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Hot Tub Buying Guide

Hot Tub buying guide
Use this guide to understand what you need to know before buying a new hot tub and help you find the best fit for your lifestyle.
 
Before you purchase a hot tub determine where you want to place it. Another important consideration is proximity to a power source. Measure the area and account for walking room to move around the hot tub, when determining how big of a hot tub you can purchase.
 
Once you know how much space you have, there are two types of hot tubs to choose between:
  • Portable: These hot tubs are self-contained and sit above the ground. Some models require very little installation aside from finding an appropriate power source.
  • Permanent: These hot tubs are built into the ground. They require a lot of installation since they are typically made of poured cement, similar to an in-ground pool. 
The capacity of any hot tub will be listed in its description. If you have a big family or like entertaining, make sure to get a hot tub that is large enough to accommodate everyone. 

The variety of exterior and interior styles and colors is limited in hot tubs. Choose something that will match with the surroundings, usually the exterior of your home. Large planters filled with plants and flowers can always be used to conceal a less-than-pretty hot tub exterior.

Types of Hot Tubs


There are also various types of hot tubs to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. 


Cedar Hot Tubs: 

Cedar Hot Tub: ProsCedar Hot Tubs: Cons
Sustainable materialsNatural materials are not as durable as synthetic
Smooth wood with a pleasant scentWood requires regular maintenance to stay clean and conditioned
No excavation requiredRequires an external heating unit, no internal jets

Fiberglass Hot Tubs

Fiberglass Hot Tub: ProsFiberglass Hot Tub: Cons
Fabricated in one pieceCan potentially be difficult to move
Water-resistand and strongMay crack if improperly drained
Durable and long lastingRepairs require a professional
Insulating properties Artifical materials


Acrylic Hot Tubs

Acrylic Hot Tub: ProsAcrylic Hot Tub: Cons
LightweightDifficult for a home owner to install
DurableExposure to direct sunlight can result in bubbles on surface
Wide price rangeHigher electrical bills because of less insulation
Many models available 


Inflatalbe Hot Tubs:

Inflatable hot tubs are another great option. They are cost conscious for people on lmiited budgets and are incredibly portable. The user simply fills the spa with air and hooks up the included heating and filtration units. They are much less expensive than cedar, fiberglass, or acrylic hot tubs, and come in a variety of different sizes and styles. The main downside of inflatable hot tubs is that they are far less durable. 
Make sure to properly prepare the area where you will place your hot tub. If you're placing it on the ground, make sure you have leveled the site and have adequate drainage so rain water doesn't pool around the base. If your hot tub will live on a deck, make sure to assess how much weight the deck can hold.

Additional Things to Consider:

Hot Tub Jets

Jets:
 The more jets in a hot tub the more massaging power it will have. You'll want jets that are placed to point at the major muscle groups for the most relaxation and therapy. For the most part, the jets in hot tubs are adjustable for direction and power. 

Hot Tub Cover

Covers: Most people cover their hot tubs after use. This helps to retain the heat and keep the water clear of falling leaves, dirt, and the occasional wildlife visitor. Locking covers that clip and can be locked by key are ideal for keeping out small children. 

Energy Needs: 220 vs. 110 Volt Heater


When it comes to powering your hot tub, electric heaters come in different sizes to match the variously sized tubs. Most electric hot tub heaters require a professionally installed 220V outlet and outdoor wiring. Although some styles also offer a 110 volt plug-in option, referred to as Plug & Play. The ease of installation makes the 110 volt heater an attractive option, with no electrician needed, you can just plug in and go. But 110V heaters cause the tub to lose heat more quickly and in the end use just as much energy as a 220V outlet. 220V outlets as a result tend to be better for cooler climates where the tub loses heat more easily, or in situations where the tub will be used for hours at a time. 110 V outlets are best for warmer locations or when the tub will only be used for shorter periods of time. 

Hot Tub Filtration and Sanitization


Hot tub filters circulate the water and separate particles of dirt, hair, or other bojects from the water. Spa owners must also treat the water with chemical santizers such as chlorine or bromine to kill bacteria. 
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