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Are automatic pool covers worth it
Kadison Hipel10-Jun-2024 8:59:14 PM6 min read

Automatic Pool Covers: Are They Worth It?

Are Automatic Pool Covers Worth It?

Being fortunate enough to own a pool is one thing, but an automatic pool cover takes pool ownership to an entirely new level. With a hefty starting cost of about $20,000 in Canada, many people wonder whether an automatic retractable safety pool cover is worth the money. So, we're going to break it down simply for you.

In this blog post, we will delve into the pros and cons of having an automatic pool covers in Canada, weighing the benefits against the potential drawbacks to help you make an informed decision for your pool.

Coverpools Automatic retractable pool covers

How Do Automatic Pool Covers Work?

Automatic pool covers are a motorized system designed to cover and uncover a swimming pool automatically. They consist of a durable cover made of materials such as vinyl or reinforced fabric, which is attached to a motorized roller mechanism installed at one end of the pool. The cover can be deployed or retracted with the push of a button, allowing for convenient operation and hassle-free maintenance. 

Automatic pool covers work by powering an electric or hydraulic motor and pully system that retracts and opens the cover by wrapping the fabric around a large tube, which can be embedded beneath or mounted on top of the pool deck.

Working an automatic cover is accomplished by using a key or password protected keypad to unlock the cover for operation. This ensures maximum security and safety. Then the cover is signalled to open or close by pressing the cover or uncover button on the control unit.

Automatic pool covers are not permitted to be operated through pool automation systems and must be operated by a designated lock protected switch within eye's view of the pool.


Pros of Automatic Pool Covers:


Temperature Regulation

Canadian summers can be fleeting, with cool evenings and unpredictable weather fluctuation. Automatic pool covers help to retain heat overnight, minimizing heat loss and in turn extending your swimming season into the fall. Automatic pool covers are typically made from durable, insulating materials such as vinyl or reinforced fabrics. These materials have properties that help to trap heat within the pool, minimizing heat loss to the surrounding environment. By trapping the warmth generated during the day, these covers help to maintain a comfortable water temperature, ensuring that your pool remains inviting even when the air temperature.


Energy Efficiency

Heating a pool can account for a significant portion of energy consumption, especially in colder climates like Canada. Automatic pool covers act as insulating barriers, reducing heat loss and minimizing the need for continuous heating. This translates into lower energy bills and a more sustainable approach to pool maintenance, aligning with environmentally conscious practices. Automatic pool covers also help with preventing evaporation, which helps to conserve water and reduce the need for frequent refilling, further contributing to energy and resource efficiency. 


Debris Prevention

The changing seasons bring with them a myriad of debris, including fallen leaves, twigs, and insects, which can quickly accumulate in an uncovered pool. Automatic pool covers provide a tight seal over the water surface, preventing debris from entering the pool. Standard pool covers do not offer this same level of coverage and protection, allowing debris to accumulate in the pool and necessitating more frequent maintenance and cleaning. Automatic pool covers not only save time, reducing the need for manual cleaning and maintenance, but also helps to preserve water quality and clarity, creating a more inviting swimming environment.


Chemical Conservation

Maintaining the chemical balance of a pool is essential for ensuring water quality and sanitation. However, exposure to sunlight and environmental contaminants can cause chemical degradation, requiring frequent adjustments and additions. Automatic pool covers shield the water from sunlight and external impurities, helping to preserve the integrity of pool chemicals and reduce the frequency of treatments, thereby saving both time and money.


Safety and Security

Safety is paramount and most important, especially when it comes to pools, where accidents can have devastating consequences. Automatic pool covers offer an added layer of protection over standard covers by effectively sealing off the water surface when not in use, only operationable by a childproof locking systems that require a key or code to operate. This helps to prevent unauthorized access, particularly for households with young children or pets, reducing the risk of accidents and providing peace of mind to homeowners. Automatic pool covers are also designed to support more than the weight of an average adult, ensuring that they can withstand accidental falls or intrusions without collapsing into the water. This provides an added layer of protection for anyone walking or playing near the pool area. 


Coverpools Automatic Pool Covers Ontario

Cons of Automatic Pool Covers:


Initial Cost

While the long-term benefits of automatic pool covers are undeniable, the initial investment can be significant. The cost of purchasing and installing a high-quality automatic cover can range anywhere from $17,000 to $35,000 which may deter some homeowners, particularly those on a tight budget. However, it's essential to consider the potential savings in terms of energy, maintenance, and prolonging the lifespan of the pool equipment.


Installation Complexity

Installing an automatic pool cover requires precision and expertise to ensure proper functioning and durability. Depending on the design of the pool and existing infrastructure, installation may involve additional modifications or customization, adding to the overall complexity and cost. Homeowners may need to enlist the services of professional installers, further increasing the upfront expenses.


Maintenance Requirements

While automatic pool covers are designed to streamline maintenance and reduce manual effort, they still require periodic care and attention to ensure optimal performance. Regular cleaning, lubrication, and inspection are essential to prevent debris buildup, minimize wear and tear, and extend the lifespan of the cover mechanism. We recommend annual inspection by a professional, they will adjust and inspect your cover and look for any wear and tear that may need to be replaced. Key items to run your automatic pool cover such as pulleys, sliders, etc. will wear over time and, if not replaced, can cause your cover to run poorly or stop working all together. Failure to maintain the cover properly can result in malfunctions or damage, necessitating costly repairs or replacements.


Limited Aesthetic Appeal

Some homeowners may find that automatic pool covers detract from the aesthetic appeal of their outdoor space, especially when the cover is in the closed position. While modern designs strive to balance functionality with visual appeal, the presence of a bulky cover may not align with certain architectural styles or landscaping preferences. Additionally, the need for tracks or housing mechanisms may impact the overall aesthetics of the pool area, especially in non rectangular pools. The tracks must be assembled perfectly square to ensure the cover runs properly, for a free formed pool shape this means the pool deck must be built up to accommodate the tracks.


Climate Considerations

While automatic pool covers offer numerous benefits in terms of temperature regulation and debris prevention, their effectiveness may vary depending on regional climate conditions. In colder climates with heavy snowfall or freezing temperatures, maintaining an automatic cover can pose challenges, as snow accumulation or ice formation may impede operation or cause damage. Homeowners must consider the suitability of automatic covers for their specific climate and weather patterns.



Automatic pool covers have revolutionized the way Canadians approach pool maintenance, offering a convenient and efficient solution to address common challenges such as temperature regulation, debris prevention, and safety concerns. While the initial cost and maintenance requirements may pose drawbacks for some homeowners, the long-term benefits in terms of energy efficiency, convenience, and peace of mind make automatic pool covers a worthy investment. 

By weighing the pros and cons outlined in this blog post, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and preferences, ensuring years of enjoyment and relaxation in your Canadian oasis.

If you're in search of a swimming pool contractor in Kitchener, ON that installs Automatic retractable pool covers than get in touch with our team at here at Hipel Pools!


Kadison Hipel

Kadison is the President and Founder of Hipel Pools, a swimming pool builder based in Kitchener, Ontario. With active participation in well over 100 pool builds and thousands of service calls Kadison is well versed in all things pools.