Clear vs Blue Solar Pool Covers

Picking the right color for solar pool covers is a hassle. After matching shape, size, quality, and other features, getting the right color makes no sense sometimes. It is not that straightforward. Color plays an important role in heat absorption, retention, and transfer. 

Water circulation, chemical cost, and light penetration have a good connection with the cover color as well. There comes the question – which color to pick. Among various colors, people often get confused between Clear vs blue solar pool covers- and for good reasons.

But what advantage do they offer? What are the differences between them? What will you get from them? To know the answer, keep reading this article. We will portray a clear comparison between clear and blue solar cover.

What is a Solar Cover

Solar covers are often referred to as solar blankets. It’s a large sheet of plastic sometimes wrapped on a roller or solar reel on one end of a pool. It looks like air bubble wrap and used to lie on the top of the swimming pool. These air bubbles trap and transfer heat, which helps you to heat your pool naturally with solar energy. A heat pump or pool heater owners can cut down the energy cost significantly when solar blankets are present.

Another alternative to solar cover is solar rings for quick pool heating. But, solar covers are more effective due to their air bubbles filling, where solar rings are flat. Solar covers work better in insulating pools at night.

Why Is A Solar Pool Cover Important?

Considering a solar pool cover is smart to act if you want to limit the water evaporation and heat loss. 75% of heat loss occurs in your swimming pool due to evaporation. A solar blanket or cover can create a barrier between water and surrounding air, which reduces your pool heating or energy cost up to 70%. By limiting the evaporation, also prevents chemical loss.

Pool Heat Loss Characteristics

Furthermore, Solar Cover reduces maintenance costs and helps to keep out debris, dirt, flying particles as well as prevents algae.

Clear Solar Pool Cover

These types of pool covers are colorless. Sunlight directly passes through transparent pool covers. The clear solar cover normally remains cooler, but due to direct heat passing, water absorbs heat quickly. However, heat retention is very pool.

Blue Solar Pool Cover

Blue covers are plastic bubble wrap sheets with blue color. This type of solar cover sheet itself absorbs more heat than a clear or colorless pool cover. Then it passes the heat to the pool water. It is also effective to hold UV rays and has more heat retention capacity.

Clear vs blue solar pool covers comparison

The differences are many. We will discuss those differences only that matter to you.

Which one offers better Penetration of Light?

The light comes better through a translucent, clear cover. It does not prevent light much thus the light can penetrate easily and reach deep into the pool. 

In contrast, the blue cover is not translucent. It prevents light from penetrating easily. The light cannot go deep down to the pool. If you want the sunlight to penetrate easily and go deep down to the pool, the clear cover is a better option.

Which cover absorbs the heat better?

Clear color covers absorb less heat compared to blue color. Since it is translucent, most of the light gets through it easily resulting in less heat to absorb. Some may raise questions about bubbles in clear covers. Bubbles do not absorb the heat much. Blue covers also have bubbles.

On the flip side, the blue covers are translucent. They prevent light from passing through as easily as clear ones. When the light cannot pass through, it gets absorbed in the cover. That means blue covers will absorb more light and solar energy.

Things to mention here. The deeper the color will be, the more light it will absorb. If blue covers come in a deep color, less light will pass through and thus they will consume more light and energy. The same goes for clear covers too.

If you get less direct sunlight in the day, yet want to warm the pool, clear covers will be better. That’s because they will absorb less heat and allow sunlight to heat the water quickly.

Which one offers more heat retention?

When the light and heat pass through the cover, they get trapped in it. The more heat it traps, the better heat retention it offers. Compared to the blue cover, the clear cover offers less heat retention. Since it is translucent, more light comes in and goes out. Only a little light and heat get trapped into it.

However, the blue cover comes in deep color with less translucency. It might allow less penetration but traps more heat. Consequently, the heat retention will be better with a blue cover. If you want to keep your pool warm for a long time, the blue cover will be better.

Which one transfers the heat more?

When it comes to heat transfer, the clear pool solar cover always wins. It transfers heat directly by allowing the sunlight to go deep directly. In addition, it absorbs and holds less heat that ensures more efficiency and better transfer of heat.

Unlike a clear one, a blue one transfers heat through conduction. Mainly, it works through radiation and convection. Besides, heat absorption and retention are better with a blue cover that limits heat transfer. 

When you have limited sunlight, picking the clear one will work better. It will transfer heat fast and more efficiently. Your pool will get warmer faster. Remember that the clear one cannot provide more heat retention. Therefore, you will enjoy a warmer pool for a temporary period.

The effects on chemical cost

As mentioned, the clear cover allows better sunlight penetration. When the light comes indirectly, it brings more UV rays. UV rays are known for degrading the chlorine level. The chlorine level will fall faster when you use a clear cover. Hence, the cost associated with chlorinating or shocking will be more with the clear one.

On the other hand, the blue solar pool blanket limits the penetration of light. Thus, it limits the penetration of UV rays resulting in a slower fall of chlorine level. Your cost associated with pool chemicals will be reduced a lot. To save money on pool chemical costs, the blue one is obviously better.

Which one needs more water circulation?

Water circulation is needed to circulate heat through the pool. When it comes to clear solar pool cover, it allows sunlight to travel deep to the pool. Therefore, convection happens smoothly and spontaneously. You might not perform a water circulation event to disperse heat evenly throughout your pool.

The blue cover does not allow sunlight to travel deeper to the pool. Only the upper part of water gets warm with direct sunlight and conduction. The lower part of pool water will stay cold. To mix the water and disperse heat, water circulation will be needed.

Visual appeal

Not everyone has the same taste. Some prefer black where some prefer red. When it comes to solar pool cover, some people find clear one dull and less attractive. Some people, of course, find the clear one good looking and standard.

Besides, many people love blue covers. They find it more attractive and similar to the blue water. Depending on the preference and taste, the visual appeal varies a lot.

Which one offers better longevity?

Using solar covers properly can improve lifespan. The main destructive forces for solar pool blankets are UV rays and chemicals. Exposing these forces more will lead to a lower lifespan. A bad thing about the blue cover is it absorbs UV rays resulting in faster wear out. The clear cover is opposite here.

Price and Availability of clear and blue solar pool cover

Both of the covers come at different prices. They don’t have much difference in the price section. Similarly, both of them are available in most online sources. You can purchase them from online shops or local shops easily.

Should I leave the solar pool cover on?

You should leave the solar pool cover on when the pool is not in use. It will retain more heat and keep your pool warmer for a long time. Besides, it will limit UV rays penetration to keep the chlorine at a level for a long time. You can save a lot on your chemical cost. At the same time, it will protect your pool from leaves, dirt, and debris. 

How to keep pool water from evaporating?

To protect your pool water from evaporating, using solar pool covers is the best and most effective way. It will absorb heat and sunlight to protect water from evaporating. Try to reduce your pool water temperature. Make sure you turn off any water features in your pool that cause evaporation quickly. Finally, try a windbreak as the wind can accelerate evaporation in your pool.

Does solar pool cover really work?

The solar pool cover works great in your pool for different purposes. It will promote sunlight penetration yet limit UV rays. Besides, it keeps the pool warmer by promoting heat retention. Moreover, it will prevent quick water evaporation. The chemical cost will be reduced greatly when using a cover. Finally, you can keep your pool water safe from leaves, dirt, and debris.

How much does a solar cover heat a pool?

The heat capacity of a cover depends on the amount of sunlight, quality of the cover, and outside temperature. If you get direct sunlight for a long time in a day and the quality of the cover is good, it can make the pool temperature much higher. In general, a good solar pool cover can increase 5 degrees F temperature.

Which side goes up on a solar pool cover? Which way do the bubbles go on a solar cover?

When installing the solar pool cover, make sure you put the bubble side down. All the bubbles should face downward. A solar cover works by trapping heat in the pocket of air created in the bubble gaps. If you face the bubble side upward, there will be no air pockets. In that case, your pool cover will not work at all.

Final Verdict

Now you know the Clear vs blue solar pool covers comparison. Both of them can work great to some extent. But there will be only one winner. Let’s sum up everything.

clear vs blue solar pool cover comparison

So who is the winner? Well, the clear cover will be slightly ahead of the blue one. However, if you want to retain heat for a long time, a blue cover will be a better option. If you want better penetration, less chemical cost, less water circulation, and a higher lifespan, a clear one will be better. Now the decision is yours and enjoys your swimming season.

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