By Lindy Rickert
So you are thinking about buying a hot tub. Great idea! There are many excellent benefits to owning one, including therapy, relaxation, and a place to reconnect with friends and family. Buying a hot tub is a big decision and it can be overwhelming to think about everything that needs to be considered. The good news is, however, there are really only five things you need to consider when shopping for a hot tub: the inside, outside, operating system, total cost of ownership, and where you plan to install it. This article will provide a closer look at each of these five elements and what they entail to help you make an educated hot tub purchase.
1. Hot tub interior
The interior surface is one of the first things most people notice. It is created from moulded acrylic and is available in a variety of colours and includes built-in cup holders, lighting, jets, and many other features. Whether you choose to match the décor of your home or have a specific backyard theme in mind, you will find today’s acrylic colours offer something for everyone. With a variety of synthetic siding (hot tub cabinetry) options available, you will spend less time maintaining the hot tub’s exterior appearance and more enjoying it, so take your time and choose what you like.
When looking at the hot tub, review the seating and the features. Also think about how many people will be enjoying the hot tub—what the industry calls ‘bather load.’ For instance, if you are considering it for personal therapy or relaxation, a hot tub with two to three seating options would be perfect. If you have a large family and want to have space for everyone, look for a hot tub that will seat five to seven bathers. In addition to the amount of seats, look at the type of seating. Do you want one or two loungers? Are you petite in stature? If so, you may want something a little shallower. If you are long in the torso, look for a hot tub with deep seats.
After you are comfortable with your seat selection, take a look at the accessories. Does the hot tub have a textured surface for the benefits of reflexology or cushioned headrests for ultimate relaxation? Are you interested in separate components such as a surround system for the perimeter of the hot tub or counter space for entertaining? If so, perhaps you can add this at the time of the purchase.
The next thing to observe is the location of the control panel. Does it face inside the hot tub and can it be easily accessed while soaking? Most hot tubs come with lights, water features, and audio. Be sure to ask if they are included or if they are an added feature. What about an in-tub sanitizing system to reduce chemical maintenance? Find out about what comes with the hot tub and what will add to the total cost.
Finally, take a look at the jets. When it comes to hot tub jets it is not necessarily important about how many there are, but more so how they work to provide the best results. Therefore, think about what type of therapy you are looking for and consider how the hot tub’s jet configuration will help you find relief. There are many different options available and it is always best to test soak (wet test) any hot tub before buying it. Sitting in a hot tub full of water feels very different than when it is empty. Further, after a wet test, you may also decide what you found appealing when looking at the hot tub is not right for you after all. For example, many women think they may like the lounger seat, but once in the hot tub many prefer a raised seat, so their hair does not get wet, and jets that target their neck and feet rather than full body jets in a lounge seat. Keep in mind, some jets are smaller and feel different than they look depending on the size of the orifice, which could result in a pinpoint feel. Always wet test the model you will be purchasing to get a true ‘feel’ of the hot tub. This is, after all, an investment which will last for years.