We still don't have a working heater for the pool (that's for a different topic) so we don't have any historic costs to go by, but after looking at info about heating costs we were slightly shocked to hear that heating alone even here in the Los Angeles area would cost around $2000 or maybe even more per year, but that with a solar cover you would actually cut costs way down to just a few hundred dollars/year...
So, considering we thought our gas bill was running high already during the cold months without a pool heater, I immediately started looking at the options for a solar cover, and then you of course need a reel for it as well.
As you can see on the picture we have a very irregular shaped pool, so what I'm thinking of doing is buy a rectangular shaped solar cover big enough to fit the entire pool and then cut out the shape of the pool (according to descriptions I've seen on the pool covers you can do that) which because of the shape unfortunately means I have to buy a cover that's much bigger than the avg size of the pool, but at least it's not a huge cost, but then there's the question of the reel.
It seems like typically you put the reel across the "width" of the pool, and since the max length of our pool is about 35ft, and max width of about 23ft I've hardly seen any reels wider than about 21-24ft, but then because of the shape it would seem to be difficult to reel in the entire 23ft wide cover, can you fold the cover from the protruding areas and just reel it in like that? In that case I would probably only need like a ~16ft reel, or should I buy a 23ft reel and roll it to the widest part of the pool and then reel in / fold in, fold out as it reels?
Or, should I buy a smaller rectangular shaped cover and split it into multiple smaller separate sections for the protruding areas (which would then basically mean one large cover approx 35x16, and then like 4 additional pieces to cover the rounded areas... but I'm guessing I would lose a lot of the heat insulating properties by doing that?
For those of you with this type of irregular shaped pools, how do you do it? Any help on this would be appreciated!
Also for buying the reel & cover, there are a lot of brands & models to choose from, any recommendations / things to keep in mind? Are some reel models more convenient to reel in yourself, sturdier/more stalbe & what not?