When shopping for hot tubs, you will quickly find there are several things that can affect the final price of a hot tub. Continue reading to learn which factors make the biggest difference in the bottom line and what you need versus what you can go without.
What goes into the price of a hot tub?
The biggest factor in hot tub cost is the construction of the spa. There are two options to consider: acrylic or rotationally molded?
Acrylic spas are traditionally more expensive than rotationally molded spas due in part to the nature of how they are made. They require more labor and higher material costs which means a more expensive spa for you.
Roto-molded hot tubs take much less time and labor to produce, resulting in a hot tub that is more affordable. However, don’t mistake the lower price tag to mean lower quality. Roto-molded hot tubs are extremely durable since they are made of polyethylene resin. Find a manufacturer that is ISO 9001:2008 certified, which means the hot tubs are manufactured in accordance with one the strictest quality management systems around.
Energy Efficiency and Heat Retention
Since above ground hot tubs stay on all the time, you want a spa that is full-foam insulated and will keep the water hot all the time, with minimal energy consumption. Be careful of spas that claim they use full-foam but in reality have their cabinets stuffed with bags of memory foam. You want to make sure the entire body cavity is filled with foam. If you have poor insulation, your hot tub will have to continually heat the water, using more energy and increasing your electric bill.
Heater versus Heat Recovery (Thermal Friction)
Some spas don’t have an actual heater, they use what’s called a heat recovery or thermal friction heating system. This system heats the water by capturing energy from the pump and converting it to heat. The spa water will still get as hot, and stay as hot, as spas with a traditional heating units. The only difference is the base price of the hot tub. Hot tubs with thermal friction units will have a lower price tag than those with stainless steel heaters.
Does size matter?
It usually does when looking at hot tub price tags. Small spas, that are designed for two people, or small patios are going to have a much lower starting price point than larger spas.
Fire up the Jets!
You will most likely pay more for a hot tub with more jets. But in all honesty, there’s only so many jets a person can enjoy at a time.
Items such as steps, cover lifters, and water care systems are usually not included in the base price of a spa, but they make a huge impact on the overall ease of use and enjoyment of a hot tub. Delivery is another thing to consider. Most acrylic spas weigh upwards of 500 lbs., in which case you would want to have your local retailer deliver the hot tub for you. Roto-molded hot tubs, weigh less than 300 lbs, and because of their durability, you can easily turn them on their side, put them on a furniture dolly and wheel it into your backyard on your own – potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.
So really, how much does a hot tub cost?
Depending on the construction, make and model, energy efficiency, jets, accessories, etc. hot tub costs can range anywhere from $3,100 to roughly $20,000
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