How do I Choose the Best Outdoor Hot Tub?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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The first step in choosing the best outdoor hot tub is to decide if you want a wood hot tub or a synthetic hot tub. This decision will be made by determining how many people will routinely use the outdoor hot tub, and what kind of spa experience you want. A wood hot tub is round and usually much deeper than synthetic acrylic hot tubs, but seating options for wood hot tubs are limited. An acrylic hot tub can be molded into many comfortable sitting positions, but fewer people will fit in an acrylic tub of the same size.

Aside from size, you will need to determine how you would like to heat your outdoor hot tub. Many wood hot tubs feature wood-fired heaters that do not require any electricity. Acrylic tubs usually run off an electric heater that must be plugged into an outlet. If you are looking to place your outdoor hot tub in a part of the yard away from the house where no electrical outlets run, a wood-fired wooden hot tub may be your best option; wood-fired tubs also save on operating costs, as no electricity is used to run the tub. An acrylic tub will need to be plugged in, though the heat is more easily modulated and remains more consistent than a wood-fired tub.


Cost will also be a determining factor in your purchase. Larger acrylic tubs tend to be the most expensive, but they will offer comfortable seating and strategically placed massaging jets. These large tubs will require at least a 240 volt electric motor, which means operating costs will be higher. Smaller acrylic tubs may require a smaller motor, meaning lower electricity costs. Wood hot tubs are about the same price to purchase — or slightly less expensive — but they are just as costly to run if an electric motor is used.

Your outdoor hot tub will require regular cleaning and maintenance. Wood hot tubs, however, will also need to be drained and refilled regularly, meaning there is a bit more maintenance involved with these tubs. Since wood-fired tubs are not hot all the time, the water may freeze in the winter, causing damage to the tub. Acrylic tubs need regular maintenance as well, and cleaning chemicals will need to be placed in the water to keep mold and bacteria at bay. Remember that the heater on an acrylic tub is always running, so electricity costs will once again be more expensive.



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Post 1

When someone asks what it costs electrically to run a hot tub, they're probably looking for an answer with average monthly monetary costs. Saying, "It costs more" doesn't help at all.

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