While energy costs are going up, there are many things to look for in a spa to keep the energy costs down. The items below will give you the most energy savings for your money.
There are many things that go into making spas energy efficient. The most important and obvious thing to look for is how the spa is insulated. The best spas use multiple layers of closed cell high density foam. Like commercial freezers closed cell foam is water repellent. Don’t settle for less expensive open cell foam that will absorb water. Caldera Spas are fully insulated. This means that the total area between the spa shell and the outside cabinet is fully foamed. You can’t do any better than this! This method costs a little more initially, but it will quickly pay for itself. It’s kind of like the walls in your house – they should be fully filled with insulation. If they are not, you’re most likely losing precious heat.
The spa cover is also a source for heat loss. Most quality spa manufacturers provide efficient, tight sealing covers. They are made from durable marine grade vinyl and use 1.5 or 2 lb. foam insulation. They are tapered for water run off, and feature child-resistant safety locks to meet ASTM safety standards. However, covers need to be replaced every 3 to 4 years under normal use because they tend to absorb the moisture from the spas hot water. If a tear develops on the outside water will get inside. This water saturation will allow the heat to more easily transfer through the cover. Even the highest grade covers will succumb to this fate eventually. If the cover gets heavy, it’s saturated with water and it’s time to replace it.
Dedicated Circulation Pump
A dedicated single speed filtration pump will use far less energy to operate than using the large jet pump to perform this task. These circulation pumps operate on around 75 watts of electric where as a large jet pump will use 800 watts or more to run. If noise is an issue, circulation pumps run almost undetected where as a large jet pump will tend to make much more noise. As with the insulation, spas with a circulation pump may cost a little more up front, but will quickly pay for themselves. They are also much cheaper to replace than the large jet pumps when the time comes.
Other things that can save you money will be the efficiency of the heater, jet pump, and to a lesser degree the hydrodynamic efficiency of the plumbing.