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How Do Solar Pool Covers Work?

PowerLock Safety Pool Cover Phoenix

Solar covers are an effective way to reduce evaporation and heat loss in your pool. But how do they actually work?

Solar covers work by insulating the pool water, keeping it warm even during hot and windy conditions.

Heat Transfer

Solar pool covers work by capturing the sun’s energy and transferring it directly to your swimming pool water. Depending on where you live and the climate conditions in your region, this may be enough to keep your pool warm without needing additional heating sources.

Solar pool covers not only keep your pool warmer, but they also reduce water evaporation and save you money on electricity bills. Around 70% of the heat gained during the day is lost through evaporation – making this a huge benefit!

Solar Pool covers come in a range of colors, such as light blue, dark blue, silver/grey and translucent clear. Generally speaking, darker hues absorb more heat than lighter ones while clear ones let more UV rays through. Unfortunately, UV rays can degrade chlorine levels in your pool water which requires you to purchase additional chlorine for maintenance.


Evaporation is one of the primary sources of pool energy loss. A pound of 80deg water requires 1,048 British thermal units of heat to evaporate.

Solar pool covers can reduce heating bills by up to 15 percent by blocking heat loss from the surface of your pool. This means you can turn on your heater later in the season and enjoy a much more comfortable swimming experience.

The most commonly used solar pool cover is plastic. These come in various sizes and hues.

An alternative type of solar pool cover is a liquid one. This product functions by creating an ultra-thin layer of alcohol on top of your pool water surface.


Solar pool covers use bubbles to transfer heat from the air into the water, by using direct sunlight to warm air trapped within them.

Conversely, if the bubbles face upward, they won’t absorb as much heat from the sun into your pool water. Therefore, it may take longer for your pool to warm up.

Alternatively, UV radiation and harsh pool chemicals such as chlorine can damage the bubbles in a solar pool cover, leading to reduced lifespan.

Even if the bubbles are installed correctly and facing the pool water, damage can still occur. If left in a chlorinated pool for too long, the cover may start to break down, leading to popping bubbles and crumbling edges. Eventually, even the underside of the cover may crumble away too – allowing debris into the pool that could ultimately destroy or ruin its solar pool cover.


Solar pool covers have the primary purpose of retaining heat and preventing heat loss. However, they may also increase water temperature slightly by magnifying solar rays.

Maintain the condition of your solar cover before winter by cleaning it thoroughly. Doing this helps prevent mildew and bacteria from forming, which can be unpleasant in the springtime.

Additionally, be sure to store your solar cover in a cool and dry location to extend its life.

Another ideal way to store your solar cover is in a safety pool cover bag, which protects it from weather damage or animals. This will safeguard your investment and keep it looking its best longer.

If you don’t have space in your garage to store a safety pool cover bag, opt for a container with a secure lid. This will prevent rodents from accessing the bin and damaging your solar pool cover.

Contact us today for a FREE at home estimate for a custom designed Solar Pool Cover in Phoenix or Tucson Arizona at 623-869-6015 or fill out our online appointment request form here.

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