Most people buy above ground swimming pools as an all inclusive package. Depending on where you purchase the pool and which package you choose, there can be several items in it from pool lights to chemicals to covers to toys. Some items in an above ground pool package are things you use a lot and some just sound good at the time but you won’t really use much. So what about solar blankets or covers? Is it something you’ll use on your above ground or will it just be another thing that just gets in the way in the garage until you get tired of stepping over it and finally throw away? This post give some info on solar blankets. What they are and what they really do.
What is a swimming pool solar blanket? A solar cover is nothing more than an insulator. An insulator is nothing more than something that helps keep the temperature of one area(in this case, the pool water) from escaping to another area(in this case, the outside air just above the pool). A quality pool solar blanket is made of a durable plastic sheeting with hundreds of little compartments that have air trapped in them. A lot like bubble wrap but thicker and better.
What does a solar blanket do? This cover of trapped bubbles lays over the pool water surface which slows down the heat of the warmer water from escaping out into the cooler air above it. This is needed when you want to keep the pool water warm especially at night when the air temperature drops which will cool off the pool. Thats it and thats all it does. It has no connection at all with the sun despite its name “solar” blanket.
What doesn’t a solar blanket do? A pool solar cover will not in any way heat the pool water! It won’t heat up with the sun and make the pool water underneath warmer. The pool water will in fact heat more with no cover on it in direct sunlight. A solar blanket or cover also will not maintain any temperature of pool water. It can only slow down the cooling process.
Do I need a solar blanket? It depends. If you are heating your above ground swimming pool in any way, be it by electric, gas, wood, or solar, then you absolutely need one. Without a blanket over the heated water, it’ll cost much more the maintain a warm pool. Also, if you live in an area where it gets very hot and sunny during the day but quite chilly at night, you can successfully cover the pool at night and keep some of that sun heated pool water warm for the following day.
Do I want a solar blanket? If you plan on or have any type of heating system on the pool than yes without a doubt. Most don’t heat their above ground so I say to most “no”. Unless of course you’ve got room in your garage:).
Solar blankets for above ground pools are not a whole lot of money but if you aren’t gonna need one, then why get one just because its in an all inclusive pool package. Most pool packages can be broken up and usually not getting a solar blanket will make the price of the package go down. Save that money and throw a pool party instead.