Are you considering the purchase of a solar pool blanket? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Over the years our team here at Hipel Pools has been able to experience all the good and bad things solar pool blankets have to offer. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring solar blanket features, benefits, cost savings potential, costs, and more! With all of this knowledge in hand, you’ll be well on your way toward making an informed decision about whether investing in a solar pool cover is the right move for your swimming pool. So let’s get started!
Overview of Solar Pool Blankets – What are they and how do they work
Solar pool blankets also referred to as solar covers, have probably become the most common way to cover a pool during the summer months, they are a popular, efficient and cost-effective way to keep your pool water warm, reduce water evaporation and save on energy costs. Made from UV-resistant plastic that resembles a very heavy-duty bubble wrap solar pool blankets are placed over the surface of your pool when it is not in use and work by trapping the sun’s energy as heat and transferring it into your pool’s water. In addition to capturing the sun’s rays, the blankets can also reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation, ultimately saving you money on water, electricity, heating bills, and pool chemicals. Whether you’re a pool owner looking to extend your swimming season or someone who wants to reduce water and energy usage, solar pool blankets are a practical and energy-efficient solution.
Benefits of a Solar Pool Blanket
A solar pool blanket is a great addition to any pool, as it can provide a series of incredible benefits at a relatively low cost. The average solar blanket and roller costs between $200-$700 to set up and taking into consideration the cost savings benefits it provides it could be a wise investment for your swimming pool. Let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits of solar pool blankets.
Reduces Water Evaporation
A swimming pool in Southern Ontario can lose as much as 1/4″ of water per day or nearly 2″ of water a week due to evaporation. Evaporation is the driving factor that results in losing heat from the water of your pool and obviously, if you are losing water to evaporation you are eventually going to need to add fresh water to your pool to keep your pool operating correctly which in turn means you are going to need to heat that fresh water and treat it with more chemicals. Solar blankets can reduce evaporation by as much as 95% which will have you filling up your pool with fresh water far less than a pool without one.
Help To Warm Up Pool Water & Conserve Heat
With Evaporation being a leading cause of heat loss in a swimming pool and solar blankets reducing that evaporation by as much as 95% means that they will drastically improve your pool’s ability to conserve heat within the pool water. Not only that but solar blankets help to absorb energy produced by the sun and trap it within the water of the pool which aids in warming up your swimming pool without the need for a pool heater.
Lowers Energy Costs
We’ve touched on a solar blanket’s ability to warm up and conserve heat within your pool. This translates into you guessed it lower energy costs from traditional heating sources such as propane or natural gas pool heaters or even electric heat pumps.
Help To Reduce Chemical Usage
If your pool experiences high rates of evaporation and you are continually topping it up with fresh untreated water from an outdoor tap you’re going to be spending more on pool chemicals to get your pool within the correct water chemistry ranges. By using a solar blanket to help reduce evaporation you will be adding less fresh water hence you will be able to reduce your pool chemical expenses.
Lowers Water Bills
We have touched a bunch on this already but it’s simple reducing evaporation by using a solar blanket requires less water to be added to your pool from an outdoor tap which saves you money on water.
Extends The Swimming Seasons
By aiding in conserving heat within your pools water means that a solar blanket will help you squeeze out a few more swims later into the season without breaking the bank on heating costs
Disadvantages of a Solar Pool Blanket
Just like anything we talk about on our blog solar blankets do come with some disadvantages as well and we are here to bring those to your attention.
Unlike an Automatic pool cover solar pool blankets and the rollers they rest on are manually operated, so each time you want to cover the pool you will need to pull the cover out by hand over the top of the pool and when you want to remove it from the pool you manually turn the roller to retract the cover.
They Can Be Ugly
A lot of pool owners find that the solar blanket and roller sitting on their pool deck at the end of the pool detracts from the overall beauty of their outdoor pool space. If you are concerned about this you may want to consider a Cleardeck which allows the solar blanket to be stored beneath the pool deck.
They Don’t Last A Long Time
Solar blankets are available to purchase in different thicknesses and colours with a cover of 4 mils being the thinnest and a cover of 16 mils general being the thickest. Also available as a blue blanket or a clear blanket the clear blankets are usually of better quality and tend to be more effective.
- Blue Solar Covers measure between 4-8 mils and tend to last 1-2 years before needing to be replaced
- Clear Solar Covers measure between 12-16 mils which can last anywhere from 3-7 years before needing replacement
Just like any other pool equipment, a solar blanket requires proper maintenance to extend its lifespan and efficiency. To ensure that your blanket is working correctly, it’s important to keep it clean and periodically rinse it to keep any debris off the blanket. Believe it or not, the sun’s rays will also cause your solar blanket to deteriorate faster and it is recommended that you cover your blanket when it is not in use or store it in a dry shady area.
In conclusion, solar pool blankets offer a lot of advantages for pool owners. Not only do they provide the comfort of warm water and minimize water evaporation, but also significantly reduce rising energy, chemical and water costs. Although it may require you to put forth a bit more effort initially to put the cover on each night or take off each morning, the end result will be some of the best outcomes you can get from a pool blanket. A variety of options and customizations such as a Cleardeck System are available so you can get more out of your solar blanket and if you practice proper maintenance of your solar pool blanket, then you will maximize its potential, usage, and lifespan — so that your pool stays healthy for years to come.
Given the many benefits provided the team here at Hipel Pools highly recommends the use of at least a solar pool blanket on your pool during the summer months and feels it is well worth the investment. If you are interested in other pool cover options explore our Ultimate Guide To Pool Covers.