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A solar cover is an important investment for any pool, whether residential or commercial. The best solar covers for pools can help you to improve hygiene, to save money on cleaning and filtering and to generate free heat energy at the same time!
In this post, we will look at what solar covers are used for, how they work and where you can find the best solar pool cover for your needs.
What is a Solar Pool Cover?
If you have an outdoor pool, then you are no doubt living the dream! Outdoor pools let you host the most amazing parties, they are perfect for cooling off after a busy day and they’re great for working up a sweat, burning calories and toning muscle. In fact, swimming is one of the best all-round workouts that is also low impact for your joints.
But there are a few things that make looking after a pool hard work. One is keeping it heated. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in the most fantastic climate, your pool will be cold much of the time and you won’t want to jump into it as a result. Keeping the pool heated is expensive though, meaning you will often find yourself debating whether to leave it on or turn it off.
Another issue is hygiene and dirt. Pools are open much of the time, which leaves them susceptible to falling leaves, bird droppings, twigs and dirt. Over time, they can end up looking and smelling rather unpleasant. And that’s before you consider the effect that sun has on the water causing it to stagnate and turn green.
A solar cover will solve many of these issues.
Solar covers are just that: covers that you place over your pool. While they will keep out the unwanted dirt and scum though, they will allow the sun’s rays to pass through normally. This will help to slow down heat loss and will even heat the water up more.
What’s even more clever about these covers, is that bubbles will form on the underside of the cover and seal the pores. This then traps the heat inside even more, while also preventing evaporation. The warmer the day, the more heat your pool will be able to collect!
Choosing a Solar Cover
To choose the best solar covers for pools, you need to know the type of blanket that is right for you and you need to understand the different requirements. For instance, you need to consider the size of the blanket and the shape. If you have a round pool for instance, then you are going to need a cover to match. In some cases, you might find that you need to look more closely at getting a custom made blanket for your pool. Likewise, it’s important that the cover is suited for in or above ground pools respectively.
You should also look out for additional features and benefits. Covers include reflective surfaces, extra durable layers and more. For instance, ultraviolet resistance is useful for protecting the bubbles that form on the underside. Thickness is also important, as is the color and the look: after all, that’s a large surface area right in the middle of your garden!
The Best Solar Covers for Pools
Here are our solar pool cover reviews to help you choose the best product for your home.
Midwest Canvas Clear Diamond Rectangle Solar Cover Heating Blanket
This is an in-ground and above-ground solar cover for square pools that uses a clear transparent color to allow more sunlight to pass through and diamond-shaped bubbles to provide additional insulation. Remember: air is the best insulator!
The combination of these features makes this one of the best solar covers for saving energy – preventing up to 95% of water evaporation too. The product comes in a range of different sizes to suit your pool but can also be easily trimmed to the exact size.
This is a thick, durable and highly efficient thermal pool cover and our pick for the best solar pool cover. The big advantage of this one is that it is available in 11 different cuts and sizes, meaning it should be versatile enough to fit any pool. The diamond shaped bubbles offer a heightened level of craftmanship and the manufacturer claims this adds to heat retention. It offers both UV coating AND aluminium heat shielding on the underside.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Sun2Solar Rectangle Solar Cover
This is an attractive blue solar cover that once again utilizes air bubbles in order to provide extra insulation and warmth. The cover is designed to minimize water evaporation up to 95%, while also allowing the sunlight to come through and increase the heat.
Like the Midwest, it comes in various sizes and can be easily trimmed to fit any pool. Also like the Midwest, it lacks any aluminium underside. In fact, the two covers are very similar in many ways – so the eventual choice may well come down to whether you prefer the clear or the blue color scheme! Note though that blue can be a little less effective than transparent when it comes to letting through the light.
Intex Inflatable Pool Cover
This is a small round pool cover that won’t be suitable for all scenarios. However, it has the interesting advantage of being inflatable which of course means more air and more insulation. It is particularly affordable too, though the opaque color and lack of added coatings mean that it isn’t the most efficient. It’s small size means that it is only really suitable for hot tubs, very small pools and paddling pools. But if that is what you have in your garden, then it’s a useful option.
This Thermo-Tex swimming pool cover comes with a three year warranty and a very sturdy and effective design and build. The cover is made from a high-quality UV stabilized polymer that can resist the degradation caused to the sun. It’s also designed to be nice and light, so that you can easily lift it onto your pool.
Otherwise, it is similar to other blankets on this list – offering to raise temperatures up to 15 degrees.
Looking After Your Pool
Even the best solar covers for pools can still only do so much to keep your pool healthy. At the same time, you also need to regularly check and maintain your pool to avoid small issues that can develop into serious ones.
A stitch in time saves nine. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And regularly checking and maintaining your pool can help you to keep it running well and avoid an expensive call-out!
If you’re fortunate enough to own your own pool, then you’ll know that they don’t just take care of themselves. Not only do they need regular cleaning but you also need to make regular swimming pool service and repair checks if you want to ensure they continue to run smoothly. Here are some things to keep an eye on. If you are interested in finding the best solar eclipse glasses check our choices in the guide.
Pool Pump Repair
If your pump isn’t working as well as it should be, then your water won’t circulate properly. This can make your pool water stagnant and also prevent the heating from working as well as possible. Make regular checks to ensure that the pump is running at full power then and one way to do this is to use a multimeter. This way, you can check that resistance in the coils is correct or whether you have a failed motor.
Pool Plaster Repair
It’s a good idea to make regular inspections for any possible cracks, patches or blisters in your pool. These can not only cause water to gradually leak from your pool into the ground below but can also cause cuts or even trips if they are allowed to progress.
What you might find, is that your pool needs to be entirely resurfaced. Now, the objective of regularly cleaning your pool and using something like a solar cover is to prevent this from being necessary any sooner than it should be; but it will still be needed from time to time and it’s still a good idea to get this done quickly once it’s time. If you’re not sure, ask your pool repair service.
Swimming Pool Leak Repair
Finally, it’s a good idea to look for leaks in your pool so that you can get leak repair. Note that leaks won’t just be in the pool itself but can also be found in the pipes. To double check a leak, try using a piece of tape to mark the water level and come back a day later. If the level has gone down, then check the usual culprits first: look for wet patches around the pool, look at the vinyl liner (if relevant) and inspect the pipes, filters, pumps and heaters.
There are many other regular checks that you should make too. Changing the filter for instance is always a good idea and you should also make sure that your heater is running properly.
Another Way to Save Energy and Keep Your Pool Warm: Geothermal Heat Pumps
If you’re look at solar pool blanket reviews, then chances are that you’re interested in keeping your pool warm in an eco-conscious and passive manner. A solar cover will do this, but there are also additional green methods for heating a pool. Geothermal heat pumps are among the best.
Essentially geothermal pumps get thermal energy from deep beneath the ground. This works because when you go deep enough underground you get to a point where the earth is really very hot. This is because it has been heated up by the sun over thousands of years, and unlike the surface it does not have the benefit of wind and rain to cool it down – it is surrounded entirely by more insulating rock and dirt. In a way then, it’s a form of solar energy!
To use this energy, geothermal pipes are then inserted deep underground at this level and have water run through them. Because this water is running through such an incredibly hot environment, it will then be automatically heated up and that means that when it is returned to the surface it is hot and ready for use in whatever facility you wish to use it. The same pipes are connected where they are needed and can work to heat radiators or heat pumps. Energy running out? Find here the best solar chargers you need.
The pluses of this method are obvious. First of all, the energy is almost entirely free, with only a small energy cost in order to pump the water around. At the same time, unlike other renewable sources such as solar, it is not dependent on any unreliable external factors. The only downside to geothermal heating then is the amount of effort that needs to go into the installation and the requirements necessary for this to be possible. For these pipes to work in heating the water sufficiently, then they need to be very deep and spread out over a large surface area. This means that your land will need to be dug up for them to be inserted and it means you need a certain amount of land available to use.
All this makes this form of energy available in only certain scenarios. However, if you can use geothermal heating to keep your pool warm, then it can stay heated all year round without costing you anything!
Add on the best solar covers for your pools and you’ll have a warm, clean pool all year round!