HOW CAN I UNDERSTAND ENERGY EFFICIENCY CLAIMS?
The CEC – or, California Energy Commission is the only third party accreditation organization recognized by the spa and hot tub industry. This is a huge consideration when you are looking for brands and models that will cost you the least amount of money to own and maintain. You should only consider spas and hot tubs that are CERTIFIED by the CEC; don’t consider hot tubs that are simply CEC Energy “Compliant.” This claim usually means the product does not MEET a minimum energy efficiency standard. Be cautious when another company makes energy efficiency claims. Always ask for proof. The CEC Certification should be a non-negotiable standard. All major national and international brands – like Jacuzzi, HotSpring and Sundance – are CEC Certified and documented.
HOW CAN I EVALUATE A HOT TUB CLEANING SYSTEM?
Sanitizing is simply not enough. Both hot tub systems – sanitation and debris-removal – need to work well together to effectively and efficiently keep your hot tub clean and healthy.
Keeping your hot tub clean and ready to use is an important health and safety consideration. This is a TWO-PART evaluation : 1) Sanitizing the Water and 2) removing debris. ANY cleaning system has to perform BOTH of these tasks effectively and efficiently.
With organic debris, bacteria can generate in hair, skin cells, body oils – and, it is important for your hot tub to have a superior filtering systems to remove this debris. This is key to keeping your tub healthy. This is not to be confused with the job of chemicals like chlorine and ozone. These are used to sanitize the water.
Remember: one person in your hot tub generates approximately a pint of perspiration per 20 minutes of soaking. Multiply this by the number of persons actively using your tub – and you see why it is crucial that your cleaning systems keep up and do their job. Sanitizing is simply not enough. Both of these systems – sanitation and debris removal – need to work well together – effectively and efficiently. All major national and international brands – like Jacuzzi, HotSpring and Sundance – have well documented and warrantied performance in terms of cleaning and sanitation standards.
CARING FOR YOUR SPA
Caring for a spa is not difficult. Pay attention to THESE FIVE THINGS and 95% of your spa-care job is done. There are just a few things you need to remember when it comes to keeping your hot tub clean, healthy and enjoyable.
Test and adjust your spa at least twice weekly
Clean the spa filter every 6-8 weeks; replace annually.
Keep the water clean; drain and refill every 3-4 months.
Air-out the spa cover at least once weekly.
Add water as needed to account for evaporation.
1) When you test the water, be ready to make adjustments in the following as needed:
- Sanitizer level
- Test Strips
Regular testing means at least 2x weekly – more frequently with heavier spa use. Making sense of these levels is as simple as testing each level with a test strip. Dip in a test strip for one second, then wait 15 seconds (or per the bottle instructions) to achieve an accurate reading. Add spa products gradually and retest as needed until levels are balanced. Also run the water to mix and distribute the chemicals. Keep notes. It’s a good approach especially as you get used to the exact adjustments required to keep your levels in the proper ranges. You will become familiar with the levels you need.
- Shock treatments. These treatments break down the residue from your sanitizers along with other contaminants from hot tub users. This process helps to starve and eliminate bacteria. Depending on the kind of sanitizers you’ve chosen, you can use chlorine or non-chlorine shock treatments. Heavy use with a backyard party for family and friends? Just add more sanitizer. Simple!
- Clean Filter. Depending upon the model and brand of spa you own, your spa filter can be accessed from inside the spa, or it can be a small tank that is opened up underneath the spa. Every time you clean it, filter fibers loosen up and it loses a little bit of dirt trapping ability. Keep track of your spa filter’s age or cleaning cycles and plan on replacing it every 12 to 24 months.
- Cleaning your spa. Be cautious not to use just any old household cleaner. We have specific products and can recommend something suitable. A full cleaning of the waterline and surfaces can be done when the spa is drained. It is important to keep out phosphates, nitrates and who knows what else might be contained in all-purpose cleaners. Vacuuming the spa water is an excellent idea and can be accomplished with a spa vac. It is important to remove the larger debris that is visible. You can use a skimmer net for floating debris. Watch out for windy and stormy weather. Don’t forget to keep the cover closed and locked when not in use.
- Another thing to remember for spa cover maintenance is cleaning and conditioning the vinyl spa cover. This removes airborne oils and dirt, any tree sap or pollen – and, it helps to replenish the vinyl plasticizers. Remembering this small maintenance tip can add years of life to your cover and keep it soft, strong and attractive.
- Add fill water when needed. This one can sneak up on you because it is easy to neglect. If the water gets too low and your skimmer starts sucking air, it could potentially damage the pump. Your water level should be at the middle of the skimmer intake or a tad higher. Be cautious to never over-flow the spa; keep an eye on the hose while filling. It is always a good idea to have a garden hose or water sources close-by.
Keep track of these five spa maintenance ideas and you will be well on your way to being a proud owner of a healthy, happy hot tub for years and years to come.