Do You Need a Hot Tub Cover?
If you live through cold winters, then the thicker the cover, the better. A five-inch-thick cover with four-inch sides will do a lot of work keeping the heat inside the tub, where it belongs.
Most tubs come with a standard three-inch thick cover, but if you live in cold weather, then spend the extra money for a thicker cover. If your supplier doesn’t carry them, then go online and order one.
Let me ask you a question: Have you ever seen a hot tub with the cover on and noticed steam leaking out of the sides like a pressure cooker and thought to yourself, hey that’s cool? Well, as a hot tub owner, that’s the last thing you want to see because that means serious heat loss which equates to higher power bills. Not good.
Something else about covers is that if there is a foot of new snow on the ground and a foot of new snow on top of my hot tub’s cover, I am a happy hot tubber because I know I won’t have heat loss going straight through the top of my cover or out the sides.
If there is a snowstorm and there is no snow on your cover, that means another serious loss of heat which once again equates to higher heating bills. Not good. Thick, custom-built covers are where it’s at. It’s one of your smartest investments.
Tip: In Canada, it is against the law to leave your hot tub cover unlocked if there is no one attending your tub. The reason being is that small children can easily crawl up the steps and fall in the tub, which has unfortunately happened many times, so make sure you lock your cover when not using the tub. Why take the chance for a very inexpensive fix? Most covers come with a small lock and key now as standard equipment so stash the key in a safe, close place.
Cover Lifters are fine if you are too lazy to fold the cover in half, slide it off, and lean it up against a wall, but if you are by yourself or have some physical challenges, then definitely buy a cover lifter. Another fairly inexpensive but good investment. The covers do get heavy and awkward at times, especially if you are tired or in some sort of pain. Lifters come in several different designs that are totally automatic or have hydraulic pumps on them for easy maneuvering. I suggest to go to your nearest dealer and check them out for yourself whether you are buying from them or not. Everybody has different needs.
Additional Hot Tub Features: Stereo, LCD, etc.
Stereo? A good place to start. I never liked them because they are an extremely expensive addition, and when the jets are on, you can barely hear it anyway. Plus, if anything goes wrong with the stereo itself (and it will, especially in colder climates), it’s very expensive to have fixed. I suggest a portable stereo plugged into an outside electrical outlet or a waterproof MP3/4 player that will float around with you in the tub so you can stick on the head phones and enjoy your favorite tunes while chilling out
LCD screen? Another bad investment; I don’t care how cool the sales rep tells you they are. It’s a very expensive add-on and after one winter in the cold, it will start having problems. The technology is just not there yet. Save your money. If you want to watch the big game with your buddies, then roll your big screen up to the patio door so you can see it but it’s still inside, protected. I don’t know if that will work for you but figure something out. Don’t waste your money on LCD screens.
Electronic gizmos? Anything that electronically pops up from inside your hot tub, like an LCD screen or stereo speakers, are never a good idea in colder climates or if you live along the coast with exposure to salt water, which is why no one ever offers you more than a one year warranty. They are guaranteed to screw up after your first winter and will be extremely expensive repairs. Don’t buy them. Spend that money on more jets because the jets are what it is all about.