How do I Choose the Best Hot Tub?

Mary McMahon

A number of important considerations go into the selection of a hot tub. By thinking ahead, consumers can come up with a list of important features and points which will aid them when they finally go out to shop for a hot tub. It is a good idea to research prices and options at several stores and through several companies to ensure that the best deal on a hot tub is obtained, as prices and styles can vary considerably.

The intended location of a hot tub might determine which kind is purchased.
The intended location of a hot tub might determine which kind is purchased.

One thing to think about is usage patterns. If people plan to use a hot tub in all four seasons, they will need a tub with good insulation, to hold the heat in year round, and a tub which is sturdy and designed to withstand regular use. Placement is another concern; outdoor tubs require extra insulation and weatherproofed construction, while indoor tubs do not require these features. The installation site should also be evaluated to determine whether or not it needs reinforcement and other preparations to put the hot tub in place, such as extending plumbing and electrical wiring to the site, and for safety concerns, such as an easily navigable path to the tub, and a way to keep children and pets away from the tub.

When choosing a hot tub, it's important to compare and rate safety features.
When choosing a hot tub, it's important to compare and rate safety features.

Hot tubs come in a range of shapes, sizes, and styles. People should consider how many people will be using the hot tub at a time, and purchase an appropriate size. They may also want to think about how important features like jets, benches, lights, grab rails, and pillows are in the tub. Shapes can include squares, rectangles, octagons, circles, and more irregular shapes, and buyers might want to think about the shape of the tub from an aesthetic perspective. The construction material is something to think about as well. Some people like the look and feel of wood tubs, for example, while others prefer materials like fiberglass.

Safety features are also important. Electric and gas hot tubs should have temperature regulators which will prevent the water from getting dangerously hot. The tub should have a lid which locks securely, and all of the wiring and plumbing should be properly insulated and protected to prevent accidents.

There are also a number of heating methods to choose from, with varying levels of energy efficiency. Electric and gas hot tubs are popular because they are easy to manage, and they can be made more energy efficient by running the water in the tub through a passive solar array to warm it up, and by increasing the insulation on the tub to keep it hot. Wood fired tubs are also available, requiring more work than electric and gas tubs, but carrying the benefit of typically getting much warmer, being usable when electricity is not available, and only needing to be heated when people are ready to use the tub.

Cleaning is also a concern for many tub buyers. A hot tub should come with a filtration system which is designed to keep the tub clean, with a number of options for filtration and cleaning available with varying degrees of environmental friendliness. Electronic monitoring, cleaning, and filtration systems are available for people who use their tubs a lot. The tub itself will need to be periodically drained and cleaned, and purchasers may want to think about obtaining a hot tub which is easy to clean; hot tubs with lots of cracks and crevices, for example, are time consuming to clean and maintain.

Finally, cost is an important consideration. The price of a hot tub can vary considerably. For people who intend to use the tub regularly, a high price may be worth the amount of use, while people who will only use the tub periodically may not want to budget a lot of money on the hot tub. Some mid-range tubs are of very high quality, with fewer bells and whistles, but perfectly suitable for most users, for example.

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