a long time. Also, we’ll answer some common questions about solar pool covers and the benefits of using them.
What are the different solar pool covers?
There are several different kinds of solar pool covers, each with its benefits. Some are easier to install than others or offer certain qualities that you might want in your cover.
Solar blankets are the most common solar pool covers.
Solar blankets are made of a lightweight plastic material that can be folded and stored easily when not in use. They only cover the top portion of the swimming pool but help prevent evaporation by trapping heat energy from sunlight on warm summer days.
Features of solar blankets:
- Polyethylene plastic, typically blue or black;
- Can be used on top of an existing pool cover;
- Typically lasts between three to five years before it needs replacement;
- Fits on top of the pool cover.
Solar pool covers can be used to make your swimming pool more energy efficient. Not only will they help reduce the amount of water lost from evaporation, but they also prevent heat loss during cold nights and can even keep hazardous debris away from small children or pets when it’s not in use.
Solar rings are another type of solar pool cover.
They typically look like donuts made out of plastic, with a water-filled center that acts as insulation during the winter months. These types of solar covers can be placed on top or alongside an existing swimming pool cover to prevent evaporation and heat loss while keeping debris away from your family’s safety when not in use. The circular design also makes it easier for kids and pets to swim around them without bumping into any sharp objects.
Features of solar rings:
- Polyethylene material;
- Can be used both above and below the waterline;
- Fits over pools up to 25 feet across;
- Helps cut down on evaporation.
Solar rings can be a good way to reduce evaporation in small, above-ground pools. Since they come in different sizes and can fit either on top of or underneath the waterline, it’s easy to find one that fits your pool perfectly while also saving you money.
Liquid solar covers
Liquid solar covers are the third type of cover that can help reduce evaporation and heat loss during the winter months.
Features of liquid solar covers:
- Helps prevent evaporation and also blocks debris from entering your swimming pool;
- Suitable for small pools.
If you don’t happen to have a large enough area for an entire solar blanket or circular ring, then consider using a liquid pool cover instead.
However, since liquid solar covers are made out of the same material that algae and bacteria grow in, it’s important to clean them regularly or replace them with a new one once every year.
How do solar covers work?
Solar energy is the most efficient way to heat your pool. It is an economical way to maintain a comfortable swimming temperature all year round. By combining the solar pool heater with a solar pool cover, you can reduce the load on the heater by keeping the heat in the water.
During spring or summer months when it’s warm outside and your swimming pool is open for use, a solar cover can help reduce the amount of time needed to heat your swimming area because they will trap that sunlight inside during those days where there isn’t any rain or cloud coverage. When night falls and temperatures start cooling off again, then these same pools can be used as insulation against cold winds so that less heating has to take place throughout the night.
If you live in areas where it gets very cold, then solar pool covers can also help reduce the risk of dangerous ice formations on top of your pool. When left exposed throughout the winter months, pools get covered with a layer of ice that can weigh down and even damage metal frames over time. Using a solar cover can help prevent this from happening because it insulates your pool so that ice has trouble forming on top of the water.
Solar covers are also used to keep debris away from pools during non-use, which can help prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants. It’s also much easier for kids and pets to swim around them without bumping into any sharp objects.
Solar cover installation
Solar cover installation is a simple process that is easy to complete without the need for any special tools or training.
Step 1 — Measure your pool
Using a tape measure, measure the size of your pool before purchasing a cape. Your measurements should be as accurate as possible. It is almost impossible to find a cover that is perfect for your pool, so it must be cut to size after purchase. Measure your pool at its longest and widest point if it has a shape other than a rectangle.
Step 2 — Cut the solar cover
Cut a piece of your new cape that is slightly smaller than the measurements you took from your pool. Make sure to leave enough room for it to overlap on all sides as well as attach using clips or ties.
Step 3 — Attach the solar cover to your pool
Attach clips or ties that come with your new cape so it fits securely over any part of the waterline. Make sure to leave enough slack for it not to become too tight when in use and avoid cutting off airflow completely by making sure there’s a small gap between the edge of the cape and where you have it tied down.
Depending on how warm or cold it is outside, usually, between 3 to 5 hours should be enough time for heat energy to reach temperatures high enough for swimming without needing any extra heating done throughout the day. When winter months hit and days get shorter, then typically around 6 hours will be required to maintain comfortable levels of warmth inside pools large enough for several people at once.
Taking care of a solar pool cover
Taking care of your solar pool cover is very easy. Simply rinse it off after every use, hose down the top side while cleaning debris with a brush if necessary, and then scrub away anything that looks stuck on or may prevent heat from transferring inside. After that, roll it up and store it in a safe space without sunlight or heavy rainfall until next time.
Make sure to keep them out of the reach of children while not in use because they can be dangerous if swallowed due to their slippery texture covered with algae and other contaminants from pool water.
Before using them again, make sure to hose down the outside of both sides while cleaning away any dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck on overtime. Then rinse the inside of your solar pool cover under clean running water, making sure to remove any algae or other contaminants that may have grown while not in use.
Winter solar cover care
Caring for your solar pool cover during winter months is simple, just put it away in a safe location until spring when you’ll want to take them out and clean them before storing them again for the summer. While they’re stored is also when they should be inspected at least once or twice throughout that period because this will ensure there are no holes, tears, or other damage done while not in use over winter months.
Once spring has sprung, then just follow the same cleaning process as you did during the summer months. This will ensure your solar pool cover is ready for use again come next swimming season by preventing algae, dirt, and other debris from growing further while not in use over the winter months.
By following these simple steps throughout installation and maintenance procedures, solar pool covers should be able to help you save both time and energy while enjoying warmer pools for long periods of the year.
Benefits of using a solar pool cover
When it comes to the benefits of using a solar pool cover, there is plenty to discuss.
- Saving money
First and foremost, it is a simple way to reduce your energy costs by as much as 70% every month!
This means that if you use electricity or gas to heat the water in your pool, using a solar cover can make those bills disappear entirely. The reason for this is because heated surfaces lose their heat quickly — through convection where cold air simply replaces warm air during heating processes. Solar covers help prevent this from happening by trapping the warmth of the sun inside the surface area around which they are placed.
2. Evaporation protection
Solar pool covers also protect against evaporation from occurring — and by doing so, they help to save more water than one might expect. This is because evaporation from a pool can be as high as an inch of water per week (for those who heat their pools).
The main benefit here is that your solar cover will make sure this doesn’t happen — which means you don’t have to worry about refilling the surface with new water every time it evaporates.
4. Reducing the risk of infectious diseases
Solar pool covers also help reduce water-borne diseases such as skin rashes, eye infections, and other problems related to the spread of bacteria in pools.
5. Keeping contaminants out
Another key benefit of using a solar cover is that this helps lower the risk of contamination by keeping debris and dirt outside of an enclosed swimming area. This means that the likelihood of swimmers being exposed to contaminants is greatly reduced, which in turn reduces the risk of infections.
6. Aesthetic appeal
Last but not least, solar covers add an aesthetic appeal by way of both color and pattern options. Solar cover colors can range from solid sheets (either blue or black) to custom patterns such as tie-dyed versions which offer unique designs on top of keeping water warm. Whether you choose a colorful option or something simple like a standard black sheet, this will help make your pool area look better than before while also protecting its contents with all the benefits listed above!
If you’re looking for a way to extend your pool’s season, or just want to reduce the amount of work that goes into cleaning it up at the end of summer, installing and maintaining solar covers is an easy solution.
Solar covers are great for every kind of swimming pool — whether it has ladders or not, gets used often or less so.
The benefits of solar pool covers are undeniable. They’re easy to install and maintain, reduce the risks of infectious diseases, keep contaminants out, add an aesthetic appeal to your pool, and can even help you save money on energy costs.
🔎 How do solar pool covers work?
Solar pool covers work by trapping the heat from sunlight. Covers are made of a thin sheet of plastic, which is transparent to solar radiation but opaque to terrestrial and atmospheric infrared radiation. Incoming ultraviolet (UV) light passes through it and heats objects below as well as the air immediately above the cover. Heat is then transferred downward into the water surface keeping your swimming pool warmer for longer periods than without a cover installed on top of it.
♨ Do solar pool covers prevent evaporation?
Yes, solar pool covers prevent evaporation. Solar pool covers are different than traditional winter blankets in that they allow a certain amount of water vapor to escape from the top layer while still preventing heat loss and other elements from getting into your swimming pool. As long as there is not a hole or tear where air could enter, your solar cover will do its job at maintaining heat and humidity levels which prevents evaporation.
🌿 Do solar pool covers cause algae?
A solar pool cover can cause algae, but not as much as a traditional winter blanket would. The problem is that the sun’s UV rays are being blocked from hitting part of your swimming pool by the solar pool cover. This means less evaporation and more moisture in the air around your pool. Since warm moist air allows for a perfect environment for algae growth to occur, you may see an increase in it when no wind or circulation is going through your backyard oasis.
📦 How to store solar pool cover?
It is important to store your solar pool cover in a way that it will not get dirty and/or damaged. The best place for your cover during the off-season would be indoors, such as on a storage rack. If you don’t have access to indoor space or can’t keep it dry, covering it with another tarp before placing it under trees or bushes.