Solar Pool Cover Bubbles Up or Down?

Solar Pool Cover Bubbles Up Or Down

To begin with, a solar pool cover is not just a great way to keep away debris and dirt out of the pool but also essential to heat the pool water. A solar pool cover absorbs the heat from direct sunlight, transferring the same into the pool water to keep it warm. However, depending on the location you live in, a solar pool rings or solar pool cover may or may not keep the water as warm as an electrical solar pool heater, although it should most definitely save you those extra bucks. 

To elaborate, these covers also work like a magnifying lens to amplify the sun’s direct rays. Although not every kind of solar cover functions the same way, the key is to get the right cover best suited for the swimming pool.

Should Solar Cover Bubbles Up Or Down?

Let’s begin that with a simple answer: solar pool covers should face down, always. These covers generally work in the way the sun rays heating the air trapped within the bubbles. The heat, therefore, is then transferred into the pool water. Thus, this is precisely why the bubbles in the solar pool covers should always face down towards the pool water instead of facing up towards the sky. Moreover, since these solar covers function by absorbing heat into the pool water, on colder weather days, the pool’s water retains the energy gained during the day hours by the help of these bubbles to trap the required heat.

What’s more to that is a solar pool cover also uses effective technology to make swimming effortlessly comfortable during the swim season. So to jot it down, installing a solar pool cover with the bubbles facing up may hinder the process of heating up the pool water, ultimately slowing the process and even damaging the bubbles severely at times. They may simply overheat while facing the sun’s direct rays and with the heat captures to transfer nowhere. 

Our Top Picks

Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover
Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover
  • 20 x 40 Foot
  • Minimizes Evaporation (upto 95%)
  • Heats using UV Light
  • Bubbles Down
  • 6 Years Warranty
Blue Wave NS420 Solar Blanket
Blue Wave NS420 Solar Blanket
  • 16 x 32 Foot
  • Prevents up to 95% of Evaporation
  • Created with UV-protected polymer
  • Bubbles Down
  • 5 years Warranty
In The Swim Midsol Solar Pool Cover
In The Swim Midsol Solar Pool Cover
  • 16 x 32 Foot
  • Up to 80% thermal efficiency
  • Reduces water evaporation 
  • Bubbles Down
  • 7 Years Warranty

Related Solar Pool Cover Questions

1. Do Solar Pool Covers Work? 

A Solar Pool Cover usually first captures direct sunlight while heating up the air bubbles present on the surface of the cover. This heat from the bubbles is then transferred to the pool water to keep it warm, and the temperature is usually raised anywhere from 10-15 degrees (Fahrenheit).

2. Can I Swim With A Pool Cover On? 

Can I Swim With A Pool Cover On

This has to be a definite no since swimming with solar covers can land you in quite a dangerous situation. Depending on the pool cover, there may not be a way for the air to get under the tarp if someone pops up their head. 

You may find many articles on the internet related to keeping children away from the pool while solar pool covers are on or even how a solar pool cover is necessary to make your swimming pool safer. However, the pool cover doesn’t prevent little children from getting in the pool. 

Therefore, you must find better and proper alternatives if that constitutes your sole concern revolving around your swimming pool and a solar pool cover. 

3. What Happens If The Bubbles Are Facing Up?

Installing a solar pool cover with its bubbles facing up towards the sky may slow the process of warming the pool water. Additionally, as we discussed previously, it may completely destroy the solar pool cover if the cover gets overheated due to the direct sunlight. Also, the water does not get warm since the air bubbles cannot transfer the heat absorbed by the direct sunlight into the pool water straight away.

To ensure the durability of your solar pool cover, you must never forget to cover it with a sheet that reflects the rays when not in use. 

4. Does A Pool Warm-Up Faster With The Cover On Or Off? 

During hot and windless days, it may be the case that the pool water will heat up quickly without the solar pool cover since more of the sun’s energy will reach the water directly.

However, the pool cover also prevents heat loss and evaporation, which usually occurs frequently and much quicker in windy conditions so that it may heat up quicker with the lid on.

5. What Solar Pool Cover Color Is Best?

What Solar Pool Cover Color Is Best

Does it make a difference? Yes, it does. A solar pool cover is available in many shades of blues, grays, yellows, and even transparent. The colors make a difference to the amount of heat that is transferred to the pool water as well as the amount that is retained in the same. Dark blue covers are generally better at keeping heat than allowing heat to enter the pool, whereas transparent pool covers allow the heat to enter the pool the best but not retain it well enough. You can read more about how good transparent covers are in our article “Clear Vs Blue Solar Pool Covers

6. What Thickness Of Solar Pool Cover Is Best?

Solar pool covers vary in thickness depending upon the brand and the purpose. Thus, there’s a lot to choose from the plate. Moreover, it may come as no surprise that the thicker the solar pool cover, the higher the overall heat increase. The normal range of solar cover thicknesses varies from 8 mil to 16 mil (1 mil = 0.001 inch). 12 mil solar covers are the most popular thickness as they are pretty efficient and easy to handle.

7. How Does A Solar Pool Cover Go On? 

How Does A Solar Pool Cover Go On

Manually: Although you may think it’s easy to pull a solar cover on and off and keep it aside folded whenever required, it may end up being a lot difficult and impractical for a big pool. By doing it this way, you will likely tear it or damage it in some way or the other.

Manual roller or reel: In this method, the solar cover is attached to a roller removed. Many rollers have a wheel at one end so that you wheel them away from swimmers if required. This is, therefore, the most popular method of removing and putting the cover. 

Electric roller: Electric rollers are similar to manual rollers but are operated electronically. This makes them more convenient to use than manually operated solar pool covers. 

8. Can You Use The Solar Pool Cover In the Winter? 

When the weather is warm and sunny, you may witness a slight increase in the pool water temperature when you remove the cover during the day. However, this could only work if you took it off for just the hottest hours of the day. Once the sun starts to go lower, you may not find it effective since the heat starts to lose due to evaporation. Thus, remember to never leave your solar pool cover on your pool after swimming or in winter in general. They are not cold-resistant and, therefore, may end up being severely damaged.

9. How To Store Solar Pool Covers?

You must clean the solar pool cover often to ensure its long lifespan. Also, make sure to dry it well enough before you start using it. Once dried up, fold it into four-foot widths and roll it up from one end to store it away carefully and safely. However, remember to always store it in a shaded or protected area below 120 degrees F.

Also Read: Solar Powered Pool Pumps


Thus, to conclude, putting the solar covers bubbles up or down is totally up to you. However, it’s best to know which side to place your solar pool covers on for its optimal efficiency. As the sun’s rays heat the solar cover, it starts to warm the water below it. Depending on how long the covers have been kept over the water, it will retain the heat even when the temperatures drop.

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