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Can I Use a Tarp to Heat My Pool? (Yes, Pros & Cons)

You might have heard that it is important to heat your pool in the winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same process in the summer. 

In fact, using an above ground pool heater in the summer has a number of advantages over a traditional pool heater—but a tarp can be used to heat any pool.

I know it sounds crazy, but yes, you can use a tarp to heat your pool! 

The process is simple: just take the tarp out to your yard and lay it on the pool in direct sunlight. 

The sun will heat up black fabric which will maintain the temperature of your already heated pool. 

This is an easy way for people who don’t have access to natural gas or solar energy to heat their pools cheaply and easily. 

It’s also great if you’re someone who wants a more hands-on approach to heating their pool because setting up this system doesn’t require any electricity or special tools.

Check out this blog post for more information about how to use tarps as an alternative heating option during summer and winter months!

What is a tarp and and its uses

A tarp is a type of waterproof sheet or material that is typically used for protection, to keep things dry or as something people can sit on. 

It’s also known by many other names such as tarpaulin, ground cover, rain fly, painter tarps and so forth. 

There are several types of tarps like truck bed covers, which are generally larger than the average size; and small ones like those you would use in your backyard. 

Among some common uses for these handy items include protecting gardens from frost during wintertime; storing plants outside when the weather becomes too hot for them to grow indoors; providing shade under trees where it’s not possible to install permanent roofing-such as at construction sites or even covering up furniture while painting a room.

The most popular type of tarp is called “poly tarps” because they are made from polyethylene which has a better resistance than common tarps. 

This is important since more often than not, these items will be used to cover sharp edges that could cause holes if left unprotected with just one material of ordinary polythene covers. 

However, by using tarps on an industrial size scale-such as manufacturing plastic containers-the two pieces reinforce each other and increase durability while still maintaining lightweight properties. 

These kinds of tarps do carry a higher price tag because they are made of a more durable material and will typically last for many years.

What to consider when heating pools

Many homeowners feel overwhelmed by the need to maintain their new swimming pool. 

There’s a lot to think about, and most people will spend much of their first year learning how to keep their pool clean and functional. 

When it comes to outdoor living, one of the biggest household expenses is heating and cooling. 

There are many factors to consider when setting up heating and cooling equipment and systems. 

But as a pool owner, one of your main concerns should be how to keep your pool heated.

The most common pool heating systems are gas, electric and solar. 

  • Solar is the cheapest option but also the slowest to heat a pool. Solar panels need less upkeep – but they’re also pricier upfront – and their payback period varies greatly by location; for example in some parts of the US with abundant sun year round, savings might come within two years whereas in others such as Alaska or Minnesota, it might take five or more years. Solar panels require at least four hours of direct sun each day during winter to maintain sufficient temperature levels for comfortable swimming year round.
  • Gas produces instant results. Gas pools require more maintenance (initial installation costs) than other types of heating methods as it requires annual inspections from an HVAC contractor which can be costly depending on where you live. You’ll also want to regulate your gas flow so that pipes don’t freeze in colder months. 
  • Electricity takes about 12 hours to produce any noticeable change in temperature of your water. Electric heating needs an additional safety switch installed near where the wires enter the pool pump control box; this ensures that if power fails, water doesn’t pour from leaks into your home’s wiring system. 

Can you use a tarp as a cover for heating the pool

Yes, it is possible. 

If you want a cheap, quick solution, it might be a good option. 

You’ll need to use a tarp that floats on water or is suspended in the water to cover the pool entirely.

Using a tarp for your pool protects it from rain and wind and also keeps the pool from collecting leaves.

Here’s more on the advantages of using a tarp for your pool heating needs.

Pros of using a tarp vs other pool heating methods 

Pools can be a very expensive investment, one that is typically not made lightly. 

But as any pool owner will tell you, the process of maintaining and heating a pool comes with its own set of challenges. 

It’s no surprise then that there are many different opinions on how to do this best: some suggest getting an electric heater or solar panels; others recommend using gas heaters or natural gas instead. 

For those looking to save money and reduce their environmental impact in the long run by going green, however, tarp-heating might just be worth consideration. 

Here are four reasons why!

1. Less attention required

Unlike most other heating methods which require constant monitoring (especially if they’re powered), tarps only need checking every so often. 

The tarp itself is made from a material that doesn’t pose any health or safety concerns, and the heat it generates can last about an hour.

2. Conserve energy

For those who are looking to conserve resources, tarps require significantly less energy than other methods of heating pools (such as gas). 

For example, if you make use of natural gas in your home for instance, then using this fuel will cost you around $0.25-$0.30 per kWh and an electric cost of $.085/kwh based on a 1,000 square foot, outdoor pool; 

However with tarp heating, you’re going to save on all these as only the sun’s natural heating is required! 

This saves money over time because there’ll need to be fewer adjustments required when winter comes along and climate change starts making the temperature of the air fluctuate more.

3. No refills required

It’s not just a matter of money, but also on how many resources are being used up. 

Tarps can be left outside for months without any degradation to their efficiency or material quality.

Meanwhile, other methods will need electricity and gas tanks replenished at least every month, if they’re going to last through winter before needing to be replaced again when summer comes back around!

4. Easy installation

Tarps don’t require laborious installation time like some traditional heating sources do. 

So, those looking to save even more money doing this, should take notice because less energy is needed in order to function on all cylinders (so-to-speak). 

All you need is a patch of land that doesn’t get too much sun, and you’re good to go!

Cons of using a tarp vs other pool heating methods

Tarps function as an additional layer against freezing temperatures that will help you enjoy time by yourself or with friends outside even when it’s too chilly out. 

However, this is not ideal if you have kids who love playing around in their backyard during summertime, because tarps can be cumbersome and collapse on them at any moment causing injury or danger. 

Some people find tarp pools to be a hassle especially having to remove them when you want to use the pool depending on how many times this happens.

Which type of tarp should you buy for your pool

If you spend a lot of time in your pool or spa you will need a tarp to protect it from water and debris.  

There’s a lot of products on the market that can be used for heating your pool. 

Unfortunately, not all of them will be readily available for you when you need them.

The two common household materials people opt for when looking at DIY-ing their alternatives to natural fuel-based pool heating systems are high quality polypropylene plastic sheeting or a black tarp.

If you’re in a hurry to get the pool heated and don’t have time to order anything, buying a black tarp is an easy way to heat your pool. 

Black tarps are also good for people who live somewhere with cold winters because they retain more heat than any other type of material that’s commonly used as DIY pool covering. 

A disadvantage though is that some cities might not allow this type of cover on their pools so make sure you know what kind of rules apply where you’re located before making the purchase!

Tips on how to install the tarp properly in order to maximize efficiency

As a pool owner, you know that your largest investment is in keeping your pool in tip-top shape. 

You may also know that there is no one size fits all solution for pool heat efficiency. 

In your search for the best solution, you may have tried a variety of techniques that worked for other pool owners. 

However, if you have been in the pool business for a while, you know that there are different techniques and methods that work best for different types of pools.

If you’ve considered moving forward with the tarp, just using the following as general rule of the thumb:

  • Use a tarp that is at least five millimeters thick, but not more than nineteen and one half centimeters thick.
  • It’s important for the ground to be covered by sand when installing the pool because this will act as an insulator against cold air touching your piping system.
  • All seams of the tarp should be sealed using potable water-proof silicone sealant or tape to prevent any loss in heat efficiency from escaping through them. 
  • The pool shouldn’t have any algae, weeds, tree branches and leaves before installing the tarp because these can trap cold air on one side of your pool.
  • It’s important for you to know how much material is needed beforehand, so it doesn’t take more than necessary to cover up your swimming pool.
  • When you spread the tarp, it should be nice and tight with no wrinkles or slack. 

Wrapping up

For the environmentally conscious pool owner, tarps are a great option for heating your swimming hole. 

They’re easy to install and don’t require any extra maintenance on top of what you already do as a pool owner. 

Have you tried this yet?

If you’re ready to get started saving on energy costs and reducing environmental impact by using a cover as your pool heating system instead of relying on gas or solar power alone, it’s time to purchase a black tarp today!