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Solar Blankets Review

Why Buy A Solar Blanket?

Regular pool covers keep rain and debris out of swimming pools and make pools easy to maintain. They also save water and reduce pool chemical consumption. Solar blankets can do all of these and also help heat your swimming pool.

A solar cover provides more insulation than regular swimming pool covers. The most common solar blankets look like large industrial bubble wraps. The air-filled bubbles on their surfaces not only prevent heat from escaping from the pool but also diffuse solar radiation over a wider surface area of the pool and serve as a buffer between the air and the water surface. Therefore, a solar blanket can significantly reduce your energy bill by lowering the cost of heating your pool and even eliminate the need for a solar pool heater. Three of the great products on the market are Leslie's 7-Year Solar Blanket, Poolcenter 12 mil and the Amerimerc Blue Solar Cover.

Solar Blankets: What to Look For

The most popular pool covers for saving energy and raising pool temperature are solar blankets with air bubbles. These have translucent polyethylene cells that appear as tiny bubbles on the surface of the blanket. Unlike thermal blankets, solar blankets with bubbles do not have opaque closed-cell polyethylene foams or block out the sun. Besides thermal blankets, another alternative to traditional solar covers is liquid solar blankets. Liquid pool covers are biodegradable mixtures of isopropyl alcohol and other chemical agents that float on pool surfaces. They create thin invisible layers that block evaporation and trap heat. When selecting a solar blanket for extending the swimming season, here are the most important features to consider.

Thickness
Although solar blankets are not as thick as pool covers intended to keep pets and young children out of pools, they are still strong enough to keep leaves and dirt from blowing into the pool. The thickness of solar covers varies from 8 mils to 16 mils (800 to 1,600 gauge). Thicker solar blankets are not only more effective at keeping out dirt than thinner ones but they are also better at retaining heat and do not get blown away easily in windy conditions. However, they are more expensive and harder to move and roll up.

Ultraviolet Resistance & Color
Solar blankets come in different colors. While pool blankets with aquamarine and dark colors look good resting on swimming pools, they are not as effective as clear solar blankets at allowing rays of sun to pass through. A black blanket heats up quickly and would seem a good choice for keeping pools warm, but it is actually not very effective because it blocks sunlight. In addition, solar covers spend a lot of time sitting in the sun. Therefore, it is important to get one with a high resistance -- stabilized solar blankets last longer than those without protection.

Size & Fitting
The size of your swimming pool is also an important factor to consider when shopping for a solar cover. While covering a portion of your pool with such a blanket is still better than leaving it exposed, it is best to get a solar blanket that covers all of the water surface. To get a blanket of the right size, make sure to measure your pool at its longest and widest sections. Then you can trim the blanket to fit the exact dimensions of your pool.

Solar covers will keep your swimming pool warm enough to take swims at night and as the weather cools. Whether you use fossil fuel or electricity to heat your pool, getting the right solar blanket can significantly cut the cost of keeping your pool warm. In addition, solar pool covers are reusable, recyclable green products that do not contribute to environmental pollution.