Category Archives: Hot Tubs and Saunas

Portable Hot Tubs and Spas

Portable Hot Tubs and Spas

Portable Hot Tubs

Portable Hot Tubs and Spas, Affordable Relaxation That Goes Anywhere

One of the most luxurious ways to relax following a long day is to soak in a warm spa or hot tub and enjoy the massaging action of the bubbling water. Hot tubs are already a welcome addition in many backyards, but the cost of purchasing and installing them prevents many homeowners from taking the plunge. Traditional spas generally require a significant financial sacrifice because it’s necessary to pay for more than just the structure itself. Properly preparing the surface underneath and the surrounding location, and ensuring that proper wiring is installed are essential, and expensive, steps one must take when adding a traditional hot tub to the home environment. More often, homeowners are finding that portable hot tubs offer a more affordable alternative. When it comes to surface preparation, size, ease of set up, and wiring requirements, portable hot tubs have the advantage.

Less work is required to prepare the surface on which portable hot tubs and spas will be placed because, generally speaking, they do not often find a permanent home in one spot. Preparing an area for a traditional spa takes real effort and planning. Poured concrete slabs, paver stones, and deck installations are three common options for surfaces. While they may look lovely, they consume a significant amount of space and cost a good deal to install. One of the benefits of portable hot tubs is the very fact that they are portable and can be put up, taken down, and moved around without much effort. That being the case, the only real requirement for the surface underneath a portable structure is that it is somewhat level and smooth — rocks or other debris could damage the bottom. Portable spas and hot tubs can be used on grass, patios, driveways, and even in a garage or basement.

Two more advantages of portable hot tubs and spas are their size and easy set up. They are generally smaller than traditional spas and can fit into tighter spaces. Homeowners wishing to purchase a portable spa are not required to clear a significant area in the yard or on the deck in order to house the structure. Because of their smaller size and clever construction, most set up in only a few minutes — some are inflatable and come equipped with their own inflating device, while others have insulated panels that connect together. Setting up and transporting portable spas is so easy that many owners enjoy taking them along on vacations and even to the homes of friends and family.

One of the most practical advantages of portable hot tubs and spas is their ability to plug into a standard household outlet. Traditional varieties operate on hard wired, GFCI-protected 220-240 volt 50 amp circuits. These circuits should be installed only by a qualified electrician. Portable spas, on the other hand, have a GFCI built into the end of the cord, so they can plug directly into a standard 110-120 volt outlet.

Portable hot tubs and spas offer many advantages over traditional, more permanent ones. No need for surface preparation, smaller size, easy set up, and the ability to use existing household wiring make them an attractive option for homeowners who would love to own a hot tub, but who don’t want the expense or the permanence of traditional structures. One could argue that, because portable spas and hot tubs save homeowners money, they make relaxation time even more rewarding.

Health Benefits of Home Infrared Saunas

Infrared Saunas and Health Benefits

Infrared Saunas

Advantages and Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas over Traditional Saunas

What is it about saunas that make them so attractive? The associated health benefits of saunas, especially infrared saunas, make them an appealing addition to many people’s home health programs. Infrared saunas differ from traditional saunas in that they use infrared heaters to heat bodies directly. On the other hand, traditional saunas heat bodies indirectly by heating the air surrounding them.

Here are some of the health benefits that can be attained by using an infrared sauna:

1. Infrared saunas increase circulation in the body, which helps improve the body’s overall function.

2. Infrared waves penetrate the body and provide soothing relief for aches and pains without causing any harmful efffects to the skin.

3. The soothing heat, which can reach up to 141 degrees, helps the body relax and allows stress and tension to melt away.

4. Regular sessions in an infrared sauna can help relieve ailments such as asthma, nervous tension, arthritis, bronchitis, rheumatism, sports injuries, joint stiffness, depression, anxiety, acne, the common cold, migraine headaches, muscle pain, and influenza.

5. Spending just 30 minutes in an infrared sauna can burn up to 600 calories, making it an effective component in any weight loss regimen.

6. Time spent in a sauna helps improve the look, feel, and overall health of the skin.

In the past, many people have paid membership fees to gyms just so they could use the sauna and enjoy its many health benefits. Home saunas, until recently, have been a luxury that only the wealthy could afford. Today’s home saunas, though, are affordable, easy to assemble, require very little space, and offer the same health benefits as saunas found in public facilities.

Besides health benefits, home saunas offer an additional benefit that no gym sauna can — privacy. Many people would agree that complete relaxation is hard to achieve when sharing sauna space with strangers. Whether you choose to use the sauna at home or at the gym, though, drinking plenty of water during and after a session in the sauna is essential for replacing fluids lost through perspiration.

Automatic Pool Cleaners for Small Pools and Spas

Catfish Automatic Pool Cleaner

Automatic Pool Cleaners for Small Pools and Spas

The Best Choices for Small Pools, Inflatable Pools, and Spas

One of the frequent and necessary tasks that comes with owning a pool is cleaning it.  But, if you own a small pool, an inflatable pool, or a spa, standard-size automatic pool cleaners will prove to be too big and bulky for the job.  Smaller areas require smaller pool cleaners.  To most efficiently meet your dirt and debris cleaning needs, the best choice would be cordless, hoseless, automatic pool cleaners that work independently of your pool’s pump and filter system.

Larger automatic pool cleaners are most often powered by electricity from the home, or by the suction created from a pool’s pump and filter system.  Either way, pool owners are required to manage a fairly cumbersome machine and many feet of cords or hoses.  More substantial devices as well as long cords and hoses are useful when the area to be cleaned is significant, but not when it comes to cleaning smaller pools and spas.  Many of the automatic cleaners designed for smaller spaces are lightweight, easy to maneuver, free of cords and hoses, and powered by standard batteries.  Some cleaners come equipped with rechargeable batteries, which would be the more environmentally friendly option, and some even operate by using no batteries at all, but rather by drawing debris up into a capture chamber through a siphoning process.

Useful features to look for in automatic pool cleaners designed for smaller spaces include reusable filter bags for collecting debris and a telescoping pole for easy cleaning of deeper areas in the spa or pool, or the ability to attach your existing telescoping pole.  Additionally, look for the length of time that the cleaners can operate before new batteries are required — some hold a charge for as little as 30 minutes, while others can clean for up to 3 hours or longer on a single charge or set of batteries.  Length of operation time may not be a significant factor if the pool cleaner will be used in a spa or as a spot cleaner in a larger pool.  If the cleaner will be used to entirely clean a small to medium-size pool, though, length of operation time will be an important consideration.

An additional feature to consider when deciding among automatic pool cleaners for small spaces is the size and shape of the cleaning head.  What is the size and shape of your pool or spa?  Are there tight corners or small nooks into which you would want a pool cleaner to fit?  Will you be using your pool cleaner for spot cleaning only, or will it also be used to clean an entire pool?  Some cleaners are designed with a narrow head, and these are perfect for cleaning spas and for spot cleaning any size swimming pool.  Other cleaners for small spaces have a wider head, but often come with a crevice or corner attachment to reach tighter spaces.  These work well as spot cleaners in any size pool, but they can also more effectively clean small to medium-size pools as a whole.

In short, when it comes to small pools, inflatable pools, or spas, choosing the right automatic pool cleaner depends largely on your own needs: how do you prefer your pool cleaner to be powered; how long do you need a single battery charge to last; and what features will help you most effectively clean your specific pool or spa?  No matter what size your pool or spa, cleaning it is a must, and using the most appropriate pool cleaner for the job will save you time and effort.

Spa Covers and Hot Tub Covers

Spa & Hot Tub Covers

Spa Covers Hot Tub Covers

Spa and Hot Tub Covers are an Essential Element for Maintenance and Safety

With the colder weather upon us folks are starting to fire the hot tubs and spas up. Not too many things feel as good as soaking in a hot tub sipping your favorite beverage with friends, family or that special someone in freezing weather or while it is snowing outside. Unwinding in a spa or hot tub after a tiring day is one of life’s ultimate luxuries.  What do you do, though, when you’re done with your toasty soak?  Do you keep your hot tub covered?  If not, here’s why you should:

  • Spa covers and hot tub covers prevent evaporation, saving you money on water and chemicals.  Maintaining the chemical balance of your spa’s water is easier and less time consuming when a spa cover is used on a regular basis.
  • Spa covers also insulate the water and prevent much of the heat from escaping.  Keeping the hot tub’s water warm when not in use makes heating the water faster the next time you want to take a soak.  Not only do you save energy, but your spa heater lasts longer because you use it less often and for shorter amounts of time.
  • Spa covers keep debris and dirt out of your hot tub.  Cleaning your hot tub takes less time and effort when there is less to clean up.

One specific type of spa cover that is recommended for homes with children and pets is called a walk on spa cover.  Standard spa covers, while they appear to be perfectly sturdy, may not be able to support the weight of a child if he or she decides to use the top of the hot tub as a play area.  Children and pets can be injured or may drown if a spa cover collapses into the water below.  Walk on spa covers, on the other hand, can support the weight of a child as well as the child’s entire family.  They come equipped with a locking mechanism, too, so the cover cannot be lifted or moved from the hot tub.

Even if you don’t have children or pets, walk on spa covers are a good option if you live in a snowy climate.  Accumulated snow can be quite heavy, especially if it is wet snow, as opposed to dry, powdery snow.  If that heavy snow is not cleared off of standard spa covers very frequently, those covers can become damaged.  Walk on spa covers can easily handle the weight of many feet of accumulated, heavy snow.

Whether you opt to purchase a standard spa cover or a walk on spa cover depends on your situation, but covering your spa or hot tub whenever it is not in use is an important step in properly maintaining it.

Infrared Saunas: Ceramic Vs. Carbon Heaters

Infrared Saunas

What’s the Difference? Which Should You Choose?

Infrared home saunas are rising in popularity as availability increases and cost declines. Selecting which sauna to bring into the home may seem like a simple decision initially — most are beautifully constructed wood enclosures with comfortable seating, sound systems, and other luxurious extras. The choice of heating element, though, is where most homeowners get stuck.  Infrared saunas are available with either a ceramic heater or a carbon heater.  What’s the difference?  Both have their advantages and drawbacks, but understanding the basics of each heating option should provide homeowners with enough information to make the best individual decision.

Warm Up Time and Distribution of Heat

In general, ceramic heaters are quicker to heat up than carbon heaters, but with ceramic heaters, more intense warmth tends to be concentrated closest to the heating elements. With carbon heaters, the heat is more evenly distributed throughout the sauna and provides a body with even heat exposure. Heat that is not as evenly dispersed will warm the body unevenly, but it can be an effective way to focus the more intense heat on specific areas of the body that may need more attention.

Some homeowners prefer carbon heaters for larger saunas because uneven heat distribution is more noticeable.  Some, however, prefer the subtle variations in temperature in a sauna that uses a ceramic heater because it allows for a less intense experience.


An important consideration when comparing home saunas is durability of the heating elements.  Both ceramic and carbon heaters are considered durable. Ceramic rods, though, can be fragile, so carbon heaters are generally able to endure more abuse.  The durability of the sauna’s construction should be considered, too. A well-constructed sauna will help provide safe a sturdy housing for the heating elements, so they can remain in good condition over many years.

Energy Efficiency

Infrared heating, in general, is very energy efficient, so it should come as no surprise that ceramic and carbon heaters both score high for energy efficient performance.  Either choice would provide homeowners with a sauna that operates at a low cost.  Carbon heaters, though, are usually more efficient than ceramic, which means operation costs would be even lower than with ceramic heaters.


The overall cost of home saunas is certainly a consideration for homeowners in the market for one.  Saunas that use carbon heaters are usually more expensive to purchase than saunas that use ceramic. Before making the final decision, though, homeowners should weigh all of the different characteristics of carbon and ceramic heaters to determine which offers the best fit for the individual.  Homeowners should also compare other sauna features, too.  Quality of construction, ease of assembly, size, and creature comforts can make a significant difference in final cost.

Understanding the main differences between ceramic and carbon heaters for infrared saunas is crucial for making the most informed purchasing decision. When the desired heating components and sauna features match the homeowner’s expectations and desires, the result is a more rewarding and satisfying experience.