Love the idea of getting a hot tub but have no clue where to start researching what costs are involved once you choose one? Are you worried that you might be able to afford to buy a hot tub, but are unsure about the costs to run and maintain it? Or, maybe you don’t have a clue what the best choice of a hot tub is for your family. Whatever position in which you find yourself, grab a cup of coffee and settle in. Let’s go over the beginner’s ultimate guide to owning a hot tub.
What’s the General Price Range of Hot Tubs?Hot tubs typically come in three price ranges: entry-level, mid-range, and luxury. But what do they cost, and what do you get in each category? Bear in mind that when you buy a hot tub, you will pay more for size, for energy-efficiency, and for special features.
- Entry Level, $3,000-$7,000. If you want to find out if a hot tub is right for you without a big cost outlay, these models are a great choice. They are “rotomolded” which is a process where a mold is used to create the shell of the hot tub. Often, they are what the industry calls “plug and play”, which means they can be plugged into a standard 110V outlet, filled with water, and enjoyed. They are lightweight and can even be moved to another location if desired. Fronheiser Pools carries Freeflow® spas, which are a great option for first-time buyers and those on a budget.
- Mid-Range Level, $7,000-14,000. Hot tubs in this price range have molded acrylic shells, which are very durable and energy efficient. They have great insulation, which means they hold their heat well and could result in lower utility costs to heat them. A mid-range hot tub is going to have many choices of features, such as strategically placed powerful jets and even lounge seats. They come in sizes ranging from 3-4 persons up to 7 persons.
- Luxury Level, $14,000-$20,000+. Owning a hot tub in this luxury price range will provide the ultimate spa experience. Many of them have special lighting, water features, Bluetooth® sound, automation systems, and the best hydrotherapy options. These hot tubs are beautiful in appearance and can easily be a focal point in your backyard. They come with outstanding warranties, are quieter in operation, and may be the most energy efficient to operate. Fronheiser Pools has a number of models made by Caldera Spas® that fall into this category. Fronheiser Pools also offers financing, which makes this level of hot tub available to more individuals.
How Do I Choose the Right Hot Tub for My Family?Narrowing down the price level of the hot tub that works for you is the first step. Next, you will want to review the various features and options available and make the best choice for your family. Determine your space availability. Then, make a list of how you and your family will use the hot tub. This will narrow down your options and point you in the right direction. Once you target what you want to get out of owning a hot tub, the professionals at Fronheiser Pools can guide you to the specific models that will suit you best. What are your priorities?
- A hot tub that will move with you. For younger buyers or small families on the move, a plug-and-play hot tub may work for you. In the military? Take it with you when you are reassigned to a new location!
- Rest and relaxation. If you plan to use your hot tub by yourself or with your partner, you can go with a smaller model spa.
- Hydrotherapy benefits. Is what you want from your hot tub hydrotherapy massage, pain relief, better sleep, or workout recovery? In that case, you will need to research models that have high-powered and strategically placed jets to target your area of need. Perhaps a model with a lounge seat will suit you well.
- Entertainment and socialization. If you plan to use your hot tub as a frequent place of entertainment and socialization with friends, you may want to consider a larger model hot tub that seats 7-8 persons. Choose a model with a generous-sized footwell to avoid that crowded feeling. Also, keep in mind that a lounge seat will take up more space than a regular seat. A larger size hot tub is also wonderful for having family nights, which encourage conversation and reconnection.
How Will Owning a Hot Tub Affect My Utility Bills?It turns out that higher utility bills do not typically come along with owning a hot tub. As a matter of fact, many people report that their electricity bills went up only $20-$30 dollars a month! That being said, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure the cost of operating your hot tub stays as low as it possibly can.
- Use a cover. Keep the heat in with a cover made to fit your hot tub model.
- Lower the temperature when not in use. Today’s mid- and luxury-range hot tubs heat up quickly, so turning them down to 95° when not in use makes sense. If you have an automation system, you can even program your hot tub to heat up while you are on your way home from work and plan to have a soak.
- Heat during non-peak electrical use hours. Save more by heating your hot tub when electrical usage rates are the lowest.
- Set up a windbreak. Wind can really cool a hot tub down. If your hot tub is in a windy location, construct a windbreak and see your heating costs go down.
- Keep it clean. A dirty hot tub places more of a toll on the filtration system, which will have to work harder. So, clean your hot tub regularly and also pay attention to having a clean filter.
What Chemicals Do I Need to Have on Hand when Owning a Hot Tub?There is a list of basic chemical supplies you need to have on hand to maintain your hot tub’s water balance. The good news is that since the volume of your hot tub is small compared to a full-sized pool, you will be using a lot less in the way of chemicals. Here are some chemicals and supplies you will need when owning a hot tub:
- Test strips. Regular water testing is a must for all hot tub owners. Test strips or a water testing kit will tell you if your hot tub water is out of balance and what you need to adjust.
- Sanitizer. The sanitizer you use in your hot tub, (chlorine, bromine, etc.) is the main chemical that keeps your hot tub clean and free of bacteria, algae, and other contaminants.
- Alkalinity increaser pH increaser/decreaser. pH and alkalinity chemicals work together to control the acidity of the hot tub water. You will adjust your alkalinity level first and add the pH chemical accordingly. A pH level between 7.4 and 7.6 is your goal.
- Calcium hardness increaser. Particularly if your water is soft, add a calcium hardness increaser to protect the inner surface of your hot tub.
- Shock. Add hot tub shock on a regular basis to remove algae or clear cloudy water. It is an extra boost of sanitizer that clears away anything that remains that could contaminate your hot tub water.
- Line Cleaner. Every few months it is advisable to clean out your hot tub plumbing lines with something called a “line cleaner.” Using this product will flush any mineral deposits or other build-ups from your plumbing lines.