Hot Tubs or Spas
Just so we're clear--there are a lot of terms floating around out there--a hot tub or spa is a large tub, usually acrylic or fibreglass, that is designed to hold heated water (There are also hot tubs made from wood, but these are not as popular). It is typically used for relaxation, massage, or hydrotherapy. A standard hot tub can hold anywhere from two to eight people, along with 800 gallons of heated water.
Important Hot Tub Components to Consider:
- The Shell. Make sure it's non-porous to reduce the chances of bacteria growth. Also make a note of the shell's sealant, which can protect against cracking. If you're unsure about the quality of the shell, check out your hot tub's warranty.
- The Cabinet. The cabinet that encases the hot tub comes in a bunch of natural and synthetic materials from woods to plastics. Where you plan to place your hot tub will ultimately affect which cabinet is best suited for you. Outdoor hot tubs, for example, should not be wood because they can easily rot. If you insist on going for wood, be sure to maintain it with a water sealant.
- Insulation is important no matter where you place the spa. A well-insulated tub will reduce the amount of electricity consumed by reducing the times the heater will kick on and off, thus saving you money.
- Filtration is key. Make sure your filter is widely available and not just offered from the spa's manufacturer.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What size hot tub would suit your needs? Make sure you have enough seating to accommodate your family and friends, and consider getting seating with various heights if you have older children who will be using the spa.
- What safety features are important?
- What is your budget?
- What special features are you considering? Extra jets ?Underwater lighting ? A stereo system ? Built -in TVs? The possibilities are endless.
- What considerations need to be made upon installation?
People use saunas for everything from sweating out bodily impurities to simple relaxation and weight loss. There are two major types of saunas:
- Rock Saunas :. Also called Finnish saunas, these use heated rocks to create steam and indirectly heat the body. They need to be maintained at about 72º-82º Celsius.
- Infra-red/Radiant Saunas : They use direct heat generated by an electric heating element. The element emits a ray that doesn't emit heat into the air, like rock saunas, but rather, one thay is directly absorbed by the person to cause extreme perspiration. These need to be maintained at 25º to 50º Celsius.
Things to Remember:
- Saunas look like a closet and can fit nicely next to an indoor wall. Buy a sauna that fits the dimensions of your space and has the capacity to support more than two people.
- Pre-fabricated saunas require the least amount of set-up time. They don't need any additional framing or insulation, nor do benches, doors or walls need to be assembled.
- A do-it-yourself kit requires a bit more work. You need to hire a contractor to frame, insulate and finish the exterior walls.
- Almost all kits contain panels for the inside walls, benches, flooring, a heater and heater guard, sauna controls, light fixtures, a timer, a thermostat and an insulated sauna door.
The Health Benefits:
- Deep cleansing of the body through perspiration.
- Stress relief.
- A feeling of overall health and physical rejuvenation.
- Soothed muscles.
- Improved circulation.
For even more details, check out our home saunas buying guide.