In Part 1, we looked at the significance of proper insulation for any hot tub. While the cover is extremely important, the wall insulation is significant as well. The density of insulation used will make a major difference in your hot tub’s efficiency, which will translate into your comfort as well as your hot tub’s longevity and your monthly utility bill. So before you shop for a new hot tub, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the various types of hot tub insulation on the market.
Hot Tubs with No Insulation
This may seem pretty obvious, but inflatable spas won’t have any insulation. Sometimes spa-in-a-box models will use the word “insulated” because of the materials used, but in reality they don’t include any added insulation. As you might imagine, an uninsulated hot tub will take a lot of time and energy to bring it to the desired temperature, and it will lose heat quickly during use.
Hot Tubs with Partial Foam Insulation
An increasingly popular type of insulation, partial foam can take the form of rigid foam boards or spray foam. While foam boards sometimes become brittle with time, either type of foam will provide the added benefit of structural support. The way it works is that the inner wall of the shell is filled with air. Because the cabinet isn’t airtight, the warm air can escape into the surrounding environment, essentially allowing the water to become cooler. If air-blown jets are used, a greater amount of air is pumped in, causing even more cooling. Although this type of insulation was the industry standard for many years and it is certainly better than having no insulation, hot tubs with partial foam insulation are not nearly as efficient as full-foam spas. The only reason they’re still being manufactured is due to the lower cost of production compared to their full-foam counterparts; upgrading equipment to produce the latest technology is always a costly change.
Hot Tubs with Full Foam Insulation
Now the industry standard for top-quality hot tubs, full foam insulation offers the greatest degree of energy efficiency. After all, who doesn’t want a higher quality hot tub that costs less to use? It’s the ongoing cost of operating a hot tub that keeps many would-be customers from getting one in the first place, so this form of insulation has been the result of long-awaited hopes.
In a full-foam hot tub, the foam is sprayed into the cabinet, offering structural support as well as limiting the escape of heat. With the added support, the vibrations caused by the hot tub pumps, motor, and jets don’t impact the components as much as they otherwise would, making this insulation type a cost-saving option in more than one way. Of course, the initial out-of-pocket cost is going to be more than with the other options, though.
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