How do solar swimming pool covers work?

Swimming pools are high-maintenance additions to your home, and they particularly impact your electricity bills. One way to save money and energy is to control evaporation in both indoor and outdoor pools by using a pool cover.

Pool covers are the most effective way to save energy and keep your pool warmer and cleaner. Cover your pool when it's not in use to minimize evaporation, which is a huge energy guzzler even in indoor pools, indicated by the high humidity inside. Most of the heat loss in swimming pools is a result of evaporation, and pool covers help cut heating costs drastically. Evaporation rate is affected by pool temperature and climate conditions -- air temperature, wind and humidity. By reducing evaporation you also save water, and by keeping the water temperature up with a pool cover you decrease the need for electric heating sources. With less evaporation, you won't have to add as many chemicals to your swimming pool. Pool covers keep debris out of the pool, as well, which also keeps cleaning costs down.


Pool covers can be made of vinyl or polyethylene, and the material can be transparent or opaque. Vinyl covers are the most durable. The most inexpensive kind of pool cover is a solar pool cover, also called a bubble cover. Solar pool covers are made of thick plastic material with UV inhibitors, and they look like bubble packaging material. They are most effective in areas with a dry and windy climate, which increases evaporation from the surface of the pool. Outdoor pools in any climate absorb solar energy that hits the surface of the pool and heats the water. A transparent solar pool cover may reduce this energy absorption to some extent; however, especially in areas with a dry and windy climate, the solar cover creates a warm and humid environment that decreases evaporation.