Let me start off by saying that over the past year of pool owership, I have found this forum to be very helpful. Thanks to everyone. Let me also say that I am not sure that this is the best section of the forum for this question, but I didn't see one that seemed much better.
As we are wrapping up the 2008 swim season, I am again thinking about whether I should get a solar cover for my pool. In the beginning of the season I tried the "Solar Pill". I know what people have said about these and similar products, but I tried it anyway. It did seem to reduce the loss of temperature overnight in my pool. For example, without using anything right now, I am losing 3-4 degrees/night (with a typical daytime increase of about the same given current temps in south jersey).
I know that a solar cover would be better than using Solar Pill/Solar Fish/HeatSavr, but fear that it will be unmanageable with my pool, which is a 800 sq ft freeform pool (24 x 42 at max dimensions). I know that I could use a Reel but, quite frankly, don't like the look. I have also considered the idea of cutting the cover into more manageable sections. The key for me is to come up with a solution that is easily managed by my wife as she uses the pool more with the kids while I'm at work. Our summertime water temperatures were great for us this year. But I know from this past spring that we can get really warm days, but not have water that is warm enough to comfortably swim. So, I'm looking for a solution. Solar heat panels are another option, but I don't have a good place to put them as my house is 70feet from the pool and the roof is 3 stories up (guessing that I would need another pump just to make things work properly). I could put panels in the yard on a rack, but I'm sure my wife won't let me as they "won't look nice"). So, I'm back to the solar cover....can this be made manageable to remove and re-install....thinking that it would need to take 5 minutes for each (off/on) to make my wife OK with it.
Any insight from members that have larger inground pools is greatly appreciated!