Solar pool covers: You can heat up your swimming pool and keep it heated all season long for around 100 dollars.
No, you don't need an expensive, you know, gas pool heater.
All you need is the power of the sun, a solar blanket, and effective tips on how to use it properly so let's do it.
All right there are three different types of solar pool covers out there and they are solar blankets, which look like bubble wrap.
There are solar rings that float on top of your pool, they're like little rings, we'll get into that.
And then there are liquid solar covers.
All of them do basically the same thing which is they don't actually heat your pool up, they just keep the heat that naturally comes in from the sun in your pool.
Now the way they do that is we'll talk about solar blankets.
So solar blankets or solar covers, look like those giant pieces of bubble wrap and they lay on top of the pool.
Bubble side down helps to float.
What you're looking for if you want to actually aid in the heating of the water is a very light blue, an opaque, light blue cover or a clear cover, and if you have.
If you find a clear cover with some silver on the bottom, that's gonna help keep more heat in the pool that is attracted from your solar cover, but generally, what's gonna happen is the solar cover is not gonna actually heat up the pool, it's just gonna reduce evaporation and keep the heat in your pool.
The same thing goes for solar rings and liquid solar covers.
Solar rings are basically just little, tiny solar covers that float in your pool.
So solar rings are easy, they're just little discs, you throw them in and they work basically the same way, keeping heat, keeping the evaporation from happening, and thus keeping the heat in the water.
Liquid solar covers are the ones that I get asked about the most.
Do liquid solar covers actually work?
Yes, if you we're talking about reducing evaporation which is keeping the heat in the water.
Will they attract heat to your pool?
No, they will not do that, it's like a very small, molecule-thick layer that kinda just keeps everything from evaporating.
So that is what a liquid solar cover is.
Again, not gonna heat your pool but it's gonna help reduce evaporation.
Now we're gonna talk about how to do this effectively, how do you use a solar cover so that it actually keeps the heat in the pool.
This is gonna sound weird, but the sun comes out during the day, we all know that, right?
We all know that.
So the sun comes out, it's heating up your pool, whether you have a solar cover on it or not.
It's gonna heat the water.
At night, however, the sun goes away, it gets a little cooler out because there's no sun and that's when all the evaporation and heat loss happens.
It all happens at night.
So when should you put a solar cover on your pool, when should you put the solar rings on your pool?
At night, I know.
And make sure the filter is not running if you have solar rings or if you have a liquid solar cover because the water movement will break up the rings and allow heat to escape.
Now there are some benefits over one another.
So for solar blankets, you know, the actual big piece of bubble wrap that you lay over the entire surface of the water, what that's gonna do is it's actually gonna help keep chemicals in your water because the sun is not gonna be able to burn them off.
You're not gonna lose any through evaporation, and it's gonna keep leaves and other debris out of your pool because you have a cover on your pool so if you wanna keep it on during the day and, you know, you're not going to be swimming in it, that's fine, you should keep it on at night.
When it's all collecting stuff it'll collect on top of the cover and when you remove it, you can shake all that stuff off, you don't need it.
Now if you have a solar blanket and you find it hard to take on and off your pool, what you can do is actually cut it into smaller, more manageable pieces and have it fit together like a puzzle in your pool.
Or you can invest in a solar reel which will allow you to just roll it up and then unroll it when you need it.
Now for solar rings, while they might be easier to get off and that is certainly a pro, they are easy to take on and off your pool, but the thing is that there are gaps, there's gonna have gaps in the water where it's gonna be able to evaporate so they're not as effective as a solar blanket.
So if you're gonna use liquid solar covers, the biggest pro of a liquid solar cover is that you just kinda add it to the pool and it works, but the con is that you have to not run your filter system at night which, you know, some people like to do because it saves them money by running your filter system at night because of the electricity, but if you're gonna be using a liquid solar cover, it's gonna work really, really well at night.
Now if you have a gas pool heater, heat pump, something that costs a lot of money to actually heat the water in your pool, I have good news for you.
If you wanna save some money on your gas bill, on your electric bill, whatever you use, you can use a solar cover, solar rings, or a liquid solar cover to actually keep the heat in the pool that you generate through the gas pool heater or the electric heater, thus saving you money.
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let's get to the questions.
All right, Wayne asks, I'm in the market for a new solar cover.
I asked my local pool company about them.
They say there are two different options when it comes to solar blankets.
They say both are great, but the thicker one will hold the heat in better.
Is that true?
I'm confused, I need some guidance.
My last solar cover only lasted three years and totally disintegrated last August.
Well, Wayne, I wanna say that yes, your cover will last longer if you get a thicker mill.
No, it will not heat your pool any better if it's thicker.
In fact, it's just gonna be harder to take on and off your pool.
So yes, invest in the thicker mill if you wanna keep it longer, three to five years, sure.
But you can get away with a thinner mill and it's still gonna do the same thing as a thicker mill, it's just not gonna last as long.
All right, speaking of how long are these covers gonna last, I have another question from Jay who says, what is the life expectancy
on a solar cover?
I've noticed that I've been finding little blue, round disks in my skimmer basket and my robot is picking them up as well.
Is this normal after a few seasons or is it because when you have it rolled up and it gets too hot or could it be a chemically related issue?
Well, it can be both of those things.
I can just be a cheap cover, it can be that it's sitting out in the sun and drying out, it could just be from chemical use, it could just be old, all those things.
Which I recommended to Wayne, get a thicker mill, get a more, if you want it to last a little bit longer, invest in a nice, thick mill solar cover and it should last you long.
It's gonna deteriorate, those things are gonna happen, there is a lot of wear and tear on them.
But again, if you get a thicker mill, it'll last you a good while.
They make a bunch of different mills.
You can get four mills, you can get eight mills, you can get 12 mills, you can get 16 mill which is really thick and that should last you about five years, hopefully, and maybe even more so a 16 mill is like, that's the one to get.
Okay, last question.
I have the opposite problem, my pool is too hot.
Do you have some ideas on how to cool it down a little?
It's too expensive to buy bags of ice every day.
Yes, it is too expensive to buy bags of ice every day and so there are three things that I know you can do for sure.
One, you can not use a liquid solar cover, a solar blanket, and solar rings and then run your filter at night.
Like we said before, if you wanna keep the heat from escaping, you wanna not to run your filter at night and add either the solar blanket, solar rings, or liquid solar cover.
But if you're trying to make the heat escape from your pool, run your filter at night, break up the surface water, and remove any landscaping that's around your pool.
If you have any landscaping that's blocking the wind from blowing over your pool, that's a great way to, you know, just get rid of that and the wind will blow it across your pool and let that heat escape.
And then the third thing you can do is install a fountain.
Anything that breaks the surface tension and gets that surface water moving, especially at night, is gonna allow that heat to escape.