When it comes to hot tubs covers, we've just about seen it all! That's why we've come up with this list of the most common hot tub cover buying mistakes. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure that you buy the right cover for your hot tub and can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs!
Mistake #1 - Buying The Cheapest Hot Tub Cover You Can Find
When it comes to replacement hot tub covers, you get what you pay for. Buying a cheaper hot tub cover in an effort to save $40-$50 can end up costing you $100s of dollars over the lifespan of the cover. This doesn't mean that you necessarily need to buy the most expensive cover either, however.
How can you tell when a more expensive cover is worth the investment? Here are a few things that you can look for:
The thinner the cover is, the less energy efficient the hot tub cover will be. For hot tubs in colder climates like Canada, you want a minimum foam thickness of 4"-3".
The denser the insulating foam is, the more it will resist damage from heavy loads and the longer the cover will last. Denser foam insulation is also slightly more energy-efficient than lighter foam. Look for a cover that has a foam density of 1.5lbs or more.
While you might spend an extra $30-$50 on a replacement hot tub cover that has these features, the energy savings of that cover will outweigh those added costs in less than one year of use.
Mistake #2 - Not Getting An Insulated Hinge Seal
While not standard on most replacement hot tub covers, insulated hinge seals are critical to the energy efficiency of the new cover. An insulating hinge seal 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 a hinge seal, 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.
Northern hinges can be added to any one of our replacement hot tub covers for only $25, an investment that will easily save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the cover!
Mistake #3 - Not Double Checking Your Measurements
One of the common hot tub buying mistakes that we see is people simply not measuring their existing hot tub cover accurately. Hot tub covers should fit tight around a hot tub. This tight fit ensures a good seal around the edge of the cover; trapping more heat in the water and increasing the energy efficiency of the cover. While 1/2" might not seem like a big deal at first, it can make the difference between a tight-fitting cover and a loose-fitting cover.
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. How do each of these measurements affect the fit of your cover? Let's take a look!
Length & Width
The simplest of the measurements. If the length and width of your new hot tub cover don't match your hot tub, you will never get a tight-fitting cover. If your old cover is in especially poor condition - especially if it has begun to cup or has split and been taped together - you're likely better off measuring the actual hot tub rather than the old cover.
If your hot tub cover has rounded corners, make sure that you accurately record the radius of that corner. If the corner radius is off, the corners of the hot tub cover will not fit snuggly against the hot tub and can increase your energy costs. Not sure how to measure the corner radius of your cover? Consult our free hot tub cover measuring guide.
The "skirt" of a hot tub cover is the flap of extra fabric that hangs from the bottom of the cover. The skirt serves two purposes:
- It hides the acrylic lip of the hot tub to improve the look of the hot tub when the cover is on.
- It fits snuggly around the hot tub to ensure a good thermal seal.
Make sure that your new cover has the same skirt length as the old cover (measured from the bottom of the cover to the bottom of the skirt) to ensure the best results. Too short and the cover won't seal properly to the hot tub. It also won't hide all of the acrylic lip, which can look strange.
Do you want some more info on how to properly measure your hot tub cover? Consult our free hot tub measurement guide.
Mistake #4 - Not Including Your Hot Tub Make And Model In Your Order
Most hot tub cover order forms include fields for the hot tub make and model. While these aren't mandatory to fill out, we highly recommend it. Why? Before the new cover is made, we cross-reference your measurements with known measurements for that make and model. If your measurements are significantly different from the known values (there are always slight variations in hot tubs of the same make and model) we will hold the production of the cover until we confirm with you that the measurements are correct.
This process acts as a failsafe to make sure that you get a replacement cover that will properly fit your hot tub.
Mistake #5 - Not Buying From A Reputable Source
As more and more people start buying hot tub covers online, more and more companies have started to sell hot tub covers online. While many do provide good replacement hot tub covers and good service, others have some issues with cover quality and bad customer service.
Before you buy your replacement cover, take some time to look at who is selling you the cover. What are their reviews like? Do they stand behind their warranty? No company is perfect. If something goes wrong in the ordering process, you want to make sure that the company you're dealing with will fix the issue in a timely and professional manner.