According to Rocky Mountain Pools & Spas business development manager Scott Kondi, quality hot tubs start at about $3,600 for a two-person model, while five- or six-seat models start around $9,000. Courtesy Rocky Mountain Pools & Spas and Hot Spring Spas

Tips for hot tub buying and ownership

Having a hot tub at your home is a great way to relax with family and friends, while also providing some real therapeutic benefits.

“It’s always been a health and wellness thing,” said Drew Christy, a client care specialist at Rocky Mountain Pools & Spas in Calgary.

Christy says the social aspect of owning a hot tub is often the first thing that appeals to people, but later they find themselves mostly using the spa for relaxation.

Scott Kondi, Rocky Mountain’s business development manager, says there is extensive research on hot water and healthy living.

“Nowadays, we’re all so tight and tense,” he said. “Hot water increases blood flow and allows muscles to relax.”

Kondi and Christy also say the technology built into a quality hot tub makes it very energy efficient, using as little as $30 a month to operate, and new filtration systems make maintenance easy.

Here’s some expert advice on how to buy and own a hot tub:

Decide on a location
Various factors need to be considered when choosing a location for a new hot tub.

Kondi says Rocky Mountain’s representatives can go to a person’s home and provide advice. A wood deck might need additional structural support, or a certain location might not be feasible due to an overhead power line.

Christy adds you should also think about convenience. He says your new hot tub might look nice by the trees in the far corner of your yard, but will you want to walk that far on a cold winter day?

Kondi says you will also need a nearby electrical outlet, usually of the 220-volt variety, and a water source to fill the tub with a hose.

Consider your budget
According to Kondi and Christy, “you get what you pay for,” so cheaper models might skimp on the quality of insulation or lack design features, such as proper venting of hot air away from expensive jet pumps.

That can mean higher monthly heating costs and the added expense of major repairs, making a cheaper tub not such a good deal in the long term.

Kondi says quality hot tubs start in price from about $3,600 for a two-person model and from about $9,000 for one that seats five to six people. A top-end hot tub with all the bells and whistles can cost upwards of $18,000.

Christy says to research the manufacturer of your top choices to make sure they have a good reputation and long track record.

Hot tubs are also awkward and heavy, so factor delivery and installation into the cost of the purchase.

Follow maintenance schedules
Christy says that thanks to modern filtration and water-care systems, hot tubs require less maintenance than you might think.

That means the old routine of going out every day to put some chemicals in a hot tub “is not something you need to do anymore.”

Kondi says thinks like saltwater sanitizing systems have greatly decreased the amount of chemicals that are required, meaning some people don’t even feel the need to shower after an enjoyable soak.

But, they add, it is always best to follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your hot tub to ensure it enjoys a long and useful life.