Going for a dip in the pool is a refreshing way to cool off on a hot day. If the water gets too cold, though, taking a plunge into your pool can leave you feeling frigid rather than comfortable. If you don’t want to have to pay to heat your pool with a heating pump, or if you don’t want to run your pump all the time, you may want to consider getting a solar cover for your pool.
Adding a solar pool cover to your pool is a smart, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly way to warm up your pool water and help it to retain heat. In this series of articles, we’ll take an in-depth look at solar pool covers. We’ll consider several different topics, such as how solar pool covers work, how they should be placed in the pool, and how to choose between the different colors available on the market.
How Do Solar Pool Covers Warm Your Pool Water?
A solar pool cover works in two key ways. First of all, it warms the pool water by absorbing heat energy that’s given off by the sun’s powerful infra-red and ultraviolet light rays. It also works by helping to block heat loss that would naturally take place due to water evaporation. It’s like a protective heating blanket for your pool.
How Should a Solar Pool Cover be Placed In the Pool?
A solar pool cover should always be placed in the pool with the bubble side facing down. That’s because the heat trapped within the cover’s bubbles will be spread to the water if the bubbles are facing downward rather than upward. If the weather is cool on any given day, having the bubbles facing down also helps to retain the heat that’s already in your pool water as well as any heat that the cover absorbs from the sunlight throughout the day.
Because the solar cover’s heating technology is designed to work with the bubbles facing downward, the cover could actually become damaged if you place it in the pool upside down. The bubbles can get overheated. When the bubbles are facing up, they still absorb sunlight but are unable to transfer that heat properly into the water. For this reason, it’s extremely important to place your solar pool cover with the bubble side facing down each time you use it.
How Effective are Solar Pool Covers?
There have been various studies conducted throughout the years to find out just how effective solar pool covers really are when it comes to warming pool water and preventing evaporation. In 2016, a study was conducted by a research team from California Polytechnic State University. They used 12 test pools for their research. They compared the evaporation control of solar pool covers, liquid solar blankets, and solar rings. Solar covers fared quite well in the study, with an average of 95% efficiency. These covers also help your pool to retain chlorine by preventing UV radiation that could break it down, as well as preventing chemical evaporation into the air.
As you can see, solar pool covers offer a whole host of benefits. In our next article, we’ll consider how differences in color can impact their overall performance.
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