In the US, there are nearly 8.5 million swimming pools currently. This number takes into account, above-ground pools, in-ground, and commercially owned pools. While they are great for relaxation and exercise, they can also be very costly.
There are many benefits to having your own home swimming pool, but the heating and water bills can add up quickly. Coupled with maintenance and cleaning, that swimming pool can start to look very expensive.
One very simple way you can help reduce your utility bills in this area is to use solar power. In this case, a solar-powered pool cover, but are they actually effective, and what gains do they really have?
What is a solar-powered pool cover and what does it do?
Anyone who has a swimming pool will understand what a pool cover is. They can help lower the amount of time you have to spend cleaning, as they keep leaves, and other debris out of the water.
They also help the pool to retain heat and reduce evaporation. They also provide some level of safety if used properly. A pool cover that is fixed and properly secured can stop someone from falling into the water. Many modern pool covers can hold a few hundred pounds of weight if they are installed properly.
What benefits do pool covers bring to your wallet?
Swimming pools cost a lot of money to design and install so perhaps it is not surprising that they cost plenty of dollars to run too. Swimming pools can cost thousands just to heat each year, and one study showed just how much.
ResearchGate performed a simulation of a 28 square meter swimming pool and showed that it would consume over 70 Mwh a year. A megawatt can cost over $100 depending on what country or region you live in so it is easy to see how expensive heating is.
Pool covers help to retain heat and lower the need for constant electricity or gas heating. Solar pool covers can help even more.
Solar pool covers could help the planet as well as your wallet
Many swimming pools are outdoors so it would seem the logical way to heat them would be through the use of solar power. Solar power is free and by combining it with a pool cover you will be retaining water, heat, and reducing the need for a water heater.
You will also reduce the need for toxic chemicals. By using a pool cover you will reduce the amount of rain, leaves, dirt, and other debris that finds its way into the pool. Less dirt means you need fewer chemicals, which is good for the environment and for the users of the pool.
Are they environmentally friendly?
The Department of Energy states that swimming pools lose around 70% of the heating energy used through evaporation, 20% through the sun’s radiation, and the rest through other means. Solar pool covers can help the environment by not only reducing water evaporation but also by lowering the use of fossil fuels to heat the pool.
Clean water should be treated as something precious, and pool covers can help to reduce evaporation and the need for refilling. Electricity is produced using fossil fuels which are burnt and generate greenhouse gases. Using a solar-powered pool cover can eliminate the need for heating, or at the worst, reduce the amount of electricity used.
Many people might cite the materials used in solar pool covers as not being environmentally friendly, however, the benefits they bring may outweigh the negatives.
How long does a solar pool cover last for?
When considering the environmental benefits of using a solar pool cover, it is also important to consider the materials used and the quality of your purchase. Look for reviews online for solar pool covers and check out the warranties that are offered.
A typical pool cover might last five years, and a solar one, maybe three years. However, this is not the whole story. There are solar pool covers on the market that come with a six year warranty, meaning that your purchase will be good for the wallet and the long lifespan is better for the environment.
There are many fun aspects to having a swimming pool and buying toys and floating pool bars might be on your shopping list. However, if you are wondering how you can customize your swimming pool, think of obtaining a solar pool cover first.
Many of these covers can be trimmed to fit any shape or style of pool, but their main benefit is saving money and energy. By heating up the pool with solar power you can save thousands of dollars on gas or electricity. Also, you will be reducing the amount of water and chemicals used which isn’t only good for your outgoings but it helps the planet too.