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A typical solar pool cover

Do you want to get the most out of your pool and reduce chemical costs? Did you know that the type of pool cover you choose plays a big role in your pool’s upkeep? Just the thickness alone can make all the difference in the world. So, what is the best thickness?

To answer that, let’s look at some facts about pool covers. We’ll also dive into some frequently asked questions to determine what kind of solar pool cover is best for your needs.

Solar Pool Covers: How They Work

In this section, we’ll break down some important aspects about solar pool covers. This will help to give you a better understanding of how they work. You’ll know what to look for when it comes time to choose a cover for your pool.

Thickness

Every solar pool cover is designed to retain heat from the sun. This is what warms your swimming pool. Solar energy is stored underneath the cover and, in turn, raises the temperature of the water. While you might think a thicker pool cover will yield better results, the truth is that a thinner solar cover allows more heat to penetrate.

When shopping for a cover, you’re likely to come across different thicknesses. The most common are 8 mil, 12 mil, and 16 mil. The lower the number, the thinner the cover. You’ll find that the 12 mil cover is the most popular among pool owners. Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Solar Cover is a good example of that.

So, why would anyone want a thicker solar cover? Well, some pool owners prefer them because they are heavier. As such, there’s less chance of them being blown off by strong winds. Conversely, they prevent harmful UV rays from degrading chemicals much better than thinner variants.

In the end, it comes down to personal preference. Do you want warmer water with the chance of needing to buy chemicals more often? Or do you want to preserve your costly chemicals and have cooler water? It is for these reasons that most people choose to stay in the middle with a 12 mil solar cover.

Color

Different colors of solar pool covers

Color plays a big role in the function of a solar cover. Pool owners rely on different colors to fit a variety of needs in their swimming pool. Solar energy has an easier time penetrating a clear solar cover. But a blue solar pool cover will trap in heat a lot better.

Darker colors are going to yield the best heat retention. That being said, it takes a lot longer to warm up your swimming pool water. There’s a trade-off for each, to be sure. But how do you know which is right for you and your swimming pool?

Well, if you want to heat your water quickly and don’t mind the sun’s harmful UV rays eating through your chemicals, a clear cover is going to be your best bet.

If you don’t mind waiting for your solar cover to heat up your water and you want to preserve your chemicals for as long as possible, a thick cover that has a darker color is right up your alley.

Whatever pool cover you choose, it’s important to factor in additional costs. While that clear cover might sound enticing, you need to remember how expensive pool chemicals are.

The Heating Process

If you look closely at a solar cover, you will notice that it’s covered with tiny bubbles. These bubbles work by trapping heat from the sun’s rays. It is this very heat that is responsible for the warming up of your pool’s water.

The heating bubbles on a Sun2Solar Solar Pool Cover

Solar covers are always placed with the bubble side down. This allows the bubbles to rest in the water. As the bubbles are heated up, so is your pool water. It’s a deceptively simple concept that works wonders on bright, sunny days.

As great as this process works, it’s important to keep that heat trapped in so that it doesn’t escape and render your cover useless. A well-made pool cover will prevent any evaporation from occurring, thus keeping your pool warm and comfortable.

Many pool owners buy solar covers to keep their costly chemicals intact and working. This not only saves them a lot of money on chemicals, but it extends the overall life of the pool itself. A pool cover is a wise investment that pays dividends in the long run.

FAQ

Is a blue or clear solar pool cover better?

You’re better off choosing a blue solar cover. This is due to the nature of the heat retention in the different plastics. Clear pool covers do a fine job of trapping in heat. But in doing so, they also allow more UV light to penetrate into the water. When this happens, chlorine is degraded quicker, thus increasing your need – and cost – of chemicals.

Blue covers also trap in the sun’s heat a lot longer. They might take a bit longer to heat up your water, but they are quite beneficial when it comes to preserving your chemicals.

What mil solar cover should I get?

If you don’t mind springing for more chemicals and you want your pool water warmed up as quickly as possible, an 8 mil cover is a good choice. Just be mindful of the fact that a thinner cover is more likely to be picked up by a strong wind. If this happens, you’re going to be losing out on its retentive qualities, thus losing precious warmth.

If you don’t mind waiting for your pool to heat up, and you wish to preserve your chemicals, a 16 mil solar cover is going to be a good fit. You don’t have to worry about chasing down your cover during strong winds, either. These solar covers do a great job of staying put. And, they keep heat in longer than thinner solar pool covers.

As you have likely figured out at this juncture, a 12 mil cover is a safe option for your pool. They do a fine job of retaining heat, and they have a decent amount of weight to them, as well.

Does a solar pool cover really work?

Quite well, in fact. The best covers retain heat and prevent the loss of chemicals. Many pool owners rely on solar covers quite heavily to help keep the high cost of pool maintenance to a minimum. It pays to research the pros and cons of pool covers. You’ll often find that the positives far outweigh any negatives that might come along with them.

Furthermore, by using a solar pool cover, you stand to reduce your pool’s heating costs by as much as 70 percent! That’s nothing to sneeze at. Heating any pool can be a costly endeavor. When you compare the price of investing in a solar cover to an actual heating unit, you’re saving quite a bit of money.

Solar covers will often pay for themselves many times over during the course of their use. It’s a great way to get immediate results without breaking the bank.

Not only that, but consider the amount of bugs and other debris that the cover is going to keep out of your pool. This, too, will help in reducing the cost of chemicals over time. By preventing foreign objects from getting into your pool, you stand to prolong the life and effectiveness of your chemicals.

As you can see, there are a lot of advantages to owning a solar pool cover. It will save you money and give you more comfortable swimming conditions. You’re making a great investment any way you look at it.

How fast does a solar cover heat a pool?

A solar pool cover can heat an in-ground pool exponentially. For every 12 hours that the cover is on the pool, you can expect the water’s temperature to increase by about 5 degrees. So, if you have 70-degree pool water, it should increase to 80 degrees in just two days.

That’s assuming both days are bright and sunny (remember, your water won’t heat at night). The longer you leave the solar cover on your pool, the warmer your water is going to be.

It’s important to take into account things like cloud coverage, shade, and other weather-related factors. Not everyday is going to be ideal for solar heating. But the key is to be patient. Give the solar cover ample time to do its job. The results are well worth the wait.

Conclusion

You should now be ready to make a decision on the best solar pool over for your needs. If you prefer to play it safe, a 12 mil cover like Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Solar Cover is a popular choice that delivers great results. It will protect your pool’s chemicals while adequately warming your water.

What type of pool do you have? Do you use a lot of chemicals as it is? You might be better off investing in a thicker cover. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any further questions that we can answer. We would be happy to assist you with your pool maintenance needs.

Remember, ask yourself the following questions to get a better idea of the type of pool cover that is best for you:

  • Does it seem like my pool uses too much chemicals?
  • Can I wait for my pool water to warm up?
  • How often do I currently buy chemicals?
  • Do I want my pool to warm up quickly?

Once you have answered these questions, you should know which solar cover is right for you.