Introduction to Solar Blanket
Solar blankets are quickly becoming popular and why is that? What exactly do they have to offer?
Solar blankets are also known as solar covers, pool covers or pool blankets. These covers are used to raise or maintain the temperatures of your swimming pool water allowing you to swim in a warm pool regardless of how cold it may be outside without necessarily having to turn on your pool heater. These accessories are usually deployed onto your pool where they trap heat from the sun and use it to warm the water beneath. In simple terms, solar blankets are designed to offer the same benefits of pool heaters except their approach is not just unique but highly efficient and environmentally friendly. Are they really reliable though? Are solar blankets efficient enough for anyone already with a pool heater to consider getting them?
What makes Solar Blankets Unique?
Solar blankets deliver lots of benefits which go beyond their primary functions. These include:
- The covers help to retain the chemicals used to treat pool water in the pool. As you may know, chemicals such as chlorine are usually broken down and lost to the atmosphere when exposed to sunlight. With a solar blanket, sunlight will never hit your pool directly, and hence such chemicals will be retained in your pool. This cuts your maintenance costs significantly as you will never have to worry about adding more chemicals into your pool to retain safe chemistry.
- Solar blankets reduce evaporation. From multiple studies, pool blankets will cut evaporation by up to 99%. This helps to prevent a drop in water levels and will also help in retaining pool maintenance chemicals as discussed above.
- Most of the solar blankets in the market do not require experts to set up. You can, therefore, install them yourself with your household equipment. A few pool blankets including automatic solar covers must, however, be set up by professionals to ensure that they work correctly and to safeguard their warranty.
- Solar blankets don’t just help in covering your pool water and preventing a drop in temperatures, but they can also increase your pool water temperature. They’ll, therefore, function as pool heaters yet other than installation and maintenance you won’t spend anything else to get them running.
Types of Solar Blankets
There are currently three main types of solar blankets in the market today:
- Solar Sun Rings – These solar blankets feature a UV resistant vinyl layer that is used to heat your pool. Solar Sun Rings are also very efficient in preventing evaporation.
- Bubble Pool Covers – Bubble Pool Covers are designed with thermal bubbles that trap the heat from the sun and transfer it to your swimming pool water. These solar blankets can heat your pool by around 15 degrees F and also reduces evaporation by 95%.
- Liquid Solar Covers – These are less efficient compared to the two discussed above, but they still do a decent job of keeping your pool water warm. As the name suggests, liquid solar covers come in a liquid form which is spread around your pool to form an invisible protective layer. They also prevent evaporation by around 40%.
Buying a Solar Blanket
To enjoy the best services a solar blanket has to offer, you must be keen on which item you pick. The following elements should help you shop for the best solar blanket perfect for your unique pool.
- Material Used
Most solar blankets are made of polyethylene or polypropylene materials. Some of these blankets feature solar rings while others are designed with bubble covers. Both of these pool blankets are pretty good by bubble covers standout since they are easy to install, use and they are also very affordable. Bubble covers are also UV resistant, and that’s why they will serve you with no issues for up to 5 years.
Solar blankets come in different widths ranging from 800 to 1600 gauges. The thicker the blanket, the more the heat it retains. Thicker solar blankets will also remain firm on your pool even when it is windy. The thickest solar blankets are usually the most recommended but they are quite costly, and you may also need an extra pair of hands to roll them out.
It goes without saying that size matters. You need to get the accurate measurements of your swimming pool before ordering for a solar blanket. To ensure optimal performance of these blankets, they must cover every part of your pool. Know the size and shape of your pool and order for an appropriate blanket.
For solar blankets, color is more than just about the aesthetics. The color of your blanket will determine how much heat is lost from your pool at night. Most solar blankets are available in blue, silver or clear colors. Clear covers absorb more heat into your pool, but they are not very efficient in retaining the heat at night. Silver and blue sheets, on the other hand, will absorb heat into your pool during daytime and reflect the heat back into the water at night. Silver solar blankets are the best at retaining heat at night.
The Best Solar Blankets
Intex Solar Cover for 12ft Diameter Easy Set and Frame Pools
This remarkable solar blanket is made for 12 feet round swimming pool. The blanket uses air bubbles to trap heat from the sun thus keeping your pool water at a high temperature. With this Intex solar blanket, you’ll hardly have to use any pool heaters since there’ll hardly be any drop in water temperatures.
This Intex solar cover will reduce evaporation by up to 95%. One issue with most solar blankets is the accumulation of water on top of the sheets. This menace has been solved here thanks to the unique drain holes designed in the Intex solar cover.
- Prevents evaporation by approximately 95%
- Easy to store thanks to the included reusable carrying bag
- Keeps your pool warm
- Features drain holes to stop water accumulation on the cover
- The cover can tear up easily if mishandled
Sun2Solar Blue 20-Foot-by-40-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover
The Sun2Solar cover is 12 mils thick designed with tiny bubbles that trap heat from the sun and use it to keep the pool water warm. This solar cover beats a lot of its competitors with its unique clear cover which allows optimal penetration of sun rays to the deepest parts of your swimming pool. This makes it a decent choice for people with relatively deep pools.
This solar blanket is also an excellent choice to people with irregularly shaped swimming pool. That’s because trimming the blanket is very easy and it also doesn’t affect its warranty.
The Sun2Solar cover will also prevent evaporation of water and other pool maintenance chemicals by around 95%.
- Easy to trim
- Prevents evaporation
- It’s not very durable
Intex Solar Cover for 18ft by 9ft Rectangular Frame Pools
This Intex Solar blanket is made of 160 microns that keep your pool water warm for extended periods hence prolonging your swimming time. The solar blanket is designed for rectangular swimming pools measuring around 18ft by 9ft.
This particular solar blanket weighs around 5.5 pounds. This is a good thing in various ways; handling it is easy, and it also allows you to use it with your above ground pool without putting too much pressure on it.
- Comes with a carrying bag that makes storage a breeze
- Keeps your pool warm
- It’s not very durable
Take a moment to think about how much you spend on adding different chemicals lost to evaporation and other environmental factors. Solar blankets not only keep your pool water warm but also prevent entrance of different contaminants into your pool. These blankets will also reduce how often you use your pool heater thus easing your pool maintenance budget. As you can see, solar blankets will extend how long you can use your pool while also reducing your expenditure on the pool and this is why you need one.