Reasons to Cover Your Above-Ground Pool

6 Reasons to Cover Your Above-Ground Pool

Swimming pools are a hefty investment.

Not only in terms of cost when you are hitting the “buy now” button at your favorite online retailer, but in terms of time and energy.

Cleaning and maintaining your above-ground pool takes a lot of work.

One of your best weapons for keeping the water clean, saving money on energy costs, and reducing the amount of time spent ensuring the water is swimmer-friendly is with a basic pool cover.

Here are 6 reasons a good pool cover should be one of the first things you pick up when purchasing an above-ground swimming pool.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Reduces water evaporation.

Evaporation is the process of water changing into vapor and floating off. It’s why your pool can drop in water levels a few inches when left uncovered for a couple of days.

Covering the pool, whether that means doing it overnight or simply over the course of a cloudy and cool day, means less water (and money) is floating off into the atmosphere.

2. Regulates water temperature.

Another big cost when it comes to swim pools is the energy required to keep it at a comfortable temperature. Pool water quickly gets chilly when the sun goes down.

Covering your pool cuts down on wasted energy (and time) in reheating the pool when you get up in the morning or after periods of having the pool closed.

And don’t think you need to splurge on the kind of cover that will keep your pool comfortable and ready for action, there are plenty of inexpensive nylon and solar pool covers that can do an excellent job at this task.

Pop quiz: should you cover your pool every night?

If you want your pool to be ready for swimming tomorrow, yes, you should!

Don’t underestimate how powerful a simple solar cover can be: according to In the Swim, a properly fitting cover can reduce up to 95% of heat loss.

3. Extend the life of your pool filter and pump.

The pool filter and pump is a critical tool in your quest to keep the pool water clean. They are also quite pricey, with some of the more powerful models costing thousands of dollars.

A pool cover reduces the amount of organic debris that finds its way into the water, reducing the amount of work your filter and pump need to do.

Things like dead insects, leaves, twigs, and other miscellaneous can quickly clog up your filter and pump, and a proper pool cover is ideally suited to the task of keeping them out of the water in the first place.

4. Less daily maintenance.

Like we’ve expounded on before, cleaning and maintaining your above ground pool can quickly get tedious.

There’s balancing the water to make sure pool chemistry is correct. Using a pool net to fish out nature’s refuse. Storing pool toys and floaties after a long day of splashing.

And then there’s the task pool owners likely enjoy the least—using a pool vacuum to keep the walls and floor of the pool sparkling.

While a pool cover won’t completely eliminate the growth of algaecide, it will prevent a lot of the stuff that causes bacteria and algae to flourish from entering the water in the first place.

5. Pool covers are also a safety feature.

While your typical swim pool is ground zero for summer fun, it can also be a dangerous place. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 400 kids under the age of 15 die each year in backyard pools1.

While most pool covers for above-ground pools are not much more than tarps, there are some sturdy fiberglass pool covers that can handle significant weight. These covers are sturdy enough to walk on and are heavy enough that they will require a track system of some sort to put on and off.

Of course, nothing replaces proper supervision at the swim pool, and there are also other tools that should be included in your safety plan, including a pool alarm and a locking gate for pool ladders.

6. Keeps your pool chemicals where they are supposed to be.

There is another piece of the puzzle when it comes to saving money with your pool cover. And that’s with your pool chemicals.

Chlorine is the usual go-to pool chemical for above-ground swimming pools.

Chlorine tablets are relatively cheap, can be dispensed automatically, and do a quick and thorough job of disinfecting your pool water.

But leaving your pool open to the elements means you are losing a lot of pool chemicals due to evaporation, the wind, and UV light degradation.

The Final Lap

Ultimately, a pool cover can be even more work to the process of maintaining and cleaning your pool.

But it’s a step that removes a whole bunch of other steps, like added cleaning and maintenance.

The “hassle” of pulling the cover on and off, in the long run, will save you a ton of energy, money and frustration when it comes to dealing with your pool.

Related Resources

6 Best Pool Cover Pumps for Protecting Your Swim Pool. The right pool cover pump protects your pool by clearing water and snowmelt from the top of your swimming pool. Here’s a detailed look at the best pool cover pumps on the market right now.

The Best Solar Cover Reels for Every Kind of Pool. Handling your solar pool cover can be a real pain. Spend less time wrestling with your solar pool cover and more time enjoying the water with our top picks for the best solar cover reels for every kind of pool.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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