Bubble (or solar) pool covers can be an excellent alternative to vinyl covers depending on where the pool is situated and what time it is most likely to be in use. Resembling a thicker and more durable form of the classic bubble-wrap packing material, these covers also incorporate UV inhibitors and are specifically designed for use with swimming pools.
The bubble pool cover has a number of significant differences to the classic vinyl cover. Vinyl is thicker and may even come with an additional layer of insulation between two layers, making them considerably heavier. Bubble covers are correspondingly much lighter and in many cases easier to use, however on the flip side they tend not to be quite as durable and long lasting as those made from vinyl.
When choosing between these two materials it’s important to have a general understanding of how the heat from the sun affects the temperature of the pool. Around three quarters of the heat generated from sunlight will be absorbed into exposed pool water; a figure that is reduced when the pool is covered over. Depending upon how warm an individual desires their pool to be, it’s important to choose a cover that will best serve towards achieving this.
The difference can be very noticeable. A good quality bubble cover will absorb approximately 10-15% of the heat that would otherwise have entered the water, whereas a vinyl cover might stretch as high as 30-40%. Therefore people in very warm areas just like in the San Francisco Bay Area, who desire a cooler pool might be better opting for vinyl, yet on the other hand those who like their water to be less of a shock to the system when they enter might like a bubble cover to keep the water temperature more ambient. It really is a matter of personal choice.
How To Use A Pool Cover Effectively
A cover is necessary to keep the water as clean as possible and for daylight use should be used whenever nobody is actively in the pool itself. Remove/roll back the cover just before use and try to recover as soon as use has concluded.
Evening times are a little more complicated as effective use depends much more upon the climate conditions. Evaporation is the key to this – as in dry or windy conditions the rate of evaporation will be higher, so it is best to keep the pool closed with a bubble pool cover during the daytime to reduce loss. In warmer or more humid climates the rate of evaporation will be correspondingly lower, so it’s good practice to leave the cover off during the daytime and just cover up overnight.