This method only puts insulation around the perimeter cabinet and floor of the tub leaving an air cavity from the wall all the way to the shell (like your attic). This is the best way to insulate a hot tub as well as make it easy to maintain for the life of the spa.
There are several major benefits to this method of insulation:
1. Ease of access. Before we go any further we're going to let you in on a little secret, YOUR HOT TUB WILL BREAK DOWN. A hot tub is not an appliance like your fridge that just runs until it's dead and then you replace it. It has many moving parts and computers and controls and something inevitably will fail. When this happens the easier it is to access the less you will have to spend on repairs after your warranty period is over. Also, if you live in an area that has a cold winter climate, take into consideration that all this "digging" through foam may have to happen in winter which makes it even more difficult to repair. A hot tub that has an open cavity where everything is visible and accessible is going to be WAY cheaper to repair than something encased in a tomb of foam. Watch this video to see what we mean:
2. Heat recovery. Remember what we said about the pumps heating up? Hot tubs will not heat the water in your spa (with the heater on) over 104 degrees, that is the legal limit where the heater will turn off. The electric pumps in your tub will go up to 160 degrees (56 degrees hotter than the heater will go) and in a perimeter insulated tub this heat will transfer past the shell and into the water which will mean that your heater will turn on less often. Now you don't have to worry about being "cooked" in your hot tub because it will overheat. Imagine your furnace didn't work and you had your dryer exhaust funneled back into your house, it wouldn't overheat your house. What will happen though is when the tub is closed and running a filter cycle it will add heat to the water without the heater coming on (saving you money). When you open the hot tub to use it there is a lot of heat loss so your heater has to kick on full blast to make up for the energy loss to maintain the water temperature. When the cover is open with perimeter insulation and you're using the tub and it's trying to maintain the water temperature on a cold winter night it's adding extra heat (excess pump heat) reducing the "strain" on the heater trying to keep up, again saving you money.
Conclusion on insulation:
Perimeter insulation in a hot tub is ideal for energy efficiency and lowering possible long term service and repair costs involved with owning a hot tub.
Purchasing from Hot Tubs Ottawa, online, will save you money up front (also remember whenever you buy something you are paying with money the government already taxed you on so you have to earn $4500 to save $3000) and because we use perimeter insulation you will save money in the future. Also if you are for some reason completely sold on full foam insulation and MUST have it, we can order it for you that way and you will still save on the up front price of the hot tub. Also consider this, do you think hydro costs are going to go up or down over the next 10 years?
This is a personal preference that you need to decide based upon the person you are. We recommend getting the LED lights and stereo. Do we make a little more money when you do, YES. But, a hot tub is a luxury item that is there for your enjoyment. Have you ever been to a house party and the stereo cuts out. Gets pretty awkward pretty fast doesn't it? Do you want it to be like that in your hot tub or do you like ambiance? You can get a car without a stereo and save some money there too but does it make sense? Same thing with the LED lights, it adds to the experience because 90% of the time you will be using the spa at night. Don't want the stereo because you already have an outdoor system? This is a good theory but hot tub speakers are right next to your head so they don't need to be as loud as an outdoor system for you to hear. If you have neighbours they will thank you for having the stereo built in. If however, music isn't important and you have an outdoor system and no neighbours for miles, then by all means skip the option. Ultimately you need to do what is right for you and we're here to help you do just that.
There are many theories on how a hot tub should be insulated. We are going to give our biased opinion (yes, we admit it is biased) based upon years of experience in selling and servicing hot tubs below with the reasoning behind it.
Full/Partial Full Foam:
(plug n play plastic hot tubs which are the cheapest hot tubs
you can buy are insulated this way)
This is a method that is used which completely fills the cavity of the spa (between the outer wall and the shell) with foam. Now this seems like it would be the best method as it uses the most insulation that you can possibly use so therefore it "must" be the best method. There are several major issues with the thought though.
1. Insulation is exponential, which means after a certain thickness there is no benefit to adding more. For example, have you ever been in your attic? Did you notice that you were able to get into your attic, it wasn't filled floor to roof with insulation? Exactly, there is a large air cavity with insulation around the perimeter. If that's good enough for houses why would it be any different for a hot tub?
2. Support, the other argument for full foam hot tubs is that it holds all the plumbing in place so that hoses don't fall off and drain the hot tub. This can happen but it is rare, again think of your basement. If you look up, is there foam insulation everywhere holding all of your plumbing in place? No. The plumbing in your house is under way more pressure than in a hot tub and it seems to be fine. Now a sales rep who is selling a full foam tub isn't going to tell you anything but good things about it, how are they going to get a commission if you know the truth?
3. Accessibility: So you have a hot tub that has 50 jets. This means the hot tub has 50 hoses and 100 connections (one at each end of each hose) plus the connections for pumps and manifolds (manifolds divide the water into the 50 hoses) so lets say 120 connections where plumbing has been joined to get the water from your pumps to your jets and back to the pumps. Now imagine one of those fittings begins to leak. Where is it? lets remove a panel and see. All you see is a wall of insulating foam and you know that 1 (at least 1) of the 100+ plumbing connections is leaking. Imagine if your tub is not 100% completely level, water runs downhill. You are going to start looking for the leak where the water is exiting the tub but that doesn't mean that's where the leak is. Now you (a service tech) are going to have to rip and dig all of that foam out to hopefully find the leak. Is this what you want? All companies that use insulating foam on the shell of their hot tubs wet test them first. WHY? Because they can't repair it once it's foamed in.
4. Energy loss: What? I thought the most insulation would provide the least energy loss? The largest consumption of electricity in a hot tub is from the pumps. The pumps are electric motors. Electric motors generate a ton of excess heat (think of how warm your vacuum is when you are finished using it and it is a tiny motor compared to a hot tub pump) and in a full foam tub that excess heat is vented out of the tub so that the pump doesn't overheat and shut down. Think about this, you are trying to heat the water in your hot tub and because of the way your tub is insulated it has to exhaust "free" heat out of the tub. Wouldn't it make more sense to re-use the heat? Imagine if your dryer vent pointed back into your house, wouldn't that save you money?
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As you can see in the graph to the left 90% of the insulation value is gained in the 1st 2 inches of insulation, why do you think your freezer only has walls 2" thick?
UPGRADED INSULATION FOR CANADIAN CLIMATE
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2678 Lancaster Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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