How fast does a solar cover heat a pool: Simple Explanation

Heating pool water with pool heaters is extremely expensive. However, it does not mean you won’t be able to heat your pool water; fortunately, there are a few alternatives. Solar cover is one of them. There are many types of pool solar covers, each with different benefits. But they might raise one question in your mind- How fast does a solar cover heat a pool? 

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We will answer that along with a lot more in this article today. 

First things first…

How fast does a solar cover heat a pool?

A solar pool cover heats the pool by 5 degrees every 12 hours mostly. However, for your solar pool cover to work properly, the pool should be covered entirely, and it must receive 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Why is using a solar pool cover necessary?

Regular pool covers keep your pool free from dust debris and also cut down on maintenance costs. On the other hand, a solar pool cover provides all these benefits, along with a couple more. 

For instance, solar pool covers heat up a pool and does not allow the water to evaporate. If pools are left uncovered, they might lose water up to 10,000 gallons annually due to evaporation. 

Besides, a solar pool cover uses an environmentally friendly and affordable method to heat the pool. It traps the sun’s energy throughout the day and does not allow it to escape at night. 

Overall, a solar pool cover has the following benefits:

  • It saves energy.
  • Reduces evaporation.
  • Keeps away bacteria and algae spores.
  • Extends your swimming season by keeping the water warm.

Types of Solar Pool Cover

There are three types of solar pool covers

Solar sun rings

These are lightweight, easy to use, and function well on all pools, i.e., in-ground, intext pool, above the ground. The cover is a two-layered UV-resistant vinyl which helps reduce evaporation and retains the sun’s heat. As the name suggests, the cover has solar rings connected with magnets that enable the rings to stay in place when in use.

Solar Blankets

Also known as solar bubble covers, these sheets look very similar to bubble wrap. The sun’s UV rays are trapped in the bubbles, which helps keep the pool warm. Besides, solar blankets also have moisture in their bubbles, which reduces evaporation from the pool. 

Liquid pool cover

This is the newest innovation in pool covers. Of all the pool covers available in the market, these are the most effective. Designed to be absolutely invisible, liquid solar covers reduce water evaporation by 40% and heat the water to 6 six degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, you can swim while this pool cover functions! These types of pool covers are perfect for all kinds of pools.

Liquid pool covers have specific doses. Higher dosages are required for bigger pools and smaller dosages for smaller pools. 

You have to reapply the liquid pool cover dosage to the pool every thirty days. Liquid pool covers only last for that long.

It must be noted that the solar blankets and the solar sun rings are made of plastic and thus might disintegrate due to environmental agents like wind, rain and might also react to chemicals. Therefore it’s advisable to change them every two three years.

Things to consider while purchasing solar pool covers

Now that you know the three types of pool cover available in the market, and How fast does a solar cover heat a pool, surely you want to get hold of one to save your pool from freezing in the upcoming winter months. 

However, before you do that, consider the following features and specifications.

UV resistance

If your solar cover has higher UV resistance, it offers more protection. Such a cover will last longer at the face of continued exposure to the sun.


Ideally, you should opt for a thick solar cover. Such covers offer maximum protection. Therefore, it’s advisable to opt for pool covers that feature a thickness of 12 ml or more. However, if you want a cover to last longer than usual, opt for one that offers a 14 ml thickness.

However, please remember that a thicker cover will always weigh more. In some cases, users might need a retractor to lift and roll the cover. 


The solar cover should cover the whole area of your pool, so look for a cover larger than your pool area. It’s okay if the cover overlaps the edges. Such covers have the maximum effectiveness.

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The pace at which the water heats depends heavily on the sun’s intensity and the exposure time of the water to the sunlight. 

Besides these factors, the area or climate you live in and the size of your pool are also essential consideration points. Generally, a pool takes about 12 hours to heat up to five degrees under normal circumstances.

Care tips for your solar pool cover

Protection when not in use

When you are not using your pool cover, it’s advisable to store it in a cool, dry place away from the sunlight. Indeed solar pool covers are made to be placed under the sun for maximum efficiency. Still, at the end of the day, these covers are made of plastic, and plastic is susceptible to deformation under the sun’s harsh UV rays.

Handle gently

If you have any abrasive material covering your deck or any other chopped or ragged design on it, make sure you lift the pool cover with care, or you might damage the air bubbles. Even if it’s a small tear, its consequences can be severe later on, which might reduce the efficiency of the cover.


If your solar pool cover is layered with dirt and debris, the sun’s rays will not reach it properly, and thus the heating ability of the pool will be compromised. You need a clean pool cover for it to function effectively. Use your pool skimmer to hose off the loose dirt and debris. Following that, use the circulation pump to send the small debris back to the skimmer into the filter instead of the pool.


If your water temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it will lower the shelf life of your pool cover. If the pool heats to that temperature or above, the covers should be removed and reapplied after layering it in a white polyethylene protector. If you use the solar cover without any protection at this temperature, you may lose out on the warranty.

Winter care

Never use your pool cover after the swimming season. Please remember, your solar pool cover does not function as a winter pool cover, and thus using it during winters will reduce its life to a great extent. There are pool covers made for winters available, which better protect the pools during winter and fall seasons.


Once the pool covered is clear, dry it. Then fold it up into four-foot widths, then roll it end-to-end. You can now store it standing on one of the ends, either in its original carton or a big plastic bag. Always keep your pool cover in a shaded or protected area with temperatures below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get a solar cover reel

A solar cover reel will allow you to spread and retract the pool cover without damaging it. The cover reel will also prevent your pool cover from sagging, thereby reducing the chance of tear. If you have a thicker cover, invest in a reel with a larger diameter to keep the cover pulled.

When to use a solar pool cover? 

Though most people cover their pool at night, this is not right, especially if you want to keep the water warm. On the flip side, it’s advisable to cover your pool anytime it’s not in use. 

During the night, the pool will cool down the fastest due to the cold air around. This situation is similar during the winter; the air is cold both during the day and night.


I hope now you have a clear idea about How fast does a solar cover heat a pool. If you aim to keep your pool warm and save water from evaporating, then you need a pool cover. Also, please do keep your pool covered when not in use to retain the heat that might escape otherwise. 

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