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Finding a spa with efficient and effective insulation is to your benefit because it can cut down on monthly operatinfamilyg costs. Good insulation will trap in the heat from your spa and create an effective barrier between the cold outdoors and the warmth in your spa. Your spa will not have to work as hard to maintain a warm water soaking temperature; therefore lowering the operating costs.

As you shop for a spa, you will find that spas are either foam filled or non-foam filled.

What is a foam filled spa?

This type of spa is filled with a spray foam between the actual shell of the tub and the outside paneling. For years, this was thought to be the most effective way to insulate a spa. Recent advances in technology have changed this way of thinking. The spa industry has found that there are many disadvantages to a foam-filled spa.


A fully-foamed spa has poor insulation and is difficult to service.

Typically these spas are very difficult to service because foam has to be chipped away in order to find the source causing the problem. This results in a less insulated spa. The more jets that the spa has, the longer it will take to find the leak. A full foamed spa can be leaking from one side while the water may be appearing on the other. This is because the water will take the path of least resistance. You can spend many hours and hundreds of dollars fixing a leak on a foam filled unit that would have taken an hour on a non-foam filled spa.

Usually on a foam filled unit, the heat generated by the water pumps is vented outside rather than using it as free heat. This actually costs you money because you are actually venting "free" heat to the cold outdoors, instead of using it to radiate into the main body of water. The full foam companies are unable to do this because they only have a small area to install these pumps. This area gets extremely hot very quickly, and there is no place for this heat to escape other than outside of the spa. You end up having to pay higher bills because your spa is working harder to maintain its temperature. Not only is this type of spa difficult to service and more expensive to run, but it is also extremely heavy which makes it tough to install and re-locate.


What is a non-foam filled spa?

When it comes to non-foam filled spas, there are different ways of manufacturing. Typically, you will see two main methods of non-foam filled insulation.

The first, and least effective method used, is a thin layer of sprayed foam applied to the backside of the spa shell. This leaves all of the plumbing and the foot well area of the spa exposed to the cold climate. This is not an efficient way to heat a warm body of water and it will lead to high energy consumption. Many of the low end and mass merchant manufacturers will use this method. It is an extremely cheap way to make a spa due to the lack of materials used in constructing them. You get what you pay for when shopping at these types of places.

foam filled

The heat produced by the pumps escapes to the outdoors.

The final, and most effective way to insulate a spa in terms of energy efficiency and ease of maintenance, is achieved by spraying a layer of foam to the underside of the spa shell. The spa shell is then placed into the spa's insulated cabinet and flooring system, creating a dead air cavity. Air is the best insulator known to man, which makes this system one of the most efficient on the market place.

non full

This dead air space will hold in the heat that the pumps produce.

This system allows easy access by servicemen in the event of a problem or malfunction, as there is no foam that needs to be chipped away. Some manufacturers have taken this system to the next level by installing their pumps inside the dead air space. The heat that is generated by these pumps is radiated into the dead air space instead of vented to the outdoors. This provides your spa with free heat, which will cut down on your operating costs. Without a doubt, this insulation method is the most effective and definitely the most efficient. As an owner you will be very satisfied and thankful that you bought a spa with insulation that works for you.

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