Solar covers provide more benefits to the average pool owner than one may initially believe. When used safely, a solar cover does a lot more than add a bubble wrap aesthetic to your backyard. The number of advantages these covers off is quite plentiful.
Heating Your Water
One of the primary benefits of a solar cover is that it collects the UV rays from the sun, heating up the air inside the tiny bubbles, and then transferring that heat into the water of your swimming pool. How much heat your pool receives can vary depending on how much sunlight your pool receives per day, as well as your choice of solar cover color or solar cover bubble shape, but solar covers have been known to raise pool temperatures by 10-15° F.
It’s important to note that in order for a solar cover to work effectively, the air bubbles need to be face down on the water’s surface.
Reducing Energy Costs
The wonderful thing about solar covers is not that they heat your water, but that they do so in an environmentally friendly way at no additional cost to you. Other heaters still require an additional energy cost to run, typically either gas or electricity. Utilizing solar power to heat your swimming pool lowers your reliance on gas or electric powered heaters, saving you money each season. If your home is in an area that receives a lot of sunlight, your pool heating needs could be entirely taken care of by a solar cover.
While an uncovered swimming pool can absorb heat from the sun on its own, that heat does not remain in the pool. When left uncovered, pool water is susceptible to evaporation. According to the Department of Energy, water evaporation is the largest cause of heat (energy) loss in swimming pools.
The amount of water that evaporates from a swimming pool can vary depending on your pool’s temperature, the air temperature and the humidity, but evaporating 1 lb. of 80° F pool water uses 1,048 BTUs of thermal energy, which is taken from the heat within your pool. The more water evaporates, the more heat energy you lose.
Placing the solar cover on your pool surface creates a barrier against the air which stops your pool water from evaporating, keeping that heat energy in your water.
Minimizes Replacement Water
By preventing evaporation, less water is leaving your pool over the course of the swimming season. This means that less water needs to be added into your pool to make up for the evaporated water. Pool cover use can reduce the amount of make-up water needed by up to 50%.
Reducing Chemical Consumption
When water in your pool evaporates, portions of the pool chemicals in your water go with it. Those chemicals need to be replaced in order to maintain proper balance in your pool, especially if you add make-up water. By utilizing a solar cover to stop the evaporation of water, you also stop the evaporation of your pool chemicals, preventing the need to add more. This can reduce your chemical consumption by up to 60%.
Having a plastic layer that sits atop the water’s surface prevents falling leaves, blades of grass, insects and other forms of debris from entering your pool. Cleanup is made faster and easier by simply hosing this matter to one side and extracting it from the top of your cover.
Extending the Swimming Season
Insulating your pool with a solar cover keeps the temperature of your water up for a longer period of time than if left uncovered, which means the water stays warmer later into the pool season. Depending on the temperatures in your area, a comfortable pool temperature can remain late into the fall.
What do you love most about your solar cover? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Department of Energy