Do you live in an area that is typically hot and muggy? As a pool owner, this kind of weather is quite advantageous to heating your pool. Join us as we discuss the best solar pool covers for your climate, and how to pick the right one for your needs.
The Best Solar Cover for Your Pool
Humid weather can bode well for pool owners trying to keep their pool warm. Since evaporation is less common in muggy climates, swimming pools tend to hold their water quite well. It would be beneficial to take advantage of this. You want to invest in a thicker cover, as it will further prevent your pool from losing water.
The thicker your solar cover is, the warmer your water will stay throughout the swimming season. If you choose to save money and buy a slightly thinner cover, you will see faster heating of your pool. The trade-off here is that your pool won’t stay warm quite as long as with what a thicker cover could provide.
How Thick Should a Solar Pool Cover Be?
In this scenario, a 16 mil solar cover will retain heat the best. So not only will you preserve your water, but heat will stay trapped in, as well. A 12 mil cover certainly isn’t out of the question, but you want to ensure that you select the right color for the job.
Is a Blue or Clear Solar Pool Cover Better?
It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If your main goal is to heat your pool quickly, a clear cover is going to be your best bet. However, if heat retention and chemical preservation are your endgame, you want to consider investing in a blue solar cover.
Each color serves a primary purpose: to heat your pool using the sun’s energy. However, they have secondary features, as well. Where one warms faster, the other prevents chemical degradation.
Benefits of Solar Pool Covers
As we have already touched upon, solar covers are great for preventing chemical loss caused by UV rays. Since they reduce evaporation in your pool, solar covers are the perfect solution to cutting your chemical budget. Solar covers also harness the heat from the sun, keeping your pool warm and extending the swimming season.
Things to Consider
It’s important to think about what expectations you have with your new solar cover. Do you plan on swimming a lot this season? Are you trying to reduce your overall pool maintenance costs? Asking yourself these questions will help you select the best solar cover for your needs.
Do Solar Pool Covers Really Work?
Absolutely. You can count on solar covers to effectively and efficiently raise your pool’s temperature by an average of 15 degrees. To ensure that your new cover is working as it is intended, it’s important that you take the time to install it properly.
You want to make doubly sure that there are no gaps between your pool liner and the perimeter of the solar cover. Doing this will yield much better heat retention, thereby giving you more comfortable swimming conditions. Not only that, but your pool’s chemicals will maintain their effectiveness far better, too
Solar Pool Cover Reviews
1. Best Overall Option – Sun2Solar 1200 Series (Blue)
Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover is ideal for humid temperatures. Its blue color works to improve heat retention, giving you a warmer pool throughout the swimming season. We like this solar cover, as it helps to keep your pool water comfy, even after the season has ended.
While this isn’t the best solar option around, it’s perfect for those on a budget who can’t afford a thicker, more expensive solar pool cover. The 12 mil thickness does a fine job of limiting evaporation and taking advantage of high humidity levels.
In fact, you can look forward to up to 95% less evaporation, ensuring that your chemicals last longer and are more effective. With lots of humidity in the air, you’re likely not experiencing too much water loss. Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover will prevent this even further, reducing your need to add water to your pool throughout the season.
- Blue color – Thanks to the blue material used in this cover, you’re getting excellent heat retention. It will help to reduce evaporation , as well, giving you a comfortable pool with a lot less upkeep.
- Affordable – Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series cover is reasonably-priced, making it an affordable investment. You can look forward to this cover paying for itself many times over.
- 12 mil – While the 12 mil thickness isn’t as effective as a 16 mil cover, it will result in your pool water heating up a lot faster. And when you factor in its ability to retain heat and limit evaporation, you’re getting a well-balanced cover at a great price.
- Limited – This is the only real downside to the 12 mil material in humid temperatures. It won’t be able to keep your pool warm as long as a thicker solar pool cover.
2. Upgrade Option – Sun2Solar 1600 Series (Blue)
For the ultimate in heat retention and evaporation prevention, Sun2Solar’s 1600 Series Solar Pool Cover is the best solar heating solution. Sure, the thicker 16 mil material takes longer to heat. But once it does, that heat stays locked into your pool water far longer than a thinner cover.
You’re also getting a much more durable cover. The 16 mil material is likely to last you longer thanks to its puncture-resistant thickness. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with this investment.
We like that the 1600 Series is easy to work with. While it’s not quite as easy to trim as a thinner cover, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it. And you can rely on it to stay in place after you have installed it.
- Excellent retention – One of the best things about this thick cover is that it traps in heat really well. Your pool will stay warmer longer, giving you comfortable pool water all throughout the swim season. Your pool even keeps its warmth overnight and on cloudy days.
- 16 mil – This thickness reduces the amount of harmful UV rays entering into your pool. It works wonders in limiting how often you have to buy costly chemicals, thereby effectively cutting down on your pool maintenance budget.
- Blue color – Blue pool covers make all the difference in keeping your water warm. Not only that, you can count in this solar cover to last longer by fighting off damaging sunlight. Clear covers tend to degrade a lot faster, limiting how long you can use it.
- Pricey – The main drawback to a thick, robust cover like this is that it will cost you. It’s certainly the best solar cover we reviewed, but it comes at a price.
3. Value Option – Blue Wave NS120
On a tight budget? Blue Wave’s NS120 is a good option that delivers affordable heating. Unlike the previous entries, this cover sports an 8 mil thickness that allows your pool to heat up quickly. You’ll be able to enjoy as much as a 15-degree improvement in your pool water.
The big downside here is that heat retention and evaporation prevention won’t be as stellar as what a thicker cover provides. It will certainly warm up your pool in record time, but it won’t retain that warmth quite as much. But don’t let that deter you from giving this budget-friendly cover a look.
It has all the benefits of the other models thanks to its blue material. Those benefits simply won’t last as long.
- Faster heating – The big bonus with the 8 mil thickness is that it allows more sunlight to penetrate into your pool water, thus warming it up quickly and efficiently. And since it can raise temperatures by 15 degrees, you’ll have one of the most comfortable pools in town.
- Budget-friendly – Considering the advantages that this cover provides, you’re getting quite the bargain. The price is considerably less than Sun2Solar’s pool covers, albeit with some caveats.
- Blue color – The blue color helps to balance out the thin material. Although heat isn’t retained quite as long, it does block harmful UV rays from degrading your chemicals.
- 8 mil – While the 8 mil thickness certainly has its benefits, it can’t compete with the 12 and 16 mil covers. This means it won’t protect your pool as well as thicker covers, and heat won’t stay trapped in your pool water as long.
4. Alternative Option – SunHeater Shield
This liquid formula works to keep the heat locked into your pool water. It’s application is simple; just pour it into your swimming pool and a barrier is formed. The main goal here is to reduce evaporation. Since the weather around you is often humid anyway, evaporation should be pretty low.
By implementing SunHeater Shield, your pool should stay relatively warm throughout the swimming season. This solar solution is inexpensive and highly-affordable compared to solar pool covers. So, what’s the catch?
Well, you’ll likely have to apply this formula often if you want to keep your pool comfortable. This might get expensive after a while. Depending on how often you swim, it might be better if you consider investing in a solar cover instead. There’s a good chance this formula will end up costing you more in the long run.
Solar pool covers also last a lot longer than any liquid formula you apply to your pool. Even the thinnest of covers will yield better results. But if you seldom swim during peak swimming times, SunHeater Shield might be worth a look. And it’s not going to set you back very much if you give it a try.
- Low cost – Again, it’s cheap, and certainly worth a try to see if it fits your needs. You might have to apply it several times depending on the size of your pool. But with humidity on your side in relation to heating, you might benefit from it.
- Easy application – Pour it in your pool and you’re good to go. There’s no major upkeep with formulas like this, so if you prefer the easiest route possible, SunHeater Shield should do nicely.
- Traps heat – The big draw to this formula is that it traps in heat and reduces evaporation. High humidity levels are already working in your favor, and SunHeater Shield could help with that even further.
- Limited use – As stated, these liquid formulas simply can’t compare to the benefits of solar pool covers. You might find yourself having to buy a lot of this to get the effects you’re seeking. In the end, you might be better off financially just investing in a solar cover.
Our Recommendation for Solar Pool Covers
Throughout our testing of solar covers in humid temperatures, we found that blue covers delivered the best results. But the Sun2Solar 1600 Series cover stood out as the best solar pool heating solution.
Its 16 mil thickness worked well with high humidity to keep heat locked into our pool. Solar energy stayed intact all throughout the night and into the next day. It’s a little more expensive than other entries, but you can’t get better performance.
Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover also performed admirably. While it didn’t retain heat and limit evaporation quite as well as its 1600 Series big brother, it’s still a solid investment for those looking to save a few bucks.
The same can be said for Blue Wave’s NS120. It’s a bit limited on the duration in which it can hold heat, but it sure does warm up pool water quickly. Depending on your needs, any of these solar pool covers could be a great fit for your pool.