The Solar Pool Cover - Extending Your Pool Season

by Pool Builders on 08-05-2007 in Articles

Having a backyard swimming pool can be a very big investment, especially if you decide to have an in ground pool installed. And one of the ways to maximize your return on that investment is by doing whatever you can to extend the swimming season in your part of the country.

For those who live desert or southern climes, of course, swimming weather is more or less a given, no matter the time of year. But for those who experience four distinct seasons, investing in a solar pool cover can mean another month of comfortable water temperatures tacked on the either end of the swimming season. A solar pool cover costs nothing to operate and you will always have a plentiful, renewable source of energy--the sun--keeping your pool water warm.

The traditional method of heating a home swimming pool is to use either a gas powered or electric heating pump, requiring the pool owner to keep replenishing the gas supply or to pay even more on what is probably a significant warm weather electric bill. A solar pool covers, which can add 10 to 15 degrees to water temperatures, is designed and colored to mesh with the overall appearance of your pool.

How Solar Pool Covers Work

A solar pool cover, or "blanket," is made of heavy-weight, UV-resistant polyethylene similar to the bubble wrap used as package cushioning, but much more durable. The surface area of the thousands of bubbles on the solar pool cover is large enough to trap and hold a tremendous amount of the sun's heat, and transmit the heat to the pool's water. Conversely, the solar pool cover acts to insulate the pool's water and prevent the heat from escaping.

For the homeowner's convenience, a solar pool cover is designed to be free-floating, so its removal does not involve dealing with tie-downs nor anchors. For large swimming pools, however, the sheer weight and size of solar pool covers, and their storage, can be significant issues. So solar pool cover manufacturers now have come up with solar pool cover reels, similar to garden hose reels, which ease the removal of the covers.

The price of a polyethylene solar pool cover will, of course, depend on its size; a 20' x 40' cover can be found on the Internet for between $180 and $230. Moveable solar pool cover reels cost around $300, all those for exceptionally large pools will be more.

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