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Cover up

04 April 2012 swimart

Cover up

Cover up!

It's good for your hip pocket and the environment

With winter only weeks away, it's a good idea to think about a pool cover or blanket for your pool - and there are many reasons why.

Simply put, pool covers are an effective way of keeping your pool clean and reducing operating costs. Quality covers act as a protective seal over the water, keeping heat and moisture in, and leaf litter and other environmental debris out.

Did you know that you can save up to 50% on heating costs by simply using a pool cover? Evaporation is the major source of heat loss for all swimming pools. This occurs mainly during the night when the ambient air temperature drops below the temperature of the water in the pool. By creating a barrier between the water surface and the outside air, these losses are virtually eliminated.

Factors that affect the evaporation rate include water temperature, air temperature and humidity, and wind speed on the pool surface; the higher the pool temperature and wind speed, and the lower the humidity, the greater the evaporation rate.

Derek Prince from Daisy Pool covers explains that if a pool is heated, a cover will insulate the pool and restrict heat loss, and therefore reduce energy costs. "A pool cover acts as a barrier between the colder air and the warmer pool water. It stops the natural process of hot and cold attracting each other, commonly known as convection," says Derek.

According to Derek, the most popular and cost-effective covers are the bubble style solar pool covers. "Even if you have an indoor heated pool, we still recommend that you use a pool cover to save on energy costs. Our specially designed indoor pool covers also keep condensation in the pool rather than letting it seep into the walls and roof of the pool room which can cause structural damage."

If used every day, a pool cover will reduce evaporation that occurs daily by up to 97 per cent and warm the pool water by around 6 - 8˚C, which ultimately extends your swimming season.

Victorian pool cover rebates
In Victoria, rebates are still available for pool covers with a roller or reel for the cover purchased and installed between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2013. Those eligible will receive $200 back on 400 micron thick, UV stabilized, Smart Watermark Approved solar blankets and rollers. Go to www.water.vic.gov.au for more details.

Sealing your swimming pool with a robust wrap also means that water and chemicals don't evaporate as quickly. Over the course of a year this can translate to massive savings on energy, water and chemical costs (it reduces the cost of pool chemicals because the amount of chlorine lost to the sun's UV rays is diminished). It also improves water health by protecting the pool from dirt and debris, which in turn reduces the load on your filtration and cleaning systems and saves you the hassle of constant cleaning.

There are myriad styles of pool covers to choose from, including thermal blankets, leaf covers, slat covers or the ever popular bubble blanket. Most provide long life expectancy.

If you don't want to use the pool cover year round, you can opt for a roll away version that literally rolls away into a specially designed cavity at one end of the pool. So when not in use, the blanket is stored away, out of sight and out of mind until it is needed again.

Swimart stocks a wide variety of pool covers and rollers. To find out more about pool covers and which one might suit your needs, just contact your local store or call Swimart on 1300 991 104 (Australia) or 0800 479 462 (New Zealand).

At a glance: Why fit a pool cover?

A pool cover will help to significantly reduce the cost of pool ownership and maintenance by:

  • Reducing evaporation: Pool covers keep water lost to evaporation to a minimum. An average pool can lose up to 100 litres of water every day to evaporation. By fitting a pool cover you can reduce this loss of water by up to 97%.
  • Minimising heat loss: Evaporation is the major source of heat loss for all swimming pools. Ninety per cent of heat loss is from the surface of the pool, so the best way to minimise evaporation is by covering your pool at night and during the day when it is not in use.
  • Improving water cleanliness: Approximately 80 - 90% of debris, (leaves, dirt, insects, etc.) can be kept out of the pool with the aid of a well-fitted pool cover. This also increases the quality of your pool water and significantly reduces the workload on your pool cleaning system.
  • Other benefits:
    - A pool cover helps to reduce the total cost of pool chemicals, reduces the amount of pool chlorine lost to the sun's UV rays.
    - Fitting a pool cover can extend your swimming season even without other forms of heating. It can increase pool temperature by up to 6 - 8ºC in pools with a sunny aspect.