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Old 05-10-2010, 08:49 AM
  #5  
jobowker
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Saugus, Ma. USA
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Yes. The solar blanket slows down evaporation, which is where most of the cooling happens in your pool. If you have a propane or gas heater that was sized properly, it's based on the size of the pool and whether or not you use a solar blanket. Without one, you need to double the size of the heater, so they are definitely worth the hassle of taking it off and putting it on each day.

It's nothing more than a giant piece of UV resistant blue bubble wrap. We have an above ground pool which makes the blanket more of a pain. Basically I just grab it in the middle and start twisting it, so it starts rolling up in the middle and pulling the sides in. Once that's done I have a long roll in the middle of the pool stretching from one end to another. Then I simple pull the long roll out of the pool and fold it in half. The rolling isn't perfect, but I needed some way where I could take in off or redeploy it in 5 minutes or less, so it works for me.

I can't believe how much it helps retain the heat. Before using the heater, my pool and a neighbor's were within 1-2 degrees of each other on a warm day. We then had 4 days during the week that were very windy. The following weekend, there was a ten degree difference between my pool and his. A side benefit is that I generally don't add water during the summer anymore, where in past years I would add water at least 2 or 3 times during the summer. Adding more water generally meant adding more chemicals as well to rebalance the water.

We keep the heat pump set at 82 degrees, and since heat pumps work in conjunction with your pool filter, the heat pump won't run unless the filter is running. I run the pool filter for 4 hrs/day, and it's on a timer. If the pool water is less than 82 degrees and the filter is running, the heat pump will kick on. I have it set to run the filter in the early afternoon, since that's when the heat pump would be the most efficient. By limiting the hours that the heat pump can run, I don't have to worry about killing my electric bill. I can let it run all day if I override it, but by default I don't want to forget out it and have it running all day on a day like today when it's 53 degrees outside.
My daughter and her friends were in the pool last week when we had a couple of nice days in a row. We never had that opportunity prior to the pool heater.