Covering All the Facts
Covers Are Essential for a Safe, Energy-Efficient Swimming Pool
Source: Pool & Spa Marketing
Author: Jenn Blum
An automatic swimming pool safety cover allows homeowners to readily enjoy leisure time at their pool. By simply entering their activation code on the cover control and pressing uncover, in less than one minute, a family can be ready to enjoy pool water that is clean, sparkling and at the perfect temperature. After taking a few hours for a refreshing swim, fun with the kids, or even just a float about in the pool, the homeowner simply recovers the pool and carries on with their day.
However, pool professionals know there is still a flurry of activity back at the pool. The filter, pump, heating system, cleaners, sanitizers, controls and the pool cover are all working together as a team to preserve the perfect pool experience with maximum efficiency.
What is the pool equipment team fighting for? Balanced, clean water at a comfortable temperature, giving the pool owner peace of mind by making pool operation more convenient, energy efficient and fun. What is the team fighting against? The buildup of dirt, debris, leaves and contaminants, and reducing heat, chemical and water loss. In the game of pool maintenance, an automatic safety cover is the homeowner’s defensive line.
Uncovered pools are tempting to children and pets. First and foremost, a safety cover provides protection against unattended access to the pool.
All swimming pool safety products, such as locking doors, gates and fences, pool alarms and safety covers can contribute to a safer pool. However, when an outdoor pool is unattended or the pool owner is away, a safety cover can be the most effective way to create a secure safety barrier.
Homeowners looking to install a safety cover have several options. They can choose between an automatic cover, a manual cover with tracks and reel system, or a manual anchored system. These vinyl or mesh covers are attached to the pool coping or deck surface and can support the weight of several adults. All types of solid-weave vinyl safety covers offer added benefits of keeping the pool free of dirt, while also preventing water, heat and chemical evaporation. The main differences between each cover system are their ease of use and convenience factors, as well as the available architectural options.
Future pool owner, Jodi Emery, cites convenience as her number one reason for including an automatic cover system in her building plans. As the parent of a curious and independent three-year old boy, she knows the allure of pool water and the need for a protective barrier.
“You can’t get much easier than typing in a code and pressing a button to cover and uncover your pool,” says Emery. “With an automatic cover, we have no excuse not to keep the pool covered whenever we’re not using it.” The key aspect is convenience: if the pool owner does not actually cover the pool, then the safety cover’s benefits are irrelevant.
Winning the game against evaporation
In colder climates, energy costs are some of the highest ongoing expenses for outdoor pool and swim spa owners. Pool water gains heat from the pool heater (either gas, electric or solar) and directly from the sun. Pool water loses heat through radiation, conduction, convection and evaporation. The first three typically account for 30 per cent of thermal loss. On an uncovered pool, the remaining 70 per cent is typically caused by evaporation—the number one enemy of an efficient pool.
Wind, humidity, air/water temperature and pool activity all contribute to the evaporation level. In turn, evaporation takes valuable heat, chemicals and, most obviously, treated water out of the pool. Each evaporating litre of 27 C (87.6 F) pool water can take over 2,000 British thermal units (Btus) of heat with it. All of the wasted resources need to be replaced to get the pool water back to ideal levels, balance and temperature. Even the most energy-efficient pool heater has to work diligently to replace the heat.
Adding a vapour barrier, such as a vinyl safety cover, can prevent the energy, chemical and water loss from evaporation when the pool or swim spa is not occupied. This also means the pool equipment can be appropriately sized for the pool’s needs and the owner’s budget.
While above-ground pools experience a higher percentage of thermal loss from conduction, they will also have evaporative losses similar to inground pools. These pools can still benefit from a cover system as long as there is room on a deck surface for parallel guides to be installed along the pool side.
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Going Green? Don't Forget to Cover the Pool
Source: The Edge, the quarterly publication of the New England Spa & Pool Association
Author: John Lochren, Solar Pool Covers of New York
Everyone's going green these days;
manufacturers in the pool industry are putting out more and more energy
efficient pumps and heating equipment. This is all great news for the industry,
but let's not forget the most important part—cover the pool!
There is an old automatic pool cover industry line that says, "a pool without a cover is like a house without a roof," and while this seems a bit extreme, there is a lot of truth to it.
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