Plastic Solar Blankets VS Liquid Pool Covers: Round 1
by Monique Nelson on May 27th, 2013

If you have ever been in charge of a swimming pool, you have probably at some point come across a pool blanket. There are many different kinds of pool cover out there, but for the sake of this article, I am going to discuss solar bubble covers. 

It is time to compare the qualities, to see which one will really come out on top.

Round One: Heat Retention

The number one cause of heat loss from a swimming pool is evaporation. Reducing the amount of heat loss a pool experiences in one of the main reasons any pool owner or operator begins to use a bubble cover or a liquid pool cover.
Pool Energy Loss Characteristics - Pie Graphs
The US Department of Energy discusses using a plastic solar blankets and says: 

Pool covers minimize evaporation from both outdoor and indoor pools. Covering a pool when it is not in use is the single most effective means of reducing pool heating costs. Savings of 50%–70% are possible.

They also say:

Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing 75%–85% of the solar energy striking the pool surface. This is an important contribution to the pool's heating needs. A pool cover will decrease the solar gain contribution to some extent, depending on what type you use. A transparent bubble cover may reduce pool solar energy absorption by 5%–15%. A completely opaque cover will reduce it by 20%–40%. You need to consider this when selecting a pool cover.

So, when using a plastic solar blanket, you can expect to reduce heat loss due to evaporation by 50-70%, but you will also reduce heat gain by 5-15%. 
Those number present a pretty good case for plastic pool blankets. Now lets compare with liquid pool covers. 

A Thermography test that was conducted by a 3rd Party showed a 70% reduction in heat loss when using Heatsavr in a Hot Tub. You can see the visual results of the study in the graph below, or you can visit Heatsavr Thermograhpy Report to read the full analysis.
thermography report showing heat retention properties of heatsavr the liquid solar pool cover
Another study was conducted by the Professional Pool Operators of America found that, when their test pool used Heatsavr, the original liquid solar pool cover, it lost half as much heat overnight as it did when there was no cover on the swimming pool.

So, based on these test results, using a liquid pool cover can reduce heat loss by 50 - 70%, very similar to plastic solar blankets.

To win this round, however, the ADVANTAGE goes to liquid pool covers because they will not inhibit heat gain, as a plastic blanket will do. A liquid pool cover is completely transparent, and will not affect the level of solar gain that a pool can experience.
Round 2 is about to begin: Water Conservation


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2 Comments

Solar Blankets Canada - June 3rd, 2013 at 2:16 AM
That a great comparison you have been shared.
I like this and also great information you have been given....
Monique Nelson - June 3rd, 2013 at 10:32 AM
Thanks! I'm glad I could be helpful! If you have any questions that you think should be addressed in our blog, I'm always open to suggestion!
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