If you are thinking about buying a hot tub or sauna, don't forget to include a hot tub cover to go along with your purchase. Hot tub covers basically serve two purposes. One, if the unit is outdoors, it helps to keep debris out of the tub. And, two, it potentially helps to cut your heating bill by hundreds of dollars by slowing down the rate that heat escapes from the tub when not in use. These heat cost savings will more than pay back its upfront costs. |
When purchasing a hot tub cover, you first have to decide what type to get. Many saunas are designed with their own hot tub cover. In this case, the decision has pretty much been made for you. In other instances, however, the tub is a standalone unit and, if you want a cover, you have to purchase it on your own.
It is important that the material from which the cover is made closely matches the material of the tub itself. For example, if the tub is made of vinyl, the cover should be made of vinyl as well. If the hot tub is made of a soft material, then so should the cover.
It is not just a matter of aesthetics, although that does matter. For instance, if you place a hard and heavy metal cover over a tub made of foam, you may find yourself in a situation where the weight of the cover causes the tub to buckle. By using like materials, you pretty much avoid this type of problem.
It is also important to get a cover that fits the sauna well. So, measure the opening carefully. The measurements that you use will differ depending on the design of the cover that you want. For example, some tub covers are meant to be fastened directly to the top of the tub with no overhang of the tub itself. Others, however, are designed to have a certain amount of overhang in which case your measurements will actually need to be wider than the mouth of the tub itself. If purchasing from a website, most manufacturers will have instructions as to the best way to take your measurements.
You will want to compare the R-value of the various covers as well. The R-value is a determinant of how well it will hold in the heat of the water. Different covers have vastly different R-values and one with a high R-value will preserve the heat of your tub much better than one with a low rating.
Lastly, you also have to consider is the weight of the cover. If the spa is located outdoors in a windy area, a heavier cover than normal may be required. And, depending on the weight of the cover, you may need a spa cover lifter as well if your hot tub doesn't already have one.
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