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Hot Tub Insulation – Why Is It a Big Deal?
Let’s talk Hot Tub Insulation, why is it a big deal?
If you’re just starting to look at hot tubs for the first time, I’ll be honest…there is A LOT to learn. It’s not like going out and buying a roll of paper towels that’s for sure. It should be a purchase that takes some time and should not be an impulse buy.
Today we are going to talk about hot tub insulation. If you live in the southern half of the United States insulation is pointless but up here in the northern half, it’s a big deal.
Most of the hot tub manufacturers offer full foam insulation… (you think) WOW, that’s fantastic, right? Wrong. These types of tub are actually less energy efficient than perimeter foam tubs. Wait, what? What is perimeter foam mean?
Full Foam Hot Tub Insulation
Perimeter Hot Tub Foam Insulation
As you can clearly see there is an obvious difference between these two main types of insulation. This has been an argument that hot tub people have argued since the beginning of hot tubs. We look at a couple of the main factors to come to the conclusion on why we feel the way we do. Let’s see what you think…
- Energy costs: R values are the way insulation is measured, 1 being the lowest and it goes up the scale from there. But it does not determine how well you hot tub holds heat in. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all scientific on you). For a true energy cost ask the manufacturer to give you a copy of the Energy sheet for the hot tub that you’re looking for. Some may be $50 per month and some may be as little as $5 per month. These factors are based on a particular ambient air temperature, the number of times used per week by the bather, water temperature, and most importantly your KW rate.
- Ease of repair: If you have a leak in a full foam tub, you will have MANY service hours to pay for to find and fix a leak. Water follows the path of least resistance and you will see where the water ends up but that is likely not where it originated. If you have a leak in a perimeter foam tub it can be fixed very quickly in most circumstances.
- Power behind the Jets: In a full foam tub all of the pumps are placed in the front, usually directly below the topside control. They are like that because pumps have to breathe and cool down and cannot do that if they are surrounded by foam, so they place them in the front and leave that area foam free then exhaust the heat out of the tub through vents. Unfortunately, this will result in less water pressure to your seats at the back of the tub. A perimeter foam tub allows the manufacturer to place the pumps at the seats that they are pushing the water to and at such a close range, you get a lot more pressure to the seats. This is because the water is not traveling far and doesn’t lose pressure.
- Costs to replace foam: If you have a plumbing leak in a full foam hot tub the foam must be removed to both find the leak and fix the leak and that foam is not cheap to replace. Fixing a plumbing leak in a foam filled tub is VERY EXPENSIVE.
- Nuisance removal: If you have a plumbing leak in a full foam tub, most retailers will require the job to be done offsite. This means that the retailer will need to remove your tub, take it to their service location and attempt to repair the leak. Once they believe that you no longer have a leak the refill the tub with foam and deliver it back to your home. How expensive will that be? $$$