We’ve already taken a look at how solar pool covers work, the proper way to use them, and how effective they are (see Part 1). In this article, we’ll take a look at one of their features you may not initially think about when you choose a solar cover for your pool: color. Many pool owners are surprised to learn that color can play a big role in the effectiveness of a solar pool cover.
Why Does the Color of a Solar Pool Cover Matter?
Solar pool covers come in a variety of different colors, ranging from transparent to light blue and even to deep blue. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the different colors?
Transparent solar covers tend to allow the most sunlight energy to enter the water, allowing a maximum amount of heat to enter the pool. Their downside, however, is that they don’t tend to block as many harmful UV rays from entering the water and breaking down chlorine levels close to the surface. In short, they may not be as effective at protecting your pool’s chemicals as some of the other options.
Light blue solar covers are better at blocking harsh UV rays that degrade your pool’s chlorine. This extra protection could potentially allow you to lengthen the time between chemical additions to your pool and save you some money. They’re also more effective than transparent covers at keeping heat trapped in the water. They reflect heat into the pool instead of allowing it to radiate out as clear covers are prone to do. A drawback to light blue covers is that they don’t absorb as much sunlight energy as clear covers. In fact, a clear solar cover can absorb up to twice as much sunlight energy as an opaque blue solar cover. This results in a lower overall daily heat absorption level.
Dark Blue solar pool covers trap a greater amount of heat in the pool than either of the other two options. They have a relatively high level of convection and heat absorption. Compared with clear solar blankets, however, they allow a lower net daily heat gain.
In summary, if you want a solar cover that’s effective for heat retention, go with a dark blue solar cover. If you want one that’s most effective for gaining heat, a transparent cover would be right for you. A light blue cover would be a middle ground choice between the two. Some people choose to use a dark cover at night and a transparent cover during the day. However, changing covers could get to be a bit of a hassle. If you want just one solar pool cover that does a good job of both absorbing and retaining heat while blocking UV rays, you’ll probably want to go with a light blue solar cover. It’s no wonder that this classic and attractive color tends to be the most popular solar pool cover option.
If you decide to get a solar pool cover, finding the right color is just one of the choices you’ll need to make. You’ll also have to determine how thick you want your cover to be. In our next article, we’ll tackle that topic as well as consider how long you can expect your solar pool cover to last.
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