In an effort to start the swimming season early and make the season last longer people try many things to heat the pool water! There are many confusing options such as: “solar hoops” , “liquid blanket”, roof mount systems, and of course maybe the simplest, a whole pool solar cover.
Let’s compare just the few choices mentioned above.
- Solar Hoops – FAIL These are sold as an easy way to reflect the suns heat into the pool, the more rings you toss in the better job they are supposed to do. The flaw in this method is that heat rises and unless it is trapped it will get out. Hoops are not a “tight seal” on the pool surface so at night the pool water heat will escape out.
- Liquid Blanket – FAIL This product is supposed to hold the heat in like a solar blanket buy using a chemical to create an invisible ‘skin” to trap heat in the pool. Lets just stop at the failure point -CHEMICAL! You are adding a chemical to your pool and swimming in it, your body absorbs what is on it, and we get plenty of chemicals (wanted or not) everyday in our food, water, etc. Stay away!
- Roof Mount System – SEMI-PASS The roof mount system is proven to raise the water temperature of the pool but to keep it you are told to be sure to use a solar cover at the end of the day. A few cons are; the roof system is expensive (we were quoted $4500), requires drilling into the roof (shingle warranty may be voided), and it requires enough pool pump power to push water up to the roof to cycle through. Pool pumps are around $800 (we had to get on last year, ours died), so you may need to upsize your pump for a roof mount system.
- Solar Blanket – PASS The solar blanket is key to heating and KEEPING the pool water warm. We have used a blanket for 3 years and can say with evidence that they work great! We have a blue cover and see the temp raise around early May to the 83-85 range (South Florida).
We like the water around 86-87 and we are able to get in May through October, we could go longer if we liked it a bit cooler. Testing the pool temp in the morning we get a reading of 90-94 (the top 3″-4″ of water has all the heat)! Imagine if we didn’t have the cover, and all that escaped overnight! We take the cover off in June – so we only use it to get in early and place it back on in the fall (about 1 month)to stay in longer! For around $100-$200 you can get a pool cover and see the benefits,. the solar blanket is the most cost effective pool heating method there is. We recommend getting a whole pool cover, you will not be disappointed.