Swimming pools offer a great deal of relaxation through the summer, you get to soak in the cold water and for a second, forget about the scorching sun overhead. But what do you do at night, when it is cold outside and you want to enjoy your pool but can't because of the cold?
Most people opt to have a heated pool, but that is costly, not just to install but to run as well. Lucky for you, we have a solution that will not only cost less but is free to run.
Have you ever heard of solar pool covers? They are pool covers that effectively heat your pool water by allowing sun rays to enter the pool. When it's cold, they use air bubbles to trap the pool's heat.
In this guide, we will tell you all about solar pool covers and review 4 of the finest solar pool covers on the market. We will also go a step further by providing you with a buying guide with the factors you need to consider when purchasing one to ensure you end up with a high-quality product.
Why you need a Solar Cover
Solar Pool Cover Buying Guide
Solar Pool Covers Reviewed
Top Pick: Blue Wave NS520
The best solar pool cover for most rectangular pools
If you are looking for the best solar pool cover for your rectangular pool, then you should consider the Blue Wave NS520.
This solar pool cover is quite affordable and comes loaded with lots of benefits. It can heat your pool water by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The exceptional thermal heat bubbles make it very useful when it comes to preventing heat loss, thus making this solar pool cover pretty reliable.
It can withstand harmful UV rays as well as harsh weather conditions; hence it is very durable. Another plus side to buying this pool cover is that it comes with a six-year warranty. Therefore, on top of excellent service, you also get peace of mind in knowing that you have a quality product and customer support for up to six years in case you get any issues.
On the downside, it cannot be trimmed, and hence you might have issues adjusting it to fit your pool correctly.
#2: Thermo-Tex 2831224
Trimmable solar pool cover, 16” X 32”, Blue, Rectangle
It does not work as well as a water heater, but this solar pool cover will keep your pool water warm enough for a relaxing experience.
It comes loaded with thousands of heat conserving bubbles that ensure minimal heat loss from your pool, thus keeping it pretty war, even when it's cold outside. It also prevents UV rays from coming in contact with your pool water hence enabling you to save on chemicals.
Another advantage of this pool cover is that it has a lightweight design. Therefore, it is easy to spread and remove it from your pool.
#3: Sun2Solar Rectangular Heating blanket
The best looking solar cover we reviewed. Blue, 20" X 40"
It has a beautiful, attractive blue design, giving it a premium look. The cover is fitted with thousands of tiny bubbles that effectively collect and retain heat, thus keeping your pool warm.
The blue color not only absorbs heat but also helps reduce evaporation of water from your pool up to 95%.
Unlike most solar pool covers, you can trim it to fit the shape of your pool. To cut it, all you need is a marker and a pair of scissors. First, mark out the shape you want to cut it into then cut it with the bubbles facing down to the water. The best thing about this is that it does not affect your warranty.
The fact that it fits your pool perfectly enables it to protect your pool from dirt and debris while at the same time minimizing chemical usage since it does not allow UV rays to get into your pool.
#4: Intex Solar Cover For Round Pools
The best pool cover for round pools, 16' Diameter
If you have a round above water pool, then you can enjoy the warmth and debris protection provided by this solar pool cover. For such a low price, you'll be amazed by how much it has to offer.
Its lightweight design enables it to be placed on the pool with ease. It also has drain holes that ensure that there is no water accumulation on top of the cover, thus enabling it to float on the water conveniently.
The construction of this solar pool cover features the latest technology in heat conserving bubbles that enable it to absorb sunlight and convert it into heat in an ideal manner.
The fact that it fits and floats perfectly on your pool means that your pool is protected from dirt, debris, and even UV rays whenever it is covered. It also reduces evaporation by up to 95% hence reducing water loss.
The 4 Benefits of a Solar Cover
Benefits of using a solar pool cover
1. Heats your pool water
Solar pool covers not only prevent heat from escaping but also heat your pool water. The construction enables them to trap heat underneath. The trapped heat then heats the water. The rate at which your pool water gets heated depends on the amount of sunlight it has been exposed to.
2. Budget friendly
As opposed to other options like electric and gas heating, solar covers are very affordable. They don’t cost much to buy and don’t require any running cost since they use solar power, not to mention the amount of money you get to save on water bills and chemicals.
3. Protects your pool
One of the most obvious advantages of using solar pool covers is that they cover your pool, thus protecting it against contamination by dirt and other debris. Also, by keeping your pool clean, they help your filter last longer because it doesn't have to work as hard. It also helps save on chemicals by preventing UV rays from coming into contact with your pool water.
4. Prevents Evaporation
Whenever the sun heats your pool, it loses water through evaporation. Solar pool covers act as a physical barrier that prevents evaporation. Statistically, solar pool covers reduce water loss through evaporation by up to 80%, thus minimizing your water bill, especially in the summer
Buying Guide: 8 Factors to Consider
Quality: The material used to make the pool cover plays a crucial role in determining its quality. You should make sure that the pool cover you choose is of the best quality because the quality of the material affects not only its durability but also its ability to retain heat.
Color: The color of a solar pool cover determines its ability to trap heat. Dark-colored pool covers are the best because they absorb heat as opposed to light-colored overs that reflect heat from the sun. However, if the cover is too dark, it may have an opposite effect. You should, therefore, opt for a moderately colored or semi-transparent pool cover.
Thickness: The thicker the pool cover, the better its heat retention capability. Thick pool covers also last longer. However, thicker solar pool covers cost more than regular covers; hence you'll need to dig deeper into your pocket.
Design: Solar pool covers come in different designs and shapes. The most common designs include diamonds, bubble wrap-like bubbles, and hexagons. The size and shape also vary.
The Shape and size of your pool: As discussed earlier, solar pool covers come in different shapes and sizes. You should first measure the size of your pool in terms of dimensions-for rectangular pools or diameter-for round pools.
Air bubbles: For a solar pool cover to be fully effective in trapping heat, it must have air bubbles. You should, therefore, opt for one that has air bubbles.
Warranty: The longer the validity of the manufacturer's warranty, the higher the quality of the solar pool cover. You should also check the terms of the warranty. Some manufacturers void the warranty if you interfere with the cover. For example, you may need to trim the cover for it to fit in your pool. You should, therefore, read through the warranty to ensure that such an action does not void it.
Trim-ability: In some cases, you might find the solar pool cover is too big or does not fit the size of your pool. When this happens, the only choice you are left with, apart from buying another one, is trimming it. Some solar pool covers get damaged when cut. You should, therefore, consider buying one that can be trimmed without affecting its durability and effectiveness.
What is the recommended thickness for a solar pool cover?
Answer: The thickness of solar pool covers range from 8mil to 16mil. The thicker the cover, the higher its efficiency. You should, therefore, opt for thicker covers.
Do solar pool covers work?
Answer: Yes, solar pool covers not only keep your pool warm but also prevent the entry of dirt and debris into your pool.
When should I put a solar cover on my pool?
Answer: You should cover your pool with a solar pool cover whenever it is not in use. During the day, it absorbs heat and transfers it into your pool. During the night, it acts as a blanket by reducing the amount of heat loss.
Which is the best color for a solar pool cover?
Answer: Clear and semi-clear pool covers are the best. They allow the sun's rays to pass through the water without much interference. Blue covers, on the other hand, absorb less heat; hence less heat gets transferred to your pool water.
To how many degrees do solar covers heat a pool?
Answer: Depending on the size and depth of your pool, solar covers raise its temperature to up to 12 degrees. They do this by use of tiny air pockets that absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to the pool water. The air bubbles also act as insulators by preventing heat loss through the water surface.
Can I use my solar pool cover during winter
Answer: Solar pool covers also act as protection blankets. Although a solar pool cover won't do much in terms of heating your pool during winter, it helps keep debris and other organic material from getting into your pool. Therefore, less cleaning is required. You also get to save on chemical usage since no organic matter comes in contact with your pool water.
Solar pool covers are beneficial, even for those with water heaters installed. They absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to your pool water and, at the same time, prevent dirt and debris from getting into your pool.
In the guide, we have given you some benefits of using solar pool covers to show you the importance of using them. We have also reviewed five of the best solar swimming pool covers available on the market to ease your shopping. You can choose from among the five covers we have reviewed or use the buying guide we have provided to select the best cover for your pool.
We have also answered some of the most frequently asked questions on solar pool covers, but if you have any further questions, we’ll answer that too. Keep all the factors we have provided in the buying guide in mind when shopping for a pool cover and you are sure to get a high-quality product.