A common problem for pool owners is water evaporation. This can be a particularly noticeable in hot climates like Brisbane or Perth, or in windy places such as Melbourne or Adelaide. Any place will suffer from evaporation to some degree. In order to stop or reduce water evaporation, many pool owners will resort to using a pool cover, but do they really help?
The short answer is yes, it has been proven many times over that pool cover help reduce evaporation. So much so that some councils offer rebates and even Victoria has its Smart Water Mark program which features pool blankets and covers.
However not all pool covers and blankets are equal, and there are many products on the market depending on both budget and application. There are solar pool covers, bubble covers, debris covers, thermal covers and more. However they can be broken down into 2 different categories. All pool covers form a membrane over the water. For covers like debris covers which will prevent leafs from entering the pool, but still allow rainwater to pass through. Even though this is ‘open’ to a degree, this alone will reduce a lot of wind driven evaporation, reducing losses by around 50% or so.
Thermal and rigid pool covers act as a complete membrane, so not only is wind factors eliminated, so to is evaporation. These covers are designed to trap in heat as well, so you get the added benefit of warmer water in the cooler months. However depending on the type or rigid or thermal cover, water can pool on the surface and must be removed periodically. With these types of covers, evaporation rates can be reduced to nearly 100%, potentially saving significantly amounts of money.
Pool covers will range in price from a few $100’s to several thousands of dollars. Things to consider are:
- Make sure you understand your needs with a pool cover. Are you shutting down the pool for winter, trying to warm it in the cooler months to extend the season or just trying to keep leaves out?
- Can the manufacturer back up their claims? Do they offer results from independent testing. Is there are Smart WaterMark Approval or some other certification to show that the product is genuine?
- Generally, for pool covers, the thicker the material the longer it will last. Make sure to check out manufacturer warranties. Many will also offer pro-rata warranties, so make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered.
- When using a pool cover you may need to change the way you treat the pool. Generally the pool will require less chemicals, and too much chemical in the pool can have damaging effects on the pool cover.
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