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How Efficient Are Solar Pool Covers: An Ultimate Guide

A solar pool cover is a great way to save energy during the warm summer months. It can also help you reduce your heating bill in the winter. But are they actually effective for an average customer?

This article will explain what makes them effective, how their efficiency is measured, what makes a good and efficient solar pool cover, issues that may hinder efficiency, and how to preserve their efficiency long-term.

What Makes Solar Covers Effective?

Solar covers work in two ways. First, they act as an insulator or as a heat absorption mechanism that reduces the amount of heat that escapes between your pool water and air.

Secondly, they help trap heat into your pool water like an invisible heat retention device, such as a Thermo. This doesn’t affect the water’s air temperature.

Solar covers also reduce your swimming pool’s heating cost by blocking heat loss caused by water evaporating into the air.

Do solar pool covers prevent evaporation? A swimming pool can lose up to 80% of its water temperature heat through evaporation, but using an insulating blanket will reduce this loss substantially.

How To Measure the Efficiency of Solar Pool Covers

Solar pool cover efficiency is measured by thermal resistance (R-value). The higher the number, the more effective it will be.

A typical swimming pool cover has an R-value between 0.50-0.70, while a thicker cover can have an R-value as high as 0.75 or more. Moreover, this might not be the case if you are using the best liquid solar pool cover.

Limitations of Solar Pool Covers

As efficient as solar pool covers are, they are prone to certain limitations, such as:

  • They cannot retain 100% of the sunlight’s heat all day. This means that it can take up to 24 hours for your pool to heat up if you’ve taken the cover off during daylight hours (and even longer on overcast days). The temperature at night is simply not enough to heat it up.
  • They are most effective during the day, but the pool won’t heat as fast on overcast days or at night. In some cases, it can take several days for your swimming pool to reach its optimal temperature.

How To Improve Solar Cover Efficiency

Aside from knowing how to clean pool cover properly, you should consider using a solar pool cover reel or a DIY solar cover reel to help with removal and installation. They also help prevent solar covers from folding or clogging, which could impact their effectiveness and how fast they work.

However, nothing is as effective as purchasing and installing the right kind of solar pool cover. We’ll help make this process easier for you by providing a few tips on purchasing and maintaining a solar cover.

These tips include:

  • Remove snow from your solar cover reel or around the pool’s surface before it melts.
  • Wash off any chemicals or dirt from your pool cover to prevent them from dissolving and leaking into the water below.
  • Replace worn out solar blankets, as it may affect the pool’s temperature. Learn how long do solar pool covers last.
  • Do not spread the solar blanket in places far from direct sunlight. Lack of regular direct sunlight may affect the durability of its solar rings.
  • Use an insulating solar pool blanket underneath your solar pool cover at night or on cooler days to prevent heat loss during periods of bad weather.
  • Always cover your outdoor pool with a safety cover before swimming season or when not in use, provided the solar blanket is in good condition.
  • Replace worn out pool filters to prevent clogs, pool water evaporation, and a dirty pool pump.


A solar pool cover keeps your pool warm and pleasurable. As one of the best energy-saving innovations, pool covers have low energy costs and yield better results than electric pool heaters, gas heaters, etc. This makes it one of the best forms of energy conservation.

If solar pool covers are properly installed and maintained, it will naturally lead to high efficiency and a long-lasting pool blanket. With that said, the best way to improve the efficiency of your solar pool blanket is properly maintaining it.