FAQs – Energy Efficient Spa Covers By Coverplay

Questions and Answers

 

Q: What is the #1 complaint shared by spa owners?
Answer: A water heavy, smelly spa cover.

 

Q: How much energy does a spa use daily on standby power alone?
Answer: Anywhere from 3.2 kWh to 16 kWh* depending on insulation and weather.

 

Q: How is most energy lost from the spa?
Answer: The water surface.

 

Q: What is a standard spa cover made of?
Answer: EPS foam and a stitched vinyl casing with zippers, handles and skirts that can trap moisture, dirt and debris.

 

Q: How does EPS foam insulate?
Answer: Blown poly foam board is full of air filled cells and it is the air that insulates.

 

Q: Is EPS Styrofoam?
Answer: Yes, by brand name.

 

Q: What makes spa covers so heavy?
Answer: Water permeation of the EPS foam/vinyl.

 

Q: Can EPS absorb much water?
Answer: Yes, rendering it unsuitable for outdoor applications.

 

Q: Is EPS a good insulator?
Answer: When in a dry environment protected from moisture EPS can be cost effective.

 

Q: Why do some spas smell bad when you open them?
Answer: VOC’s, Micro-organisms, molds and mildew grow inside the warm, moist, vinyl casing.

 

Q: Does rain or spa water leak into my cover?
Answer: Not usually. Water is commonly trapped inside vinyl casings from prolonged condensation. Warm spa water expands the air in foam cells that condenses to form moisture as it cools.

 

Q: Are there advantages to better thread for stitching spa covers?
Answer: All stitching perforates the vinyl and leads to premature vinyl failure.

 

Q: Can EPS foam/vinyl covers be repaired?
Answer: Not affordably as most cover warranties typically do not include shipping costs.

 

Q: Is the long vinyl hinge that joins the foam core halves insulated?
Answer: No. Test evidence shows that hinge as a critical design flaw promoting heat loss.

 

Q: Do, “Cover lifters”, extend cover life?
Answer: Most seem designed to stress the cover hinge…and some damage cabinets too.

 

Q: Does the vinyl skirt help insulate the spa?
Answer: Vinyl has no insulating properties.

 

Q: Have there been improvements in the foam/vinyl cover industry?
Answer: Lesser quality components and importing have lowered prices.

 

Q: How long does it take EPS to degrade?
Answer: 500 years if carelessly discarded to foul earth’s oceans and aquifers. 2000 years when properly disposed of in an engineered landfill.

 

Q: What if we wait to replace our water heavy cover?
Answer: Water is a conductor and a silent energy thief, to wait is to pay increased energy costs without the benefit of air insulation.

 

Q: How can so many different R-factor ratings apply to advertised spa covers?
Answer: We suspect marketing spin. Dry EPS foam has a potential R-factor of 3.7 per inch thick…the narrow side of a tapered spa cover is approximately 2” thick allowing an R-value maximum of 7.4 as heat loss follows the path of least resistance. Moisture in our atmosphere reduces that R-7.4 by 35% to a more realistic R-4.8 at that narrow side.

 

Q: Are floating covers helpful?
Answer: Contact with sanitized spa water can degrade poly surfaces rapidly leaving a residue in the spa water.