Buying a hot tub is generally considered a major investment. As with most major investments, care should be taken before making a purchasing decision. We’ve put together a short guide of considerations for those asking themselves the question, “What hot tub should I buy?”
Should I Buy a Hot Tub Online?
Like almost everything, hot tubs are being sold online with ever-increasing frequency, but does that mean you should buy a hot tub online? Although it might seem convenient, there are several major shortcomings when it comes to buying something like a hot tub from an online retailer.
The most evident reason for visiting a hot tub showroom rather than buying online is being able to experience the potential purchase firsthand. Most brick and mortar hot tub retailers will let you wet test a hot tub to ensure it’s a proper fit before you buy. Of course, this is impossible when buying online.
Another thing to keep in mind when deciding where to buy a hot tub are the matters of customer service, aftercare and maintenance. In most instances of buying online, you’ll be left completely on your own once the purchase is made. When dealing with a brick and mortar retailer you’ll have continual access to a knowledgeable staff that can answer questions and help you out with any future issues. Any savings from buying online may be negated by an inability to get the help you want when you need it.
Prioritizing energy efficiency can be a prime example of investing upfront to save money in the future. Hot tubs that aren’t properly insulated or have inefficient mechanical components might have a lower retail price but can end up costing a hot tub owner more money over the long run. Filtration systems that cycle the contents of the hot tub more quickly will ultimately use less power. Similarly, water pumps that are optimized for high water flow rates while using lower amperages will result in lower electricity bills. If you plan on using your hot tub in colder weather, it’s advisable to ensure your hot tub of choice has sufficient insulation to be run efficiently.
Plug And Play Versus Hardwired
Hot tubs are available in two different energy use types. Plug and play hot tubs run on 110 volts while hardwired models use 220 volts. As the name suggests, plug and play models can be plugged into a GFCI protected electrical outlet making them easy to install and quick to get up and running. Hardwired hot tubs, on the other hand, require a certified electrician to be present during the installation process.
While plug and play hot tubs may be easier to install, they do come with some disadvantages. Their lower power draw means that the water heater won’t work at the same time the water pump is running at top speed. This means that the water temperature will eventually begin to drop when the water pump is fully powered. This may not be a problem for short periods, but if the weather is cold and you’re using the hot tub for longer periods, it might be difficult to maintain a comfortable water temperature.
Some hot tub manufacturers, such as Hydropool, have invested a lot of research and development funds into self-cleaning technologies. This can greatly reduce the amount of time and effort required for cleaning and maintenance. More efficient filtration and vacuum systems can cut down on the number of contaminants that remain in the water and reduce the need for manual cleaning. If you’d rather spend more time soaking in your hot tub than cleaning it, look for self-cleaning technologies promoted by manufacturers such as Hydropool.
To learn more about what to look for when buying a hot tub, download a free buyer’s guide today.