How to Use a Solar Blanket

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If you live in the north or in a cold climate, the swimming pool season is short. You want to make the most of it, so using a solar blanket is a wise choice. It will extend the season and keep the pool water warm on cool nights. According to Poolcenter.com, if you cover a pool or spa with a solar blanket, you can cut heating costs by 70 percent. Saving money is another good reason to use a solar blanket.

  • Measure your pool. Measure the longest and widest parts of the pool. Include the steps. Your solar blanket is folded and usually in a box when you purchase it. Lay it out with the bubble side down onto the pool. Leave it for a couple of days, so it relaxes to its true size.

  • Trim the solar blanket. You want the blanket to fit close to each edge but not lapping over the top of the pool. This is important if you decide to put the solar blanket on a roller. It's also easier to take off the blanket, if it fits correctly over the pool.

  • Place the solar blanket on the pool at night and during the day. During the night, when the temperature drops, the heat from the pool will evaporate quickly without the blanket. During the day, the heat from the sun will warm the pool.

  • Purchase a solar blanket reel. For easiest removal, consider a reel. Attach the solar blanket to the roller with straps. Simply roll up the solar blanket when you want to use the pool. The blanket reel has wheels, so you can move it out of the way when not in use. If you do not have a reel, you need two people to remove the blanket. Most blankets come with a bag for storage.

  • Clean the solar blanket to extend its life. You can clean the blanket right on the pool. Using your pool brush, squirt on the solar cover cleaner and then scrub. Hose off the blanket when you are done. Another approach is to spread the blanket out on the lawn, preferably where there is a slope for easy water removal.

Tips & Warnings

  • After adding chlorine to the pool, keep the solar blanket off for a few hours. This will extend the life of the blanket. Clean and deodorize the blanket periodically.
  • Do not store the blanket outside during the winter.

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  • Photo Credit ClickArt by Broderbund
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