Comparing Hot Tub Prices for the Best Values
For most hot tub buyers, prices are the most important comparison as they figure out which tub is best for them. Surprisingly, hot tub prices vary quite a lot, even for models that seem to be virtually identical. It helps to know what affects pricing when comparing hot tubs in order to get a truly good price on the one you end up buying.
The biggest factor affecting hot tub prices is size. In general, hot tubs that are made for small private use (two or three people) typically run $1,500-$2,500 new. The more extras you want, the higher the price will climb (as you'd expect). At the other end of the spectrum, large hot tubs that seat 8 adults comfortably can exceed $10,000 when purchased new.
Regardless of the size of the spa, the number of jets will also have a lot of bearing on prices. The number can vary a lot! Basic hot tubs can have as few as four or five jets, while the big, luxury models might have eighty or more. Keep in mind that the number of jets does not necessarily mean a better hot tub experience. For some people with skin, muscle, or joint problems, fewer jets are actually preferable because they produce less turbulence to aggravate their conditions. If you don't suffer from a condition like those, then the higher number of jets will usually produce a more enjoyable and soothing hot tub experience.
Another important consideration when comparing hot tub prices is the type of heater they use. A lot of modern spas use electric heaters, but natural gas and propane heaters are still in widespread use as well. Solar powered heaters are around, but are not conducive to many locations that don't have a lot of sunny days. You can even use a wood-fired hot tub heater, but this is becoming rare in North America. Generally, wood heaters are the least expensive (several hundred dollars), with solar powered being a bit more costly, electric heaters next, and finally gas heaters at the upper end. However, this is just the cost for the heater - not the subsequent energy costs associated with their operation on a daily basis. Be sure to factor in the cost of electricity, wood, and natural or propane gas in your area. Solar heaters are essentially free in that respect, so they're worth looking into.
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