Solar pool covers can prevent evaporation and can heat your pool during the day for a lovely evening swim. There are two main colors for solar pool covers: clear and blue. You may be wondering what the difference is, right? There are a few differences between the two, and we have explored them all to simplify your search.
Clear solar pool covers allow direct sunlight to penetrate deep into the water, but the heat radiates out faster. Blue solar pool covers are generally less expensive than clear solar pool covers and trap heat inside the pool by reflecting the heat into the water.
If you are trying to decide between a clear or blue solar pool cover for your pool but are unsure which one to choose, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss the differences between clear and blue solar pool covers to help you find the one that meets your specific pool requirements.
Clear Vs. Blue Solar Pool Covers: What’s The Difference?
The color of a solar pool cover makes all the difference. Both serve the same purpose, but each functions differently.
While clear solar pool covers are better for heat gain, blue solar covers offer better heat retention. Let’s compare these two solar pool cover colors to find out what makes them different from one another.
1. Heat Generation & Retention
Clear Solar Pool Covers
When heat passes through a clear solar pool cover, the cover stays cool, but the heat penetrates straight into the water. Clear covers don’t absorb as much heat as a blue cover, and they also release more heat which means they have a lower heat retention ability.
Blue Solar Pool Covers
Blue solar pool covers absorb and trap heat and gradually transfer the heat into the pool water. It takes much longer for a blue pool cover to heat your pool, but it retains heat much better than a clear solar pool cover.
The lifespan of a solar pool cover depends on its exposure to pool chemicals and UV rays from the sun. A pool cover can also last longer with proper maintenance and care, but there is no way of preventing damage from the sun’s rays.
Unfortunately, blue solar pool covers absorb more UV rays and release more chemicals into the water than clear pool covers. As a result, blue covers wear out much sooner than clear covers. Clear covers last longer than blue covers, with an average of 5 to 6 years.
Helpful Care Tip #1 – To prevent wear and tear on your pool covers (clear or blue), you should never cover a pool that has just received shock treatment or if the chlorine level is higher than 2.2ppm. Low pH levels and high chlorine levels make a solar pool cover brittle over time.
Helpful Care Tip #2 – When you remove and roll up your solar pool cover, make sure to store it in the shade. When left in the sun, the solar cover’s bubbles act like prisms, and the UV rays eventually deteriorate the bubbles. If there is no shade available, use a large tarp or cloth to cover it up until you are ready to cover your pool again.
3. Chemical Costs
Believe it or not, the color of a pool cover can significantly increase the amount of money you spend on pool chemicals.
Clear Solar Pool Covers
UV rays from the sun can degrade the chlorine in your pool water. Clear solar pool covers allow much more sunlight to penetrate through it and into the water. Therefore, if you have a clear cover on your pool, you will spend a lot more money restoring the chlorine levels.
Blue Solar Pool Covers
On the other hand, blue solar pool covers absorb most of the UV rays into themselves instead of directly into the water. This helps to slow down chlorine degradation keeping the chlorine level constant for a much more extended period than clear covers, and ultimately prevents additional pool chemical expenses.
4. Heat Transfer
Heat transfer refers to the rate at which the cover transfers the heat to the water.
Since clear pool covers absorb and retain less heat than blue pool covers, heat is transferred much faster and more efficiently into the water than its blue counterpart. A clear cover facilitates heat transfer through convection and radiation.
Even though blue solar pool covers are excellent heat absorbers and retainers, it also means that they transfer heat much slower through conduction into the water. The heat absorbed by blue covers is limited mostly to the surface level of the water.
Clear Vs. Blue Solar Pool Covers: Pros & Cons
|Clear Solar Pool Covers||Blue Solar Pool Covers|
|Pros||Heats water quicker and more efficiently than a blue cover. Allows light to penetrate deep into the pool.||Visually appealing. Saves you a lot of money on pool chemical expenses. Absorbs and retains heat very well, even in regions with shorter periods of direct sunlight exposure.|
|Cons||Increases your pool chemical expenses. Clear covers need to be installed in pools that receive long periods of direct sunlight because they don’t absorb or retain enough heat in short periods of direct sunlight.||Takes longer to heat the pool water than a clear solar pool cover. Requires regular circulation for even distribution of heat. The heat takes much longer to reach the bottom of the pool.|
By looking at the above observations, we can conclude that a clear solar pool cover heats a pool faster, is very cost-effective, and last much longer than blue pool covers.
If you buy a solar pool cover to prevent water from evaporating, both clear and blue pool covers will suffice. However, if your primary reason is to have a heated pool, then a clear solar pool cover is the one for you.
As we can see, both colors have their pros and cons, but it is ultimately up to your requirements which one you should choose.