Whether you want to keep your pool water warm, reduce water evaporation or simply stop leaves from falling in the water, a pool cover will be a worthwhile investment. Kathryn Alexander takes a closer look.
Blankets keep us warm, so it should come as no surprise to discover that blankets can help warm swimming pools too.
Of course this is not the only reason that people use a pool cover on their pools, Some do it for safety reasons and others to prevent leaves and other debris from falling into the water – particularly in the winter months. A pool blanket can also save valuable water lost through evaporation.
It stands to reason that swimming pools with warmer water are used more often, particularly in cooler weather.
”A pool cover acts as an insulator against inclement weather conditions and the water temperature in a covered pool will rise by four to six degrees celsius,” says Brian Ross a solar pool cover expert. “Our pool solar blankets are manufactured from a material which has ultra-violet stabilizers for extended life and gives maximum heating performance at all depths. The material is generally produced using a very light color such as transparent light blue. This allows the sun’s short-wave solar energy to pass through the material. The heat retained in the water (which radiates at the longer wave lengths), is restricted by the cover and therefore cannot readily dissipate into the surrounding atmosphere.
“A heat retention bubble cover is also available and this product is generally produced using opaque colors that do not allow the sun’s energy/light to pass through it. These covers are more suitable for indoor pools where there is no direct sunlight, or for commercial pools that are in use during the day.”
Brian points out that swimming pools lose heat in a variety of ways, and that evaporation is by far the greatest source of energy loss for pools. In fact, he says, when compared with evaporation, all other water losses are small.
“The reason evaporation has such an impact is that evaporating water required tremendous amounts of energy,” says Brian.
“We are all aware of the vital part water plays in our lives, the economy of our country and the devastating effects of drought. In spite of the recent rains, people need to ensure that evaporative water losses in swimming pools are kept to an absolute minimum. After all, every drop should count!
“A pool owner with an 8 m x 4 m (8.7 yd x 4.3 yd) pool can expect to lose up to 800 liters (200 gals) of water a day, through evaporation. With more than a million pools installed in the USA, we could potentially save a minimum of 800-million liters of water a day. “
So the prevention of water evaporation is an important role the pool blanket can play. However, says Brian, it will also help to keep the pool clean by preventing leaves and debris from polluting the pool water. This, in turn should result in a reduction in the use of chemicals.
“In addition to warmer water, energy savings and an extended swimming season, the use of a pool blanket will result in a cleaner pool and a reduction in chemical usage by up to 40%, depending on weather conditions. This will contribute to a considerable saving in pool maintenance.”