As hot tubs become the ultimate must-have garden accessory, The British and Irish Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) offers an essential buyersâ€™ guide.
As people become aware of the proven lifestyle and health benefits of exercise and hydrotherapy, the popularity of hot tubs and swim spas has grown with the number of hot tubs in the UK estimated at around 100,000 and Britain ranking within the top ten in the â€œWorld hot tub marketâ€. Hot tubs have been used as a source of relaxation in spa resorts and fitness centres all over the world for decades promoting wellbeing and owning one can provide more regular access to these benefits.
Hot tubs (designed for all year round use) come in a variety of sizes to suit from 2 to as many as 8Â bathers. The sensation of experiencing the therapeutic massaging affects of the warm water is a wonderful experience. To soak away the stresses and strains of the day, there is nothing quite like a hot tub to ease away those aches and pains. They incorporate the heating and filtration systems to maintain your desired bathing temperatures. Hot tubs are available with additional features that can include perimeter and external lighting systems, surround sound (CD, radio or iPod) and they are even available with LCD screens and DVD for that complete aquatic audio visual experience. Prices start from just a few thousand pounds with running costs as low as Â£1.00 per day depending on the outside temperature and amount of time the hot tub is in use.
Swim spas are a more cost effective option than most swimming pools. They take up less space, are quick and easy to install and offer a reduction on running costs than a typical pool. They are usually fully self-contained and can be installed in as little as a day. The features of a swim spa offer the perfect home aqua workout facility, including swimming or jogging against a counter current, and there can be other options including rowing and resistance swimming. As swim spas are portable, they can even be taken with you if you decide to move home.
The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) is the trade association for hot tubs and swim spas which work to ensure contractors and suppliers meet industry standards and their top tips when buying a hot tub or swim spa are:
1) Always choose a BISHTA member so that you can expect your purchase will conform to industry standards. Contact BISHTA by visiting their website at www.bishta.co.uk
2) Ensure the contractor/retailer can show at least two examples of the type of hot tub or swim spa that you want, and ideally you should try before you buy with a â€œwet testâ€ to see if a particular model is more suited to your requirements.
3) Confirm the preferred method of water treatment being proposed to suit your requirements.
4) Compare warranties between different companies to make sure you are getting the best deal for you.
5) Be very wary of internet bargains, there are many customers dissatisfied with some companies that are not BISHTA members, who are trading on the internet.