Be Sensible - Buy A Solar Pool Cover

There's no doubt about it, a solar pool cover is an indispensable part of your overall pool heating system.

That may seem like a big statement to make when one considers other equipment like pumps, collectors, filters and controllers.

However, just consider the following diagram, coueresy of the US Dept of Energy - Energy Savers site:

solar covers prevent evaporation

You can see clearly that evaporation is a huge 70% of the energy loss from an in-ground pool.

In other words, if you invest in a solar pool heater and don't buy a pool cover then a lot of the good work done by the sun will be lost through swimming pool evaporation.

And to give you an insight into the full extent of the problem consider the following quote, also from the US Department of Energy - Energy Savers site:

"It only takes 1 Btu (British thermal unit) to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree, but each pound of 80ºF water that evaporates takes a whopping 1,048 Btu of heat out of the pool."

So a pool cover is an important part of your heating system.

Solar Pool Cover - What Type To Buy?

These pool covers are available in several types:

A solar pool cover is crucial

  • A sheet of thin plastic is the simplest and cheapest solution but also the most inefficient. it will deteriorate rapidly because of exposure to the sun.
  • A "bubble cover", so called because of the similarity to bubble packing material, made of plastic and treated with UV inhibitors to prolong its life.
  • A vinyl cover, usually thicker and longer lasting. It may also come with a layer of insulation.
  • Various colors are available - clear, blue & black are the most common. Some people prefer clear, which heats the pool to a higher temperature whereas black heats the pool quickly but to a lower temperature. It is worth noting that with darker colors, the plastic will deteriorate more quickly because of the greater sunlight absorption.
  • The pool covers can also be manually operated, semi-automatic or fully automatic. This boils down to a matter of personal choice and your overall budget.

Solar Pool Cover - Other Benefits

In addition to preventing evaporation the cover has the following benefits:

  • Saves on water costs because the reduced evaporation means less "topping-up" of your pool.
  • Keeps your pool a lot cleaner because debris that might otherwise enter the pool is kept out.
  • Reduces your pool's chemical use by somewhere between 20-40%.

So, all in all, this is an essential investment and you should simply consider a solar pool cover as part of your total solar pool heating system.

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