Solar covers serve a very useful role. Retaining heat and preventing heat loss are the most important ones. A solar covers will also help raise the water temperature a certain amount, but if you are expecting a solar cover to heat your pool to 90 degrees in March or September, you will be disappointed. You can, however, expect a modest temperature increase with your solar covers. The following are tips and ideas that will prolong the life of your solar cover and make the most of your pool ownership.
Besides offering energy savings, pool covers also do the following:
Cited from: U.S. Department of Energy
You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by using a pool solar cover. See here for more details and research: U.S. Department of Energy
When you measure your pool for your new solar cover, measure the longest and widest points of the pool. Include steps and love-seats. If possible, lay the solar cover over the pool, bubble side down and leave it for a day or two before trimming it. This will allow the cover to "open" a bit and allowing packing wrinkles to fade, giving a better end result.
After your solar cover has come out of the box, and has laid over the pool for a day or two, it is time to trim it. Use a sharp pair of scissors or a razor knife. The idea is to have the cover fit edge to edge, end to end. Cut the solar cover all the way around the pool if necessary; be sure to cut the corners to the proper radius.
We like to use the edge of the coping stone as a guide for our razor knife. This also ends up with a cover that will curl up on the edge of the pool. This keeps the pool cleaner than a solar cover that does not quite cover from edge to edge, but has gaps on the sides.
The best way to store your solar cover is with a roller, or a solar cover reel. The solar cover is attached to the roller with straps, and is rolled up when the cover is not in use. Most rollers have wheels that can be used to store the cover and reel when it's party time or when you just don't want it around. Most solar covers come with a large bag for storage. You can just pull the solar cover off of the pool, fold it and put it in the shed or garage. When storing your solar cover for the winter, use a swimming pool cover cleaner and deodorizer. Do not leave the solar cover outside during the winter unless it is on the pool, in use.
The best way to clean your solar cover is to use a solar cover cleaner and disinfectant.
Wet the solar cover and use a telescoping pole and your pool brush. Squirt the solar cover cleaner on the cover and scrub. You can do this with the cover right on the pool if you want to. When you are done, grab the hose and spray the dirty water into the skimmer opening. It may be easier to remove the solar cover from the pool and spread it out on the lawn (but not right after mowing!). If you have a slope you can spread it on, this will make rinsing easier. For a quick cleaning, you can just hose off the solar cover while it is on the pool. Hose the debris right into the skimmer opening or into the corner and use your leaf net to remove the debris.
You can increase the life of your solar cover by following a few simple rules.
Your solar cover will not last forever. The plastic will begin to deteriorate after time. When the solar cover begins to flake and get brittle, it's time to replace it. The first sign of the end of your solar cover is when the bubbles on the underside begin to fall off. The material is recyclable, so when buying a solar cover replacement, please consider the environment when disposing of the old solar pool cover. Most solar covers have short lives, maybe 5 years would be considered a long lifespan.