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What is a Solar Cover?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 23, 2024
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A solar cover, also referred to as a solar blanket, is a plastic cover placed on top of a swimming pool for heating purposes. A solar cover can be used on any pool, whether it is in the ground or above ground. Using a solar swimming pool cover can be a great way to save money on heating bills and to extend the usable days in your pool.

Solar covers are used to heat swimming pools. When the cover is placed on top of the pool during the day, the heat from the sun is absorbed into the solar cover and transferred into the water, causing the temperature to rise. Putting the solar pool cover back on at night, then, prevents heat from escaping, keeping the pool at a warmer, more constant temperature.

Using a solar cover to heat the pool means that you don't need to spend money and energy heating the water. It is also a very environmentally friendly method because the only energy used is solar energy. Solar covers also allow you to use your pool earlier in the spring and later into the fall, because the water is naturally heated. In addition, solar covers can keep the pool cleaner, by preventing dirt and debris from getting into the pool.

Some solar covers come on a large roll with a reel that sits on the side of the pool. This makes it easier to simply crank the solar cover out onto the pool, and roll it back up when you are ready to swim. Especially if you have a large pool, you will want to invest in one of these rollers, so you do not have to wrestle with an unwieldy and potentially dangerous pool cover near the water. Another option is to affix the solar cover to the outside of the pool with large J-hooks.

Another option offered, if you do not want one large solar cover, is a set of smaller solar covers. These are easier to lift in and out of the pool, and usually come in ring shapes or in fun shapes such as fish. Smaller solar covers like these can sometimes save money. A large solar cover can cost as little as $50 US Dollars (USD) to nearly $500 USD, depending of course on the size of your pool, any accessories and if the cover comes with a warranty. Remember to always watch children carefully when they are around pools, especially if there is a cover on the pool that could potentially trap children underneath.

The Solar Panel Guide is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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