Installing a pool cover is an important step in keeping your pool clean and warm. To ensure that your pool cover is installed correctly, it is important to understand the different types of covers and how to properly install them. The first step in installing a pool cover is to remove the lid from the box and place it next to the pool. Carefully unfold the cover and spread it over the surface of the pool, with the bubble side down and the smooth side up.
If possible, leave it in the sun for a couple of hours so that it has time to “relax”. The bubbles should be facing the water and the softer side should be facing up. Solar covers work by trapping heat that would otherwise be lost. The air pockets between the deck and the surface of the water heat up, trapping hot air next to the water to keep the pool warm.
The bubbles contain air which is heated by the sun and then transferred by conduction. The flat side is generally harder than the bubble side, so having the bubbles down on the surface of the pool means that they are protected from anything that might fall into the pool. Interestingly, during a power outage last summer, we had the pool cover on and when we went for a swim in the late afternoon, we noticed that the temperature of the water in the upper part of our feet was much higher than that of the water below by at least 10ºF. The thickness of solar covers usually ranges from 8 mils to 16 mils (thousandth of an inch).
Solar covers not only prevent heat loss during the day, but also prevent cold night air from absorbing valuable heat from your pool. When you are ready, spread out your cover over the pool surface, eliminating wrinkles and air pockets. Make sure that you have enough length in your vacuum hose so that it can reach all corners of your pool from either your skimmer or vacuum port. You may also notice an increase in temperature when you remove your cover during warmer days.
When half of your cover is cut, use a pool brush to push up against the edge of your pool and smooth out any air bubbles underneath. The best solar covers on the market not only keep dirt and debris out of your pool but also help to heat up your water. You may find that you save enough money on heating costs to cover any roof renovations you may need. It is not necessary to attach your cover to your pool as its weight and surface tension will keep it in place. Bubble wrap can also be used on top of your pool as it will reduce evaporation of water which is one of the main causes of heat loss. To ensure that you get maximum use out of your solar cover, make sure to store it away from UV rays during winter and take care of it during summer months.
With proper care, you can expect your solar cover to last anywhere from 3-5 years.