Solar Pool Cover Advice
Buying a new Solar pool cover can be a confusing and expensive experience if you don’t understand the basics of the product. We have put all our swimming pool cover information in one place to help you choose the best cover for your individual needs.
Also known as solar blankets, solar pool covers are the least expensive category of pool covers. A solar cover is an environmentally friendly way to maintain a pool because it uses renewable energy from the sun and conserves water. They can reduce the costs of owning and maintaining your pool.
The cover resembles a large sheet of plastic bubble wrap, though it is far more than just that!
The air pockets capture and trap the sun’s heat like a greenhouse.
During the day, the cover transfers the heat to the water. At night, the cover helps the water retain the sun’s warmth. The covers can increase the pool water temperature by as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit. This reduces the need to use a pool heater to warm the water at the beginning or end of the swimming season in cooler climates.
They can also reduce the loss of water due to evaporation.
Although they cover the surface of a pool, solar covers are not safety covers and cannot keep windblown debris out of a pool. Like other covers, solar covers must be removed before swimmers can use the water.
In warmer, sunny climates, a solar cover can extend the swimming season. Unlike other covers that are strapped down and anchored in place, solar covers float freely on the surface of the pool. Owners can easily remove and store the cover by folding it up or rolling it onto a reel.
The thickness of the cover is measured in micron which is a very small unit of millimeters. 200 is the lightest and it will go up to 900 however we only deal in superior grading’s 400 – 500.
The bubble wrap effect of your solar cover has is what helps it to retain its heat, bubbles always face down. New technology, in the form of Geo-Bubble covers have replaced sharp corners which were once an area of high stress with a smoother, more uniform shape and a material that is 50% thicker than standard bubble which considerably increases the bubbles resistance to chemical attack from the water.
If you’re looking to preserve heat in your pool over winter, a solar cover is not the product we recommend for this use. To deal effectively with the UK winter, check out our Thermalux Winter Heat Covers.
Our solar covers are so good at capturing heat from the sun that they can overheat themselves if they are not protected from the sun’s rays, whilst off the pool without the swimming pool water to take the heat away. This is most serious when the cover is on a reel, as each layer heats the one underneath, and the whole bundle is so well insulated that the middle can heat up like an oven! Damage by UV rays will also be increased. We advise that you keep the rolled up cover in the shade, using the solar protection sheet provided for example.
Avoid leaving the cover on immediately after shock treating your pool. Do not re-cover for an hour or so until the chlorine is well mixed in, because strong chemicals can gradually perish the material. Do not use in pools where the temperature is constantly over 29 degrees.
Bubble covers can be damaged by freezing water, so you are advised to use a debris cover when you shut the pool down over the winter.
With all covers we would recommend a heater if you would like a consistently warm pool. In the UK we are not blessed with consistent sunlight and so pools with a capacity of more than 2,000 liters (anything larger than a small above-ground pool) would definitely benefit from this. A consistent water temperature requires a consistent heat source.
Hot Tubs operate at much higher temperatures than swimming pools. Because of this a Solar Blanket won’t generate enough heat to maintain the desired temperature. However, we highly recommend Heat Retention Blankets for hot tubs – these work by providing an extra layer of insulation between the water surface and the hot tub cover. This reduces evaporation and heat loss. It also extends the life of your hot tub cover by protecting it from chemical degradation.