February 6, 2009

Hot tubs have been in the news recently. Last week The New York Times wrote about installing one in a vacation home. The Wall Street Journal reported that hot tubs are a great solution to help dual career couples overcome “the dead zone.” This is the awkward silence professional couples experience after working long hours at demanding jobs only to return home with absolutely nothing to say to each other. They’re mentally exhausted. A 20-minute soak in the hot tub can change the “dead zone” into a time of renewal.

Oprah did a show on happiness, and the winner of her happiness contest attributed her satisfaction in life to the fact that she and her husband take a soak in their backyard hot tub each morning to chat about the day, just after the kids left for school. She was not the richest contestant and she’d had had many life challenges, but in terms of inner satisfaction and happiness, she was the clear winner.

Whatever your reason for purchasing a hot tub, what is important is to make the right choice of brand and model that will keep you and your family happy for years to come.

Here are eight tips to guarantee you’ll make the “perfect fit” hot tub choice for you and your family.

1.Try it wet before you buy it. Want to know if a hot tub’s seats are right for you. Get wet. Take a test soak to judge seat comfort and more.

2. Note the torso depth when you’re sitting up comfortably. You’ll want water depth to be over your shoulders.

3. Multi-level seating should accommodate both adults and children. The best option for all soakers is “barrier free” seating with no confining bucket seats or other obstructions to get in the way as you move around in the water.

4. It’s all about the jets. Pay attention to jet types and jet placement. Most hot tub users prefer to adjust the jet pressure for the hydrotherapy they’re seeking. Make sure the model you chose has ways to adjust the pressure and that jets are placed “just right” for your needs. Think foot, back and neck massage!

5. Hear the silence. A truly quiet spa-like Hot Spring-has no audible noise or vibration when the water is circulating, heating and filtering. This is a critical feature for your overall pleasure and keeping friendships with neighbors. It’s been reported that the largest number of complaints to Seattle City Council members is hot tub noise from neighbors. It’s not the parties, its the noisy hot tub pumps that come on in the middle of the night.

6. Take a deep breath and smell the water. Beware of chlorine smell or skin dryness after the soak. Crystal clean water without effort or hassle should be your #1 concern. Avoid old style models that rely on chlorine as a sanitizer or don’t have 24 hour full-filtration. Look for silver ion technology and corona discharge ozone. Sounds technical, but getting the right thing is important for the long run.

7. Energy costs matter! Make sure that the model you select meets the highest energy standards: like the new California Energy code and has been 3rd party tested by an independent lab to make sure the energy cost you’re quoted is accurate. A well-insulated hot tub like Hot Spring will average less than $20.00 a month kept hot 24/7 in Puget Sound. Make sure you see the energy report.

8. Final tip: schedule a test soak on a Thursday night. If you’re like most people, by Friday you’re so tired, you’re in a daze.  You’re somewhat relaxed on the week end which is when most people come to take a trial dip.  By test soaking on a Thursday evening, you’ll be able to truly experience what a hot tub will do for you.  You’ll sleep like a baby that night and you’ll be full of energy and optimism on Friday. It will be almost like another weekend day! Doing a test dip is the best way to figure out what hot tub is the right one for you.

At Olympic Hot Tub, we’ve had our hot tubs hot and ready to try since the first day we opened for business. Come on over. The water’s ready for you to take a test soak!

SANUM PER AQUA- Latin for Health through Water.