Purchasing a spa or hot tub is a significant investment, and one that, if carefully researched and evaluated, will reward you with years of relaxation and fun for you and your loved ones. A quality hot tub will last well over a decade, but what constitutes a quality hot tub? What other factors should be considered for personal comfort? How do you know you are making a purchase that will fit your needs and desires and will continue to provide the relaxation you deserve?
Here are some questions to consider while choosing the perfect hot tub for you.
How do you plan on using your spa or hot tub?
Do you plan on primarily using your hot tub for you and your spouse to relax after a long day, or for multiple occupants at large parties? Understanding your desired size can help you narrow down your selection. Size is not always equal to capacity; however, it is important to determine both the dimensions and the capacity. Most hot tubs range in seating 2 to 8 people.
In addition to capacity, seating arrangements and styles should be taken into account. Many spas offer both lounge seats and upright seating combinations. Upright seating will open up more space and may provide for greater capacity, whereas lounge seating takes up more room in the hot tub, but provides reclined relaxation. There are many combinations to choose from when deciding on seating type and arrangements, so consider your needs and research thoroughly.
What should you look for in spa jet systems?
In recent years, there has been exciting innovations in spa hydrotherapy and interchangeable jets. Jetting systems can vary greatly between manufacturers and models, however. Consider looking for ergonomic jetting styles with adjustable flow, like the JetPak Therapy System available through Bullfrog Spas of OKC, which allows you to customize your jets to your liking at purchase, change the jetting system when desired, and adjust the flow volume to completely tailor your spa experience to you. Consider choosing a variety of jet types, from swirling, pulsating, steady, or oscillating flows. Different jet types will lend to different massage sensations.
Be wary of manufacturers who tout the quantity of jets, rather than placement and quality, as the latter will matter more in the overall benefit of your spa therapy experience.
What should you know when considering spa construction and energy efficiency?
Most high quality spas are made from an extremely durable acrylic shell placed on a support structure. This waterproof material is impervious to chemical saturation, moisture, and wear from exposure to elements overtime. High quality tubs will also be made using a frame of ABS or another durable composite material. This structure ensures precision in the manufacturing process and an exact fit and finished when compared with handmade frames of wood or metal, which are more likely rot and corrode overtime and be affected by human error. Some spas are made from a rotary molded plastic such as the plastic used in folding picnic tables or kayaks. Though this type of plastic is cost effective, it also delivers lower quality and will affect overall longevity.
When planning for monthly operating costs, take into consideration the energy efficiency of your tub. First, look at insulation. Fully foam-insulated tubs will be most effective in avoiding heat escape. Check to ensure your hot tub meets or exceeds the California Energy Commission (CEC) guidelines, which will ensure that your tub conserves energy even in very cold climates. Check to ensure your spa cover is well made and fits securely. If you should need a replacement, contact the manufacturers to avoid energy loss.
Plumbing can significantly affect energy costs. The more plumbing built into your spa, the more exposure to the environment and the more friction will occur before water is pumped through the jets. Find a tub with minimal plumbing to ensure maximum energy efficiency.
What extra features are there to consider?
Many spas offer extra features, such as colored mood lighting, built in sound systems, spa lid lifters, ozone purifier systems for easy water care, as well as mobile control apps to remotely monitor jets, heating and security settings. While not changing your spa’s performance, some of these features can provide for an enhanced spa experience.
In summary, when careful consideration is given to your intended spa usage, spa construction, energy saving features, and jet systems, you will be able to find the perfect spa for your needs and enjoyment.