Investing in an excellent long-term pool cover is a no-brainer for any pool owner. It protects your pool from outside elements, prevents evaporation, and reduces your time servicing it.
You can add another layer of ease to your pool cover by installing an automatic pool cover that will cover your pool and retract with the touch of a button. However, automatic pool covers can be very pricey, so this article is a guide to the cost of automatic pool covers, both initial and ongoing, as well as factors that can affect the overall price of the cover.
- Automatic pool covers can cost somewhere between $8,000 – $22,000.
- Cost depends on various factors such as size, shape, track, custom features, installation cost, and warranty.
- Some benefits of automatic pool covers are safety, better heat retention, and protection from debris and water evaporation.
- The lifespan of an automatic pool cover is around 5-10 years, depending on how well it is maintained.
Automatic Pool Covers Cost
An automatic pool cover can cost you between $8,000 to $22,000. Of course, the actual cost depends on the pool’s size and shape, the track system, specific features of the model, and the installation cost. Generally, less expensive covers mounted above the pool deck, barring the cost of the electrical hook-up mechanism, cost an average of $10,000. Check out my article on the breakdown of the cost of other types of pool covers.
Let’s go into detail about the cost factors of an automatic pool cover below.
In this section, I’ll go over what contributes to the high costs of automatic pool covers, such as size, shape, tracking system, installation expenses, warranty, and special features.
Size and Shape
The pool’s size and shape are the most significant factors when budgeting the costs of an automatic pool cover. Naturally, you have to shell out a lot less for an average-sized rectangular pool. But if you have an irregularly shaped pool, costs will climb much higher. Keep in mind that the more you need to customize the cover, the higher the cost. Therefore, you should budget more if you do not have a standard-sized rectangular pool.
The type of track system you use for the pool also affects the project’s total cost. Three main options usually influence automatic pool cover prices: undertrack system, recessed track system, and top track system.
An undertrack system is embedded within the pool’s walls and is invisible, making it an aesthetic option for those seeking a clean and minimalistic look. It’s an expensive option but ideal for rectangular pools. Keep in mind that this type of track system is significantly more expensive for pools of other shapes and sizes.
A recessed track system is embedded within the deck itself and sits flush against the deck. This is a great mid-range option that is still aesthetically pleasing.
Finally, a top track system is less expensive than both options and is mounted to the deck’s surface or under an aluminum lid. This is generally the best option for freeform pools, but it will be a visible mechanism and a little unsightly compared to undertrack or recessed track systems.
If you want any special features or customization of your automatic pool cover, this will significantly add to your costs. Therefore, if you want a customized cover lid or a higher-quality vinyl material for the cover, you’re looking at the higher end of the expense range, and it would be wise to budget according to that.
Installation Costs and Warranty
Costs of installation will vary depending on the manufacturer and the crew installing it. You would also need to plan for any additional wiring or electrical configuration by a licensed electrician. It’s best to get an onsite estimate from a pool professional, along with details on warranty, estimated installation timeline (usually takes a day or two), and any other project details.
Automatic Pool Covers Maintenance Cost
Automatic pool covers are relatively easy to maintain. Simply make sure the equipment is kept clean and oiled, and ensure the cover does not take on too heavy a load during snowstorms or other extreme weather events. Furthermore, since it is a complicated piece of machinery, it would be best to have it serviced by a local pool professional every season to ensure everything is working well and in good shape.
While the costs of such a visit would depend on the professional, you can roughly budget around $150 – $200 for a simple servicing check-up. Keep in mind that additional repair expenses will be necessary if something is wrong with the equipment.
Benefits Of An Automatic Pool Cover
Since pools are a lifelong investment, it is reasonable to want the best protection for your infrastructure and equipment, regardless of the cost. If you have the budget for it, automatic pool covers offer tremendous benefits to pool owners.
Automatic pool covers offer the advantage of security and safety. Children, senior citizens, and drunken guests will not fall into a pool by accident, and unwanted persons or animals cannot enter a pool without your knowledge or consent since it is impossible to slide the cover back without a remote.
Keep Debris Out
Automatic pool covers do a lot more to protect your pool from debris falling into the water, such as leaves, twigs, or dirt, compared to other covers.
You are also much less likely to slack on keeping the cover on because it is much easier to slide the cover on and off the pool once you’re done with a swim. Less debris also means less time spent cleaning and maintaining your pool.
More Heat, Less Evaporation
A pool cover also keeps heat within the water effectively. Since it is easy to slide the cover back after usage, heat remains in the water for longer. This will help you save on gas or electricity expenses since you won’t need to run your pool heater as much. A cover also reduces the amount of evaporation (the number one source of heat loss) from your pool during windy or sunny days.
Chemical Balance Preserved
Since covering your pool is easier with an automatic pool cover, it also makes it easier to protect your pool against exposure to the elements. This means the water’s chemical balance will remain preserved for longer, reducing the amount of time you spend adjusting the chemicals for a swim session.
Protects Pool Equipment
An automatic cover can even extend the lifespan of your pool equipment from general wear and tear, lowering repair and replacement costs. For example, your filtration system won’t need to work as hard to clean the pool as there will be less debris in the water.
Is An Automatic Pool Cover Worth It?
The benefits described above make it clear that while an automatic pool cover might be expensive, it can keep your pool clean, warm, and balanced. An automatic pool cover can lessen a lot of the pool-related chores and costs. While other pool covers also have a lot of the same benefits, the ease of use with an automatic cover is simply unmatched.
Automatic pool covers also come with useful features nowadays, such as an ability to monitor your pool’s cover when not in use or a notification system alerting you when the cover is left open too long or activated without your knowledge. This gives even the most cautious pool owners peace of mind since they have complete control over access to the pool.
Automatic Pool Cover Lifespan
Most automatic safety pool covers last approximately 5 to 7 years, but if maintained well, a good automatic cover can even last 10 years. Invest in an automatic pool cover with a strong warranty period in case you notice any issues within the first few months of purchase and require a replacement.
Questions about the cost of automatic pool covers? Let me know; I’m always happy to help. If automatic options are a bit out of your price range, also make sure to check out my research on the best inground pool covers (I threw in some above ground options in there too).