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Using pool covers is an excellent way to reduce heat loss in your swimming pool and to keep it cleaner and well-maintained in general. You’ll find a variety of pool covers in the market to achieve this purpose.
Can you use bubble wrap as a solar pool cover? Yes, you can. It functions in the same way as a typical solar pool cover, except for the fact that it won’t be as durable and won’t have certain features like UV inhibitors to protect them from damage against the sun.
Read below to find more information on why to use pool covers, what makes solar pool covers stand out from them, and other forms of pool covers you can use to maintain your swimming pool.
Bubble Wrap Covers Work the Same Way as Solar Pool Covers
Bubble wrap covers (see Amazon) serve the same function of acting as a protective layer to the swimming pool as solar pool covers. They can be adjusted to the dimensions of your swimming pool through simple cutting and shaping with a pair of scissors.
They can also be removed from the pools through the use of reels like if you’d use solar pool covers, and can be stored until you need to use them again. The benefit of using them is that they’re cheaper and although not as much as solar pool covers, they’re still functional.
What Makes Bubble Wrap Covers Useful?
Without a pool cover, your swimming pool can lose up to 60% of heat as a result of evaporation. It can also catch dirt and consume toxic chemicals from the surroundings which may affect not only the cleanliness but also the safety of the swimming pool.
Bubble wrap covers help in this case by acting as a layer of protection between dirt, harmful chemicals, debris etc. and the swimming pool, and also by keeping the swimming pool warm and comfortable by reducing heat loss.
How Do Bubble Wrap Covers Reduce Heat Loss?
The main mechanism of bubble wrap covers lies in the bottom layers containing air bubbles, which trap heat from the sun and transfer it down to the swimming pool. This helps especially during the cooler evening hours or during winters, as heat remains trapped in the pool.
The air bubble technology does more than just reducing heat loss, though. They’re also responsible for keeping the cover afloat in the swimming pool. A plastic sheet might work as a cover too, but it will end up sinking in the water, which is why bubble wrap covers are used.
What Differentiates Bubble Wrap Covers From Solar Pool Covers?
In many ways, they are the same. Solar pool covers are basically just giant bubble wrap covers, to put it bluntly. The difference lies in the rigidity and longevity of the materials used and properties such as UV inhibition which you may not find in cheap bubble wrap covers.
The plastic in bubble wrap covers may also deteriorate faster over time as compared to solar pool covers which have longer life spans, plus, solar pool covers work as an insulator during the night so you won’t have to use your pool heaters that much.
The thickness of materials also varies in bubble wrap and solar pool covers. The thicker the material, the better protection the cover will provide to the swimming pool. Bubble wrap covers may have a thickness of 100 to 200 microns, while standard solar covers have 400 to 600.
How To Maintain Bubble Wrap Covers?
Whenever you have to swim, remove your bubble wrap cover through the use of reels, and store them in a cool place free of sunlight. Don’t store them in direct sunlight as this would cause the plastic material to deteriorate.
It might be a hassle, but it’s also important to keep the bubble wrap cover free from dirt or debris. You don’t have to go overboard with this, so you can just set a day in the week to clean your bubble wrap cover.
Bubble Wrap Covers vs. Solar Pool Covers: Which to Buy?
It might be tempting to buy typical bubble wrap covers just because they are cheaper, but in the longer run, solar pool covers will save you more money since you will not have to replace them that much.
Bubble wrap covers get worn out faster as compared to solar pool covers, and may not even be the most rigid when it comes to protecting your pool from harmful chemicals in the surroundings.
You can buy bubble wrap covers if you’re on a budget, but in the long run, we’d recommend you invest in solar pool covers which will not only protect your pool but provide you a warmer and more enjoyable swimming experience over time.
Alternatives to Buying Bubble Wrap Covers
Apart from bubble wrap covers, there are other options in the market, two of which we have mentioned below:
1) Foam Covers
Foam covers provide better insulation as compared to bubble wrap or solar covers, and they also have more durability. One of the disadvantages of bubble wrap covers is algae growth, which is lesser in foam covers, if not non-existent.
However, foam covers are heavier, and may not be that easy to remove and roll up as compared to bubble wrap covers.
2) Liquid Covers
Liquid pool covers (see Amazon) can be used in a variety of weathers as they don’t depend on the sun to prevent heat loss. They simply act as a barrier to prevent heat escaping from the swimming pool.
They’re also easier to use as you won’t find yourself struggling with a huge solar cover that you have to place in the pool every time. What’s more is that you can even swim with them on, unlike bubble wrap covers that cover the entire pool, making it unable for you to swim.
Do Bubbles Go Up or Down in The Bubble Wrap Cover?
The side with bubbles should be positioned downwards as that helps the cover float on the swimming pool.
What Should You Look for While Buying a Solar Pool Cover?
You should mainly consider the thickness of the materials which determines how well the cover will insulate the pool, and also whether it has properties such as protection against UV rays.