- By Andrew Astonville
- Published 02/1/2012
Hot tubs are both fun and therapeutic, plus they cost a fraction of the price you would pay for a swimming pool, including heating expenses. What’s more, they require much less space – most any nook in your house or garden could see you enjoying a luxurious soak to ease away the cares of the day.
The following guide will give you some top tips to help you make the right choice when shopping around for a hot tub, as well as some key facts about their benefits and how to keep them in good condition.
Health Advantages of Hot Tubs
It is well documented that relaxing in a hot tub is highly beneficial to your health in many ways. Let’s take a look at the therapeutic advantages of soaking in a hot tub:
· Since you lose around 90% of your body weight when immersed in water, you’ll reduce the load on your heart by 10 to 20%.
· Lowered blood pressure.
· Hot water and massage causes the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killer.
· Helps to raise your level of antibodies and white blood cells, which destroy toxins and stimulate the growth of new tissue.
· Relieves arthritis and chronic pain.
· Reduces blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for Diabetes Type 2 sufferers.
· Relieves muscle aches and pains.
· When you perspire in the hot water you expel toxins from your body.
· Relieves stress and tension headaches.
· An hour in the hot tub before bed helps induce a deep soothing sleep and is ideal for those suffering from insomnia.
Top Buyers Tips
When shopping around for a hot tub, keep the following advice in mind to help you make the right choice:
· Consider your needs and priorities – whether you want a hot tub just for fun and entertainment or for relaxation and hydrotherapy.
· Work out a budget which includes installation and running costs.
· Choose a reputable hot tub dealer with a good track record of quality products and reliable support. Online research can help with this, and it’s always wise to read their customer feedback.
· A BISHTA (British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association) accredited company is the best route as they have strict policies and guide lines with regard to manufacture, installation and water hygiene.
· Consider the space availability in your home and your hot tub seating requirements as this will affect the size you need.
· Make sure the foot area of a hot tub has sufficient space and a wise choice is to have seats of varying depths to accommodate everyone.
· Choose a tub with controllable jets to regulate the pressure from the pumps.
· Make sure the hot tub is placed on a level, self-draining base which is sturdy enough to support the weight of the full tub plus the people in it.
· Choose good lighting around your hot tub – not only for the ambience but to avoid accidents when getting in and out.
· The best time to buy your hot tub in terms of getting a good deal is in the off-season months, as demand is slower and retailers are keen to move their stock.
Maintaining Your Hot Tub
Usually it’s fine to keep the same water in your hot tub for up to twelve weeks, however this will also depend on the frequency and number of people using it.
It is essential to sanitise the water regularly to keep it free from bacteria and algae, which grow proliferously in hot water if left untreated.
Ozone generators are extremely popular for sanitising hot tubs as unlike chlorine, ozone does not irritate the eyes and skin, nor does it have a strong smell like most chemicals. These generators only work however when the water is circulating and unlike chlorine, ozone does not continue to work residually over time. For this reason it’s wise to use them in conjunction with sanitizing chemicals, especially for shock treatments.
If you fancy the ozone generator route, bear in mind that the CD (corona discharge) units give off higher ozone concentrations than the cheaper UV (ultraviolet) units and are less costly to maintain.
Filtration is crucial for maintaining clear, sparkling water in your hot tub, since the filtration system weeds out debris and allows the water to stay clearer for longer periods.
Filters need to be cleaned regularly and can be reused for up to twelve months before they need replacing. It’s a good idea to have a spare set of filters and rotate them, as they last longer when dried out after cleaning.
Your hot tub dealer will explain how long the filter cycles need to be activated per day – this will depend on use, number of people, temperature and the size of your hot tub.
Make sure that your cover is on and securely clipped and locked when the hot tub is not in use. This helps to keep out debris and reduces evaporation, not to mention being an essential accident prevention measure when children or pets are around.
With the above tips in mind, you will be well on your way to making the right choice for your needs and budget. While hot tubs might be seen by some as an unnecessary luxury, once you’ve felt their benefits you’ll wonder how you ever got on without one.
About the Author: Andrew Astonville is an independent advisor on maintaining hot tubs.