Our first post that talks about renewable energy is related to your swimming pool. It is about how you can avoid using non renewable energy and use solar blankets for your pool instead. You will also save money as well in this particular solar energy solution! A solar blanket insulates the pool, keeps the heat in and converts sunlight into heat as well. Most come with rollers that make it easy to remove from the pool when it is time to use your pool. When it is time to place the solar blanket back on the pool, just drag it out over the pool as this lady is doing. Easily done and probably the most cost effective solution. Never leave the solar blanket on your lawn. Your grass will burn in no time.
Many people will employ gas fired or electric powered heaters to heat their pools to the desired temperature. While this is fast and you just need to dial the temperature that you want, it is using either natural gas, electricity or perhaps oil to heat your pool. It is also convenient and can be turned on for the weekend or whenever you want to have warm water to swim in. They are expensive to install as well as to operate. Installation costs can be as much as $2000 and operating costs each season can vary a great deal based on use, but $500 a season is not uncommon. You are also using non renewable energy to heat your pool and contributing to green house gases as well as pollution in general.
Solar Blankets for Your Pool
Using a solar blanket can achieve the same result, while saving energy and taking advantage of the sun’s heating rays to keep your pool warm. Many people do not like the extra work involved and the time it takes to remove and install the solar blanket each day, however it is an inexpensive way to heat your pool.
The work involved is not a lot. Basically you have to roll up the solar blanket when you want to use the pool using a roller or wrap it with straps. When you are ready to place the blanket back on the pool, it is a quick 2 or 3 minute job to pull the blanket back over the pool. There is no cost other than the two to three hundred dollar cost of the blanket depending on the size of the pool, when you purchase it and install it.
Rollers for Solar Blankets
In ground pools have a neat device that you can purchase to use to remove your solar blanket from the pool. Basically it is a long tube that spans across the pool with a crank at one end that you use to roll up the solar blanket that is installed on your in ground pool.
These same rollers can be installed on above ground pools, however it is a little more difficult since you need to install something to attach the roller too that sits on top of your above ground pool and off to one side. You will need to cover your solar blanket when it is rolled up with a white plastic sheet to protect it from the sun and avoid over heating. They come with the solar blanket and can also be purchased from your pool store.
Above Ground Pool Solar Blankets
Above ground pools do not seem to cool down as fast as in ground pools and they tend to heat up more quickly as well. This is primarily due to the cooling effect of the ground around the in ground pool keeping the water at a constant temperature. Never the less if you want to heat your pool you can with a solar blanket, They are quite effective and will keep your above ground pool warmer than many in ground pools.
In this case the blanket is just manually rolled up and left hanging at the side of the pool which is fine and you do not have to be concerned about purchasing a roller and mounting it at one side of the pool. It is a little bit more laborious to rolling up the blanket.
Maintaining and Installing a Solar Blanket
Solar blankets should always be covered when they are rolled up. If they are left in the sun and not covered by a thin white plastic sheet, the blanket will heat up and in fact get so hot it will melt the plastic. At the very least it will begin to cause the plastic and bubbles to deteriorate more quickly. Always cover them when they are not on the pool and left in the sun. A properly maintained solar blanket should last at least 3 to 4 years.
Installation is pretty simple. Purchase a blanket that is either the size of your pool or slightly larger if your pool is not a rectangle such as a kidney shaped pool. Next lay out the blanket on your pool and allow it to stretch. The heat from the sun will soften it a bit and stretch the blanket somewhat as it heats up.
Next using a pair of scissors, cut the blanket while it is on your pool to the edges of your pool following the shape of your pool. Installation and cutting will take a maximum of no more than 30 minutes. Attach the blanket to your roller if you have one and you are done.
Comments are welcome regarding solar blankets for pools and any other methods of heating your pool for swimming.