A hot tub or swim spa is a luxurious addition to any home, offering relaxation, therapeutic benefits, and a space for socializing. However, purchasing a hot tub requires careful consideration and research to ensure you find an ideal fit for your needs and preferences. In this article, we will provide you with valuable advice on how to research and purchase a hot tub or swim spa that will bring you years of enjoyment.
- Determine Needs and Preferences: Before diving into the research process, take some time to consider your specific requirements and desires for a hot tub. Think about factors such as the intended use, number of people it should accommodate, installation location, desired features (such as # of jets and jet placement, lighting, or audio systems), and your budget. These considerations will help you narrow down your options and make the buying process easier.
- Conduct Online Research: The internet is a valuable resource when researching hot tubs. Visit manufacturer websites, read customer reviews, and explore online forums and communities dedicated to hot tub enthusiasts. You can also seek the advice of experienced and independent professionals. Take note of reputable brands and models that consistently receive positive feedback and align with your requirements. Additionally, research the different types of hot tubs available (such as acrylic, rotomold, or inflatable options), to determine which material suits your preferences.
- Visit Local Showrooms and Dealers: While online research is essential, it’s equally important to experience hot tubs firsthand. Visit local showrooms and dealerships to see and test different models. This will give you a better sense of their quality, comfort, and features. Take the opportunity to ask questions and discuss your specific needs with knowledgeable staff members who can provide valuable insights and recommendations. Also consider buying from a dealer you feel good about and have good rapport with since they will be the ones taking care of your warranty and repair services for the next 1-5 years (depending on length of warranty).
- Consider Energy Efficiency: Hot tubs can consume a significant amount of energy, so it’s wise to choose an energy-efficient model that will save you money in the long run. Look for hot tubs with high-quality insulation, efficient pumps and heaters, and energy-saving features like programmable timers or thermal covers. Energy-efficient hot tubs not only reduce your environmental impact but also lower your monthly utility bills. A good quality and well insulated hot tub should average $15-$20 per month to operate (this will vary depending on how often it is used, your local cost per kWh, and climate for your region).
- Consider Ongoing Maintenance Requirements: Hot tub maintenance (water chemistry in particular) is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and longevity. Before making a purchase, inquire about the maintenance requirements of the models you’re considering. Look for features like self-cleaning systems, easy-to-access filters, and water management systems that simplify the upkeep process. Understanding the maintenance demands beforehand will help you choose a hot tub that fits your lifestyle and time availability.
- Seek Recommendations and Referrals: Talk to friends, family, neighbors, or specialists who own hot tubs to gather their insights and recommendations. Learn from their experiences and ask about their satisfaction with specific brands or models. Personal recommendations can provide valuable information that you may not find through online research alone.
- Consider Warranty and Post-Sales Support: A strong warranty and good after-sales support are crucial factors to consider when buying a hot tub and can make or break your hot tub ownership experience. Carefully review and understand the warranty terms, coverage, and duration offered by the manufacturer. Hot tub warranties are typically between 1-5 years long on most components. Additionally, inquire about the availability and lead times of local service technicians who can assist with service or repair needs that may arise in the future.
Buying a hot tub is an investment in relaxation and well-being. By following these recommendations you can confidently select a hot tub or swim spa that meets your expectations leaving you with years of positive ownership experience. Remember to take your time, compare different options, and consult with experts to ensure you find the perfect hot tub for your home.
Also consider speaking to a hot tub specialist or consultant. At Hot Tub Insider we have trained experts with over 20 years in the hot tub industry selling different brands who can help you identify good brands in your local market and even help you negotiate pricing.