Does A Solar Pool Cover Really Work?

Let’s face it. Swimming pools can be expensive to maintain.  With heating, chemicals, and maintenance, they can soon become a drain on your finances.  You may have heard of solar pool covers.  Today we will answer the question, “does a solar pool cover really work?”

Solar pool cover manufacturers claim that they will help heat your pool and save you money on chemicals and maintenance.  When used correctly, this is true.  So how do you get the most out of your solar pool cover and enjoy the energy savings?


Reducing Water Evaporation

Evaporation is where you lose most heat from your outdoor pool surface.  By covering your pool, you can significantly reduce the amount of evaporation from your swimming pool.

Evaporation is the process of a liquid becoming a gas due to an increase in water temperature.  As the liquid, in this case, your pool water evaporates, it will cool the remaining water.  Evaporation is responsible for 70% of heat loss from your pool.

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Covering your pool reduces evaporation by over 90%.  This means if you cover your pool, you can reduce heat loss by 63%.  If you have to heat your pool, this heat loss saving will save you a lot of money.

Another saving due to reducing evaporation is on your pool chemicals.  Your chemicals evaporate with the water.  Up to 60% of your pool chemicals can evaporate.  When you add reducing your chemical bills, the savings start to add up.

Transferring Heat 

Solar covers are also designed to help capture and transfer the sun’s energy to your pool.  If you want to use your solar blanket to heat your pool, then a bubble wrap blanket is best.  

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A clear top with a darker bubbled bottom is best for collecting heat and transferring the heat to the water.  This type of pool blanket is also suitable for heat retention.

Heat Retention

Retaining heat from your swimming pool is another feature of the solar cover.  Heat is lost between the pool surface and the surrounding air.  Placing a plastic cover on your entire pool will insulate the surface area and reduce this heat transfer, keeping your pool warm.

The pool owner will get the most benefit from this at night when the temperatures fall.  If you are heating your pool overnight, then you can reduce your heating costs.

When To Use A Solar Pool Cover

You should use your solar cover whenever you are not swimming.  Covering your inground pool when it is not in use will help retain heat and keep the water clean.  

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Suppose you have a large pool. Removing and replacing the solar cover can be time-consuming.  Many pool owners will install their bubble cover in multiple sheets instead of a single large sheet.  This way, they can remove one or two sheets allowing them a swimming area.

Does a Solar Cover Replace Your Traditional Pool Cover?

Your solar cover does not completely replace your traditional pool cover.  Most people will store their standard pool cover for the summer swimming season.  During this time, they will use the solar blanket to help increase the water temp. 

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Once the pool season is over, the solar cover is packed away and replaced by the regular pool cover.

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Storing Your Solar Pool Cover

Before you pack up your solar cover for the winter months, you should make sure it is clean and dry.  If you don’t do this, you will be met with a smelly and moldy mess when swimming season comes around again. Store your cover on a solar cover reel.

What is the Best Type Of Solar Pool Cover?

The best type of solar cover depends on what kind of pool you have.  If your pool is indoor, then you don’t need a pool cover to help capture solar radiation.  You will need a cover to help stop evaporation and to retain heat.  The best type of cover for an indoor pool is a thermal blanket.

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If your pool is outdoor and catches a lot of the sun, then a bubble cover is best.  The transparent plastic bubbles act as a magnifying glass for the sun’s energy to heat the pool water.

How Much do Solar Pool Covers Cost?

Solar covers are inexpensive. One of the popular bubble models is $150 for twelve by twenty-four feet.  The savings will offset this low price in pool heating, water evaporation, and chemical depletion.

If you have an unusual pool shape, you can also trim the cover to fit the shape.

There are so many benefits to solar covers.  They keep your pool water clean, help regulate the pool temperature, prevent heat loss, prevent water loss, helping with your energy costs.  If you have a swimming pool and want to warm your pool with solar energy, you should look no further.