Monday, September 5, 2011

How Much Does a Pool Cover Cost?

If you live in an area susceptible to bad storms, even hurricanes, you already know the drill when a potential disaster bears down on your neighborhood. Before the rains begin, you are bringing patio furniture into the garage or storage unit, removing loose toys and other hazards, and taking care of your pool. A cover for your pool is essential when bad weather strikes, for a good covering can protect not only your water but the bowl and vinyl liner. It is a worthy investment if you plan to keep your swimming area, so be sure to price a cover if you haven't already.

How much does a pool cover cost? As with other pool accessories, the price may vary according to your needs. Covers also range in styles, from simple tarps to sturdier covers for colder months. Your local pool supply store can assist in finding the right cover for you, especially if you need a custom cut for your oddly-shaped pool. As far as cost goes, let's look at a general breakdown:

Above Ground Pool Covers

If you own an above-ground model, you may find it is easier to obtain a cover. This is because there isn't much deviation in terms of design - above-ground pools are either round or oval shaped and come in set widths. Very likely you will discover that available covers come from the same company that supplies the pools.

Basic winter covers used to protect water and keep out bad weather can run you anywhere from twenty dollars to several thousand - you have to decide on features that will raise the price. Simple hard covers and mesh covers are less expensive and typically do not go higher than a few hundred. Motorized automatic covers, however, will definitely set you back some money.

Solar covers are also an option for pool owners. These are designed to keep harmful UV rays from your pool water, and higher end versions can cost you as much as $300-$400. Again, add a motor for automatic retraction, and you'll nearly double the price.

In Ground Pool Covers

Covers for in-ground pools can be trickier to price, because there are customizations to consider. If you have a traditional shape to your swim area - round, oval, rectangular - ready made covers will come at good prices, perhaps no higher than a few hundred dollars. Custom fits, however, may set you back as much as $500 depending on the complexity of your pool's shape. Safety covers designed to withstand as much as half a ton or more usually start at a thousand dollars, but are a good investment if you have small children or are concerned about large debris falling into your pool.

As a rule, what you would pay for an above-ground model is less than an in-ground pool cover. When you consult your local pool supply store you will find exactly what you need at a price you can afford.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance author specializing in articles on Norfolk pool supplies and Chesapeake pool supplies.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pros and Cons of Geothermal Heating

Perhaps you have an older home you wish to modernize, or maybe you have had so many problems with your current HVAC system that you are ready to try something different. Geothermal heating is an option that provides heat to your home through pipes and a heat pump. Since the heat is sourced from the ground, hence the name, your HVAC contractor will lay the pipes in trenches dug into your property to create the closed circuit needed to keep your house warm. The heat pump takes the water in this circuit and produces the warmth which is circulated throughout your house.

Geothermal systems can work with under floor heating systems or immersion systems. Question is, is this type of HVAC right for you? As with other types of heat management systems, geothermal has its pros and cons. Let's take a look at some of them.


If you are eco-minded, you will be pleased to know that geothermal heating is a good way to go green. Heat is derived from a source that doesn't require mining, and you are less likely to create a hazard through this natural method of keeping your house warm. You could discover a good reduction in energy bills as a result.

Geothermal heating also does not require a lot of maintenance to run. You are not responsible for cleaning a chimney or refilling an oil tank, and you will rarely need to call a repairman. This heating method provides an energy efficient method of keeping your house comfortable in any season.


While the source of the heat is energy efficient and environmentally friendly, bear in mind that not all equipment works the same way. More than likely you'll use the same source for cooling your home, which means using refrigerants to power your pump. You will need to look hard for eco-friendly equipment.

Depending on where you live, you may need permission to have the pipes laid. For geothermal heating to work properly, you will need quite a bit of space, and if you live in an attached home or condo this might not be possible.

Also, the initial cost of digging the trenches could set you back. Granted, geothermal heating could save you in the long run, but note you may need to make a sizable investment up front.

Is geothermal heating for you? Weigh the pros and cons of the system to determine if it will work for your home.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Norfolk commercial HVAC services and Newport News HVAC services.