Pool Care Pool Maintenance

Should You Keep Your Pool Cover On Or Off During the Day?

A pool cover is a perfect addition to any pool. However, there’s a trendy question that I think I should address; should you keep your pool cover on or off during the day?

Yes and No. Why? A pool cover has its benefits from conserving pool water and chemicals by preventing evaporation, reduces pool maintenance, safety, and a solar cover can help heat it. At the same time, it can be tedious to take it on and off every time you need a quick cold bath or during a storm.

As you can see, there are times when you should leave your pool cover on, and there are times you should take it off. It will depend on your pool usage, weather, and the type of pool cover you’re using. Here is a breakdown of when and why you should keep your pool cover on or off during the day. Read on!

When to Leave Your Cover On During the Day

Before we can go through why you should leave your cover on, let’s take a look at when to leave it on during the day.

Not in use for more than a day

If you plan on going for a trip that might take you more than a day without leaving anyone to take care of your swimming pool, leaving a pool cover on during the day and night can protect it and keep it clean. It will prevent debris and other contaminants like pollen from dropping into the pool water.

It can also help prevent wild animals from getting into your pool while you’re away and dirtying the water with all the poop and other debris.


This is a default setting; during winter, your pool cover should stay on. Ice and snow don’t occur just at night. It’s something that can happen any time of the day when the temperatures drop.

You might be tricked by the small sunlight that comes on in the middle of the winter snow. But do not uncover your swimming pool. If freezing were to occur inside it, you could be dealing with damages that you might not even comprehend.

It does also prevent any windy winter currents passing through the area from dropping contaminants inside the pool. If it were to happen, it would force you to balance the water chemicals again.

Additionally, I don’t see the need to uncover your pool when the outside temperature is below the freezing point. A pool cover can help maintain the pool temperature, thus preventing freezing.

Windy Day

Do you remember the last time there were strong winds and your pool was open? Was your swimming pool filled with all kinds of leaves and debris? If you live in a place where you receive strong winds from time to time, then you know what I’m talking about.

Strong winds can carry all sorts of debris from leaves, pollen, twigs, and more. When you leave your pool cover off during the day, and by any chance, the strong winds come along, then you will have a huge mess to deal with, nothing compared to putting on and off your pool cover.

Extremely Hot Day

If you live in an area that receives hugely high temperatures during the day to the point that you are forced to cool down your swimming pool, leaving the cover on can help you.

Leaving it on during the day won’t help lower the temperature, but it can help maintain it and prevent it from heating anymore.

If you cool down the pool water to the temperature level you want, be sure to cover it tightly with a pool cover.

Why Leave Your Cover On During the Day

Now that you know when it’s necessary to leave your pool cover on, let’s go through the reasons you might want to consider leaving it on a typical day.

Conserves Pool Water

Do you remember the evaporation topic in elementary school science? If not, it’s the process where when water is heated, it changes into a vapor. That’s what happens when your pool water gets heated by the sun heat when left uncovered.

With time, the water lost can reduce your pool water to a level that you’ll need to fill it again, which might cost you. A pool cover can help conserve your pool water by preventing evaporation.

Reduces Chemical Use

During evaporation, the pool water doesn’t leave alone. It carries along with some pool chemicals. When this happens for a couple of days or weeks, you can be sure your pool chemicals will reduce. Leaving the cover on doesn’t prevent water loss only; it will maintain pool chemical concentration too.

Besides this, sunlight is the first enemy of a pool sanitizer, chlorine. It oxidizes it, thus reducing its effect in the swimming pool. When you leave your cover on, the sanitizer is protected and hence your pool water.

Helps Retain Heat

You might already know that leaving the cover on during the night can help reduce heat loss. The same applies during a cold day. If the weather outside is chilly, especially at the start of spring, a pool cover can help maintain the water heater.

Besides this, you could use a solar pool cover that captures the little sunlight directed to your swimming pool and traps it in through solar radiation. It can help keep the water warm for your next day’s swim. And the best part is, solar covers like a solar blanket, and solar rings are easy to put on and off.

Reduce Energy Costs

From the above point, you can relate to how a pool cover can help reduce energy costs. Do you use a pool heater? The pool cover can help keep the heat inside the pool instead of getting lost in the cold air if you do.

And if you’re using a solar pool cover during the day, the water will not only be heated but also stay warm. If you want to swim that evening, you don’t need to turn on the pool heater to warm the water.

That means a pool cover equals energy-saving, and that translates to a money-saving trick. You can lower your swimming pool heating costs significantly when you leave your pool cover on; even energy.gov recommends it.

Protects Against Leaves, Twigs, and Other Debris

Maybe I should have started with this apparent reason of leaving your cover on during the day; a pool cover’s primary purpose is to protect your pool cover from leaves, pollen, twigs, and other debris that might contaminate your swimming pool.

If your swimming pool is near a shrub with plants shedding leaves, leaving it on can help remove the hassle of cleaning it every day. If you don’t plan on using it that day, roll the cover on after the morning maintenance routine.

It will be easier to remove this debris off the cover than if they fell into the pool water; not forgetting it can help reduce skimmer and filter strain.

All you’ll need is a leaf rake to pull the leaves off the cover. You might also need a submersible cover pump to drain any water that might be collected during a rainy day.

Reduce Maintenance

I don’t enjoy pool vacuuming all the time. At times, it can be a stress reliever but not always. Do you enjoy it?

Even if you get a thrill engaging in pool vacuuming, it’d be an excellent idea for you and the unit itself to clean the pool less often and for a shorter period. Right?

A pool cover can make it happen. Remember, from the point adjacent to this, I said a pool cover could help protect your swimming pool against debris.

It takes away the hassle of cleaning and vacuuming it every morning. The amount of sand you’ll get inside the pool reduces exponentially.

A mesh pool cover can help capture all the leaves, twigs, and other large debris brought into the swimming pool by the strong winds during a rainy-stormy day.

That means you’ll not only be protecting your circulation system from clogging but also taking away the considerable task of skimming the leaves after the rain is over.

Increase Pool Safety

A swimming pool can turn a happy day into a tragedy. And even though we fence our pools, a child might still find a way to get to the pool area when you’re not aware.

When left on during the day, a pool safety cover can help protect the swimming pool from turning into a trap. It can help prevent the kids or even animals from falling into the water and probably drowning.

It can also help prevent raccoons and other wild animals from getting into your pool.

When Take Your Pool Cover off During the Day

It’s not always that you will benefit from leaving your pool cover on. At times, you might need it off. When are these times?

Quick or Daily Swim

If you enjoy taking a swim every day, especially in the evening, leaving the pool cover on might not be an ideal option for you.

The hassle of removing the cover each time you want to swim might push you away from your daily hobby.

However, you could install an automatic pool cover that takes itself off at a specific time. You could set it to come off when your swimming time is near to allow the sun to warm the water a little.

Stormy Weather

When you’re preparing for a storm, it’d be best to leave the pool uncovered. Covering your pool won’t protect it, but instead, you might be exposing the pool cover to damage by the strong winds.

What’s more, the dust, dirt, debris, and contaminants will still find a way to enter the pool. The strong winds and the heavy rain can lift the cover off, and all these things would enter your pool water.

So, save your pool cover during such a day by taking it off and storing it properly.

Types of Pool Covers to Use

If you decide to leave a pool cover on during the day, you might want to know the best type of pool cover to use. Here are the options available.

Mesh Safety Cover

Mesh pool cover has a design that acts as a sieve filtering out large debris and allows light and rainwater to pass through. It can last twice as long as a winter cover and support considerable weight.

Some safety mesh covers can even hold up to 4000 pounds. It stays in place with the help of heavy-duty anchors. The life span of a mesh cover is 10-15 years, depending on usage.

Solar Cover

A solar pool cover is more like a heat-sealing blanket that tracks heat in a swimming pool to heat the water. There are three types of solar covers:

  • a) Solar Blanket: It comes as a giant blanket that fits the whole pool covering it whole. You can buy it with an allowance, just in case you decide to cut some piece out. It lasts about 3-5 years, depending on usage. The price range is between $75 and $300.
  • b) Solar Rings: Solar rings come as small rounded solar covers that you place on the water, and they float. They work as a solar blanket by receiving solar energy and directing it to the pool to warm the water. They are not as effective as solar rings, though. Solar rings can last for about three years in regular use. Their price range is between $30 and $300.
  • c) Liquid Solar Cover: As the name suggests, a liquid solar cover comes in a liquid form where you spread it on the pool water surface to help reduce water evaporation and warm your water. It’s not as effective as the other two, but you don’t have to remove it unless necessary. The cost range of these covers is between $15 and $100.

Winter cover

A Winter cover looks like a giant tarp. It sits on the pool water surface and stays secured using water bags. It’s an excellent option of keeping debris out since it’s made using non-permeable solid material.

However, a winter cover cannot support considerable weight. That can include a massive amount of debris, rainfall, or an animal. That’s why it’s never used as a safety cover.

It’s primarily used in winter to protect the swimming pool from Mother Nature and debris. It costs anything between $70 – $250 and can last for about 2 – 4 years.

Solid Safety Cover

Solid safety covers are built to protect a swimming pool from debris and rainwater while also protecting kids and animals from falling into the water. They are pretty similar to mesh, only that the solid covers are non-permeable. They do not allow anything to pass through to the water, including light. Their life span ranges from 10 – 15 years and costs around $1,200–$3,000.

Hybrid cover

A hybrid pool cover is a combination of a solid safety cover and a mesh cover. It has a section of mesh cover that allows water to pass through the while preventing even small debris from entering the swimming pool.

It protects a swimming pool from dirt, debris, and also sunlight. It can support a large amount of debris too. These covers have a life span of between 10-20 years and costs around $450 – $2500 depending on the size and material used.

Automatic cover

There’s also an automatic pool cover, most made of solid safety cover and an automatic cover reel. You can also get hybrid or mesh automatic covers.

This option requires customization of the installation to fit your swimming pool. It’s the most convenient type of pool cover to use. But of course, at an extra coin.

It buying and installation could cost you around $2500 – $5000, more or less.

Related Questions

Do bubbles go up or down on pool solar cover?

Solar pool cover bubbles go down facing the water while the smoother side faces up. The bubbles help in allowing the solar in a while also trapping it. When the air packets in these bubbles heat up, they radiate the heat to the air near the water surface to keep your pool water warm.

Should I cover my pool when I shock it?

It’d be best not to use your pool cover when shocking your swimming pool. When you super-chlorinate your swimming pool, the pool water turns is high on chlorine. The high chlorine concentration can affect the quality of your pool cover, reducing its life. Besides this, after the chlorine destroys algae in your pool water, volatile disinfection by-products need to escape, and that won’t happen if you cover your swimming pool.

Final Verdict!

Should you take your pool cover on or off during the day? YES! If you want to save on electric bills, reduce your chemical use, reduce maintenance, and protect pool water against debris, boost pool safety, and more.

NO! If you plan on taking a quick swim before or after work, or you expect a stormy and rainy day ahead. It’s all up to you.

From my perspective, I can leave it on and install an easy-use pool cover reel to help me every time I want to take the pool cover off. And if the budget allows me, I can install an automatic pool cover that I can control from my house using a remote control or something close.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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