Picture this: you’ve just bought a new house. It’s everything you ever wanted on the inside. Hardwood floors, open concept, gourmet kitchen. The bathrooms could use a little bit of work, but they’re fine for now. The biggest “to do” on your list is to upgrade your backyard. You have space for the kids and the dog to play, plus a dedicated patio area for bbqing. But something is missing. One last detail that will make your house the home of your dreams. A hot tub!
You haven’t really thought about buying a hot tub before, but your new backyard space seems custom built for one. Where do you turn? We’ve got you covered!
We recommend starting with a local hot tub retailer, your dedicated resource for all things hot tub related. They specialize in helping you select the right spa for your needs, space and (ever important) budget.
Now that you know who to ask, you need to know what to ask. Never fear! We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 questions every first-time hot tub buyer should ask their local hot tub dealer before purchase.
The first question on everyone’s mind…
How much should I spend to get the hot tub that I need?
Cost is always a biggie, right? Well, just like anything else, there are a lot of factors that go into determining the cost, like size, material, and features, to name a few. The larger and more feature-rich your hot tub, the more expensive it will be. But you need to decide which features matter most to you. You can get an acrylic hot tub with all the features you could ever imagine for $14,000+. Or, you can get a high-quality hot tub with just the features you need like jets, mood lighting, and energy-efficiency programs for as little as $3,100. It all depends on what works best for you!
Once I have my hot tub, how much will it cost for you to install it for me?
As I’m sure you’ve figured out, this, too, depends on the type of hot tub you purchase. Most spas need a dedicated 220-volt electrical outlet, which requires a licensed electrician to set up and that will add a few hundred dollars to your startup costs. The alternative is a plug-n-play model that runs off a standard 110v outlet, meaning you just fill it up, plug it in, and start enjoying your new hot tub almost immediately.
The choice is yours. If you want to get started today with no installation or set up costs, check out Freeflow Spas which only need 110v outlet but also have an option to upgrade to 220v, offering the best of all worlds.
Now that I know what it will cost to purchase and set up my new hot tub, how much will it cost to run it each month?
This all depends upon how energy efficient your hot tub is. Ask your dealer to only show you hot tub models that feature full foam insulation to maintain water temperature throughout your soak. Full foam insulation also requires less energy to warm up your water, making foamed spas more energy efficient to keep your operating costs low. Check out some other tips to improve the efficiency of your spa.
Which hot tub has the best warranty?
As we know your local retailer will tell you, NEVER buy a hot tub without a warranty. But, not all warranties are created equal, so you need to know what to look for. Ask for hot tubs with longer-term warranties backed by companies who have a solid reputation for quality product and backing their work.
For example, Freeflow Spas feature a 5-year structure, shell, and surface warranty and a 1-year warranty on equipment, plumbing, and labor. And they are manufactured by Watkins Wellness™, the global hot tub leader who has built more than one million hot tubs with unsurpassed quality and long-term reliability.
How much time will I need to spend cleaning a hot tub?
There is some regular maintenance that is recommended. But, you’ll actually want to do it. After all, you don’t want to soak in dirty water, amiright? We recommend draining and refilling the hot tub every 3 months, though you may need to change the cleaning frequency depending on how often you use it. Showering before use and not washing bathing suits with soap can help to extend the life of the water. Beyond that, you’ll want to check the pH, alkalinity and hardness of your water regularly for the best possible hottubbing experience.
BONUS Question: Will I get enough use out of my hot tub if I live in an area with winter weather?
Of course you can! That’s entirely up to you. But cold temps and a little snow shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your hot tub. In fact, we’re quite fond of a good soak after a long day on the slopes or as an escape from the chaos of an unexpected snow day. With just a little bit of extra care, you’ll see what we mean as you hot tub in the cold.
If you do live in colder climates, you'll want to look for spas with a locking thermal cover and full foam insulation, which keeps the water hot year-round. For those brave souls living in areas where temps routinely reach -40°F or colder (yikes!), it will be harder to maintain that hot water temp with a 110v tub. You might need to convert to a 220v hot tub.
As always, be safe when you are hot tubbing.
Bring this list of questions with you when you meet with a local retailer. You’ll blow them away with your prep work, and you’ll be matched with your perfect spa sooner.