Imagine a pleasant day in spring with an outdoor hot tub in your yard. It already sounds very pleasing, and you should definitely try it out!
There are hundreds of hot tubs on the market, and it can be truly confusing to find one that fits the best. While many of you might be primarily concerned with the aesthetics part, there are other factors to consider to make the investment worth it.
In fact, we were in a dilemma ourselves, and that is when we decided to do our research about it. After looking through hundreds of reviews and conducting in-depth research, we have curated this list of the most important factors to consider while shopping for a spa.
Rest assured that these will help you in buying a hot tub that fits right in your backyard. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in!
Things To Consider Before Buying Hot Tubs
How many people are going to use the hot tub simultaneously? The size or space will depend on this answer, and hence it is a very important consideration. If you are going to have friends and family over often, then it is best to purchase a large hot tub that can fit everyone in comfortably. However, if you are only going to use it with your spouse, then a smaller hot tub size would work better.
While many do not pay attention to the height, it’s crucial to understand that with a smaller spa, you may not be able to immerse the body fully.
That’s why it’s important to calculate the deck area where you plan to install the spa. Measure this space carefully and compare it to the dimensions of your preferred spas to pick the right model.
2. Hot Tub Layout
Next comes the layout of the hot tub, which will determine how comfortably you can sit in it. No matter if it’s your friends or family who will use the pool, it’s always advisable to consider the moulding, size, and seat placements of the tub. Especially for taller people, there should be enough space for them to keep their feet inside the tub without feeling uncomfortable.
For example, if you’re buying a tub for 5 people, then remember that there are going to be 10 feet inside at a time, which will need to be positioned well. Otherwise, it will just be uncomfortable for everybody, and you would not want that.
So, this brings us to the foot size and the footrest area that is present inside outdoor hot tubs. A layout has to be chosen carefully so that everyone can rest their feet in the desired position.
Also, take a note of the hot tub seats and see if they are moulded for better comfort. An outdoor hot tub is a place where you come to soak in and relax, and hence, it needs to have the right build.
While many buyers may not pay a lot of attention to the warranty period of the hot tub, it could save a lot of money in the long run. We will always recommend doing your research and reading through the fine print to know about it for all spas and hot tubs that you are considering.
Moving on, if you are buying one online, then call up the customer care representatives to check the range of issues that are covered. You can also get this information from the dealers who sell hot tubs.
4. Insulation Capacities
When you are buying a hot tub, you already know that the energy bills will go up because of the running and maintenance costs. But these energy bills can be regulated if the model has effective insulation capacities.
If the spa is well-insulated, then it can retain the heat for a longer time, and you do not have to keep the electric connection switched on at all times. Now, this has no relation with the heating power of the spa, and here, you need to pay attention to the cabinets, base structure, shell and pipework.
Many brands claim that they provide 6 or 7 layers of insulation to their hot tubs. But this feature won’t work if layers of acrylic paints are considered. In such cases, you will need to have premium grade closed-cell insulation or a very thick foam layer that is firmly installed.
Additionally, the cabinet in the hot tubs needs to be well insulated and should be ideally made of foam, which is paired with a reflective cover on top. This cover will help in keeping the heat inside, thereby reducing energy costs.
While we love the intensity of jets in a hot tub, their position and design are what matters the most. The number of jets may vary from one model to another, and you need to see how many pressure pumps you can install with regards to the number of jets. More jets mean spending more on electricity as you will need to get more pressure.
Check the positioning of hot tub sprays and see if they massage the areas that you need to take care of. If there are only 2 or 3 jets but they are located in the right areas, then they should work out well. Also, see how the seating arrangement is placed so that everybody in your group can treat their pressure points.
Similar to pool heating, The heater in your outdoor spa will play an essential role as it is what will heat the water in your hot tub. If you opt for a high voltage option, then it will heat the water faster, and you do not need to keep it switched on for long. This will save your hot tub power costs in the long run.
On the other hand, if you choose a spa with a low voltage heater, it will heat the water gradually, and you might enjoy the process. Such models will work better for warmer areas where a lot of heating is not necessary.
7. Installation Costs Of A Spa
When you are calculating the overall cost, make sure to factor in the installation costs as you will need to hire professionals for the job. Generally, the brand or dealer will get the spa installed for a nominal cost after delivery, but you can also hire local professional services for the purpose. Calculate these costs and choose the hot tub brand which seems feasible.
8. Water Holding Capacity
The water holding capacity of an outdoor spa will depend on the size of the tub that is provided. This is pretty simple to understand as the larger a spa, the more liquid it can carry.
However, please check the water availability in the area as you would not want to buy a large pool and only have it half-filled. If there is a shortage, then opt for a smaller spa that will properly accommodate less water.
The maintenance of a hot tub is another important criterion that you need to consider. Larger spas will need more effort for cleaning and maintenance.
You can either hire professional services to do the job, or you can do it yourself. But to maintain the quality and to ensure that the spa floor does not get slippery over time, regular maintenance is a necessity.
It is essential to understand the purpose before purchasing a spa. Do you want a hot tub experience with warm water or do you want an entire spa experience?
Some spas will come with jets that will gently massage the back of your head or legs as you relax. Similarly, others might produce a lot of bubbles that will enhance the overall experience.
If you are looking for a powerful multi-jet experience, then the price of the spa will be more, as you may have already understood. Besides, you will have to take into account the ratio between the pump and jets. For instance, 60 jets will work better with 2 pump units rather than 3 pumps with 120 jets.
11. Spa Sanitisation
The spa should meet the general sanitisation standards, but it’s best if the model is equipped with an Ozone purification system. While the costs might increase slightly, such a unit will use a UV-based system that will clean the water and reduce the chlorine levels to keep bacteria at bay. This is perfect for those who want a premium spa experience and are ready to pay the price for it.
Apart from that, salt can damage your spa over time, and the maintenance costs can exceed the set budget. And since most users prefer having bath salts while in the hot tub, a good sanitisation system will prevent the extent of these damages.
Buying Your New Spa
Once you have considered all the points above before you buy a hot tub, it should not be difficult to make a choice. Remember that the power cost will differ throughout the year and will increase in winter. Hence, if you are calculating an average value, take this into consideration.
Also, if you are going to move it around, then check it’s portability. Ask all your questions to the seller before the delivery of the spa so that you can make a decision accordingly.
Having said that, we feel that you are now geared up to make a decision. Let us know about your preferred hot tub model in the comment section below.