Solar Pool Covers are a solar energy technology that helps to reduce overall energy consumption, and are an inexpensive way to heat and maintain a swimming pool. Solar pool covers can raise pool water temperatures 10 to 15 degrees by trapping the sun’s rays and transferring the heat to the water. The solar pool cover then acts as a blanket and retains the heat. They are made of heavy-duty, durable resin or vinyl that last several years.
What is the difference between a Pool Cover and a Solar Pool Cover?
A traditional pool cover helps to protect a pool and reduce evaporation over an extended period of time. They should be used when going out of town or when closing a pool for the winter. A solar pool cover has a much different purpose and is used between swims. It insulates and heats pool water, and helps with pool maintenance by keeping debris from blowing into the pool. In addition, solar pool covers help to lower overall pool care costs.
Solar pool covers have a distinct look. They look just like bubble wrap but much larger and thicker. Solar pool covers span the length of a pool and float freely on top of the water – they don’t require straps, hooks, or tie-downs and are easily placed and removed by one person. The bubble wrap design allows for small pockets of air that become warm in the sun. This heat is then easily transferred to the pool water and the cover then doubles as an insulator, retaining the heat in the water.
How much energy can a Solar Pool Cover save?
The California Energy Commission website, consumerenergycenter.org, claims that covering your pool with a solar cover can cut pool heating costs by up to 90% and reduce water evaporation by 70%, saving around a thousand gallons of water a month. Energy is measured in BTUs: a BTU is a unit of energy and is approximately the amount of energy needed to heat 1 pound of water 1 degree. Each gallon of evaporated water is wasted BTUs and wasted money. Reducing the amount of pool water evaporation can help your pool chemicals last longer, reducing pool chemical costs, and leaving your pool with crystal clean water for longer.
Moreover, a solar cover will keep pool water clean by keeping out dirt and debris that blow in. This can extend the life of a pool filter and pump by keeping them from working too hard.
Solar Pool Cover Tips
Covering and removing a solar pool blanket can be tough for some people. Having a solar pool cover reel can be a helpful tool. Automatic reels are easy to operate but can get expensive. Manual reels are more affordable but take some arm strength to manually reel in the pool cover. Both automatic and manual reels are easy to install and available for in-ground and above-ground swimming pools.
-Don’t store a solar cover in direct sunlight when it is not in use. This causes the plastic to get extremely hot and break down.
– For some pools, finding the exact shape of a cover can be difficult. You can use a rectangular solar cover that will lay over a good portion of the pool. This will still be a sufficient solar cover for heating pool water.
– Always remember! Solar Pool Covers can be dangerous. Children and pets can fall into the pool and become entrapped in the solar cover. Always completely remove pool covers before swimming in a pool.
Originally posted 2011-04-15 08:22:03.