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Solar pool cover buying guide

Maintaining a magnificent pool comes with its price. Cleaning, changing the water, maintaining proper safety measures, all require proper investment. Between all these aspects, regulating the water temperature is one of the significant elements that you need to look into.

Solar pool covers present a simple yet efficient way to counter this issue. They are easy to maintain and can be maneuvered quickly. Also, they come with budget-friendly price tags and cater to the pool's heating needs appropriately.

Selecting a suitable cover requires proper knowledge about its characteristics. A buying guide contains all the necessary information on several elements that aid you in funneling down the best product.

Moreover, you don't have to waste your valuable time looking for chunks of information in different sources.

However, before diving into the guide, you should have a clear picture of the product in your mind. Let us start with a brief introduction to the product.

What do you mean by solar pool covers? Why is it important to have them?

A solar pool cover is like the regular pool covers that help to keep your pool clean. However, it comes with some additional benefits. Besides protection, it increases the temperature of the pool water by using sunlight and decreases evaporation.

Though different types of covers are available in the market, most of them are designed with a large sheet of bubble wrap to cover the pool, and thus they keep the water warm with the sunlight. A solar pool cover is handy to prevent evaporation during summer seasons.

There are various reasons why people want to buy a solar pool cover. Some of them are:

  1. Saves energy and cost

If you use a pool heater operated with natural gas or propane, you will need a lot of energy, and it is not anything different from the electrical pump. But a solar pool cover keeps the water warm by using the ray of the Sun.

  1. Reduces evaporation

Though you use a regular pool cover, it can not prevent evaporation, which may cause up to 75% heat loss of the pool. With a solar pool cover, you can minimize evaporation effectively. It reduces the cost of maintaining the pool significantly.

  1. Lessens the chemical loss

The chemical loss of the pool is related to evaporation. By reducing evaporation, a solar pool cover can decrease up to 60% of chemical reduction.

  1. Eliminates debris

With this pool cover, you can protect your pool from dirt and debris. It also removes algae spores to keep the pool clean easily.

  1. Enhances the swim season

Finally, a solar pool cover is a great choice to keep the water clean and warm so you can enjoy swimming whenever you want.

Why should you read a buying guide before selecting suitable solar pool covers?

With several options available in the market, you need to make an informed decision to make the right purchase. For this, you require correct facts and details on different aspects of the covers.

A buying guide presents all the required information on different critical elements of the product under one roof. This allows you to wrap your head around every element and strike down the best product.

So, without wasting any more time, let us ponder over different characteristics of the covers.

Types of solar pool covers

  1. Solar sun rings

Usually, solar sun rings have a flat design, which is quite different from a regular bubble wrap solar pool cover. These sun rings are kind of smaller rings that make the cover decorative.

These sun rings are incredibly functional, and you need to inflate them a little before using them. Some models are equipped with a magnet to make sure the rings are firmly attached together.

Although solar rings are not able to cover the pool surface completely, they are quite easy to remove. Due to the gaps, they do not work effectively to reduce evaporation, but you can run the pool pump when the sun rings are there in your pool.

The best thing about using the solar rings is that you simply need to detach the magnets and scoop the rings to remove them.

Besides, retaining heat and reducing evaporation solar-rings help to keep your pool clean by keeping out the debris and bugs. It reduces the chemical cost as well.

  1. Liquid solar covers

Nowadays, people are likely to consider liquid solar covers, which are made up of aliphatic alcohol. When you pour it into the water, it will have a chemical reaction to create an extra layer to minimize evaporation.

In other words, a monolayer and microscopic film are created on the pool surface that works as an insulator. Thus it increases the capacity of heat gain and keeps your pool warmer effectively.

One thing you should remember while using liquid solar covers that they are not suitable for chlorine-based pools. Otherwise, they do not cause any harm to the pool equipment or swimmers.

First, you need to measure the right amount of liquid depending on your pool volume and pour it on the water. You can also run the pump while using this cover in your pool.

You should not add chemicals without any reason. When the chemicals break down naturally, you should pour some more chemicals on the water. If you can maintain the covers properly, it will be very useful to reduce evaporation and retain heat without much hassle.

  1. Bubble pool covers

Bubble pool covers are like traditional solar covers, and they are also renowned as solar blankets. They work more effectively than any other type, so many people prefer to buy these covers without giving any second thoughts.

The bubble covers have a vast design that is made of air-filled bubbles. These covers come within a pocket-friendly price range so anyone can choose them to cover the pools. They are able to heat the pool in a significant way.

Additionally, you can maneuver these covers quickly. Without having any professional skill, you will be able to install the covers on the surface of your pool.

The air-filled bubbles help to magnify the sunlight during the daytime. On the other hand, they work as an insulator at night. These covers can deal with the strong sunlight in summer seasons without creating any difficulties to use.

Size

When you are about to buy the solar pool cover, you should check the size properly. The primary purpose of the solar pool covers is to protect the entire pool. If you fail to find out the right size of the covers, it will not satisfy your purpose completely.

Choosing a smaller size cover means that it will not be helpful to prevent heat retention and water evaporation.

So, you should measure the dimension of your pool before you are going to buy the solar pool cover. It is recommended to choose a cover that will be a little longer in size than required.

You can tuck in the cover securely to ensure that the wind can not blow it away from the pool.

Things to deem about while selecting an appropriate Solar Pool Covers

Shape

Besides size, the shape of a solar pool cover is also an essential factor to be considered while selecting the best one for you.

It is needless to mention that a round shape cover will not be appropriate for a rectangular pool. Similarly, you will never buy a square cover for the round pool.

Usually, these covers are available in two shapes that are rectangular and circular. But there are several options to pick up the right shape for the covers that will fit your pool correctly.

However, if you own a pool with an unusual shape, then have to be a little more careful while choosing the covers.

You have to identify the longest and widest points in the pool. Then mark those lines with accuracy and trim the excess part with a pair of scissors to get the perfect shape of the cover matching with the pool.

Color

When it comes to deciding the color for your solar pool cover, primarily, you will think of the appearance. But it is also essential to consider the amount of warmth required for the water.

You can go for a darker color to reduce the heat of your pool and make it cooler. However, clear solar covers are more likely to warm the water significantly.

Thickness

The functionality and efficiency of the solar pool cover largely depend on the thickness of the covers. But it does not mean you have to buy the thickest cover rejecting other features.

If you get a thicker cover, it will perform better in terms of heat locking. It will help to hold up the heat properly because it can magnify the light coming from the Sun. Thus it adds more heat to the water.

Moreover, a thicker solar cover acts as an insulator so that it is able to protect the water efficiently. Different materials are used in making these covers to make sure it will help retain the heat effectively.

If you choose the thicker materials, it will add extra weight to the pool blankets. Therefore, the covers do not blow away by strong winds and remain stable without any issues.

However, the extra thickness comes with some disadvantages. You may find it challenging to roll up the cover. As it becomes heavier, you will not be able to store the cover easily. So, you should remember all these factors and choose your solar pool cover accordingly.

Design

The design of a solar pool cover matters a lot as it has a significant role in determining the performance of the cover. So, you must consider the design as a significant factor when you are about to buy a solar cover for your pool.

Solar pool covers are available with several designs such as –

  1. Bubble solar covers

These covers are designed with a large structure that is wrapped by small air-filled bubbles.

  1. Straight-line vinyl cover

As the name suggests, this cover is made up of vinyl material, which is thin and has a straight line. These covers float on the water surface.

  1. Insulated vinyl cover

These covers are a little bit thicker because vinyl material is used to make different layers. Some smaller pockets filled with air are found between two layers.

Most of the users are likely to have bubble solar covers because of the intricate design. These covers are very easy to maintain, and they can deal with the stronger sunlight during the summer in an effective manner.

UV resistance

Another very crucial consideration that you look for prior to buying your solar pool cover is the UV resistance feature.

Your solar blanket will be exposed to direct sunlight for a more extended period of time. Keeping it in your mind, you should select a cover that is resistant to UV rays.

Usually, the clear blankets allow the sunlight to penetrate and keep the water warm.

Nevertheless, if you buy a cover with better UV resistance property, it will prevent the plastic from getting damaged quickly.

Therefore, you will be able to use the pool covers for long years without any replacement.

Compatibility with pool cover reels

Generally, pool cover reels are required for larger pools, so they come handy when you need to cover a larger area with a solar pool cover.

You may find it challenging to cover the pools with solar pool covers. You have to put some effort while installing or removing the covers, and thus the pool cover reels come useful for you to get your job done efficiently.

When you are going to install or remove a thicker and heavier solar pool cover, it may cause stress and strain. So, using the pool cover reels will help you to get rid of this stress.

You should get a solar pool cover that is extremely compatible with any type of pool cover reels. It will be better to check this feature in advance.

Ease of use

You should always check whether the covers are convenient enough to use or not. Because if you buy a solar pool cover that is not easy to use and maintain, it will be very disappointing for you.

Majorly, three types of solar pool covers are obtainable, so you must pick up the right one according to your needs and convenience.

If you buy a manual cover, you should be physically strong to maintain the cover appropriately. You will need a lot of effort to install and remove the covers.

When it comes to the automatic and semi-automatic covers, you will find a reel that runs on electricity. It makes your task more manageable, and you can cover or uncover it effortlessly.

However, it is essential to mention that the automatic models are costlier than the manual covers.

Warranty

You will surely invest a good amount of money on your solar pool cover. Accordingly, you will expect your model to last long without having issues. With a view to that, you should look for the solar pool covers that offer you a more extended warranty.

Therefore, you must understand the warranty appropriately as different manufacturers come up with different terms and conditions. But it will be better to know in advance that most of the companies offer you a limited warranty period so you must check carefully.

Warranty is essential because it defines the reliability of the product you are going to buy. It means you should go for a warranty that covers more years.

There are some solar blankets that offer 7-8 years of warranty coverage. But it will not be so useful when the warranty only covers the defect of materials.

Moreover, some of the models provide full coverage for a limited period of time. Besides materials defects, it also includes other damages so you can get a replacement easily.

You are also suggested to go through the product review before making your purchase. It will help you to get an exact idea of the products and their longevity so that you can make your decision without any doubts.

Cost

Normally, solar covers come within a budget-friendly price range. But, you should not go for the cheaper models. If you are capable of investing a little more money, you should go for it so that you can have the best quality models.

The solar covers have a usual price range between $75 and $225. With the higher price range, you will have a better opportunity to get the models with additional features fulfilling all your requirements.

If you have a pool with a weird shape, you can easily customize the pool cover by trimming it correctly.

How to maintain a solar cover (tips for taking care, cleaning them and storing them)

The solar pool covers are designed with some plastic materials which can get damaged by the UV rays and harmful chemicals. So, you must be very careful about maintaining and storing the covers, which will help you to increase the longevity of the product.

Maintenance

You should follow some simple tips to ensure that the solar covers last as long as possible.

  1. Solar blankets are not very appropriate for chlorine-based pools, so you have to make a balance while using the chemicals. You should not go more than two ppm. Otherwise, it will harm the plastic. Low pH also has some bad impacts on strength. So, you can keep it around 7.4.
  2. Using a pool cover reel will help you to roll up the solar blanket. Also, it is essential to store the cover without any folds or defects.
  3. You can look for a thicker solar cover as thickness determines the durability and efficiency of the product. Thicker materials will help the cover to last long.
  4. Do not use your solar cover while shocking the pool water. The plastic may get affected by excessive chlorine.
  5. You should never swim when the solar blanket is on the water. There will be a chance of an accident if the wind blows the cover over the water.

Cleaning

  1. Remove the solar blankets from the water and spread it on the ground.
  2. Take a broom or brush to clean the debris and dirt from the covers.
  3. Wash it with water and dry properly before storing it.
  4. You can use any chlorinated solutions to remove the tough algae.
  5. Never leave the cover on the grass as it acts as a magnifying glass and gets burnt quickly.

Storage

  1. It is wise to use a reel to store the cover with ease.
  2. Otherwise, remove the cover from the water, dry it completely, and put it inside a container secured with an airtight lid.

For solar rings, you can follow the same process for cleaning and storing effectively.

FAQs

1. What is the process of removing solar pool covers?

Solar pool covers are a bit tricky, and thus, you need more than one person to remove them. Once you have a partner to help you in the removing process, quickly take your positions at the opposite ends. Now uncover the cover in sections so that the upcoming section gets rolled over the previous sections.

2. Is there any risk associated with using solar pool covers?

No, Solar pool covers are quite safe to use. However, once you cover the pool with them, you won't be able to walk over them. Also, in case you use a solar blanket, keep the pool entirely empty, or you may fall in them.

3. Do solar pool covers actually work?

Yes, most of the time, solar pool covers do their job right regardless of the weather conditions. They seek assistance to retain the generator's heat. Thus, be it sunny or lousy weather, solar pool covers always work in the best way.

4. What are the steps to install a solar pool cover?

Follow the given steps to get fit the cover rightly:

  1. Measure the pool dimensions accurately.
  2. Once you know dimensions, you can look for the precise dimensions. If not, you can go for slightly higher ones.
  3. You can resize the cover according to the exact measures by cutting.
  4. Keep the cover intact on the pool with the side containing bubbles towards the water.

Summing Up

Solar pool covers prevent heat loss from your pool and regulate its temperature adequately. All you need to do is arm your pool with a suitable cover and enjoy a relaxing swim.

Here, in this comprehensive buying guide, we have presented all the necessary information on critical factors that define the usability and performance of the cover. Give a quick look at these factors and choose an elite cover for your pool.



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