To operate your hot tub or spa safely and efficiently, keep it covered. There are three cover types: floating thermal insulator, Styrofoam, and structural.
float on the water's surface. There are two types, bubble blanket, and microcell floating blanket. Both are lightweight, inexpensive, and stop surface evaporation, a major source of heat loss. You can use them indoors year round or outdoors during the summer. Neither type prevents people or animals from falling into the water.
are made from three-inch Styrofoam wrapped in Naugahyde or vinyl. They are popular despite these disadvantages: They become waterlogged easily. A waterlogged cover is difficult for one person to lift and has substantially reduced R-value. These covers break so easily, children have fallen through them and drowned. Life expectancy is only one to three years.
covers are constructed from solid wood or a other strong material. Be wary of plastic covers because they warp in the sunlight. Solid wood covers are strong, but heavy, awkward, and bulky. Some are insulated. Another type of structural cover is the rolling cover. Great Northern®'s Roll-Up® Covers are made from solid wood slats bonded to insulating, flexible backing. They are strong, compact, and easy to use. You don't have to lift them, just roll them up. Roll-Up® Covers retain their R-value because they don't waterlog, keep children, pets, dirt, and debris out of the tub and heat and moisture in. If you have a particularly inquisitive child, you can secure the Roll-Up® Cover with a hasp and lock.
Our Advice: Use a floating thermal blanket or Roll-Up® Cover. If your tub is outside, you must have an insulated, structural Roll-Up® Cover to prevent heat loss and accidents.