How to Choose the Best Solar Pool Cover: A Buyers’ Guide

Image Credit: Ecotality

Summer is knocking at the door, and pool owners are looking for a cover to protect their backyard pools. There are so many options in the market, but which one is the best option?

If your primary concern is to warm the water by harnessing sun-energy and preventing water from evaporating at night, a solar pool cover will be best for you. You will find your desired one in any online store that offers solar pool cover. 

But there are some factors you must consider before buying a solar pool cover. Choosing a perfect solar pool cover depends on your pool size, preferences, and budget.

Here’s a guide to choosing the best solar pool cover to help you understand various factors related to a solar pool cover. Once you understand it all, you can select your best option.

What kind of pool do you have?

Before buying a solar pool cover, you must determine what kind of pool you have. Is it an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool? Usually, in-ground pools are difficult to clean, specifically the piping and hard to reach areas. Hence, those who have an in-ground pool prefer solid vinyl pool covers. It keeps the sun from entering the pool, which is the main reason for growing algae. Mesh covers or solar covers are cheaper than vinyl ones and mostly suitable for above-ground pools. These covers come with the risk of growing algae as it allows the sun to enter the pool. If you want to harness the energy of the sun to heat up your pool for free, a solar cover is the best option.

How to choose the right size of solar pool cover?

Picking the right size of pool cover is as important as choosing the right type of pool cover. Even if you prefer solar cover for your pool, you must determine the size first.  To determine the right size of the solar cover for your pool, you have to match the dimension of the cover with the widest and longest point of swimming pools. Once you receive the cover from the store, lay it over the pool in a way that it allows the extra material to drape over the sides of the pool wall. Keep it still for a few days to work out with the wrinkles. Then cut the excess material off so that the cover lies right on the surface of the water.

How to choose the right thickness and color

You will be spoiled by various color and thickness choices while buying solar cover online.  Solar covers are usually available in 8mil, 12mil, and 16mil thicknesses. For color choices, there are blue, black, and clear.  It’s wise to choose a light color for the pool cover. Blue and black might look stunning over the pool, but it will allow less sunlight to penetrate the pool. Black covers usually heat up earlier but will cut off the long-lasting effectiveness. On the other hand, clear covers allow maximum sun rays to penetrate and heat the water with long-lasting energy.

How to choose the substance of the cover?

Make sure to buy a solar cover with bubbles in it. Lay the bubble side facing down to the water and the smooth side up. The bubbles will keep the water to reach the material of the cover and protect it from algae. Besides, it allows the sunlight to penetrate much easier.

Should you pick UV-stabilized polyethylene?

While buying a perfect solar cover for your pool, look for a cover with reinforced UV-stabilized polyethylene. This kind of plastic is more durable and long-lasting. Ordinary plastic covers might be cheaper than UV-stabilized polyethylene covers but will deteriorate faster under the sun for a long time.

What kind of solar pool cover mechanism is best for you?

Opt for a solar pool cover that fits your needs and budget. A manual pool cover can be pulled on and off easily and is comparatively cheap. An automatic pool cover comes with a small motor and a roll to pull the cover in and out. A semi-automatic cover, though has a small motor, one or more people must guide it.

There are times when you shouldn’t use solar cover, especially during heavy wind and storms to prevent damage from flying debris. Pull off the cover before shocking the pool, and leave it off until chlorine levels drop below 2.5 ppm. Low pH and alkalinity are reasons to damage solar cover material faster.