How to Buy a Hot Tub Cover – The Basics
There’s no question that a hot tub cover is one of the most important components of your spa. While the filter, chemicals, and other aspects of it are all important as well, a hot tub cover provides a lot of different advantages like lower operating costs, better safety, more even water temperatures, and more. There are plenty of different reasons to add a hot tub cover or to upgrade your existing one, but the fact is that many people just do a quick online search, find the first spa cover they see, and buy it. Taking the time to actually track down the perfect cover is a much better way to go about this, however, and is easier to do than you probably think.
The first step in buying a hot tub cover is knowing what you want and need. The most obvious issue here is size, and it’s important that you know exactly what size your hot tub is so that you can match up your cover with it. There are a few spas out there that could need a special cover, but in most cases they’ll be a relatively standard size that is easy to find in stock spa covers. Once you’ve got the size down, you’ll be ready to shop around.
Start by looking for a high quality spa cover. The key here is the core within the cover itself. You’re looking for a heat sealed foam core when you want the very best cover out there. Generally speaking, the thicker the core the better the cover will be. This is because a high quality, thick core helps to keep the cold weather out and the heat in your spa right where it belongs. Heavier cores are better insulated for maximum protection. If possible try to find the R-Value of the cover. This numerical value helps give an indication of just how insulating something is. The insulation in the roof of your home, for example, is likely to be R-30 or higher. When looking for a spa cover, try to find one with at least an R-15 rating.
If you have children or pets, buying a heavy duty ‘walk-on’ cover is a good idea. These covers are strong enough to hold up an adult even when in place. That doesn’t mean that you should dance a jig on your spa cover, but it does mean that even if your six year old likes to climb and explore you don’t have to worry about the hot tub cover collapsing under them and allowing a tragedy to occur. And they’re also perfect for anyone with an outdoor hot tub who lives in an area prone to heavy snowfall. The weight of the snow won’t worry you with one of these covers on your spa. It’s a consideration that is well worth remembering when you shop for your hot tub cover, and walk-on covers are more common than ever before.
Also pay attention to the overall design of the cover. A vinyl skirt around the cover will help hold in heat a little more and add a better look to the cover when it’s in place. You should also check for clasps that lock down the cover and make it hard for kids or even the wind to take off the cover. Easy lock clasps are a fairly standard feature on most hot tubs. Handles are as well, but along with basic handles many people also decide to add a spa cover lift to their hot tub. Let’s face it – sometimes it can be a pain to lift that hot tub cover. An easy lift system costs very little but makes it much easier to take off your cover and enjoy your hot tub.
Finally, no discussion of shopping for a hot tub cover would be complete without mentioning color. Today there are numerous colors available that can help you match your hot tub to your home or to your personal style. This should generally be the last thing you consider since the other points on this list are much more important in terms of performance, but it’s still always nice to find the cover color that fits you the best. Luckily, plenty of colors are available and it’s usually easy to find one you like.
All of these points are important when you’re shopping for a hot tub cover. Don’t make the mistake of just rushing through the process or buying the cheapest one you find. A spa cover has a big impact on your hot tub’s performance, so you need to treat it as a serious investment. Take the time, do your research, and find the right cover for your hot tub. It’s a process that won’t take as long as you think and one that is sure to reward you over the life of your hot tub.