Sustainable living covers all aspects of your life, even if you’re lucky enough to have your own pool. Pools require all sorts of energy and accoutrement and can quickly expand your family’s carbon footprint. But with a few sensible practices and some cool equipment you can limit the impact and save energy with a solar pool cover.
In terms of cost savings, this should absolutely be your first accessory purchased, even before that floating lounge chair.
A solar pool cover is like a giant sheet of bubble wrap which lays over the top of a swimming pool and will really save on energy costs. Here are a few quick thoughts to consider as you’re thinking through this option. It is a sure beat that you will save energy with a solar pool cover.
The potential savings is huge A solar pool cover can raise the temperature of the water by 10 to 15 degrees. Using the principle of natural heat retention, the pool heater doesn’t have to work as much to keep the water nice and warm. It’s hard to isolate the exact energy savings in a pool just due to the solar cover, but the homeowner can watch their electric bills for a few months, and very likely see a drop, due to lessened need for heating the pool.
There are other savings that make the solar pool cover advantageous. The cover greatly reduces evaporation, meaning there is less need to add make-up water to the pool some experts estimate up to 30 to 50 percent.
Each pound of 80 degree Fahrenheit water that evaporates, leaks 1,048 BTUs of heat from the pool. If that happens on a daily basis, significant energy is lost. It is also reported that the chemicals needed to keep the pool in balance will be reduced as well.
While that doesn’t mean a saving in direct energy costs – it will mean a definite reduction in the expense for chemicals to maintain the pool and all the energy consumed in manufacturing, storing, and transporting the chemicals.
Relatively easy to install. Since the solar cover just rolls out over the top of the water, it is fairly easy to put on the pool. There’s not a lot of installation or setup. It doesn’t need to be tied down or anchored. Does the cover fly in the wind? Owners have indicated that the bubble wrap adheres to the water, so not having the cover tied down in some way isn’t really an issue. Putting the cover on, or taking it off – yes, there can be a little learning curve – like putting a big bed comforter on, it takes a certain flair to throw it out onto the pool efficiently.
Taking the cover off – imagine that the comforter is soaking wet – yes, that can be a chore to pull out of the water and roll up. A reel for the pool cover might be something to investigate. But it’s all about the savings, and when the pool will not be in use, throwing the cover makes good sense for the energy savings it provides.
Simple and effective. The cover traps the heat of the sun – hence the solar component – and retains that heat after the sun goes down. That heat is transmitted back to the water, and the cooler night time air doesn’t sap the pool of the warmer water. It’s about like putting a lid on a pot of spaghetti in terms of effect – the cover just provides another heating component to the pool. Since it is such a low tech solution, the solar pool cover is an elegant solution for the cost.
For the homeowner who wants to save energy, and reduce the costs associated with their family pool, a solar pool cover is a great solution. Imagine sitting at home watching a football game on a chilly fall day, and knowing that outside, the solar cover is helping the pool retain warmth very nicely, at no cost to you or the environment.
A few suggested products:
About The Author
Patricia Hogenes loves spending time with her three kids and having fun at the family pool. She has been a freelance writer for 10 years, covering a range of topics such as law and legal matters, adolescent drug treatment, and health topics such as diabetes. She currently writes for poolproducts.com and between splashes is an occasional contributor to Green Blizzard. Be sure to check-out her other articles about sustainable living with your pool; 7 Eco Friendly Pool Products.