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    Hot Tub Covers & Year-Round Outdoor Spas - Cover Smart!

    October 3, 2017
    Sheryl Somers

    spa covers

    Choose The Best Spa Cover For Your Climate

    As we move into the fall season, it’s a great time to take a look at your hot tub cover – especially if your hot tub sits outside. If your spa cover looks a little rough, worn or you can even see steam escaping from cracks and tears when the air temperatures dip a little cooler, you’re basically watching dollar bills escape and vanish into thin air. It’s time for a new spa cover.

    While a spa cover seems like a rather straight forward purchase (as long as it fits!), there’s a lot more you should take into consideration when searching to buy a new cover – especially for outdoor, year-round use.

    The #1 thing your spa cover does, is insulate your hot tub, trapping the heat and moisture under the cover. If you live in a cold weather winter region, you will want a spa cover with a higher foam weight and foam density rating known as its R-value. A larger R-value number means the foam, and the cover, has better insulating properties that will better retain the heat in your hot tub, thus saving you a ton of money in energy costs. A low R-value spa cover in a cold region will allow a lot of heat to escape, and your spa heater will work overtime to keep up with the heat loss.

    R-value increases in several ways for spa covers. First, the foam core  panels can be purchased in different weights and thickness. 2 lb foam is twice as dense and heavy as 1 lb, and a 6" to 4" foam panel thickness has more than twice the R-value than 4" to 2" taper covers. Other R-value factors include the weight of marine vinyl used, vapor barriers, zippers, stitching, skirt and hinge seals that help prevent heat loss.

    spa cover r-value factors

    In simple terms, if you go for a lower-cost spa cover that has a lower R-value, that cheap spa cover could end up costing you a lot more money than the most expensive spa cover on the market. Running your pump and heater overtime will not only hit you in the wallet each month, but can cause premature equipment problems or failure.

    In even more simpler terms, a spa cover that works fine all winter in southern California is not going to work in Colorado.

    The spa cover’s taper (the foam height) plays a huge role in insulating as well as a few other important functions such as shedding rain and moisture along with supporting lots of snow.

    FOR VERY MILD WINTER CLIMATES with rare freezing - southern sunbelt regions that stay warm all winter (usually), you can use a 4" to 2" taper, but do your wallet a favor and get the denser foam core, 1.5 lb or 2 lb. foam.

    FOR MILD WINTER REGIONS with occasional snow or freezing temps, a cover with a 5" to 3" taper should work just fine, with the 1.5 lb. or 2 lb. foam. The foam thickness is sturdy enough to withstand some snow resting on the cover.

    IN COLD WEATHER AREAS with heavier snowfall and long periods of cold temperatures, you'll want the 6" to 4" taper, which also usually has a heavier duty channel along the fold for more support. Add the 1.5 lb. or 2 lb. foam for efficiency.

    thermal spa blanketAdding a floating spa blanket can also help a cover that is struggling in cold winter temperatures. The Floating Spa Cover Protector is a thick thermal spa blanket to trap heat, chemicals and ozone from escape. Comes in a 4 sizes, and can be trimmed to fit any spa.

    spa cover capUsing a Spa Cover Cap can also help protect your spa cover from damage when the snow melts up against your spa cover and refreezes, I use a spa cover cap on my spa, it blocks the wind and rain and keeps my spa cover looking clean and new. The reflective surface also helps to melt snow faster.

    spa cover protecta spaThe Protecta Hot Tub cover does the same thing for your spa cover, but also protects the side of your spa cabinet, covering your entire spa, which also discourages unsupervised users. Comes  in 3 square sizes to fit nearly all spa shapes and sizes.

    Beyond heat and moisture insulation, a hot tub cover also provides important safety measures, helping keep unsupervised children and even pets out or your spa. Be sure to adjust snugly, and always securely fasten your spa cover clips. This will make it harder for children to tamper with as well as keep your spa cover in place in gusty winds.

    Blog Author
    Sheryl Somers
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