Solar and safety pool covers have fundamental functions, and advantages-but they are vastly different. You can learn about the benefits of using both solar and safety pool covers. But how do they differ in protecting your backyard watery paradise?
A solar cover or blanket is a lightweight floating barrier on the pool’s surface. Solar covers provide an efficient and affordable heating solution for your pool, which makes it warm enough for a night dip or early-morning swim.
How do solar covers work? They are thin covers with tiny air pockets, similar to a bubble wrap. These “bubbles” act as magnifying glasses and utilize the sun’s heat to warm the pool water. But despite its primary function of heating the pool, solar pool covers help reduce the pool’s water from evaporation, thus saving you some money on water and energy.
Solar pool covers can be attached to a manual reel for additional ease of use.
Below are some advantages of solar covers:
- Increasing pool water temperature
- Reducing evaporation
- Reducing the use of chemicals used to keep the pool sanitized
- Keeping light debris out of the pool
- Relatively easy to use
- Savings on both water and energy
However, solar covers are not 100% safe since they’re just floating on the pool water’s surface. They are not designed to stand up under a person’s or animal’s weight, so if they fall into the pool, they will sink in the water. So, it would be best to watch your kids or pets over whenever they go near the pool.
Safety pool covers
Safety pool covers are heavy-duty covers that attach to the pool deck using anchors or tracks. They are either made from solid vinyl or woven mesh material. Since they’re designed to prevent accidents, solid and mesh safety pool covers can support weight, unlike solar covers.
Here are some of the advantages of safety pool covers:
- Drowning prevention
- Solid vinyl safety covers eliminate evaporation
- Protection from debris
- Savings on both water and energy
- Prevention from algae
- Less use of chemicals to keep the pool sanitized
- Less maintenance and repairs
If safety is of particular concern for you – especially if you have little children and pets in the household – safety pool covers should be your best option. Make sure to purchase and install a pool cover that has passed the ASTM standards. To be considered a safety pool cover, the manufacturer should meet the following ASTM requirements:
- The cover must hold at least 485 lbs., or the approximate weight of two adults and a child, and should ensure that the cover holds up during a rescue operation.
- The cover must also pass a perimeter deflection test. The manufacturer should prove that openings on the cover’s edge are too small to allow objects to pass through and must be strong enough to prevent any effort to pass through the opening.
- The cover should pass a surface drainage test, which means that the cover is made so that excess water should not accumulate on the surface of the cover, either by using a semi-permeable material or a design feature that allows the water to run off the cover.
- The cover must have proper labels, including manufacturer warranties and ASTM standard warnings.
Pool Covers, Inc. recommends safety pool covers.
Although safety pool covers can cost you more, they are worth the investment as they can save water and heating costs and reduce maintenance bills. What’s more, they can prevent your loved ones from accidents. If you are going to take advice from anyone about safety pool covers, it should be from a certified pool cover manufacturer. Pool Covers, Inc. has been in the business for over 38 years providing quality manual and automatic pool and spa covers, plus installation services, in the Bay Area, East Bay, and the vicinity. Our products exceed the standards set out by ASTM. Call us today at 707.864.6674 to discuss which cover is best for your pool or spa.