Having a swimming pool and keeping it warm during all seasons can be a pretty hard and expensive job. Installing gas heaters might set you back several thousands of dollars annually. We are here today to explore some significantly cheaper alternative – solar pool covers. All you need to keep your pool warm and cozy for a relaxing swim is a solid pool cover and, you guessed it, the Sun. There are several different types, 3 to be exact, of solar pool covers. Solar pool blanket, the one we will be focusing on today, is essentially what the name tells us – a blanket for your pool. The other two options include solar rings and liquid solar covers.
All of the above-mentioned share a common purpose – keeping the water in your pool warm. How do they do it? Unlike solar heaters and pumps, solar covers are not heating up anything. What they do is, they retain the heat within the water by stopping evaporating and therefore lowering the water temperature. Not only that, since they keep evaporation minimal, they also reduce water loss and decrease your chemical needs.
Why does your pool get colder?
During the swimming season, air temperature during the day is significantly greater than the temperature of the water in your pool. During that period, water is heating up and retaining its temperature since the atmosphere surrounding it is not allowing it to evaporate, therefore get cold. The circumstances change during the night. The air temperature drops below the temperature of the water and because of that, like when you have a hot shower in a cold bathroom, water evaporates and cools down your pool.
How does pool cover work?
No matter the type, all covers work on the same principle. They sit, or better said float, on the surface of the water, covering it and minimizing evaporation. Solar blankets cover your whole pool and do not interfere with filters that you may run during the night. The same goes for solar rings, which are essentially circular-shaped blankets, only more convenient in a sense of getting them in and out of your pool. Considering they do not cover the whole water surface, they are not as effective and efficient as blankets. Liquid solar covers work as a sort of a chemical ‘coating’ that helps reduce evaporation, but, since they’re not essentially a physical object, they cannot work if your water filter is on. Another advantage of a solar blanket would be keeping the debris and all other unwanted elements out of your pool. The great thing about solar covers is that they work no matter the type of pool you have. Whether it’s a small above ground blow-up pool you got for your kids to enjoy summer in a backyard or it’s one of the amazing fibreglass Donehue’s Leisure swimming pools that will put everyone at awe, cover it up with a blanket and enjoy a warm and relaxing morning swim.
Now that we know that it’s essential to own a solar cover, let’s explore what are the best options out there.
10. Intex Round 29025
Coming in as our first budget contender, this solar cover does the job at only a fraction of the price. It costs around $50 and it is possible to use more of these to cover a larger area. They come in at 5 different sizes, but as you might realize, since it’s a budget option it might not serve you for a long time.
9. 636643 Summer Waves
This solar cover is a solution you might consider for your small, 10-15 feet, above ground pool. It is attachable around your pool using a drawstring, completely covering it. It is a fairly resistant PVC option, that will keep your pool warm and keep all of the debris outside, all while costing you about $70.
8. In The Swim Basic Round
This is another budget friendly option, set at around $70. 8mm thick and with a 24 foot diameter, this is a very good option for a round pool. It comes with a 3-year warranty and is composed of a large number of air bubbles to better hold the heat in.
7. Sun2Solar Round 1200
This round solar cover ranges from 21 to 27 foot diameter options and costs around $100. Very easy to put on and take off, in both blue and clear version, this model also allows you to tailor it to your needs without the scare of voiding your warranty. In other words, feel free to cut it up according to your pool.
6. Sun2Solar Rectangular 800
This option costs around $180, comes in several different sizes and is compatible with both in and above ground units. It is not as thick as 1200 and 1600 options from this manufacturer, so it might not last as long. But, since it’s thinner and lighter, it can be significantly easier to use it with a reel.
5. Crystal Blue Box-CB
This model is slightly different in design comparing to others, its air bubbles are diamond-shaped and it has an aluminium heat shield on its bottom side which will allow for more heat retention. It is UV ray resistant and it can boost your temperature up to 10 degrees. It’s 8 mm thick and costs about $35 per 4×8 foot piece.
4. Blue Wave NS520
This is a very thick option coming in at 14mm and a 6 year limited warranty which justifies its $150 price point. It is clear, allowing the sunlight to easily penetrate through it and heat up the water thoroughly.
3. In The Swim Premium
One of the better models on the market, costing around $160 and coming with a 7 year limited warranty. It is 12mm thick, light blue, comes in different sizes and promises to warm up your water by up to 10 degrees in just a week.
2. Sun2Solar Rectangular 1600
This is companies the most substantial option, 16mm thick and made from durable resin. It covers up to 576 feet, costs about $220 and is best used with a reel.
1. In the Swim Ultra
Our champion for best pool cover option is this durable, 16mm thick blanket, specifically designed to offer better insulating abilities to keep your water warmer for longer. It costs around $160 and has an 8-year limited warranty.
Hopefully, we were able to help you decide which of these options is best for your particular pool. Have a good swim!