A couple of years ago, my wife and I had our first free-standing hot tub installed. We have had swimming pools with attached spas, and bathtubs with massage jets, but until now we have never owned a stand-alone hot tub. It is the first time in nearly 30 years that we have not owned a pool, but we love our hot tub.
The popularity of hot tubs has steadily increased in recent years. There are likely a number of reasons for this trend. Hot tubs, unlike outdoor swimming pools, can be enjoyed at all times of year. Additionally, hot tubs are a great alternative for the smaller backyards in many of the homes being built today. Particularly when compared to in-ground swimming pools, hot tubs are both a more affordable and more available option. But the number one reason, of course, is that the experience of soaking in your own hot tub is about as good as life can get.
It wasn’t until we decided to purchase our hot tub that we became aware of the countless options and decisions that must be considered during the buying process. I have compiled a list of what we have found to be the most common questions about hot tub ownership:
What is the difference between a hot tub, a spa, and a Jacuzzi?
A hot tub is usually considered portable due to the fact that it is completely self-contained. This means a hot tub can be relocated in much the same way as furniture.
The term spa is typically used to refer to an in-ground unit, often attached in an in-ground pool/spa combination.
Jacuzzi is the name of a company that manufactures bathtubs and hot tubs. The brand name has become so common that it is frequently used as a generic term for hot tub for bathtub. This is likely due to the fact that the Jacuzzi Family manufactured the very first stand-alone hot tub.
How much does a hot tub cost?
Much like cars, hotels, restaurants, and houses, hot tubs vary greatly in price. A buyer should expect to pay anywhere between $6,000 and nearly $29,000 for a new hot tub, depending on manufacturer, size, jet configuration, and warranty. And, like houses, cars, and restaurants, high quality generally costs more.
How much will a hot tub affect my electric bill?
Most stand-alone hot tubs operate on electricity, and water use is very minimal, so generally your electric bill will be the only utility affected by hot tub operation. Monthly operating cost will depend on the size and insulation quality of the tub, but generally monthly cost will be anywhere from $15 to $30 monthly.
Are hot tubs difficult to maintain?
Hot tubs are simple to clean and maintain. A survey conducted by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals determined that 77% of current hot tub owners think that their hot tubs are easy to keep clean. The most that a hot tub will require is draining and replacing the water, which is neither difficult nor expensive.
How do I know which hot tub to purchase?
There are numerous hot tub manufacturers and prices can vary for a number of reasons. Like just about any product, price will correspond to the features, quality of the materials, and the overall craftsmanship of the hot tub. During the shopping process it is important to ask questions. Knowledge is very important and being as selective with the dealer as you are with the hot tub is important. Ask if the dealer has an in-house certified service department to support warranties. Following are some questions it is important to consider during the shopping process:
The Hot Tub
How was the Hot Tub Constructed?
- How are the seats configured?
- What is the warranty on the shell?
Hot Tub Equipment, Jets, Controls
- Is the control panel user friendly?
- Do the jets and controls allow you to customize your massage?
- What are the electrical requirements for the hot tub’s operation
- What is the warranty on the equipment, plumbing and controls?
- How many years has the manufacturer been in business?
- Do they have a reputation for quality?
- How do they support their warranties?
Can you finance a hot tub?
Yes, you can. Financing companies and banks generally offer a number of options for financing a hot tub, which will allow you to pay for your hot tub over the course of several years.
Hopefully this information is helpful as a resource to address some of your questions about the hot tub buying process. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss hot tub ownership, contact us at (469) 250-2226.