Swim spas and swimming pools can look similar, and this can leave many buyers unsure which is right for them, or if there are many differences between them. There are many things you need to consider when deciding which one is right for you and your lifestyle.
Differences Between Swim Spas and Pools
The biggest difference between swim spas and swimming pools is the type of swimming experience they provide. In a swimming pool, you would need to swim laps to get a workout, but a swim spa gives you a continuous swim. There are a number of other differences as well.
A swimming pool can only be used in the warmer months, leaving you unable to swim for around 6 months every year. A swim spa can be used at any time of the year, so it tends to be a better choice for people who want to swim even when the temperatures drop.
Both swim spas, and swim pools are fun and can be enjoyed by the whole family. However, a swim spa also functions as a gym, hot tub, and a wave pool, so it can provide a workout, a relaxation zone, a massage, and a fun swim pool for children. Plus, swim spas take up way less space than a traditional pool does, which is perfect for compact areas.
Energy Efficient and Insulation
Swim spas tend to be more energy efficient than swimming pools. Swim spas trap and reuse heat. They have insulation which means that they don’t need as much energy to heat up and makes them more cost effective to run. They can be operational all year without a massive utility bill.
Another difference between swim spas and a traditional swimming pool is that a spa traps waste heat from the motor and uses it to heat the unit. They also have a hardcover, which also works to trap heat, so in some months you won’t even need to turn the heat in the spa on.
Pools can be costly to keep warm, especially if the weather is cold. They lose heat from the surface and are less energy efficient.
Swim spas are a more cost-effective choice. In fact, the average 6-month bill to heat a swimming pool is $1,000 versus $150 for a swim spa. Plus, there are no pool liners to ever have to replace (which can cost upwards of $4,500) and most quality swim spa include an insulated safety cover, whereas for a pool, a cover needs to be purchased and can cost about $3,000.
A traditional swimming pool will need to be skimmed and vacuumed. They also need specialized pool cleaners, which can be expensive. They can suffer from mechanical breakdowns and need repair. Some swim spa models are self-cleaning, which reduces the amount of time you need to spend maintaining and cleaning your spa. They clean the floor of the spa and skim the surface of the water automatically. This can be a major deciding factor for many people as they don’t need to make time for cleaning, and they don’t need to learn the process of cleaning a pool properly.
When you’re deciding to purchase a traditional swimming pool or a swim spa, you need to think about what you need, what your lifestyle is, and what your goals are. Knowing the major differences between them will help you decide which one is right for you.
About the Author
Scott Bland has been in the leisure industry for nearly 20 years. As a sales manager in the leisure industry he knows hot tubs inside and out. Right now, he works sales while writing about hot tubs, pools and spas on his blog, www.scottbland.ca