Winter is coming.

Unless you’re living in the tropics, that means it’s time to cover up the pool and hunker down until next year’s swimsuit season comes around.

Even when winter is over and you’re using the pool daily, covering it at night can be a good idea.

If you’re new to the wonderful world of pool covers, don’t worry — we’ve got you “covered” with all the information you need to make a solid purchase.

Why Buy a Swimming Pool Cover at all?

There are so many reasons to buy a swimming pool cover.

The first and perhaps simplest reason is that it keeps debris out. Leaves, dirt, small animals and insects can all fall in your pool. By putting a cover on you can reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do, and you may just save a life!

A swimming pool cover will protect against evaporation, helping you to use less water and be more eco-friendly. It can help take a load of your water bill, lowering the amount of water you have to replace by 30-60 percent.

Pool covers can save you money  on more than water, though. If you have a heated pool a cover is almost essential, allowing you to lock in the heat and not lose it all overnight. This makes an astronomical difference in the energy costs of your household.

Even if you don’t have a heated pool, a pool cover will make a huge difference in the temperature of the water. It can extend the swimming season for you, allowing you to enjoy your pool even as your neighbors are bidding farewell to theirs’ for the winter.

Did you know that a covered pool uses 35 to 60 percent less chemicals than an uncovered one? That means less time you have to spend putting chemicals in the pool as well as less money you have to spend buying the chemicals.

A pool cover is an extra investment, but the benefits and savings over time are well worth the initial cost.

Choosing a Pool Cover to Suit Your Needs

Choosing which cover is right for you depends on your personal needs and preferences. How much money you want to spend plays a large role, as well as which functions you want your cover to perform. How much work you’re willing to put in to covering your pool also plays a large role.

1. Winter Pool Covers

This is the standard pool cover for those wishing to cover their pool for the winter. A winter pool cover is generally made of vinyl. You’ll pay between one and two hundred dollars for a satisfactory one, though some winter covers can cost upwards of seven or eight hundred.

The winter cover is easy to install. It can be used not only over the winter but daily as well to keep out dirt and debris. It won’t help your energy costs much, but it will make your life easier and maintenance quicker.

2. Solar Pool Covers

Solar pool covers do the work of winter pool covers and then some. These covers absorb the sunlight from the day, heating the pool during the night. They are great to use nightly and to extend the life of your swimming season. Used for over a week every night a solar cover can increase the temperature in the pool by 20 degrees

Solar pool covers will also reduce water evaporation, cutting the cost of water and pool chemicals for your household. They are a bit more expensive than regular winter covers, but some can be bought for as little as 150 dollars like the Sun2Solar Blue.

3. Mesh Pool Covers

Mesh pool covers are for those who are concerned about dirt and debris getting in the pool. They will help cut down maintenance time, but don’t trap sunlight and don’t do much to prevent evaporation. They are the least expensive pool covers you can buy. You can pay between 80-200 dollars for one depending on the size of your pool.

4. Automatic Pool Covers

Automatic pool covers are the easiest to use. Generally they don’t do much to reduce the cost of energy or heat the water, though buying the right one can help achieve this. Automatic swimming pool covers are installed more for ease of use and maintenance — they open and close with the touch of a button, making them the lowest-maintenance option.

Automatic pool covers are the most expensive. You’ll pay more for a cover for custom-built pools of an odd shape or size. Some cost as much as 20,000 dollars, though if you have a standard pool shape they can be bought for half that.

Whether you’re buying a cover for winter or simply for the nighttime, consider all your needs carefully before you buy. After all, a swimming pool cover isn’t only a protective layer. It’s also a sound investment for the future of your household safety and finances.

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