Aaaahhh…Your very own backyard oasis. The latest lifestyle trend has homeowners striving to recreate a spa retreat in their home. Relax, entertain and feel better. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But there are so many choices. We’ve put together some valuable information designed to help you make your spa search a bit easier.
Imagine two spas identical in size, holding the same amount of water, located in the same back yard, used identically but one costs 5 times as much to operate. Why? The difference is the method of insulation. Insulation is the most important factor when it comes to energy efficiency of a spa. There are several different types. Which one is best?
Basic insulation consists of a thin layer of polyurethane that is applied to the understructure of the spa shell. Biggest benefit of basic insulation is the low price. Major drawback is it will be considerably more expensive to heat. Where do you typically see basic insulation – Mass Merchants - where the only consideration is the price.
Full foam insulation consists of filling the area between the shell and cabinet sub-floor with a thick layer of solid rigid foam. An excellent way to insulate and very energy efficient. So what’s the problem? Service. Since the plumbing and jets are encapsulated in the foam, service is extremely difficult and can be very costly.
This method consists of insulating the spa shell and the skirt creating a dead air space under the spa much in the same way a thermos bottle or thermal pane window would be constructed. Not only will the spa be well insulated, but now every jet and the spa plumbing are fully accessible for service. Well insulated and easy to service – makes sense doesn’t it?
Jet Package/Pump Size
How many jets are enough? Although good jet coverage in a spa is important, our opinion is the variety of jets is actually a more important feature to spa owners. Micro jets, turbo jets, double spinners, fluidix, volcano, whirlpool are all types of jets that are going to enhance your spa experience. When choosing your jet package – variety, variety, variety. Remember the jets are only as good as the pumps behind them. When it comes to spa pumps. Size does matter!
Ok, so we have the construction covered, but what about the features. Spas are sold as basic models all the way to fully loaded backyard resorts.
Most spas will have some type of lighting package with more deluxe models offering perimeter lighting and led light shows.
This unit offered on higher end spas converts oxygen to ozone and acts as water purification system for the spa. A must for most spa buyers.
Weather proof stereo systems. MP3 players, satellite radio receivers all add to the ultimate spa experience.
By investing in a cover lifter you will take the work out of removing the spa cover, and also have a place to store the cover while you relax.
Find a dealer that has large display of spas. Also make sure your dealer is full service and has a service team that is solely devoted to spa service. Larger dealers will normally have better price points since their volume buying assures you of a lower cost. Stay off the internet! Using the internet for information gathering is great; purchasing a spa sight unseen is not a wise move.