Swimming pool heating costs can be significantly reduced by using a pool cover. Use of a pool cover also can help reduce the amount of chemicals (chlorine, etc.) required by the pool. Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing 75%–85% of the solar energy striking the pool surface. Though a cover decreases the total amount of solar heat absorbed by the pool, the cover eliminates heat loss due to evaporation and reduces heat loss at night through it's insulating properties. Most swimming pool heat loss is through evaporation.
The heating effectiveness of a cover depends on type. A transparent bubble cover is the most effective, as it allows the largest amount of solar flux into the pool itself. Thermal bubble covers are lightweight UV stabilized floating covers designed to minimize heat loss on heated swimming pools. Typically they are only fitted in spring and fall (autumn) when the temperature difference between pool water and air temperature is greatest. They raise temperature of a pool by around 11 °Celsius, after being on the pool for a week. Bubble covers are typically applied and removed by being rolled up on a device fitted to one side of the pool (see Covers on our Web Page). Covers fall apart after 4 or 5 years due to sun exposure, overheating in the sun while off the pool, and chlorine attacking the plastic. Bubble covers should be removed during super chlorination.
A vinyl cover absorbs more sunlight directly, allowing temperature to rise faster, but ultimately prevents the pool from reaching as high a temperature as a clear cover. Vinyl covers consist of a heavier material and have a longer life expectancy than bubble covers. Insulated vinyl covers are also available with a thin layer of flexible insulation sandwiched between two layers of vinyl to be fitted to pools in areas of that have high evaporation This is an effort to conserve water, as much water evaporates and transpires.
An alternative is a slatted pool cover, which unlike a bubble cover is, ridged enough to put on and off the pool automatically. The slats are buoyant so they float on top of the water and are operated with an electric roller which can be sited either in the pit below the water line or above the deep end of the pool.
Rollers located in the pit end of the swimming pool are great because it leaves the pool deck Un-cluttered and makes the job of pulling on and off the cover light work. This type of cover is very efficient and is available with solar panels and will help maintain your pools temperature during those very cold winter months. Often used in conjunction with a pool heater this is the ideal cover for those who like to use their pool all year around.
1. Which type of swimming pool will suit my needs?
Swimming pools are custom constructions and are built by pool contractors (Builders) with varying standards. All pools are not built the same way; they are not mass-produced in a factory under controlled conditions. With a swimming pool much of what you do not see will impact the cost of pool ownership. Infact the most important part of your pool construction you will never see. What type of pool do I want and what am I using it for. Is it for family recreation, entertaining guests, physical therapy, exercise or just personal recreation? Would I like to use it throughout the whole year or just in the summer months?
2. Asking plenty of questions.
Your builder will be able to explain in detail how your swimming pool will be constructed and its process from start to finish. The more you know and understand about swimming pool construction the better buyer you will ultimately be. This helps you and your pool contractor. Do your homework. Your resources are endless, so use them!
3. Get 2 or 3 estimates.
Get 2 or 3 estimates from reputable swimming pool companies, ask around then make your decision and go with it. Don’t go crazy with too many quotes it will only hamper you making the right decision in the end.
4. Not checking out the experience level, history, or background of a Contractor.
What makes them qualified to build swimming pools? Consider the saying, “If you think the cost of a Professional is expensive, wait until you hire an Amateur.”
5. Shopping based on price.
Usually if a deal seems too good to be true, it is! If you shop for price alone you are destined to be disappointed. Bottom line: you pretty much get what you pay for.
6. Shopping over the phone for a pool.
It is impossible and a waste of time. If someone can quote you over the phone keep clear it’s impossible! Ask them to come to your home to provide you with an estimate. Visiting a contractor’s place of business will tell you a lot about the type of business it is.
7. Your contract.
Make sure you understand what you are getting into. Make sure everything is in writing. The contract should protect you and the contractor. If you are not 100% sure don’t sign it!
8. Remember there is more to your pool than just aesthetics.
Flow rates, pipe size, pump and filter types, chemical management systems, and many other factors will make a difference in the enjoyment you get from your pool and its cleanliness and hygiene.
9. Am I restricted to shape and design?
Your restrictions are as limited as your imagination although most pools are rectangular or kidney shaped the shape of the pool is down to you, generally the prices for more elaborate swimming pools are only represented by the quantity of materials used. The most popular choice of pools constructed in Spain are “gunite” because it is highly durable and can be created into just about any shape.
10. Why “gunite”?
Gunite is a mixture of concrete and sand , this method is preferred as it exceedingly durable and pools made from gunite are designed to last. Adding to their versatility gunite swimming pools allow you to create an unlimited array of shapes and designs.