No matter how well-made a hot tub cover is, eventually it will need to be replaced. Not all hot tub covers are created equal though. Today we will discuss how you can ensure that you purchase the best cover for your hot tub, and your wallet! But first, why do you have to replace hot tub covers in the first place?
Why Do Hot Tub Covers Need To Be Replaced?
Over time, the various components that make up hot tubs covers will degrade; becoming less and less effective at insulating the water in the hot tub as they do. There are two major ways that hot tub covers degrade:
The vapour barrier surrounding the foam breaks down; allowing the insulating foam to take on and absorb water. While this doesn’t hurt the structure of the cover, it does make it very hard to lift and greatly reduces its insulating ability.
The cover’s structure is compromised; either from heavy loads causing the foam to “cup” or from the stitched seams that keep the cover together becoming loose and tearing.
Both of these problems impact how effectively the cover can form a seal with the top lip of the hot tub. Once this seal is broken, heat is allowed to easily escape the hot tub; greatly reducing the effectiveness of the cover. Eventually the increased heating costs incurred by using an old hot tub cover outweigh the cost of replacement.
How Long Do Hot Tub Covers Last?
With regular wear and tear hot tub covers typically have a lifespan of around 4-5 years. UV damage from the sun, falling debris (like tree branches or ice), heavy snow loads, rough handling, and improper water care can all drastically reduce the lifespan of your cover.
How To Choose The Best Replacement Cover For Your Hot Tub
Get A Cover That Is Custom Fit To Your Hot Tub
When buying a new hot tub cover, it is essential that you get one that is custom made to fit the exact dimensions of your spa. This is because hot tub covers rely on a tight fit to properly form a seal around the top edge of the spa. Simply put, if your cover doesn’t fit properly it will allow heat to escape, greatly reducing its energy efficiency.
How do you make sure that your new cover fits tightly on your hot tub? Double-check your measurements! Specifically, you’re going to want to make sure that you have the length, width, corner radius and skirt length correct. If you’re not sure how to properly measure a hot tub cover, call one of our hot tub experts for more information.
Check Where The Cover Is Made
More and more hot tub cover manufacturers are moving their production out of Canada to overseas factories in an effort to reduce their costs and increase profit margins. Unfortunately, this move also usually signals a drop in quality. Things like cheaper vinyl coverings, less stitching and thinner vapour barrier wrap are hard or even impossible to notice for the average hot tub owner but all lead to a lower life expectancy for the cover.
At The Spa Shoppe, we’re proud to use one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of replacement hot tub covers. Every single cover that we sell was made right here in Canada, ensuring the highest quality possible for your new hot tub cover.
Focus On Long Term Costs
When purchasing a new hot tub cover, most people tend to focus on the purchase price of each cover. While there is nothing wrong with comparison shopping and trying to find the best deal, you should also consider the long-term costs of the covers in question. While one cover might be $50 cheaper to purchase, it might also end up costing you several hundred dollars more than another cover of the course of its lifetime.
There are two main ways to decrease your cover’s long-term costs:
- Increase The Lifespan Of The Cover. The higher the quality the cover is, the longer it will ultimately last. The average hot tub cover typically lasts 3-5 years with proper care. Assuming that the cover cost you $350 to purchase, this translates to a yearly cost of $70-$90. If you instead bought a higher quality cover that cost you $400 but lasts an extra year, your cost would decrease to between $65-$80 per year.
- Increase The Energy Efficiency Of The Cover. For Canadian hot tub owners, having a hot tub cover that is made to withstand Canadian winters is essential to reducing your long term costs. A well made, energy efficient hot tub cover can save you hundreds of dollars over its lifetime.
How can you increase the energy efficiency of your hot tub cover?
- Check The Foam Thickness. Simply put, the thicker the foam is, the better insulating value it will provide.
- Check The Foam Density. The “density” of insulating foam is a measurement of how heavy the foam is. Heavier foam offers better strength and insulating ability than lighter foam. Standard hot tub covers are made with 1lb foam. For best results, we recommend 1.5lb or 2lb foam.
- Get A Full Foam Sealer. A full foam sealer is a piece of insulating foam that fills the area between the two sides of a hot tub cover when the cover is closed. Without it your new hot tub cover will have a 1″ gap that is not insulated when the cover is closed, leading to a huge energy loss.
Don’t Wait Too Long
It’s only natural to put off purchasing maintenance items like hot tub covers until they are absolutely needed. In the case of hot tub covers, however, this can be a big mistake. Hot tub covers typically take between 6-8 weeks to arrive once ordered (with the current pandemic it can even be as high as 26 weeks). If you wait until your current cover is too far gone you will end up costing yourself hundreds of dollars in added energy costs and can even damage your cover lifter.
If you notice that your cover is nearing the end of its life, you should order your new cover sooner rather than later. It’s better to get the new cover a little too soon than wait too long and have to replace a cover lifter.