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Hot Tub Considerations

Hot Tubs vs. Spas - The terms "hot tub" and "spa" are often used interchangeably, but there is a major difference between the two. Hot tubs are simply small pools filled with heated water, whereas spas include the added feature of jets and aerated water (or, in layman's terms, bubbles).

Material - Hot tubs can be manufactured from wooden staves - generally redwood, cedar or teak - fiberglass or other synthetics. Spas are normally made solely of synthetic materials due to their mechanical demands. Cabinets for housing either can be natural or synthetic. Wood is a beautiful addition, but may require additional maintenance.

Efficiency - As with everything else in the home, lost heat is lost money. Keeping your spa or hot tub covered from above is a must, but equally important is having the proper insulation under and around your unit. Most are installed with some level of insulation, but you may consider what additional measures can be taken to keep you heating costs down. And certain pumps, heaters and filtrations systems use less power and require less maintenance.

Installation- Many spas are designed so that they can fit upright through standard door frames. Therefore, getting the spa to where you'd like to install it, indoors or outdoors, should be fairly easy. However, deeper hot tubs or those placed in more difficult to access areas may have to be assembled at the place of installation, or lowered in with a crane.

Sanitization - In order for a hot tub or spa to be clean and safe, the sanitation and chemistry must be constantly regulated. This involves filtration, the addition of specialized chemicals, and the monitoring of pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness. Failing to properly maintain a unit can lead to inconvenient and costly repairs.

Accessories - A host of special features are available to augment your spa or hot tub, including televisions, stereo systems, fragrance diffusers, towel warmers, umbrellas, cover lifts and more.

Nothing says relaxation like a spa or hot tub. After a long day's work (or during a long day off), a soothing soak in the warm bath rejuvenates both body and mind. As the rising steam clears the head, massaging, rotating torrents of water relieve sore muscles and joints. They're a great place to entertain as well as escape. And if you plan on selling your home some day, a potential buyer's eyes will light up at the sight of a hot tub or spa.

Outdoor hot tubs and spas may call for complementary additions, such as decking, privacy fencing or specialized landscaping. Take time to consider these elements, as well as factors like available electrical sources and access to the home, when contemplating installation. Proper planning and well-considered accent features will make your spa or hot tub more enjoyable up front and more valuable in the long run.

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