Solar pool covers, also known as solar blankets, are a very economical way to heat pool water. Once the initial money is spent for the cover, the heat provided by the sun is free. Your pool will not be heated to 90 degrees, but you can expect a modest rise in temperature. if you do not take care of your solar cover, however, it can lose its ability to heat water. A clean, undamaged cover is more efficient in heating water than a dark, dirty one. So proper storage of a solar cover is important.
Temporary storage of your solar cover is necessary when you want to use your pool. Simply taking it off and setting it aside can add a lot of debris to your pool when the cover is put back on. If your pool is above ground, an easy solution is to add hooks that can be attached to the sides of your pool, such as a Solar Saddle. When pulling the cover off of the pool, you simply pull it into the hooks on the side of the pool, and it stays clean while you use your pool. For an in-ground pool, the best way to temporarily store the solar cover is to purchase a solar blanket reel. The solar cover is attached to the reel with straps, and you roll it onto the reel when you want to use the pool. Reels make pulling the cover back onto the pool after use an easy task as well. Most reels have wheels on the bottom to roll them out of the way when you have company.
A solar cover should not be kept on the pool during winter months unless the pool is in use. For long-term storage, such as over winter, the solar cover should be cleaned thoroughly with a soft brush and a chemically safe cleaner. Your local pool dealer can guide you in purchasing an appropriate cleaner for your specific type of cover. To prevent mildew, the cover must be completely dry before it is stored. Your cover likely has seams on which you can fold it to prevent creasing in other, unwanted areas. Once it is folded on the seams, you can roll it up the rest of the way and place it in a large bag. Many solar covers come in a bag for storage. Place the bag in a shed or garage where it will stay clean, dry and away from rodents that might try to chew through it but where the temperature stays well below 120 degrees F. Extreme temperatures can damage the cover's bubbles and weaken the cover.