Should You Invest in a Solar Pool Cover?
If Chicago summers are known for one thing, it’s how quickly the weather can change. One week its 90 degrees; the next it's 60.
And while dragging your fall or even winter clothing out of storage can be annoying, attempting to control the temperature of your pool is a whole other animal.
After all, you installed the pool to enjoy it during the summer months; a few random cold days shouldn’t stop you from using it or have you running up your bill to keep the pool’s temperature warm.
What can you do? Let’s look at how a solar pool cover might be the right solution for you.
What is it?
As the name implies, a solar pool cover is placed over your pool whenever it is not in use and uses the sun's energy to heat it, preventing water and chemicals' evaporation.
These covers feature bubble’s on their underside (the side which should face the water) which act like tiny magnifying glasses that amplify the sun’s energy into your pool. These covers can also be trimmed to fit your pool’s specific shape and come in a range of sizes.
Here’s what a solar pool cover looks like:
The previously mentioned point on evaporation is especially noteworthy, as this is one of the main reasons the temperature of a pool will drop.
This image from Swim University breaks down how much energy is lost by evaporation:
As you can see, a pool with no cover will lose most of its heat due to evaporation, which when combined with drastic changes in temperature will rapidly drop your pool's temperature.
Generally, prices for pool covers begin at $100 and trend up from there pending the size and thickness of the material.
What are the benefits?
There are some key benefits to using a solar cover. As previously mentioned, if you don’t have a pool heater, this will help keep your pool warm. It may not reach the consistent temperatures you’d get with a heater — especially if we suffer those really drastic drops in temperature — but it will play its role in making your swims much less frigid.
Along these lines, a solar cover will cut down on electricity costs associated with running a pool heater. And since you place the cover over the pool whenever it’s not in use, it also keeps debris out of your water.
Keep in mind, however, that a solar cover is not strong enough to keep your pool protected throughout the winter months. You’ll still want to have a sturdy winter cover in place.
How do you use it?
This is pretty simple. A pool cover is just that, so once you’re done swimming for the day, drag it over your pool like any other cover.
You’ll want to trim your cover so that it sits comfortably in the water — most will come a little longer out of the box and extend outside your pool.
Feel free to keep the cover on overnight as well, as this will retain your pool's daytime temperature.
When you’re ready to open your pool for the day, roll up the solar cover and store it in a safe place. Once you’re closing for the season, thoroughly dry and rinse your cover so that you aren’t left with moldy surprises when it’s time to open your pool next year.
And there you have it, a simple way to keep your pool warm and reduce evaporation. Consider investing in a solar cover if you’d like to cut down on those heater costs or are just trying to create a greener pool environment.
As always, if you’d like to talk through any pool needs or schedule services, contact us here.