Swimming pool

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Cover your pool

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Simply covering your pool with a pool cover (otherwise known as a solar cover or thermal blanket) helps the environment in the following ways: it keeps both water and heat from evaporating at dramatic rates and it helps keep pool chemicals, if you use them, from polluting the air.

Types of pool covers

  • If you don't have a pool cover and want a quick fix buy a large sheet of plastic from a home or lumber store, cut to fit your pool. It will be more difficult to handle and store than a real pool cover and will only last a season or two, but it's an inexpensive, immediate solution while you are shopping or saving for a cover.
  • If you already have a conventional cover but only bring it out in the off-season or when you’re out of town, it will reduce evaporation greatly if you also use it overnight and between periods of swimming, especially when the weather is dry or windy.
  • The best option is a solar cover. Looking like a huge piece of bubble wrap, a solar cover is clear and has air pockets that provide insulation (although it can come in different colors.) Its transparency converts sunlight into heat, since the pool gets direct solar power even when it is covered. A solar cover is like a blanket that is thrown across the pool and floats on the water, which means it is simple to use between swims. It may be all you need, or it can be a good energy-saving addition to a conventional cover that fits across the pool more securely and provides safety for kids and pets.

Find it! Pool covers

Covering your pool helps you go green because...

  • It will save an average of 1,000 gallons of water a month.[1]
  • It will also reduce up to 80 percent in heat evaporation.[2]
  • If you use pool chemicals, there will be 70 percent less evaporation of them into the air.[2]
  • A cover will keep the water cleaner by keeping dirt and other debris out of the pool. Not only do you have to work less, but so do the filters in the pool, thereby saving even more energy. Also, a cleaner pool is always a safer pool.[3]

Additional benefits

  • Pool-related energy costs will be much less—by about 50-70 percent if you heat your pool.[4]
  • Since solar covers keep water an average of 10 degrees warmer,[2] they keep the pool nice and warm for the next swim, especially in the morning, when you might otherwise jump into chilly water.

Pools evaporate water and heat at an uncommon rate. Not using a pool cover has been compared to heating a home with the doors and windows open, or to building a house without a roof. Covering your pool is on every water organization’s top-ten list of ways to conserve water.

The water saved by using a cover can add up to 7,000 gallons annually for the average pool,[5] and a pool covered just half the time can cut energy use by 50 percent.[6]