A hot tub is more than a home improvement product — it’s a self-improvement product. A soothing retreat that’s part of your home, an intimate oasis that you share with family and friends. Most importantly, a spa serves as a tangible investment in your mental health, physical health, relationships and overall happiness. A place where you can unwind and truly feel your very best. Shopping or browsing for a hot tub should be fun. But before you purchase the first hot tub you find, take a moment to find out what you should consider before you even start your search and learn practical tips that will help you find your perfect spa.
Hot tubs are designed to fit seamlessly into your space. You’ll use your spa more if you position it close to a door for convenient access.
WHO DO YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR HOT TUB WITH? Hot tubs are available in a variety of sizes, from tubs for just the two of you to tubs designed for large parties.
DO YOU WANT TO RELIEVE STRESS, TENSION, ACHES OR PAINS IN SPECIFIC PARTS OF YOUR BODY?Choose a spa that has jets placed in the right spots to provide the relief you need — precisely where you need it.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I USE MY SPA? Hot tubs are designed for daily use, so look for a reliable spa that you can count on every day.
WHAT’S MY SPA BUDGET? Spas can range dramatically in price depending on the model, size and features. You’ll want to determine which features are most important to you as you narrow down your options to determine your target price.
Less time for maintenance means more time to relax in your spa. Though all spas require some simple chemical maintenance, such as testing the water’s pH, the process should be easy and stress-free for you. When looking at a hot tub you’re interested in, ask a sales associate to explain your water care options.
WATER CARE THE THREE MOST COMMON WAYS TO MAINTAIN SPA WATER ARE:
TRADITIONAL CHLORINE-This popular type of spa water sanitation uses a chlorine formula especially formulated for hot tubs to cleanse impurities from the water.
OZONE SYSTEM- Known by many different names depending on the brand, these systems reduce the need for chlorine by generating a high concentration of ozone that thoroughly cleans spa water on contact.
SALT WATER SANITATION- Salt water sanitizing systems automatically generate chlorine sanitizer from salt added to the water. With these systems, you’ll need to add fewer bottled products to the water and enjoy better water quality with less maintenance — without the harsh side effects of traditional water care.
You’re looking for a spa that’s cost efficient, clean and easy to use — but what about the details that make it yours? With most models, you can choose the color of the shell in the tub, cabinet and cover. You can also customize your spa experience by adding entertainment systems and other accessories. Before you buy, consider what features are most important to you when making your hot tub dream a reality.
YOUR PERFECT MASSAGE- Above ground hot tubs and spas generally feature anywhere from 20 to 100 jets, all targeted to certain muscle groups to help you emerge from your hot tub feeling your best. When you’re looking at models, look for powerful, patented jets that will provide the type of massage you need in the areas where you need it most. Also look for targeted jet groups. Having more jets doesn’t always mean you’ll have the best spa. Often, having fewer jets in targeted groups will conserve energy and give a better, more focused massage.
WATER AND LIGHT FEATURES- Customized multi-color lighting and soothing water features can enhance any relaxing spa experience, adding ambience to your backyard. Think about how you will use your spa, and decide how important these features will be to you. Find out if the spa you are considering, allows you to customize these features – so that you can adjust the lighting and water feature based on your mood.
IN-SPA ENTERTAINMENT- From relaxing to the soothing sounds of a favorite song to enjoying the best seat in the house for your favorite TV show, wireless and Bluetooth® technology make it easy to connect your favorite shows or songs to your hot tub with monitor and audio systems. If this is what you’re looking for, communicate it to a sales associate or dealer while browsing.
Crystal clear water is essential to the entire spa experience. Most spa filters work by capturing and removing impurities and debris in the water, but they vary by size depending on the brand and size of the tub. Some spas feature a dedicated 24-hour circulation pump, that circulates the water quietly, and efficiently without requiring use of the jet pumps. If energy efficiency and quiet operation are important to you, choose a spa with a dedicated circulation pump. When browsing spas, look closely at a spa’s filtrations system — keep in mind that filtration systems will vary in shape and size. Also, look for spas with frequent filtration cycles. Water moving through the system constantly keeps it clean and contaminate-free.
SPA FILTRATION WHEN LOOKING AT FILTRATION SYSTEMS:
Make sure the filtration system is easy to access for periodic maintenance.
Look for filters that are easy-to-remove and change.
Ask if the filters are disposable or dishwasher safe.
Ask how often the spa completes filtration cycle.
Because spas require electricity to power the jets, heat and circulate the water, new hot tub owners generally see an increase in their electricity bill after installing their spa. So how much will it cost you to run your hot tub? That depends on the type of spa you buy, ambient temperature in your area, the temperature of the water, frequency of use and the cost of electricity where you live, but it can range from as little as a few dollars per month to much more. It’s important that you understand how the hot tub you choose is designed to keep operating costs low. To help minimize these costs, many spa manufacturers produce more energy-efficient hot tubs than ever before.
WHEN YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR A SPA, LOOK FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT FEATURES LIKE:
High-density, complete insulation in the entire spa.
A high-density spa cover that seals completely.
A continuous, energy-efficient water circulation pump Jets and controls designed for the realities of use.
Heaters that maximize heat-to-water transfer.
With hundreds of hot tub and models available from a variety of companies, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when beginning to search for the right hot tub. So instead of trying to select a model right off the bat, narrow down your search to a brand you trust first, then select a model. To find a spa brand that you like, do the following:
FINDING A BRAND LOOK FOR A COMPANY WITH A RECORD OF SUCCESS- When you begin researching spa brands, look at the company’s history. While some brands come and go with products that may not last, the most successful hot tub sellers offer decades of reliable products, innovative ideas and long-lasting warranties for their products.
READ CUSTOMER REVIEWS- Look for customer reviews about spa brands online and on a brand’s specific website. You want to select a manufacturer with a commitment to transparency and accountability for the product they build. When a brand openly engages, listens and responds to customer feedback, you can feel more assured that you will receive quality support after you buy. CALL OR VISIT
LOCAL DEALERS- A local dealer can help you find a hot tub that fits your needs and answer any questions you have about spas. Look for a dealer that is close and convenient to your home, with a knowledgeable service department and friendly staff who help their customers before, during and after their hot tub purchase.
After researching spas online and browsing them in-person, you’re almost ready to unwind in your own. Maybe you’ve even tried a test soak and experienced a comfortable spa first hand. Hopefully, a few models stood out to you. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a single brand or two, answer the following questions and think about a hot tub in terms of what matters to you. Use your answers to help you eventually select the specific spa model that’s right for you.
WHAT SIZE HOT TUB DO I WANT OR NEED? Do I plan to use the hot tub for personal relaxation or entertaining? On average, how many people will be using my hot tub? Where can I place my hot tub outside to make it easily accessible?
DO THE JETS AND OTHER FEATURES FIT MY NEEDS? Where do I need to relieve tension in my body with massage jets? Do I want a lounge seat in my spa? Do I want custom lights, water features or an entertainment system in my spa? Do I want a chlorine, salt water or ozone water care system for my spa?
HOW WILL I PAY FOR MY HOT TUB? What is my budget for a new hot tub? How much will owning a hot tub cost me monthly?
1. NOT ACCOUNTING FOR SIZE AND SPACE Be sure to take measurements of the space you would like to place your spa, as well as of the path you will use to install it. From a patio to a backyard, taking simple measurements ahead of time will make installation easy when the time comes, giving you more time to enjoy your new spa.
2. UNDERESTIMATING THE VALUE OF AN ENERGY EFFICIENT SPAEnergy efficient spas will save you money in the long run, keeping your energy bill lower even during cold winter months. Be sure to speak to a sales associate and read reviews about energy efficient models. Talk to your power company about the price of power in your area.
3. NEGLECTING TO MAINTAIN YOUR SPA Like a car or pool, a hot tub requires regular maintenance to function at its absolute best. Learn everything you can about the simple, quick spa maintenance that you will do yourself, like checking the chemical balance. Also keep up with your dealership for offers, services and support.
4. AVOID ‘DIY’ INSTALLATION OF THE TUB ITSELF Unless you’re a trained professional, you probably want to avoid installing your new hot tub yourself. A certified dealer will make sure the plumbing and electric elements of your new spa are installed correctly and functioning optimally, which can save you money in repairs down the road. Additionally, certified dealers are trained to safely lift and move spas.
At the end of the day, a hot tub is one of the most tangible, rewarding purchases you can make for yourself and your loved ones. Relaxing in a spa is a simple way to rid your body of stress and tension, share a joyous moment with your loved-ones, or to simply take time to soak up the outdoors in the comfort of your backyard. Heat, water and massage tangibly improve your mental health, physical health, relationships and overall happiness — to help you feel your very best.