Heating a poolcan add hundreds of dollars to your energy bill each season.A solar blanket can help you save money by cutting the amount of heat energy lost due to evaporation.
Evaporation is the cause of about 70 percent of energy losses from pools, according to the US Department of Energy, followed by radiation into the sky (20 percent), and radiation into the ground (10 percent).
How it works
Allpool covershelp save energy by creating a barrier against evaporation. A solar pool cover, also known as a solar blanket, goes one step further by efficiently trapping heat energy from the sun, helping keep your outdoor pool warm for less money.
The solar blanket is often compared to bubble wrap used for shipping fragile goods, but it’s made of thicker plastic. This sheet allows sunshine to enter the water and then captures the heat energy in those bubbles at night, passing the energy back to the water.
A solar pool cover is lightweight, allowing you to place it easily on the surface of the water. Many pool owners also choose to install a reel to pull the blanket back, and for easy storage.
The more you keep your pool covered with a solar blanket between swims, the lower your heating bill will be. And like the lid on a saucepan, the cover reduces evaporation by up to 95 percent, which helps conserve water and chemicals.
It’s great to have an outdoor pool, but weather conditions can be a major drain on heat. Evaporation increases with higher wind speed, lower humidity, and higher pool temperatures.
Here’s a tip for reducing the problem of evaporation caused by windy conditions: create a barrier to reduce the wind speed around the pool, like a fence or hedge.
But be careful, because this may create turbulence above the pool if the windbreak isn’t high enough, causing evaporation to increase. And you need to make sure barrier won’t cast a shadow that will prevent the sunshine from warming your pool.
Saving money on heating
A study by the US Department of Energy shows that covering a pool can make a big difference in heating costs. The estimated cost of heating a 1,000 square foot outdoor pool in Seattle – uncovered, and using an air-to-water heat pump – ranged from $770 to over $1000 for just one season. Using a cover, the cost dropped to between $150 and $280. That’s a huge return on a small investment.
Pools get a lot of heat from the sun, absorbing up to 85 percent of the solar energy that strikes the surface of the water, but any cover that you place on a pool will reduce that absorption somewhat.
Solar blankets made of transparent bubble plastic will affect the absorption less than an opaque vinyl covering, meaning more free energy from the sun.
Solar blankets made by custom spa cover companies are designed to help you save money while keeping your pool warm. You can contact any of the pool professionals for more information.
License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock.com
Gina Brewton has been in the home improvement industry for the past 7 years. She is presently working at a residential cleaning company in Toronto. She is also a part time interior designer. She has her interests in cooking, photography, craft and painting. Follow her on twitter@ginabrewton.