When installing a pool, most people wonder if an automatic pool cover is worth the money. For this type of purchase, it’s always a good idea to weigh out the pros and cons. We installed one this past Spring as we were installing our fiberglass pool. I have to say we’ve been extremely happy with our cover but wanted to give you all the information so you can decide if it is the best decision for you.
What is an automatic pool cover?
An automatic pool cover is a retractable cover that is made out of vinyl. It is made to not shrink and most are fade resistant. This type of cover either has a track that is mounted on top of or under the pool decking. And there is an electric motor that opens and closes the cover.
I’m going to start with the pros. As I stated above, we absolutely love our pool cover and can’t imagine not having it. We went ahead and budgeted this into our initial pool cost because we felt it was necessary with all of our surrounding trees. The biggest pro is that it truly does a great job of keeping dirt, debris, and leaves out of a pool. This was a huge difference when at our previous home without a cover, we were cleaning every single day.
Another great thing about an automatic pool cover is the safety aspect. Since we don’t have small children in the family, this wasn’t huge for us. But I can see why it would be top on the list for a family with little ones. These covers are the ultimate safety measure if used properly. We try and keep our cover closed unless we are outside. The switch that operates the cover can be locked with a key which adds another safety measure. This will eliminate just anyone from being able to open it. Lots of insurance companies consider an automatic pool cover safer than a fence.
An automatic pool can also minimize heat transfer. This will help keep your pool warmer and maybe allow you to keep the pool open for longer. By keeping our cover closed when we weren’t using it, we were able to save money on not having to run our pool heater as much.
As much we love our automatic cover, there are a few cons as with most things. The first thing I would have to point out would be the price. As much as we would like to avoid that it does have a pretty high price tag, it’s a hard one to overlook.
The less expensive automatic cover would be one that has tracks installed on top of the pool decking. Although this is more affordable, I definitely see it as a con due to a possible injury or someone falling. It also doesn’t look as nice.
We mounted our tracks directly on top of the fiberglass pool. Then the concrete was poured up to the track and the pool decking material was laid on top so that it overhung past the track making it barely noticeable.
Another negative we found with keeping the automatic cover closed while we weren’t using the pool is that it didn’t allow the chlorine to dissipate. We have a saltwater pool, but whether saltwater generated or chlorine pool, chlorine levels should be kept at a minimum when using a cover.
How Much Does an Automatic Pool Cover Cost?
As I stated above, an automatic pool cover is a little pricey but well worth the cost. An automatic pool cover can range from $12,000 on the lower end to $20,000 at the highest. This amount will depend on the placement of installation you choose, your pool size, and if you work directly with the dealer or a pool company. There are also other bells and whistles you can get that will drive up the price.
We purchased our pool cover directly from the dealer which bypassed any upcharge. We paid around $12,000 for our cover, including the installation.