A solar pool cover (pool blanket) is a nice, simple use of solar power.
If you heat your pool a solar blanket is a great way to reduce your heating bills.
If you don't heat your pool it's a great way to hold on to the free heat that the sun provides.
Either way it's one of the most cost-effective solar purchases you can make.
Why is that?
Well, your pool loses heat in three main ways:
Since evaporation accounts for a full 70% of heat loss and pool covers minimize evaporation, covering your pool is the single most effective means of reducing pool heating costs.
Reducing evaporation keeps your pool warmer and it also has two other benefits:
Now do you see why a solar pool cover is such a great investment?
Once you've decided to purchase a solar blanket, you still have a couple of decisions to make.
First, you'll want to decide if you want:
The plastic or vinyl pool blanket is probably the type of cover you're most familiar with.
These cover your entire pool and are usually made with UV-stabilized materials so they will last longer in the sun.
The plastic "bubble" covers are cheaper but the heavier vinyl covers last a little longer. Many of the bubble covers offer a five year warranty so don't be too worried about longevity.
Also, if the solar pool cover will be used during the day you may want to go with a transparent blanket rather than a darker color. This is because a dark color will actually prevent the pool from warming up in the sun.
You'll also have to decide if you need a pool cover reel to help you roll up the pool cover. These are usually on wheels so you can roll them out of the way once the cover is in place.
If a pool blanket seems too bulky for you, how about some Solar Sun Rings? These five foot wide inflatable rings warm up your pool with the power of the sun.
Sun Rings are made from two sheets of heavyweight U.V. resistant vinyl. The upper sheet is clear and holds air and focuses sunlight on the blue lower level.
This lower level absorbs half the sunlight and allows the other half to pass through for deep water heating.
Sun Rings are easy for one person to put in place and they each contain six magnets to hold them together in formation.
If you're looking for a pool cover that's even easier to put in place, check out a liquid pool cover.
When I first heard of a liquid pool cover I assumed it was some sort of vinyl blanket that was filled with water.
Nope, it's a little stranger than that.
The brand name of the liquid pool cover is EcoSavr and it comes in a package shaped like a fish. Just snip the fin of the fish where indicated and toss it in your pool. For the next month it will release liquid that will form an invisible layer on the surface of the water to prevent evaporation.
EcoSavr is about 60% as effective as a traditional solar blanket but it works 24 hours a day, even when people are swimming. Also, you don't have to worry about pulling a blanket on and off the pool.
The ingredients in the liquid pool cover are lighter than water so they float to the surface. They are also attracted to each other so they always try to form a thin layer over the whole pool surface.
Also, EcoSavr has been tested for safety and is biodegradable and non-toxic.
Whether you go with a pool blanket, a Sun Ring, or a liquid-filled fish, a solar pool cover is a great way to put the sun to work.