Forget pool heaters. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to warm your swimming pool when the temperature goes down, you might want to consider investing in a solar pool cover. Solar pool covers makes use of the natural heat from the sun and work to absorb, trap, and transfer this heat to your pool to keep it warm. Technically, you can use just about any kind of large sheet of plastic from the hardware store to cover your pool, to prevent evaporation. However, it’s best to use materials such as vinyl, polyethylene, or polypropylene, the kind usually used in packing materials because they are more durable. What’s more, these materials are intended to be used specifically for swimming pools.
Despite being made of plastic, a lot of solar heating pool covers now come in various designs so you can be sure to find one that will tickle your fancy. You can choose to go with a printed opaque or a transparent design. Just remember that an opaque pool cover reduces solar energy absorption by at least 20%-40%, way more than its transparent counterpart.
When it comes to solar pool covers, there are also different types of mechanisms. The automatic solar cover has reels that can be attached permanently to the sides of the pool. It offers the most convenience because it can be operated at the push of a button. In terms of cost however, it is also the most expensive.
If you want the cheapest solar cover, you can of course get the one without any mechanism. This type floats freely on top of the swimming pool, to be removed and folded up out of the sun when the pool is in use. The only downside is that it might be too bulky to store. What’s more, you will probably need someone to help you remove it.
Solar pool covers offer other benefits aside from heating the pool. They help conserve water by reducing the pool’s chemical consumption. In addition, they help keep debris and falling leaves out of the pool.