A solar pool blanket is a cover for your swimming pool that helps to keep the water warm. Solar blankets are made of a special material that allows sunlight to pass through but also retains heat, so they can help raise the temperature of your pool by a few degrees. They also help reduce evaporation and keep your pool clean by blocking out dirt and debris. But how fast do they heat the water?
How fast a solar blanket heats pool water depends on the size of your pool, the quality of the solar blanket, and the weather conditions. With 6 hours of sunshine, a good solar blanket on a medium-sized pool can increase the water temperature by about 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit.
So if you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to keep your pool warm, a solar blanket might be just the thing. Let’s take a closer look at how these blankets work and what sort of timeline you can expect when you’re hoping for some warm water in the pool.
How Do Solar Pool Blankets Work?
Despite a pool’s large surface area, only a small percentage of incoming sunshine is actually converted into heat. Normally, UV rays from the sun can pass through the water unhindered, and the water does not absorb or retain much heat. On the other hand, solar pool covers can absorb and store heat.
Solar pool covers, like this one from Sun2Solar (on Amazon), can raise the temperature of the water by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which can make a big difference in how comfortable you are while swimming.
Solar covers have tiny air pockets that work to trap heat, and they’re usually made of a clear or translucent material that allows sunlight to pass through while at the same time preventing heat from escaping.
Pools lose heat at night when the air becomes cooler, and solar pool covers can help to reduce this heat loss. In fact, solar pool covers can retain up to 95% of the heat that would otherwise be lost at night. This means that you can swim for longer in the evening without turning on the pool heaters.
Besides retaining heat, solar covers minimize evaporation and reduce the loss of chemicals by 60%. That’s because exposure to sunlight also leads to the breakdown of chemicals.
In addition, solar covers help to keep your pool clean by blocking out dirt and debris.
How to Use a Solar Pool Blanket
Most people cover their pools at night only, but you should use the blanket anytime the pool is not in use. The longer the pool is covered, the warmer it will be. You should also try to use the solar cover when the sun is out so that it can work to heat the water.
During winter, the sun’s rays are not as strong, so the solar cover won’t be as effective in heating the pool. However, if you live in an area with mild winters, a solar blanket can still help keep your pool warm.
A reel can make it pretty easy to take the cover on and off the pool. Consider the Lesnox Reel Set (on Amazon), which is stable and easy to maneuver.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using a solar pool cover:
- Make sure that the cover is properly sized for your pool.
- Place the cover on the pool with the bubble side up.
- Ensure that the cover is secure and won’t blow off in the wind.
- Don’t put the cover on when there is water on the pool’s surface, as this can cause the cover to tear.
- Store the solar blanket in a cool, dry place when it’s not in use.
How Long Does It Take for a Solar Pool Blanket to Heat Up?
Most solar blankets will heat your pool in around six hours, if the sun is shining. If you put your blanket on at noon, your pool should be nice and warm by early evening. Some people like to leave their blankets on longer to ensure that the water is extra warm.
A good solar blanket heats up the water temperature by 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months and by 5-8 degrees Fahrenheit during the fall and spring.
There is no harm in leaving your blanket on longer, but when planning to do so, make sure the chemical level in the water is below the recommended level to prevent damage to the blanket.
If you’re looking to heat up your pool quickly, there are some things you can do to help speed up the process. One is to pre-heat the water in your pool using a solar heater.
This will help raise the overall temperature of the water, making it easier for the solar blanket to complete the job.
Another way is to use a pool cover pump to circulate the water under the solar blanket. This will help distribute the heat and prevent hot spots from forming evenly.
Finally, ensure that the solar blanket is properly installed and free of wrinkles. Wrinkles can trap air and prevent heat from being transferred evenly, which will lengthen the time it takes for the pool to heat up.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Solar Pool Blanket
When purchasing a solar pool blanket, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is the size of your pool. You need to make sure that you purchase a blanket that can cover your entire pool.
The second factor to consider is the climate you live in. If you live in an area with warmer winters, you won’t need as thick of a blanket as someone who lives in an area with very cold winters.
The third factor is the type of pool you have. Above-ground pools lose heat faster than inground pools, so they usually require a thicker blanket.
Finally, consider the price. Solar blankets can range in price from $75–$225, but the reel will several hundred dollars as well, so be sure to find a system that fits both your needs and your budget.