Air pillows have been used for decades, but is it really the best way to winterize a pool? Are they really needed? Here are our findings…
Easier cleanup in the spring
Air pillows were originally used when closing aboveground pools to make it easier to clean off the water and debris in the spring time. By placing an air pillow in the middle of the pool before placing the tarp or winter cover on, it would allow any rain water and or snow to gather around the perimeter of the pool and not in the center. This is a great idea, however the following issues can occur…
Giant wind hazard
With an air pillow pushing the middle of the cover up in the air like a tent, your winter cover has now become a giant wind hazard. Even a small gust of wind will shake your cover and could cause it to complete come undone. The winter cover is there to prevent unnecessary debris from entering the pool water during the winter months when the filter system is not actively circulating. If your cover starts whipping in the wind, this does not allow for a tight seal and therefor will allow a lot of additional debris to enter the pool, on top of the risk of fully losing your cover due to the wind. When the cover is not tightly secured by the cable system and a small amount of water placed on the top of the cover (even when initially installed), the cover will move freely causing additional issues or complete loss of the winter cover before spring.
What we recommend:
We usually don’t recommend to use the air pillows as they greatly increase the chance of damaging and/or losing your winter cover instead of protecting the pool. Without an air pillow, we can get the cover attached much tighter. We also recommend placing a small amount of water on top of the cover as soon as the cover is installed, to add some additional weight to prevent the wind from whipping it around. In the spring time, we do have automatic cover pumps which will quickly and efficiently remove the water so that you don’t have to hassle with it. If you are in an extremely windy area, we definitely recommend to not use an air pillow for best results.