Now, you may be wondering, ‘does the color of solar pool covers matter?’ Yes, they make all the differences. Solar pool covers are usually of two colors:
- Blue: Blue is the standard color in solar pool covers since they are usually well-rounded and offer many good features. They are inexpensive and translucent, allowing UV rays to pierce through the surface to the pool water.
- Clear: Clear solar pool covers pave the way for direct sun rays to infiltrate the pool water by going deeper. There is no need for additional water circulation methods, and they are the best choice for summers.
An important thing to remember is that areas that receive less than six hours of direct sun exposure may not be the ideal places to opt for clear solar pool covers. Blue solar pool covers, in such cases, can be more heat absorbent while in a shorter duration of time.
Importance Of Solar Pool Cover
Solar pool covers serve a variety of purposes, and therefore, their roles cannot be ignored.
- Low rate of evaporation: uncovered pools lose surface heat at a higher pace, especially in cool and breezy weather. Therefore, a solar pool cover helps reduce the pace of losing heat, and sometimes, it also functions to restore it. The best ones available in the market reduce the rate of evaporation by around 95% and absorb the energy without the need for a solar blanket.
- Reduction of chemical deterioration: solar pool covers also reduce the chemical degradation that usually grows from consistent UV rays exposure. Therefore, smaller doses of chlorine are known for working longer duration than in general.
- Energy absorption capacities: solar pool covers are known for their ability to absorb solar energy. In turn, they channel the trapped heat into the pool water by the process of conduction.
How A Solar Cover Works
Like we discussed previously, a solar cover generally serves two essential purposes:
First, to absorb the heat energy into the plastic and simultaneously, to heat the air-filled bubbles. Now, think of a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee. You’ll notice how easy it’ll warm your hands holding the cup. Similarly, the solar energy is then transferred to the pool water penetrating the solar pool cover through conduction.
Second, to prevent evaporative heat loss. One of the significant benefits of using a solar pool cover is addressing the radiant heat loss and restoring the surface heat of the pool water during cool nights. Modern studies ad researches have declared that solar pool covers are very effective in restoring heat loss.
Also Read: Best Solar Pool Rings 2021
How Long Do Solar Covers Last?
The major destroyers of solar blankets are higher chlorine levels, leaving the solar cover lying folded or rolled in direct sun, and lower pH levels. There are many people who complain about the bubbles of solar pool covers falling apart due to the reasons mentioned above. Additionally, remember to consciously never cover your pool after shocking it or even when the chlorine level in your pool is above 2.5 ppm. It is because higher chlorine levels can easily destroy a solar cover slowly, making it quite brittle at the end. These air bubbles usually act as prisms when the solar covers are folded or rolled upon to focus the UV rays, which then deteriorate these plastic bubbles at a higher pace. A solar blanket can last roughly up to 5-7 years.
Best Color For Solar Pool Cover
In today’s market, there are many color preferences available to choose from when it comes to solar pool covers. They can range from light blue, dark blue, silver, translucent, etc.
Translucent or Clear Solar Covers: They allow comparatively more sun’s energy to penetrate through the water. It is usually because of their easier passage through the plastic material that clear solar pool covers tend to trap less heat. Interestingly, however, the heat gain by clear solar pool covers is much more than any other colored blankets. Another important thing to remember is that since clear solar pool covers transfer the solar heat into the water, they automatically reduce the chlorine levels around the water surface.
Blue Solar Covers: Although they are known for performing a better job at absorbing heat into the pool water due to their pigmentation, they also block some of the heat while in the process. It is because opaque solar pool covers usually block as much as twice of the pool warming light energy than clear solar pool covers. Blue solar pool covers are also known for their ability to conserve chemicals while blocking direct UV rays.
Therefore, the winner between the two is undoubtedly a clear solar pool cover for heat gain, and in case of heat retention, a blue solar pool cover can get the job done more efficiently.
Clear vs Blue Solar Pool Covers: The Real Difference
1. Mechanism Of Heating
Heat Generation: Although both blue and clear solar pool covers generate heat, their methods of doing so are different. The translucent or clear solar pool covers usually stay cool while passing on the heat into the pool water. On the contrary, blue solar pool covers usually heat themselves while trapping and transferring heat onto the pool water. This also causes them to transfer less heat onto the water. Therefore, judging from their functionality, it is clear that translucent or clear solar pool covers generally perform the best in terms of heat generation, since they absorb less heat themselves but keep the water warm at the same time.
Heat Retention: Although both clear and blue solar pool covers help to retain heat, the clear ones usually release more heat since they do not absorb as much heat as the blue ones. While the blue covers trap more heat from the direct UV rays, they retain heat while transferring less heat trapped in them onto the water. Therefore, it’s clear that clear solar pool covers are best for keeping more heat since they hold less heat themselves.
Like any other thing in this sweet world, solar pool covers require good care and maintenance to sustain durability. The two most important enemies of solar pool covers are excess UV rays and pool chemicals. One of the significant drawbacks of blue solar pool covers is that the greater their absorption of UV rays, the more they release chemicals into the water, which leads to them wearing out sooner than clear solar pool covers. Therefore, the lifespan of a solar pool cover usually depends on the type of cover you’re opting for; however, clear covers generally have a longer lifespan since they don’t trap heat as fast as the blue ones.
The availability of both clear and blue solar pool covers is widespread in today’s world. You can choose to opt for either clear or blue ones from online retailers, local pool supply stores, or even big-box stores. In case if you have a standard-sized pool, you’ll be able to find readymade pool covers in stock. However, if you have a customized built pool size, you’ll have to place an order to receive a cover that’ll fit your pool.
Well, finding a clear solar pool cover is relatively more difficult, but one can always find one online. Thus, blue covers are readily available everywhere, at most stores, and in all standard shapes for both above and in-ground pools.
Well, the size and shape of a solar pool cover usually determine its price. Therefore, irregular or uniquely shaped solar pool covers generally cost more than the typical or conventional ones. Consider the pool water condensation and the cost of chemicals; if clear solar pool covers have less condensation, then chemicals last longer in water than expected. Thus, both clear and blue solar pool covers are almost similar in prices, although clear covers release much fewer chemicals.
Also Read: Complete Guide To Solar Pool Heater
Thus to conclude, keeping all the points in mind, clear solar pool covers are undoubtedly better both literally and figuratively. They last longer, are cost-effective, and also retain more heat than blue solar pool covers. Clear solar pool covers heat up the pool water more efficiently and also distributes the heat evenly. In contrast, blue solar pool covers generally fail to distribute the heat evenly and absorb less heat.