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Review: Pool Solar Covers
Why get a pool solar blanket? Because you owe it to yourself to enjoy your swimming pool this spring, summer and fall without having to feel guilty about the energy your pool heater is using in order to keep your water a comfortable temperature. Solar Pool Covers have been around a long time. They come in different shapes, sizes and thicknesses (mil). Depending on your pool-size,needs and budget, expect to pay around $90-$200 for a decent Pool Solar Blanket. So, what is the best you can buy?
Which Type of Solar Blanket Works Best?
If you are searching for the perfect Solar Pool Cover, I’ve got news for you: such a thing probably does not exist. Based on the many sizes, thicknesses and styles I’ve researched, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a really thick Solar Cover (16-mil) does do a superior job of keeping in the heat when your pool is covered at night, but many people have reported that it does not heat the pool up as quickly during the daylight hours. Also, some pool owners complain that the extra thick solar blankets are heavy, harder to work with, and put a strain on their reel. Opinions seem to vary among swimming pool owners as to whether or not durability and thickness of a heavier solar covers is worth the extra cost. One problem that all the blankets seem to have in common regardless of their size and weight: The little plastic heating bubbles begin to break apart after the 2nd year and leave a mess of plastic disks in your pool and on your deck. According to many experienced swimming pool owners, having a cover for your solar swimming pool blanket will increase its lifespan another 1-2 years before the bubbles start breaking apart. Personally, I don’t see how much good a cover can do. My last one was kept inside a storage room all winter long and it still only gave me about 18 months of use before it completely lost all of its bubbles. Those plastic solar bubbles are going to be most vulnerable when exposed to the sun. Obviously, the blanket does you no good if you’re covering it while it’s supposed to be heating up your pool. During the few hours per day that you are swimming, the blanket is rolled up and most of it is protected from the sun. Of course at night, when you’ve covered the pool, the cover is completely safe from the sun’s damage. So, yeah, if you aren’t going to fold it up and store it in a shed during the winter, you should definitely keep it covered. Otherwise, you may get even less than the 18-months of use I got from my last solar blanket. My last one, by the way, was an 8-mil blue cover. My next solar blanket will be the 12-mil blue.
Back to the Question:
Which Solar Cover is Best?
So, we’ve determined that the large 16-mil are expensive, heavy, cumbersome and just as prone to having their heating bubbles burst after 1-2 years. From my own experience, the 8-mil solar blankets are not only prone to having their bubbles burst, but shred like paper after a year-and-a-half. Many people have complained that the clear solar blankets do not do as good a job at heating the pool. Few, if any swimming pool owners have said that they preferred the clear plastic solar covers over the clear-blue blankets. By and large, pool owners seem to be most satisfied with the 12-mil, clear-blue solar blankets. I will be purchasing a clear-blue, 12-mil solar pool blanket this spring for my 14 by 30 foot in-ground pool. I know exactly where to find one!