Should You Keep Pool Cover on or off During the Day?

Every pool owner should own a pool cover, that is a no-brainer. However, what is not so obvious is whether one should keep their pool cover on or off during the day. Most of the time, pool covers are used primarily at night to prevent water evaporation and to keep debris out of the pool. How about during the day?

There are certainly times when you should keep the pool cover on during the day, however most people have it off because they would prefer to swim in their pool and don’t want the hassle of taking the cover off and putting it back on every day.

The best situations to keep the pool cover on during the day are if you won’t be using the pool for more than a day, if it is during the winter, and if it is a windy day or an extremely hot day. Doing so will keep your pool cleaner by keeping debris out, reduce maintenance, retain heat, reduce energy costs, and increase safety if you have young kids or pets.

Keep reading on to learn more about the thought process behind when and why you should keep your pool cover on or off during the day so that you can make the right decision every time.

When you should leave your pool cover on during the day

You aren’t planning on using the pool for at least one day

If you know that nobody in your household will be using the pool for at least one day or longer, then there’s no reason not to cover it up. Leaving a pool cover on keeps debris out and reduces evaporation significantly, among other great benefits.

Leaving the pool cover on can also prevent wild animals from getting stuck in the pool and drowning. If you will be out of town and know that you won’t be using the pool for a while, covering it up offers only benefits and no downsides.

During the off-season

When it’s getting colder, especially if it’s during the winter, your pool cover should stay on 24/7. Snow and ice don’t appear only at night; it can happen any time as long as the temperatures are cold enough.

You might think that the sun occasionally appearing can thaw snow or ice on or around your pool, but it won’t. Leaving your pool completely exposed to the cold would result in significant damages to the pool infrastructure.

If it is a windy winter, the pool cover can prevent sticks or any other contaminants from entering the water. Furthermore, pool covers will trap heat, keeping the water temperature higher and preventing it from freezing.

On windy days

I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but you really want to keep debris out of the pool. On windy days, leaves, pollen, branches, dirt, gravel, and all kinds of debris can get blown into the pool. If you live in a windy location, just seeing firsthand how much junk gets blown into your pool when it’s not covered up will give you a lesson you’ll never forget.

Windy days also cause water evaporation. With a pool cover on, you can reduce water evaporation by as much as 95%, helping you save on the water bill.

On hot days

If you live in a warm climate where the high ambient temperatures can heat up the pool to the point that you want to cool it down, then leaving the pool cover on can help you.

This logic might sound backwards, but the pool cover can help your pool maintain its temperature so that it won’t heat up any further.

Once the pool water is at the temperature that you want, then it’s time for you to cover it up tightly with a pool cover.

Benefits of using a pool cover

  • Reduces evaporation: Heat from the sun and wind will cause your pool water to evaporate. As mentioned, a pool cover can reduce evaporation by as much as 95%, saving you from a hefty water bill.
  • Reduces chemical use: When water evaporates, it also causes chemicals to evaporate. Over time, the chemical concentration will plummet and you will have to rebalance the chemicals. With a pool cover on, you won’t need to do this as often, saving on chemical use.
  • Retains heat: Give your pool heater a break and stop losing heat to the environment. With a solar pool cover, you can more effectively trap heat so that the water stays warm for longer. This is especially useful at night, where you can preserve the heat until the next day.
  • Keeps costs low: Since you won’t need to fill as much water, add as much chemicals, or use as much energy for the pool heater thanks to a pool cover, we can extrapolate that it can keep costs low.
  • Keeps debris out: A covered pool will keep debris out, large and small. Anything from pollen, dirt, insects, to leaves or branches will be kept out, and your pool filter and pump will thank you for it.
  • Reduces maintenance: Expanding on the point above, if most of the debris is kept out of the pool, that means less cleaning and vacuuming is required of you.
  • Increases safety: A pool cover can even keep young children, pets, and wild animals out of the pool when it’s not in use.

When you should take your pool cover off during the day

Now that you know the optimal times to keep a pool cover on during the day, you should also understand when you should take it off.

If your pool is being used daily

If you or your family use the pool daily, especially in the evening, then leaving the pool cover off would be more convenient. It can be a hassle taking the pool cover off each time for a quick swim, and then putting it back on.

You may be willing to forgo all of the benefits of using a pool cover just so you don’t have to deal with this annoyance.

However, you can get the best of both worlds if you have an automatic pool cover that covers the pool for you at a set time, or uncovers itself around the time you go swimming. That way, you can still get all of the benefits of a pool cover without the hassle.

During stormy weather

When a storm is coming, you should just leave your pool uncovered. This might seem counterintuitive, but the reasoning is that the storm will likely be too strong for your pool cover to do anything about it.

Instead of protecting your pool, your pool cover will get irreparably damaged or blown off, and your pool will get dirty anyways. There’s not much you can do except to save your pool cover from the impending damage and hope that your pool is still in one piece after the storm.