Would you buy an esky without a lid? Well, pools are similar when it comes to pool covers. When Summer arrives, it's fun in the sun and party time! Though the thought that first comes to mind after that first refreshing dive goes something along the lines of, "the water could be warmer!"
We'll take an in-depth look at the benefits of using a pool cover as well as how to buy and fit a pool cover and roller to suit your pool.
This ultimate pool cover guide will equip you with all the information you need to know about solar pool blankets, which one is best for you, and how to get one that fits your pool.
In this article we will cover the following key points:
- Types of pool covers
- Why you should have a cover roller
- What is a “micron” and thicknesses
- Lifespan of pool covers and warranties
- How to measure your pool cover
- How to install your pool cover
- Making the decision
We suspect that some pool and spa builders underplay the value of a cover during their pitch to potential customers. They will more often than not give the most basic of pool covers to keep the final costs down. That often means that the supplied cover is of lower quality, as well as being hard to use.
And if you end up with a cover that is hard to use, then guess what? You'll never use it. There’s obviously a lot of cheap versions on the market, but if you're on this page, this means that you are looking for a better option and for a quality product that you can trust.
Pool covers reduce heat loss in heated pools and minimise evaporation. The right pool covers are easy to use and the benefits are obvious. So let's begin shall we ?
How will you save money by getting a pool cover?
Save more of the sun's warmth.
Some pool blankets can warm your pool by up to 8 degrees celsius for free!
Save on water, up to 10,000L per month.
Less evaporation means less water consumption! Good on the wallet, good for the environment as well!
Save on heat loss.
Reduced heating costs and heat loss.
Save on cleaning.
Helps keep out dirt and leaves.
Save on chemicals.
Reduce salt and chemical use by up to 50%.
Save on time.
Rolls off and on in 30 seconds.
Save on evaporation.
Reduces evaporation by 97%.
Higher quality. Better design. Lasts longer.
Save with a rebate.
Check with your local water authority.
How much does pool cover cost?
Solar pool blankets are by far the most affordable pool covers on the market today. Effective and low priced—depending on your pool size, they can cost anywhere from $566-$1300—and they’re the perfect option for pool owners who keep a strict budget.
How long should a pool cover last?
A good pool cover should last way past its warranty period. Depending on the manufacturer, build quality, and materials used, pool covers should last at least a couple of years or even up to a decade with the proper care and handling. This is one of the reasons why warranty is very important when deciding on a pool cover. The longer the warranty, the more confident the manufacturer is with their product, and you should be too.
Should I cover my pool every night?
The short answer? Yes.
The long answer? Yes you should, as covering your pool at night can give you the following benefits:
- Eliminates dirt, debris, and leaves (not to mention those creepy crawlies) from falling into your pool at night
- Less debris = less cleaning
- Less cleaning = less pool cleaning chemical costs
- Reduces evaporation of your pool's water, less evaporation means less water costs
- You'll never know when you're in the mood for an early morning swim. Pool covers will make sure that you won't be in a (cold) shock first thing in the morning!
Types of Pool Covers
Not all pool covers are built the same. Let's go over two of the most common pool cover types and what their advantages are.
Solar Pool Covers
Solar swimming pool covers, or bubble blankets, are the most affordable pool covers on the market. During the day, the blanket absorbs the sun’s warmth and retains the warmth. This also prevents the warmth from escaping the pool during the night's cooler temperatures.
Fact: Some blankets can reduce evaporation by 90% and cut down on pool heating costs by up to 75%!
Solar swimming pool covers are commonly manufactured from a light durable material, and consist of air small air pockets known as bubbles. As light passes easily through these air bubbles, it helps facilitate heating in the same way that a magnifying glass works, while also acting like a layer over the surface of the pool, holding the heat in.
Benefits of Solar pool covers:
- This is the most cost effective pool cover that can increase the water temperature. It will raise the temperature of the water by up to 8 degrees by converting the pool into a solar heater and thereby extending your swimming season by weeks!
- Reduces evaporation by up to 90%, cutting down water and the chemicals necessary to keep a pool healthy
- Keeps dirt and debris out of the pool’s water
Thermal Pool Covers
Thermal pool covers are the best kind of pool covers, not only do they fully block the sun's rays that attack chemical levels, they also retain the heat the best over other styles of pool covers.
Thermal blankets are made of a thicker insulating foam material, and though they cost a bit more than bubble covers, roughly $900-$3000 range, they perform much better and do insulate better than traditional solar covers.
Benefits of thermal covers:
- Has the highest reduction rate for water evaporation and extending the swimming season.
- Keeps out leaves, dirt and debris, saving money on chemical cleaning supplies.
- Completely blocks the sun’s UV rays that cultivate destructive algae.
- Easy to use with a normal pool roller
- Lasts longer than traditional solar pool covers.
Tip: If you are heating your pool with a heater, a pool blanket is a must!
All types of pool covers benefit your pool as they all reduce evaporation, reduce chemical loss, and reduce cleaning time by preventing leaves and debris from easily entering the pool.
Why You Should Have a Pool Cover Roller
To keep it simple, if you have a pool cover, then you should have a pool roller. It's a no-brainer. Good pool covers are thick, heavy, and bulky (as they should be). Do your back a favor and get a pool cover roller. The benefits outweigh the price ten times over!
3 reasons below why a pool cover roller is a great idea!
Keep your life easy! The point is, with a roller, getting a pool cover on and off is a breeze – the whole operation takes less than a minute. Without a roller you will be in a world of pain trying to fold, lift and store it. Not only is there a lot of material in these, they are wet, and heavy!
Increase the lifespan of your cover - If you take off a pool cover manually, there’s a good chance that it’s going to get dragged over rough ground, rocks etc., and thereby possibly get scraped or torn on the side of the pool or surroundings. Not to mention that dragging pool cover over rough terrain may affect its warranty.
A few dollars more - The whole point of having a pool cover in the first place is that it doesn’t just keep your pool warm and cuts down cleaning time, And the easier the process of taking the cover on and off, the more likely it is that you’ll do so. Don't make it a chore when its needed to be done, a few minutes and its sorted and depending on the season, you are either back enjoying the pool or saving money!
SEE ALSO: Are Winter Pool Covers an Essential?
What is a Micron and the rule of thickness?
A micron is basically a millionth of an inch. Pool covers come in a variety of sizes and the thickness of the material is measured in microns. For example, a 600 micron cover is thicker than a 500 micron cover. While the variation between a 400 and a 500 micron blanket is slight, the price difference and features can be significant! The thicker the blanket, the more effective it is. Pool covers are available in several thickness variants so choose the best one that fits you needs and budget!
250B Micron Pool Covers
The 250 micron Pool Covers make up the cost effective range of pool covers. These quality solar pool covers are the best way to start your pool cover journey of saving water, time and keeping your pool warm.
400B Micron Pool covers
These swimming pool covers are a good thickness. The 400 micron thickness is usually the recommended starting point for a quality pool cover. This is the Goldilocks level in pool covers, not too thin, not too thick, just right.
525B Micron Pool covers
525 micron covers are much higher quality but are also more expensive by about 25% when compared to 400 micron covers. There is also a 31% increase in thickness, you gain an added layer of durability and slightly improved heat retention and longer lifespan for your increased investment.
Because the material is thicker its less susceptible to tears or punctures. It will better resist damage from the pool chemistry and the harsh Australian sun for a longer period of time. 525 micron covers also have a 10 year warranty period to give that peace of mind.
How to measure for your Pool Cover:
Measuring your pool is simply a matter of measuring the maximum water level width (W) and length (L) of the main body of water. See illustrations below
Using a tape measure, measure the length (L) and width (W) of your pool
Multiply the L x W to give the square metre figure which you’ll need to calculate the costs of your pool cover
Good manufacturers like Daisy will include extra material to allow for upturn and shrinkage, so the exact water level measurements are all that are required
If your pool has steps, measure the step area separately (see below)
If you have a uniquely shaped pool, treat it as rectangular (see below).
How to Install Your Pool Cover
Step 1 - Unpack the cover from the shipping box, be careful when using a knife that you don't cut the cover. Lay the cover bubble side down on the water & smooth out with a pool broom.
Step 2 - Cut the cover using the pool as a template with sharp scissors. Leave extra space when cutting so that the cover rises(curls) up the inside of the pool by about 7-10cm. This will help stop debris entering the pool and make it easier to remove build up on the cover.
Step 3 - With the broom, smooth and push the cover up against the edge of the pool. If necessary, trim a little more off the cover so the cuts are straight and even.
What is the best pool cover to buy?
The "best" pool cover is the one that fits your needs and is not necessarily the most expensive one. An entry level cover that won't retain much heat (ideal for tropical climates) is the Daisy Pool Cover 250B.
On the other hand of the spectrum, we have the top of the line Daisy 525TB Pool cover. This is a superior model with a 10-year warranty and will retain up to 8 degrees of heat within your pool water, perfect for those colder climates and customers that want a long term return on their cover.
Make sure you do your research into the warranty terms and conditions. As explained above, the warranty and material can vary from supplier to supplier. A cheap pool cover can end up costing you more in the long run.
If you take all of these things into consideration when you purchase your next pool cover, you’ll make a much smarter choice and you’ll have a cover that hopefully lasts.
There is no doubt that once people use a cover, they suddenly realise how valuable they are. If you’re trying to heat a pool or stop water evaporation, it all happens on the surface of the water. Up to 90% of the heat goes straight out of the top of the swimming pool. It’s not the filter; it’s not the pumps; it’s not this; it’s not that. It’s just exposed water and if you put a cover over that, you basically stop it dead.
While most consumers won’t fully appreciate the benefits of a pool cover until they’ve experienced them for themselves, a recommendation from a trusted professional is the next best thing. The key to increasing pool cover use is to educate on the benefits of pool covers: reduced energy use for heating; less debris in the pool; massive reductions in evaporation; and last but not the least, more money saved in the long run.
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)