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How a Sauna Helps You Ward Off Colds & Flu This Winter

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The “cold season” peeks between the months of December and February each year. The illness was so bad last year, that it was rare to hear of someone that didn’t have a cold or the dreaded flu! The average American begins to prepare for this foreboding time of year by buying cold and flu medicine by the truckload…but what if we told you that there is a way to help your body naturally ward off colds and cases of the flu! If the first thing that came across your mind was to wash your hands…yes, yes, that is a great way to help avoid all of those yucky germs…but not exactly where we were going. Did you know that a sauna can naturally assist your body to keep your body healthy?

Now, you may be thinking, “I don’t have time to sit in a sauna for hours.” We have great news for you! It really doesn’t take much time for a sauna to benefit your body. Dedicating fifteen minutes a day is all you really need. Just fifteen minutes!

The idea is to sit in your sauna long enough to allow your body’s core temperature to rise to the temperature between 101-102.5°F. This creates what is called an artificial fever. Having your body’s temperature rise stimulates your immune system. By doing so, your body’s white blood cells increase. This is a good thing! It’s your body’s natural way of fighting sickness!

Did you know that the word sauna is a Finnish word? True story! According to Finnish and German studies when you use a sauna regularly, you will have 30% less chance of getting the flu or a cold. Using it regularly is essential to your body reaping the benefits but also going from hot to cold. This action is also very important, as it helps you stimulate your immune system and ensure that you get a great night of sleep! Being well-rested is also very important in keeping your body healthy.

Stay on the healthy side of the invisible “cold season scale” by dedicating just a few minutes out of your day to relaxing in your sauna! Don’t have a sauna? Come into Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard today and choose your top-of-the-line sauna!

How to Enjoy Your Hot Tub All Year Long

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As the cooler evenings begin to invite the changing of seasons, it will seemingly open the door for hot tub season to begin. But when did hot tubbing really end? Here at Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard, it never did! Most new spa owners don’t realize that having your hot tub running all year round is a thing! Unlike a pool, your hot tub is the perfect place to spend your free time all year round! Undoubtedly, autumn and winter offer some of the best weather to enjoy your spa but don’t discount the other two seasons! Spring and summer are great seasons to enjoy your spa as well! Here are some tips on how to make use of your hot tub all year long!

Autumn and Winter

Now that the weather, trees, and animals are all preparing for the cooler months, maybe it’s time to do so with your hot tub! Since the days of using your spa as a small pool are faint memories, it is time to start turning that heat back up. Check that your hot tub cover is in great shape and make sure that it is clear of any debris. Always keep your spa heated, especially when you live in a cooler climate! This will prevent your lines from freezing and also keep it from cracking! Continue to keep up with your hot tub’s maintenance on a regular basis of every three to four months. The more you use it, the more it is going to require your attention. With the winter weather, keep a constant eye out for any signs of leaking or cracks!

Spring

Spring cleaning mode may be in full swing in your home, but don’t forget to add your spa to your list! After a long winter, it’s time to drain your tub and give it a good scrubbing! Simply drain it and gently scrub down everything! Using a spa approved cleaner is always best! Don’t forget to scrub down your cover as well! Now, that you are done with all of that scrubbing, refill, warm her up, and test her out. While you relax in your spa, enjoy watching the earth reawaken with new life.

Summer

Summer is probably the one season when your hot tub may not be used as much and we get it. The heat from your tub isn’t as enticing as it is during the cold months, but that can easily be fixed with a few pushes of a button. Simply turning your spa down to 85° or its lowest setting, will create the optimal place to escape the warm weather! That’s right, your spa has morphed into a small pool right before your very eyes! 

Now that you are certain that hot tub season never ends, why are you still here? Grab your bathing suit and enjoy THIS season (whatever that may be) of hot tubbing!

What is Hydrotherapy & How Can a Spa Help?

Marquis spa tv.jpgHydrotherapy is one of the oldest forms of treatment for many different ailments that have been noted throughout history. The word hydrotherapy is also known as water cure, we think that is a befitting description! Your hot tub can be the ideal water cure for your ailments and illnesses!

So, what exactly is hydrotherapy and why is it so successful?

The warm waters of your hot tub are just what many people, in ancient times, would avidly search for. Many would travel far and wide in search of relief for their ailments in naturally heated springs. What did they know that we need to know? Well, modern medicine is just recognizing the benefits of how using a hot tub or spa is beneficial to our bodies! Hydrotherapy is known to help relieve pain and increase blood flow but that is just a few of the many illnesses and disorders! The list of illnesses and disorders that are relieved with hydrotherapy includes (but is not limited to)…arthritis, fibromyalgia, stress, high blood pressure, cystic fibrosis, insomnia, autism, brains injuries, and much, much more! Maybe the Romans and Japanese were on to something with all of their spas!

Does hydrotherapy really work?

Yes, there have been many studies on how hydrotherapy helps relieve the pain, swelling and overall discomfort that accompanies all of the above-mentioned illnesses and disorders!

Being consistent is the key to helping make it so successful. It really doesn’t take that much time either! As little as 20 minutes devoted to relaxing in your hot tub, three to four times a week, can create a vast improvement in your body. Hydrotherapy can help increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and help ease the pain. Just imagine, by devoting a little over an hour of your time each week, you are setting yourself up to live a better life with the possibility of not having to use as much pain medicine as before! That alone is a great motivator!!

So, what are you waiting for? Start on the road to a healthier life by stepping into your hot tub.

How Hot Should You Keep Your Hot Tub?

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One of the most asked questions about hot tubs is how hot should it be! This answer really varies with the type of people who are enjoying it and what the weather is like outside! Hot tubs have a limit of 104 degrees and with good reason. Anything higher than that could be dangerous for your health. So what is the best temperature?

85-95 Degrees

This temperature is great for those hot summer days when you don’t really want to use your hot tub for the warmth of its waters. When the water in your hot tub is between 85-95 degrees, it becomes more like a mini pool.

Although it sounds tempting, keeping lower temps with the idea of a lower electric bill may not be as fulfilling in the end. It can create stress on your hot tub’s heater and circuit board! Which could cost you more in the long run!

95-99 Degrees

Hot tubbing as a family can be fun but when it comes to little kids. Pediatricians agree that children under the age of five should not be hot tubbing! Five and older can enjoy the hot tub as long as it set to a lower temperature. Even with lower temperatures, monitor your kiddos and have them step out of the hot tub every ten to fifteen minutes. This will allow their bodies to cool down, which will protect them from overheating! While they are cooling down make sure they drink lots of water!

100-104 Degrees

Now, if you are the type of person who likes to shower in lava water, these temps are the ones that may appeal to you the most! Always be careful about enter a hot tub if you are pregnant or have any type of health issues. If you do have any health concerns, always talk to your doctor before entering a hot tub!

No matter what your temperature preference may be, you cannot go wrong spending a relaxing evening in your hot tub!

Four Ways to Ditch your Gym Membership and Exercise in Your Spa

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You had the best of intentions when you walked into the local gym and signed up for your monthly membership. Unbeknownst to you…you would only use your gym membership a handful of times. So, now you are stuck with a membership and have no intentions to use it! Don’t let this happen to you. You are not in this predicament by yourself! According to past studies, only half of the people that sign up are consistent in visiting the gym 100 or more times. That does not always justify the hefty membership fee you pay every month! Here are four ways to get fit without that expensive gym membership.

Hot Tub Yoga

Yoga is not just for hippies! It is an excellent way to create long and lean muscles! Hot tub yoga is the latest trend for yogis that own a hot tub! This type of yoga is a great way to improve your balance and take your yoga game to the next level! The increased resistance that the water in your hot tub creates helps you improve your form! No matter what level you are, the hot tub will improve your stature and help create longer, leaner muscles!

Swimming

While most people think that swimming is a summer sport, it can be a year round sport with a swim spa! Swimming is one of the best types of exercise especially for those who need a low-impact cardio workout! It is great for your cardiovascular system and helps you to work your entire body all at once!

Rowing

If you own a swim spa similar to the Bahama Swim you can row all year long! No need to buy another big bulky machine, the Bahama Swim comes with an add-on that will allow you to row whenever you desire! Rowing is an optimal way to lose weight and workout both your lower and upper body! It is also a great way to get a low-impact workout in!

Aerobics in the Hot Tub

Doing traditional aerobics like bicycling and calf raises in the hot tub can take your normal workout to the next level! The water in your hot tub creates a great resistance that causes your muscles to work a little harder.

No matter how you look at it…working out in your hot tub or swim spa is better for your body and wallet! Come in today and allow us to help you find a more convenient way to workout!

Three New & Interesting Games to Try on Your Pool Table

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No game room is complete without the game of kings, commoners, and poppers. Billiards, better known as pool, is a game which dates way back into the fifteenth century! Over centuries of time, this game has evolved with time but is still very much a favorite for many! Most people know common pool games like eight ball and nine ball but did you know there are more?  If you are bored with the typical pool games, shake it up a little with three, new-to-you games to play on your pool table

Cutthroat Pool

Number of Players: Three or Teams of two or more

Number of Balls: Standard pool set of 15 balls

Cut-throat is normally played with three-players or teams. Each player begins with an assigned set of five consecutively numbered balls such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. To win you must be the last player or group to have at least one or more balls remaining on the pool table. For full instructions you can visit Wikipedia and search ‘Cutthroat (pool)‘. 

One Pocket

Number of Players: Two or Teams of two or more

Number of Balls: Standard pool set of 15 balls

Where most billiard games make use of all of the pockets on the table, in this game one pocket is assigned to each player or team (thus the name, one pocket). Wikipedia explains the object of the game is to have the most points earned by pocketing balls in your assigned pocket. Check out their full instructions by searching ‘One-Pocket‘.

Baseball Pool

Number of Players: Two or more

Number of Balls: 15-21

Baseball pool is a simple game that consists of nine innings or rounds for each player to score points by pocketing balls. The winner is the one who has scored the most points at the end of the nine innings. Full home-run instructions can be found with a simple Wikipedia search of ‘Baseball Pocket Billiards‘.

Don’t have a pool table or want to upgrade your current one? Come in today and we will help you find the one that fits your game room the best!

Why Fall is the Ideal Time to Invest in Outdoor Furniture

Super savvy savers know that the time to buy anything is when it is going out of season. If you are going to need a new coat; buy it in February when all of the winter wear goes on sale. Want to paint your house but don’t want to pay full price for paint? Buy it during the Memorial Day sales! Need a new TV? If you aren’t bothered by large crowds and insane deals, buy it on Black Friday. These tricks are well known by the money-savvy shoppers but did you know when the best time to buy outdoor furniture is?

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Right now! Fall is the optimal time to buy your next set of outdoor furniture! With the cooler weather beginning to set in, gardening and outdoor lawn furniture are seen to be taking up valuable space. Rather than trying to backstock something over the winter, most shops just want it rehomed! Which is great news for you as the receiver of fantastic deals!

Envision your new set of outdoor furniture around the firepit! Each of your guest enjoying the warmth of the fire and the comfort of your sharp new set of outdoor furniture.

With your next annual Halloween party just around the corner, you don’t want your guest to mistakenly think your current set is part of the decor. A new set of furniture is just the thing that you need to bring your next party to the next level!

Buying your furniture in the Fall will not only save you money but will set you up for next Spring! Forget about having to go to the store and paying full price for the same set! When the first flower begins to make its appearance, you can comfortably watch the action from the comfort of your beautiful new outdoor furniture!

Now, what are you waiting for? Come into Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard and check out the best selection of outdoor furniture in town!

3 Reasons to Get an Outdoor Kitchen This Fall

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For some reason, food always tastes better when eaten in the great outdoors. It’s true! Whether eating around a campfire or at a family picnic, your senses seem to be at their best while enjoying a meal outside. With the cooler weather slowly creeping its way into our forecast, autumn is the perfect time to invest in that outdoor kitchen you have always desired! Still not convinced? Here are three reasons on why you should have your outdoor kitchen installed this Fall.

Gathering Season

October, November, and December contain more gathering holidays for the entire family to get together than any other time of the year! With Halloween right around the corner and not to mention the World Series in view…having an outdoor kitchen nearly doubles your area for entertaining!

Beautiful Weather

Fall is the perfect time to have an outdoor kitchen installed! Unlike Summer, where the hot sun is beaming down on you during the process of installation. The cooler weather is inviting everyone back outdoors! The bugs are no longer pestering you and your guests while you enjoy your freshly grilled dinner! Besides, consider yourself set for this next grilling season! No longer will you wish you had an outdoor kitchen when Spring comes back around!

Kids are in School

With the kids back in school, this provides you the perfect time to work on that outdoor kitchen. You won’t have to worry as much about the kids getting hurt or in the way while your dream cooking area comes to life! Besides this will provide an optimal area for you and your family to reconnect over a hot meal while enjoying the fresh air! A great place for everyone to de-stress after a long day at school and work.

Three Easy Steps to Remedy Cloudy Spa Water

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When you look into your hot tub, you don’t want to see anything but absolutely crystal clear water. If you peek inside and that’s NOT what you see, it may be time to take action against the particle-filled waters that have taken over your watery oasis. So what causes your spa’s waters to cloud up like an April afternoon?  One of the most common contributors is alien substances, such as lotion, sunscreen, cologne, and even sweat! Other factors can cause your spa to look like a bowl filled with white glitter, too – things like poor filtration or organic debris. But it’s not too hard to of a problem to fix – here are three steps to help you correct the water dilemma you find yourself in:

Change your filter

A simple fix to your cloudy water may be as simple as changing your filter. Poor filtration can cause small particles to reenter your spa. Think about the filter for your air conditioner. If you never change it, the quality of the air in your house will falter.  The same happens with your spa.

Check your pH levels

After changing your filter, take the time to check your spa’s chemical balance. An imbalance of the chemicals in your spa can cause all kinds of different problems. Having a routine of checking your spa’s chemistry is an important step in keeping your water sparkling and inviting.

Add Chemical if needed

If your spa is used quite frequently, it may take more chemicals than you think. With an introduction of foreign substances like sweat, sunscreen, and cologne, the chemicals in your spa have to work overtime and may need to be replenished more often. Shocking your spa may be just the thing that brings it back from the cloudy side.

If none of these methods clear up your cloudy spa, it may be time to take a sample into your local and trusted dealer – like us! Most dealers will be more than happy to help you determine what is wrong with your spa with a simple test. We here at Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiards would love to help you solve your spa water dilemma!

Illnesses and Disorders that can be Treated with Hot Tub Therapy

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The history of warm water therapy dates all the way back to Roman times. You may have known that your hot tub helps relieve stress and helps you relax but did you know that your hot tub has the power to help treat many different illnesses and disorders as well? The list is very extensive and there are many studies that have been performed showing that continued hot tub therapy is very successful!

Insomnia

While most Americans suffer from insomnia, the answer is awaiting them in their hot tub. Relaxing in your hot tub for 20 minutes at a temperature between 100-104, two hours before your bedtime can be a game changer in your sleep habits. Emerging your body in the warm waters will help raise your core temperature and the gradual cool down afterward causes your body to create endorphins. The endorphins help your brain to relax, ensuring you a great night’s sleep. Add hot tub friendly oils to enhance your experience, like lavender and chamomile. 

Arthritis

The inflammation and pain that comes with arthritis can be unbearable for those who suffer from it. With as little as 20 minutes of soaking in your hot tub, you will be able to see the difference warm water can do for the inflammation! Set your hot tub temperature between 92-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cerebral Palsy

This life-changing disease can cause the body to be brittle and rigid. The warm waters of your hot tub can bring relief to the stiffness that accompanies cerebral palsy. The gentle movement from the jets in your hot tub can provide gentle movement for the muscles and the warm water can reduce the pain and help circulation. Soak 20 minutes 2-3 times a week at a temperature between 92-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fibromyalgia

Many studies have found that the relief that fibromyalgia sufferers need is lying in their hot tubs! Twenty minutes of relaxing in their hot tub set at a lower temperature between 91- 94 degrees Fahrenheit can help ease the pain that accompanies fibromyalgia.

These are just a few of the illnesses and disorders that can be treated with hot tub therapy! The list goes on and on…everything from asthma to Parkinson disease can be relieved with the aid of your hot tub! Always check with your doctor before using a hot tub.

Five myths you probably believe about hot tubs.

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Myth: More jets make a better hot tub.

While buying a hot tub may make you feel as if you are getting more for your money. The more for your money idea is inaccurate when it comes to your hot tub jets. A great hot tub is not defined by how many jets it has but where the jets are located. The best way to find out if the hot tub jets are correctly positioned for you is to ask to test drive the hot tubs you have in mind. Call your local hot tub provider and ask to test drive that model.

Myth: All you need is chemicals to keep your hot tub clean.

While chemicals are key to keeping your hot tub sparkling. Over time the concentration of your chemicals begins to build to high levels. This is unhealthy for you and for your hot tub. The best way to ensure this does not happen is to empty and refill your hot tub every three to four months.

Myth: You don’t need a cover for your hot tub.

No, no you don’t necessarily HAVE to have a cover for your hot tub…much like not having a garage for your car. Although, just like your car, your hot tub will be open for the neighborhood animals and unwanted guest to take advantage of it during the times you aren’t present. Having a cover for your hot tub isn’t just an extra expense but essentially it can save you time and money!

Myth: Unplugging your hot tub saves you money.

Most people believe that there is no reason to leave their hot tub on and heated while it is not in us. It saves money on electricity! Right? Umm…no unfortunately, it will actually cost you more money to rewarm the water every time you want to use your hot tub. The best way to keep your electric bill down is to invest in a hot tub cover that will help insulate your water while you are not using it. When your hot tub is not in use, lower the temperature by five degrees, this will save you both time and money.

Myth: Everyone can enjoy a hot tub.

Hot tubs are very therapeutic and beneficial to your health, but not everyone should use them. For instance, the general rule for children in hot tubs is that children under the age of five should not use a hot tub. Even that rule is subject to whether the child can touch the bottom of the hot tub or are able to keep their head above water.

People that have health problems or have had health problems in the past should ask their doctors before entering a hot tub.

What are the Differences Between Low-Cost & High-End Hot Tubs?

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Buying a hot tub can sometimes feel stressful when you look at all of the options at once! Everything from the price point to the features can be very confusing. Should you buy a hot tub with a lower cost or a higher price tag? Well, I am glad you asked. Let’s say that buying a lower cost hot tub is comparable to buying a smaller, more affordable car and buying a higher priced hot tub is like buying a fancy, sports car.

Both of them are great and reliable vehicles that will get you from point A to point B…so what does make them different, anyway?

Size

When it comes to hot tubs, size does matter! The truth is, both sizes of tubs may have many of the same standard functions, but because a smaller hot tub is more economical for the manufacturer…it is going to have a smaller price tag. Small hot tubs are easier to store, ship and manufacture compared to their larger counterparts. This makes it more affordable for you as the consumer. Yet, larger hot tubs are known to have a sleeker design, which can be reflected in their higher selling price. Both have their advantages.

Bells and whistles

How badly do you want all of the bells and whistles? This can be a big factor in the price of a hot tub. Higher priced tubs may come with all of the extras, like Bluetooth, moveable jet pods, mood lighting…etc. While lower cost hot tubs may be more user-friendly and come with only a few extras besides standard features. Your preference in the extras can be the deciding factor in which price range you choose.

Energy-efficiency

When replacing the windows or upgrading the appliances in your home, you may notice the cost of an energy-efficient item is much higher than your standard option. Right? The same applies when comparing a higher and lower-priced hot tub. Energy-efficient hot tubs may come with a higher price tag. It may seem to cost more today, but the savings will come gradually over the course of the next several months.

Remember, no matter which type of hot tub you decide to buy, the end result you are looking for is relaxing and enjoying the time in your hot tub. I can guarantee you that both price ranges will ensure you a stress-free evening.

In the Mood to Save on a Hot Tub? New Vs. Used

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Dreaming of having a hot tub to call your own but would like to save as much as you possibly can? Have you considered buying a pre-owned hot tub?  Much like buying a used tv, smartphone, or car… buying a used hot tub has its advantages beyond the smaller price tag! One of the biggest advantages is staying within your budget! While this is a huge positive to buying used, let’s explore some of the others! Finding a spa that has all the bells and whistles of yesteryear! If you are looking for something that makes your tub extra special,  it may be easier to find than you think! Most used hot tubs are not very old and may have everything you want while still being fairly new! You may be pleasantly surprised when you find out how much a second-hand high-quality spa doesn’t cost! After all, a well cared for high-quality hot tub will remain high-quality!

Buying from a Certified Dealer

Now before jumping on Craigslist, you may consider buying your new-to-you hot tub from a certified dealer. If you have no idea of what to look for, buying from a dealer may be exactly what you will want! Most dealers will do everything they can to ensure that you are receiving a quality spa. Some dealers may even include a warranty of some type. This makes buying used easy and will set your mind at ease! The cherry on top is shipping options! No asking your friend’s friend’s cousin to help you get your new-to-you hot tub home! Most dealers will have a delivery option and bring your spa to you!

Buying from the Public

If you do decide to buy from a friend, online website or garage sale type site, make sure that you go and see the hot tub filled with water and bubbling away! Why is this important? It’s not easy to spot problems like leaking or cracked seals in a dry hot tub (both are common in hot tubs that are stored for a long time). Make two trips. One to see how the hot tub is filled with water, and the second time to see it when it is emptied. This will ensure that you have seen it in working condition and the other to see if it has any problems that were hidden by the water.

However you choose to buy your new-to-you hot tub, make sure you do your homework and shop all of your options before selecting it!

Can a Hot Tub Make You Smarter?

hot tubWhen you invested in your hot tub you knew that it was a wise decision for your overall health, right? Well, whether you knew it or not, it was! Having a hot tub has a multitude of health benefits! You may have already known that having a hot tub is good for relieving stress, but did you know that it can make you smarter too? Now, before you go grabbing your old algebra books and your bathing suit, allow me to explain a little more!

Hot tubs have been around for thousands of years! The only catch was that you would not normally have one readily available in your backyard! (Lucky you!) Instead, you would have had to travel a great distance to enjoy the healing waters of a hot spring. One country which has many hot springs is Greece! Along with the warm healing waters that drew many, this beautiful land is also well known for its great philosophers! Today’s studies on hot tubs and the brain show that soaking a hot tub each day can improve your brain function!

How is this possible? Well, as I mentioned before, your hot tub is the ideal place to soak and allow your stress to flow away. Stress is a big factor in preventing you to think clearly. But let’s not stoke all of your brilliance up to the lack of stress. There is a small formula that you need to follow to increase your ability to become the next Socrates!

Studies have shown that a temperature of 102 degrees is most beneficial for your brain. Immersing your body up to your arms or neck can increase the blood flow throughout your body and especially in your cerebrum. While the warm waters increase your core temperature it also sends out messages to the body to increase the amount of oxygen that enters your blood. This allows your brain to have a higher oxygen-enriched blood course through it!  Studies have shown that a regular soak in a hot tub can not only help improve normal brain function but also help those who have brain injuries!

So, the next time you have a very difficult problem or decision to make…be like the Godfather….take it to the hot tub!

5 Genius Ideas for Creating More Privacy Around Your Hot Tub

When you think privacy in your backyard, the first idea that comes to mind is a nice tall privacy fence. A privacy fence is a great way to give your backyard the privacy you had in mind! But even with a privacy fence, your hot tub may be still in plain view of your neighbors or pedestrians. Here are five genius ideas to keep your downtime as private as possible.

Outdoor Umbrellas

It’s amazing how much privacy a little fabric on a stand can create! Placed an outdoor umbrella in the right spot, and it can provide a lot of privacy! When choosing an outdoor umbrella, look for one that tilts easily. With the right angle, your umbrella will shade and prevent curious eyes from seeing past it.

Living Fences

We all know that hot tubs that are beautifully landscaped can add to the value of your home. So, when choosing what type of landscaping will go around your hot tub, consider planting plants that can serve as a living fence. Installing vertical planters will not only provide you with privacy but can also bring color and life to your hot tub area.

Trees

Certain trees make great fences and a great backdrop! Not every tree will make a great fence, though. Here are five types of trees that are used for privacy.

  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Hybrid Willow Tree
  • Leyland Cypress
  • Spartan Juniper
  • Sky Pencil Holly

By planting trees you will not only provide more privacy for your hot tub area, but you will also be helping the environment!

Bamboo

This look will give your hot tub area a spa-like appearance! Bamboo is known to be very sturdy and durable. Different species of bamboo can grow 36” within a twenty-four hour period. One of the qualities of bamboo is that it is easy to grow and it grows both tall and thick. This makes it the perfect material for a privacy barrier. Plant the bamboo in galvanized tubs and you will feel like you are visiting a hot spa in Japan each time you use your hot tub.

Trellis Screen

If you don’t want to wait for something to grow to give you the privacy that you want, you can always turn to something that is easy to build or buy. If this is your case, you may want to purchase a trellis screen. Trellis screens are easy to move and create a perfect obstruction from peering eyes.

Insomniacs, Listen Up! A Hot Tub Might Help You Get Those Zzzzz’s

14556746_10154637188822962_2444292224591240026_o“Tossin and Turnin” appears to be the tune that most Americans can relate to. The sleep disorder, insomnia, affects about 25 percent of Americans! What is causing so many Americans to lose a great night of sleep? Stress is one of the highest factors in Americans not sleeping. There are many remedies to help with insomnia but most are contained within a bottle or need a prescription. What most Americans may not know is that the answer of the restless nights is sitting in their own backyard and not in a medicine bottle! What could be more natural than the embracing watery hug your hot tub will give you?

Relax

Slip into your hot tub two hours before your normal bedtime. Why two hours? You will want to dedicate forty-five minutes to relax in your hot tub and an hour allowing your body to cool down. This is almost resetting your brain. By heating up your core, you are drawing the blood into your arms and legs causing your brain to relax more. Soaking also causes your body to produce more endorphins and serotonin, both are important in helping your body to get rid of stress.

Reset

Make this time about resting! Put down the smartphone, tablet and turn off your tv. Allow your hot tub to bubble away your stressful day! During this time your core temperature will be elevated, this is key to the next step…allow yourself at least an hour to cool off. While your core begins to cool, it will signal your brain that it’s time to sleep.

Rest

Climb into your bed and get ready for the best night of sleep! As your body cools down, sleep should claim your relaxed body quickly. Not only should you fall asleep easily but you will also sleep deeply which is just what your body needs!

Go ahead and try it out! The most you can lose is forty-five minutes of not being relaxed!

Tips for Hosting THE Pool Party of the Year!

Luau Pool PartyWhatever the event, a pool party is always the best way to celebrate! That makes it an easy Y.E.S.! For your guest, it is an easy yes but as the host or hostess…you want it not only to be a good party but a great party. A party that both parents and children will be talking about for years. But be careful! Your parties may become legendary and you will be turning people away at the next one! Here are some tips that will make your next party the talk of the town, or at least the neighborhood, for all the good reasons.

Party Theme

The first step is coming up with a stellar party theme. Step out of the norm and plan something that is different and exciting. Think of something that your family has really enjoyed in the past six months, whether it be a movie or a type of food and run with it!

Invitations

Make or buy invitations that reflect your party theme. Don’t have time to make or send out X amount of cards, no problem! We have your back. Use your smartphone. Type in “invitation maker” into your app store and send your invitations digitally! This is a time-saving step.

Food And Drinks

Have your food reflect your theme. If you are having a carnival themed party, have carny food-like funnel cakes and hot dogs! If you are having a pineapple themed party, have ham cooked in pineapple juice and pineapple upside down cake. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot think of something right away, check Pinterest for ideas…hey, we all do it!

Offer your guests ice cold drinks to keep them cool and happy. Fill one cooler full of ice and water bottles and another with a variety of drinks. If you are wanting to use a non-insulated vessel to hold your cold drinks, fill your theme approved container with water and keep extra drinks in your cooler. That way you can ensure that there is always something cold to drink.

Pool Preparations

Make sure your pool is sparkling clean before your party date! Start checking your levels up to a week before the date of your party. By doing so you will ensure that your pool will be in tip-top shape by your party date.

Shade

Having a pool party during the day? Do a shade check…watch your pool area at the time you will be having your party. See how much shade is available and if you don’t think there is enough, create more by adding extra outdoor umbrellas or even a portable shade sail.

Lights

Lighting is essential in throwing an outdoor night party! Create more light by using floating pool lights. Supplying your guests with glow sticks would be a fun touch as well. Extras from this point on, everything else is a bonus point for you as a host or hostess. Add in extra towels for those who forget to bring one and you are set. Having a first aid readily available is always a plus as well.

Have fun with the planning and enjoy the pool party when it arrives!

Essential Tips for Choosing Your Child’s Pool Flotation Device

Do you remember relying on the water wings and swim ring combo to keep you afloat? That combination was a popular go-to for little swimmers for a while but not exactly the favorite for the kids that wore them. They would often become deflated or even rough on the old’ underarms. Thankfully, swimwear and pool floaties have come a long way! Your children have more choices on inflatable wear than ever before. So what exactly is the best choice for your child? Well, that all depends on who is wearing it and what their water experience is. Here is a short guide in helping you decide on what to buy for the little fish in your life.

Newby Swimmers

Most babies love their bath time and so naturally, as summer begins, parents want to introduce their new babies to the water! When choosing your baby’s flotation device, you may want to choose something that you will not have to blow up constantly. Keep in mind that your baby will automatically lean toward the water once in it, so choose a flotation that is sturdy and will not easily tip over. Protect your baby from lots of sun! Floatation devices with a canopy that can be easily repositioned would be the best choice.

Beginner Swimmers

dreamstime_m_35753919While most of us grew up wearing floaty wings as the main source to teach us how to swim, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) does not suggest this to be a good source for protecting your children from drowning. The blow-up wings can lose air easily and are not a reliable way to keep your child afloat. The best way to tell what device you should choose for your kids is to choose items that have the USCG stamp on it! Life vests are the top choice for most parents! Life vests are designed to keep your child’s head out of the water and will prevent them from being facedown in the water.

It is true that some children are reluctant to put on swim devices, either because they just don’t like them or they don’t like how they feel…but the next time you are shopping for the flotation devices for your children, take them along and have them help you choose their device. Make sure to buy something colorful and fun so that they are excited about using it! Allow them to pick a fun float or tube with their favorite character on it to make it even more exciting!

No matter what you choose for your little ones, never allow them to swim without an adult watching!

Who needs a Home Gym When You Have a Pool?

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Do you have a gym membership but barely ever find time to go and make use of it? Having a home gym would save you so much more time and gas…but wait! The pool in your backyard is really being underutilized! Little did you know that your pool is the perfect gym for you to get the results that you want without ever leaving your property. It’s true! Your pool is a great place to hang out and enjoy but it is also the perfect place for you to build muscle and endurance!

Water resistance is just the thing that can take your workout to the next level! Here are four basic exercises that will challenge you as the water applies resistance to every move you make!

Walking/Running

Walking or running in your pool is a very simple, yet very effective exercise. If you suffer from joint pain or bad knees, you will appreciate the low impact on your joints! To increase the resistance walk the perimeter of your pool and create a good current. By creating your own “lazy river” you can increase the number of calories you burn and build more muscle.

Jumping Jacks

Try doing the traditional jumping jacks in your pool. The water will help soften the impact on your joints and help create resistance as you jump in and out of the water.

Sit-ups

Now, I know you are envisioning yourself on the bottom of your pool struggling to position yourself into a sitting position… and although that sounds very intriguing, it is far from what I meant. You need only to simply go to the edge of your pool and rest your legs on its edge so that your body creates an L shape. Proceed to bring your chest up to your legs, just like the traditional sit up. This will increase the resistance on your torso as you use your abs to keep yourself in place.

High Knees

Stretch your arms out in front of you and challenge yourself to march with your legs tapping your outstretched hands. The resistance from the water will help your legs to become stronger and the muscles to be leaner.

Now that you know you can get a great workout in your pool, put your bathing suit on and try it out! You won’t be sorry that you did!

Four Life-Saving Tips for the Hottest Months of the Year!

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July and August are by far the hottest months of summer! With the hottest months ahead, your pool is about to become the hot spot for all ages! While the water is an excellent place to cool off and forget about the heat, here are four tips to ensure that everyone stays safe during these smoldering months!

Water

“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!”-Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

This popular quote should not be the theme at any of your future pool parties! Make sure that the occupants of your pool have plenty of fresh water to keep them well hydrated! Staying hydrated is one of the most effective ways to prevent heat stroke from occurring!

Sunscreen

Did you know that sunscreen is only fully effective when it has been applied between 15-30 minutes before entering the water? It’s true! A quick application before jumping into your pool will not ensure that your precious little ones will not burn! Continue to apply every two hours after the first application, even if it’s water approved sunscreen!

Know your body

Your age can have a lot to do with how long you can handle the heat of the day. Know your body and keep in mind how it reacts to too much sun! Younger children are unable to tell you how much is too much, so keep a close eye on them and watch for signs of overheating. And like the younger generation, as you grow older your body is unable to stand the high heat for very long. Take breaks in the shade and continue to drink plenty of water.

Pool covers

Now, I know you are wondering what in the world pool covers have to do with hot weather safety tips, but the fact is they have a lot to do with it! Did you know that 76% of drownings in the U.S. were children aged 5 and under? Water is a magnet for young children and unwelcome critters during the hot temps and having a pool cover can prevent drowning! Not only that but having a pool cover can help cut down your water and chemical bills as well! So, you are not only saving the life of your kids and animals but you will have more green in your pocket!

Pool Parties For Grown Ups That Aren’t Lame

pool partiesA sure-fire way to gauge how good your pool party is:

Are people getting in the pool?

YES – Your pool party is probably on the right track

NO – Your pool party has devolved into a boring, awkward, “regular” non-pool party

 

Here are some Pool Party Planning tips for grown-ups. With some pre-planning (and maybe an ice chest full of adult beverages) you ought to see your numbers of actual pool participants skyrocket. If all else fails, lure them to the edge of the pool and shove them in.

 

Pick A Theme

At themed parties, you’re either all in or you’re out. There’s no “half-steppin.” In case there is though, be prepared to turn those people away.

Case in point:

If you are hosting a “pirate” themed party and some dude shows up in khakis, a polo shirt, and just a silly eye patch, or captain hook hand on – turn him away. Turning away the pretenders will only serve to hype up your party anyhow. People will know that your parties are exclusive, require full commitment, and the willingness to go the distance.

Bear in mind that you have to deliver the goods. That means that on top of being suited and booted yourself, your yard should resemble a Caribbean coastal tavern. You’re on your own for that yard decoration part…

 

Bring Your Own Beverage – And Food

Keep these parties potlucks. This is a collective, communal party – not a food, drink, pool party charity situation! Who wants to host a party only to be left high and dry, messy, and broke afterward…

You could foot the bill for the party and charge an admittance fee, but that’s likely to deter people from attending.

Ask these folks to bring food and a beverage that fits the theme and they will be all the more invested in the party. You recall the earlier mention of full commitment, going the distance, etc… This is one way to test their resolve and their worthiness.

 

Set Some Ground Rules

Make it clear from the outset – “You’re getting in the pool.”

As the day carries on, as the water gets cold, and as pool participation wanes, you may have to get creative to keep the continuity going – Be ready to exercise your right to sentence party goers to punitive pool plunges.

Let’s say you are hosting our hypothetical “Pirate” themed pool party… You could prepare a pirate trivia questionnaire. The folks who answer questions incorrectly have to “walk the plank.”

Create other fun rules: Someone drops their beverage – They must belly flop into the pool. They may even have to retrieve a token from the bottom of the pool to receive another beverage.

You get the idea… you can get as creative as you like so long as you remain within the boundaries of good taste.

 

Now – show us you’ve got what it takes to host a pool party that isn’t lame (and where people actually enter the pool). If you need any pool supplies or advice, visit your nearest Aurora Pool, Spa, & Billiard Gallery.

Pool Safety – The Basics

The weather is warm, summer is officially here, pools are open…

It’s the perfect time to brush up on pool safety. Pools conjure up good, fun vibes – but we have to remain ever vigilant. Accidents can happen when people get complacent.

Supervision

Never allow children around a pool without competent, adult supervision. When you’re supervising kids at the swimming pool, enact common-sense guidelines such as:

  • No running around the pool deck
  • No diving in the shallow end
  • No roughhousing

Make sure that everyone stays hydrated and be sure to employ your preferred means of protection from overexposure to the sun.

The more adults you have supervising, the better.

Even if you’re an adult and a competent swimmer, let someone else know if you go for a swim alone. Accidents happen – Better safe than sorry.

Pool Perimeter Fence

A safety fence of appropriate height and composition surrounding your pool will provide you with an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

A safety pool fence will prevent kids and pets from falling into the pool by accident. You can take this security measure a step further by adding an alarm to the locking gate. Should the gate be breached without your consent, an alarm will sound alerting you and neighbors. Pools themselves can also be equipped with alarms that sound when motion in the water is detected.

We know you keep a close watch on your loved ones, but accidents can happen. The more safety measures you take, the less likely you are to have an issue.

Safety Pool Cover

Latham_Automatic_Safety_Cover_08There are some phenomenal safety pool covers on the market today. These safety covers are designed to lock in place and are capable of supporting the weight of a car or even an elephant! If you don’t have a pool perimeter fence, you better at least have a locking safety cover. If your child, elderly relative, or pet were to stumble onto a safety pool cover, they’d be supported and protected.

There’s an added money-saving benefit to installing a safety pool cover…

If you cover your pool when it isn’t in use, you’ll prevent water evaporation. This means you’ll have to “top off” your pool less, saving you money on your water bill. You’ll spend less time fishing debris out of your pool as well!

 

At Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard, we are all about pool safety. If you have any questions about any of the above-mentioned types of products, contact us. We can help you plan a safety strategy for your pool – and we can get you the finest pool safety products on the market.

For ALL of your pool, spa, backyard, and game room needs, count on Aurora!

Great Pool Games For Kids

kids with goggles_previewSummer vacation is upon us. For parents, this can be a blessing and/or a curse! Life is busy enough as it is… Now you’ve got to supervise and entertain the kids 24/7. Sometimes, you even have to host the neighborhood kids for parties. That’s no easy task.

Don’t stress, Don’t fight it – Simplify it. You’ve got that backyard pool – Utilize it!

With a bit of coordination, kid supervision duty can double as your tanning and relaxation time.

Classic pool party games are fun for kids and adults alike. You might even go from supervisor to participant!

Marco Polo

Marco Polo will never go out of style. It’s blind tag – in a pool! No equipment is required. However, some safe, common sense rules must be observed:

  • No wild arm swinging by the “Marco” player – No one wants a nosebleed in the pool.
  • No roughhousing of any kind.
  • Players may not exit the water or play on the pool deck.

Chicken Fights

If any of the kids are tall enough to stand above the water and shoulder a passenger then you’re good to go! This is another pool game classic that requires no equipment.

Safe, common sense rules to abide by:

  • No punching – that should be obvious…
  • Arms only – no kicking out with the legs (That would probably make you fall anyhow).

That’s about all there is to this game.

King of The Raft

Multiple variations of this game can be played depending on the size of raft(s) that you have. Participants should use pool noodles to attempt to knock opponents into the pool until they become the last one on the raft and crowned, King of The Raft! No swinging at the face of course!

Diving For Treasure

Find objects that sink and toss them into the pool. If your kids are still gaining their confidence in the water, you might opt for larger, brightly colored objects.

If your kids are confident, good swimmers, you might toss actual treasure in the pool like quarters or half-dollars! Use common sense though – don’t dump an entire roll of coins in there. Make sure all of the coins have been retrieved!

Swim Races

Races will keep the kids occupied and ultimately make them stronger swimmers! Best to start these races from inside the water. You don’t want the diving to get too out of hand…

Any and all kids’ pool activities require focused supervision. Once you get the kids all wrangled in, focused, and having fun, you ought to be able to supervise, relax, tan, read, visit with friends, or participate in some good ol’ fashioned summertime pool party fun.

Aurora Pool, Spa, & Billiard Gallery is your local source for pool party equipment! Visit us in Knoxville, Farragut, or Morristown. We’ll make sure your backyard is properly outfitted for your summer pool parties.

Hot Tub or Swimming Pool or…

A hot tub without a swimming pool… Sure.

A swimming pool without a hot tub… Nope – that’s like a cake without icing.

So, a pool AND a hot tub aren’t within your budget and wouldn’t quite fit in the space you have available anyhow, but you still can’t decide which you should choose…

You’d like to soak away your aches and pains at the end of each day in a hot tub, but your kid – a budding young swimmer, is just begging you to choose a swimming pool…

What if you could have the best of both worlds in one compact, affordable little body of water.

You can.

img_0392-17-trans_2xWe’re proud to carry Bahama Swim Spas. Never heard of a swim spa before? Navigate over to the Bahama Swim Spas section of our website and you’ll start to get the picture.

Swim spas provide the ultimate swim training environment. You and your family members will be able to perfect your swim strokes without the interruption of the constant turning necessary in most backyard pools.

Not much of a swimmer? After your kid finishes their swimming exercises, you can perform a multitude of low impact, aerobic exercises from jogging in place to simulated rowing.

The best part: After you finish your workout, you can begin your recovery immediately without ever leaving the water. Just drift back into the hot tub seating area, turn on the hydrotherapy massage jets, sit back, and relax.

Imagine that… A spa that gives you room to train and swim – year round. Whereas pools typically aren’t used much during the winter months if at all, swim spas can be used comfortably all year long.

Use your swim spa for exercise and/or for relaxation all winter long – and without the cost prohibitive winter heating bill of a pool.

In the hot summer months, just turn your swim spa heat down to a comfortable temperature and enjoy.

Choose a swim spa and you’ll wonder, “What do I do with the rest of my yard?” We can help you with that too…

Want to see one of these swim spas in action? Better yet, want to take a test swim and soak? Contact us and we’ll schedule your private appointment!

Pool, hot tub, swim spa – whatever your preference is, Aurora Pool, Spa, & Billiard Gallery has you covered. Come in and see us in Knoxville, Farragut, or Morristown.

Features of a Safety Cover

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Summer is coming up and the time is approaching when you need to prep your swimming pool or spa. On the top of your list of purchases for summer, a safety cover should be right there. Safety covers are a must for spa and pool owners alike! The benefits of having one outway the cost of the covers themselves. It will save you time and money, along with keeping your younger family members safe.

No longer will twigs, leaves, and the occasional frog be your swimming companions. Why? Because your safety cover not only protects unwanted guest and wild/domesticated animals but also keeps everything else out as well. Imagine all that time saved from not having to chase those hard to reach leaves at the bottom of your pool!

It also helps keep the cost of chemicals down. Safety covers can cut down on energy cost and cut the consumption of chemicals by 35-60%! Think about it, fewer chemicals mean more money in your pocket and no more red eyes. It also protects your pool/spa from that dreaded algae that takes over in the blink of an eye. How? Well, algae depends on sunshine to grow and if your pool is covered and keeping the rays out, it can not grow.

Do you cringe when the water bill comes during pool season? When you invest in a safety cover for your pool or spa you also help lower your water bill. Safety covers not only protect your pool from all of the above but also helps decrease the amount of water that is evaporating into the air. A hot, dry summer is ideal for swimming but not ideal for an uncovered pool owner. Less time you spend pulling out and untangling that uncooperative garden hose! Sounds like a win, win situation for you.

Is saltwater a better way to sanitize your spa?

We try to better our lives by lessening the number of chemicals we come into contact with on a daily basis. Pinterest is full of natural ways of cleaning things from using vinegar to baking soda. So when it comes to your spa you are trying to decide if a saltwater system is another way to help reduce chemicals in your life. Some of the positives are that saltwater is a chemical-free way of sanitizing your spa and it is much better for your eyes and skin. But is it really what you want in the long run?

#9 AuroraSalt is natural which means it must be healthy! Right? While this is true, the other side of the coin is it can make it difficult to keep the levels in your spa’s water stable. The saltwater system may not be able to keep up with the demand as your spa is used regularly and thus requiring the aid of chemicals. On the flip side, if your spa is not used often it may create an overabundance of chemicals. While the cover on your spa keeps everything out, it will also trap in all of the extra chemicals produced by the system and cause a chemical imbalance. In the long run, you may end up using chemicals on top of the salt water system to keep your water at safe levels for you and your family.

More often saltwater systems are used in pools than spas…but the difference between pools and spas using it can be vast! For instance, pools seldom have metal components that can be affected by the saltwater. Spas, on the other hand, have metal components in the heater. One thing is for sure…salt plus metal equals corrosion. Which means that metal components may require more maintenance than normal. Most believe that installing a saltwater system on their spa requires less maintenance. The truth is that your chlorinator will need a regular inspection twice a month to prevent calcium buildup. Calcium buildup is not an uncommon nuisance of a saltwater system. It clings to the chlorinator and will need to be cleaned off manually. By keeping a regulated schedule you can prevent calcium buildup from becoming too much of a nuisance.

Like most things, saltwater systems have their positive notes and negative sides but with regular maintenance, you can lessen the number of chemicals you encounter and enjoy a healthier spa.

Fibromyalgia? Your hot tub may help.

Marquis spa yard.JGPPeople who suffer from fibromyalgia are often looking for ways to find relief from the symptoms, especially the pain, fatigue and mood issues. Since different people find relief in different ways, many physicians and fibromyalgia experts recommend keeping a diary of your symptoms and what relieves them. That way, over time you develop what’s almost a handbook of the best ways to manage your disease.

Since fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with invisible symptoms, lifestyle modifications have been shown to be among the most effective at helping you feel better. Some of those reported to show the most success include:

Lifestyle changes

– as you keep your diary, pay attention to possible lifestyle habits that may be making your symptoms flare, like certain foods, overexertion, too little sleep, etc. Try to remove these things from your life, or make adjustments so you can avoid them.

Right amount of sleep

– keeping a regular sleep schedule and getting the recommended eight hours every night can really make a difference. If you have trouble sleeping, soaking in your hot tub for 20 minutes a couple of hours before bed can really help.

Exercise

– moderate exercise can be great for preventing and relieving fibromyalgia symptoms.

Soak

– one of the best things you can do is soak in hot water, like in a hot tub. The soothing warm water and massaging jets can ease pain and stiffness. A calming soak can help boost your mood, too. In fact, a number of our customers who suffer from fibromyalgia tell us regularly using their hot tub is the single best thing they do to help ease and control their symptoms.

If you or someone you care about is coping with this disease, come see us. We can help you select a hot tub that will fit your home and budget, and will bring you years of comfort, relaxation, and relief.

Three great reasons to have an above ground pool

AutumnBreeze.Ov.peopleThe summer sun is beating down and nothing sounds better than relaxing in a sparkling pool and cooling down after a long day’s work. What could be better than swimming in a pool conveniently located in your own backyard? An above ground pool may be exactly what you need to quench your swimming pool needs!

Now, you may be asking yourself “Why an above ground pool?” “Why not an in-ground pool?”. Both are valid questions and we are here to help you see the benefits of having an above ground pool.

Below are three great reasons to purchase an above ground pool for your backyard!

Pool installation

One of the biggest negatives for installing an in-ground pool is the time it takes to do so. Unlike in-ground pools, above ground pools take a lot less time and effort to be installed. Not only are they much easier to install but they are not as permanent as an in-ground pool. Which means if you decide to move out of your current home, you can take your oasis with you.

Affordable

If you are looking for an affordable way to enjoy your summer in your backyard, an above ground pool might just be for you! Starting around $1,500, above ground’s shine in comparison to the cost of an in-ground pool which can cost anywhere between $15,000-20,000! The price alone is a big drawcard for people who are on the fence of making the decision of above ground or in-ground pools. A fraction of the cost for the same amount of fun!

Water Temperature

Water temperatures in an above ground pool are generally warmer than that of an in-ground pool. In colder climates, they benefit from being above the ground where the warmer weather assists in heating the water without the aid of a water heater.

Come into our showroom and allow us to help you pick out the pool that will make your summer memorable! Here at Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiards, we have a wide selection of above ground pools and many options to make your above pool unique to you!

Spring: The Season for Grills & Patio Furniture

April showers bring May flowers, and a desire to be outside! Spring has arrived and not a minute too soon. The warm weather and lengthened days bring out the desire to entertain our friends and families once again. The neighborhoods are abuzz with the sound of lawn mowers and the smell of something delicious cooking is wafting in the air. Your backyard becomes a newly welcomed part of your home once again. 

Patio Furniture

Here at Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard we believe, like your home, your backyard should be an inviting place where you can relax and find comfort and tranquility. Every backyard needs a good and reliable set of patio furniture and who could provide that better than the Telescope Casual company? Telescope Casual has been producing quality, outdoor patio furniture for over a century. Their patio furniture is not only vibrant and colorful but also comfortable and inviting. Whether you are having friends over for dinner or hosting the first barbecue of the year, you want your outdoor space to be “the place to be.”

Grills

Of course, what home is complete without a kitchen (the heart of the home). The same goes for your outdoor space. Can you think of anything better than eating food that was cooked on the grill? Only one thing comes to mind, eating food straight off our high-quality Kamado Joe grills. Whether you are choosing the Classic 18″ or Big Joe 24″ Stand-Alone, you will not be disappointed. The quality of our grills reflects in the yummy tasting food that you cook on them. The Kamado Joe grills are a workhorse to be reckoned with.  Don’t take our word for it, come and check out our top sellers at Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard. You will be glad that you did.

Save your time, save your pool water with Baquacil

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There are few things in life you can state that everyone will automatically agree with.

The sky is blue. Grass is green. Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Dirty pools are disgusting.

If someone wants to argue about the first two, just walk away. If they want to argue about the third, show them the Princess Bride. And if they take issue with the fourth, have them come see us. Because, seriously. Dirty pools ARE disgusting.

Thankfully, there’s a really great way to keep your pool clean. The Baquacil system. It’s the simple, effortless and effective way to enjoy crystal-clear pool water, without the harsh effects of chlorine. Since there’s no chlorine, it’s less harsh to your eyes and skin, and to your swimsuits, pool liner and toys, and more. Plus, the water feels silky soft. And it’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!

Step 1: Baquacil Sanitizer and Algistat

This chlorine-free liquid sanitizer gives you safe, steady control of bacteria and algae in your pool.

Step 2: Baquacil Oxidizer

The Baquacil stabilized hydrogen peroxide formula clarifies your pool water by removing contaminants.

Step 3: Baquacil CDX

CDX keeps your oxidizer in balance and maintains water clarity.

Follow this routine weekly and you’ll spend your time enjoying your pool, instead of maintaining it. If other issues crop up, like algae, Baquacil makes a range of products specifically designed to address these concerns, too.

So this summer as you kick back you can carve out some time to explain that the sky is blue because the molecules in the air scatter … you know what, nevermind. Just tell ‘em to Google it. You have some pool-side relaxing to do.

Plan your pool opening

dreamstime_m_993985It may seem like just yesterday there was snow on the ground and we were all exchanging Valentines, but believe it or not – here at Aurora Pool and Spa we’re already thinking about pool opening season! In fact, customers are already calling and getting their pools on our schedule. If you want us to handle the hard part this year, be sure to give us a call sooner rather than later. That way, you can get the opening day you want, and get your family swimming sooner.

If you’re more of the do-it-yourself type and you want to open your pool on your own this year, that’s cool.

Follow these basic steps to get started:

1. Remove water and debris from the pool cover – If you don’t remove this from the cover before you remove the cover, you know what’ll happen. All that nasty stuff will end up in your pool. The easiest way to remove the water is typically with a submersible pool cover pump.

It’s not always easy to get all the debris off. A broom can help – just make sure you don’t use anything sharp. If the weather is dry, pump the water off and give things a day or two to dry out, then try using a leaf blower to blow the debris off.

2. Remove the pool cover – If any debris remains on the cover, try not to let it fall into the water. But if it does, it’s OK. You’ll just need to remove it.

3. Clean the cover and store it for the season – Spread the cover out on your driveway or a large, grassy area. Using cover cleaner, or soap, water and a brush, give it a good cleaning. Allow it to dry thoroughly, and then store it away. (Note that with some cover cleaners you can actually store the cover wet.)

4. Remove the winter plugs and skimmer ice compensators – Make sure you remove all the winter plugs and replace them with the correct eyeball or jet fittings. After you remove the ice compensator from the skimmer bucket (or buckets) and take the winter plugs out of the bottom, be sure to put the skimmer buckets back in.

5. Reinstall the deck equipment – You stored the ladders, diving boards and step rails over the winter. Now is the time to clean them up and reinstall them.

6. Check the water level – You may have lowered the water level when you winterized, or your pool may have simply lost some water. Use a hose to bring the water level back up to the halfway point of the skimmer opening.

7. Get the filter and pump ready – Replace the drain plugs and pressure gauge on your filter and pump. Inspect the lid o-ring for cracking and replace it if necessary. Set it to “filter,” reattach any other equipment like a chlorine booster, and make sure the drain plugs are secure.

8. Turn the pump on – Make sure there aren’t any leaks or drips. If the pressure on your pump is over 15 psi, backwash it to reduce the pressure.

9. Clean it – Scoop out as much debris as you possibly can. Use your pool brush to scrub the floor and walls.

10. Shock it – Shock the water to bring the chlorine level to at least 3 ppm. After the shock settles, test your pool water and adjust the chemicals to the necessary levels. Let the pool run for 24 hours, vacuum any remaining debris from the pool, and retest the water. If it’s clear and the chlorine is below 2 ppm, you’re ready to swim!

If these steps are leaving you feeling a bit overwhelmed, fret not! We are still just a phone call away.

We can help bring your backyard dreams to life

Can you feel it? SPRING is finally here! And if you’re anything like us, you’re ready to start tackling projects around the house. Some of them, well, they’re in the “must-do” category, right? You know what we’re talking about: Clearing out the flower beds, deep-cleaning around the house, maybe organizing the closets. It has to be done, but it’s not exactly inspiring.

But then – THEN – you get to the fun stuff. Those big plans you have for the backyard, all those ideas you’ve been saving up so you can turn it into the oasis of your dreams? This is your chance to Make. It. Happen.

And we can help.

Bring us your Pins, your Instas, your Houzz saves.
Your Tweets, your Boards, your Facebook Faves.
Clips from magazines? We’ll take ‘em.

Sketches? Bring ‘em in.
Let us see your inspiration, and give it a spin.

In all seriousness, we love it when customers involve us in the design process. We can be your partner by helping you bring your vision to life.

AUR Lake Shore_04_2012If your vision includes a hot tub, swim spa or a swimming pool (or even all three!), we find that’s a great place to start. Do your dreams include a new deck or patio? Let’s talk about pergola styles to provide you and your guests with stylish shade when the summer sun is beating down.

grillA lot of our customers’ dream backyards also include outdoor kitchens. We can design and build exactly what you’re looking for – big or small – with a grill, fridge, sink, even your Kamado Joe. Or two. (Yes, some people take it just that seriously. 🙂

Outdoor fireplaces and firepits are also a huge trend, and likely appear in your inspiration clips and Pins. Not only can they add important visual structure to your backyard oasis, but they can extend your outdoor season – something we really appreciate on those Tennessee spring and fall nights.

We’ll round out your project with quality outdoor furniture that fits your style and will last for years. None of that disposable outdoor furniture that you can get from any big box store. We’ll help you choose the chairs, sofas and tables that will truly make your vision come to life.

So, if you’ve been bitten by the Spring renovation bug, come see us. There’s really only one way to scratch that itch …

5 Reasons You Need To Take A Test Soak

cameo_cover_guy_720x480_72_rgbSo you’re ready to find the perfect spa. One that will meet all of your needs. There are so many options, so many manufacturers, so much to consider. Do you require a swim spa for exercise and recovery, a large hot tub that can fit the entire family, or a small spa for two? Will you be using your spa daily to soothe arthritis aches and pains, or will your spa use be more for recreation and relaxation?

In any case, it is important that you test soak in several different models so that you can determine your preferences and be resolute in your final spa selection.

Here are 5 good reasons why:

  1. High-quality spas aren’t cheap. Purchasing a spa is a big decision and a decent dent in your pocketbook. You’d test drive a car, wouldn’t you? You test televisions at your local electronics store, don’t you? Why wouldn’t you test out the spas you’re considering?
  2. You need to feel the various seating configurations – with water in the hot tub – How else will you know if you like the seating position, if it’s comfortable, if you seem to fit it well without floating too far off of the jets? Speaking of jets – Do you prefer one particular jet pattern in one model over that of the other models? Do you need focused hydrotherapy on any particular problem areas? Have you considered jets that target the feet?
  3. You need a true sense of the size of the spa model you’re considering. Whether you’re buying a large 8 seater or a small 2 seater model, you’ll want to test the spa with as many of your household members as you can bring along. Do you feel comfortable or crowded? Can you switch seats with relative ease and comfort? Is there sufficient leg room for everyone?
  4. Most new, high-end spas have their own built-in, bluetooth compatible stereo systems. You might as well have a sound system – one that’s easy and safe to use with your mobile device. It’s nice to be able to control your music without the risk of dropping your phone into the hot tub! Some hot tub models even pair up with tablets so you can watch your favorite shows and sporting events from your hot tub! It’s important to test these features out with the jets running so you can experience the sound in a true spa environment. What’s listening to the sound system on a dry floor model hot tub going to tell you?
  5. Do you like the spa you’re buying? There’s no more important factor than that. Buy what you like. There’s only one good way to know if you’re going to like a spa and if you’re going to be satisfied with it down the line. Sitting in a dry floor model and reading the spec sheet isn’t going to gonna cut it. When buying hot tubs, Soaking Is Believing.

When you’re ready, give us a call to schedule your test soak appointment. We can accommodate you at all of our locations!

Knoxville – 865-686-0004

Farragut – 865-862-6919

Morristown – 423-317-7222

Tips For Shopping At A Home Show

epic_img_4-1Home shows are wonderful opportunities to have fun and save big. However, it still takes a savvy shopper to know what’s good and what’s too good to be true at a home show.

Here’s our home show hot tub shopping advice…

Make sure the retailer you’re considering buying from is local! Make sure they have a retail location and employ service and support staff. You want to be certain that your hot tub or swim spa will be installed by certified professionals AND that those professionals will be there for you in the event you need service on your spa in the future.

Your purchase should be contingent upon your satisfaction with your test soak. That’s right, you should test soak in the spa you’re considering before signing on the dotted line. If the retailer you are speaking with tries to lock you into a purchase without a test soak, keep on moving and keep on shopping.

Make sure you are buying a discounted, QUALITY spa from a respected manufacturer. Don’t buy a spa that’s cheap because it’s a piece of junk. How do you know if it’s a quality spa or not? Well, don’t take the sales person’s word for it, unless it’s one of our people of course!

What we mean is, research the retailer and the spa manufacturer yourself before you buy. How long have they been in business? What do their customers have to say? What kind of warranty do they offer? What impression do you get from their website? Check out their social media pages as well…

Lastly… Use common sense and discretion. Take your time. Take it slow. Don’t get overwhelmed by the exciting environment or by pushy salespeople. Trust your instincts and don’t give any salespeople anymore time than they deserve based on the quality of their products and that of their disposition.

The Game Table Olympics

The Olympics may be over in Korea, but you can get them going again with family and friends! Nothing brings a family together like some good-spirited game table tournaments. Nothing brings the fellas together after a long work week like a good ole’ fashioned man cave equipped with a game table or two!

Why go to a billiard hall and why leave the comfort of home? We’ve got the game tables and everything else you’ll need to have your game room in regulation form!

Pool Tables:

We offer an array of pool table designs. Whether your home’s aesthetic is contemporary or classic, you’ll find a pool table that compliments your home’s decor – and more importantly, a pool table that can handle the rigors of regular play!

Table Hockey:

You don’t have to be a real hockey player to love this arcade classic – and you don’t have to go to the arcade to play! We’ve got different size tables to accommodate different levels of skill and intensity!

Table Soccer:

Some call it foosball. Whatever you call it, you’d be a fool not to add this indispensable game to your game room. A game room without table soccer would be like the Winter Olympics without ice hockey. Don’t commence your game room’s opening ceremonies without foosball!

Table Tennis:

Ping Pong. Gump’s favorite game. Get your own table and perfect your backhand. Just don’t let your tournaments devolve into beer pong games – unless everyone is at least 21 years of age and you’ve got plenty of room for your guests to spend the night!

Choose to master one discipline, or get a couple of tables and see if you can medal in multiple events! The Winter and Summer Olympics come and go, but you can achieve glory in your game room 24/7!

Kids on Spring Break? Have Family Hot Tub Time

It seems like life gets busier and busier every year. The days seem long, but at the same time, life is flying by. Carving out family time is more important than ever, but planning family time that EVERYONE will enjoy isn’t as easy as it seems. How about setting aside time for family time in your hot tub while the kids are on spring break this year? You can be sure that family time in your hot tub will be an activity that everyone will enjoy and remember for years to come. Here are some of our practical ideas:

Hot Tub Game Night

Your hot tub might not be the first location that pops into your head for your family game night, but it is actually a great place for a game night. Typical pool games like water hockey and water ping pong take on a new level of fun when paired with the bubbly water. If you have older kids or just prefer a slower pace, you can actually purchase waterproof cards and floating trays that allow you to play any of your favorite card games. No matter what game you choose, hot tub game night is sure to be a hit.

Hot Tub Movie Night

If games aren’t really your style, try a movie night. You can pick up an inexpensive projector for less than $100, project the movie on to a white sheet or even onto the side of your house. Then jump into the hot tub for a movie night that you and your kids are sure to love.

Hot Tub Conversations

There is something to be said for the simplicity of just sitting around and talking to your kids. In the age we are living, it is nearly impossible to get your kids to put down their devices long enough to say two words let alone have a real conversation. Electronics and water don’t mix very well, so a family soak could just earn you that conversation you have been hoping for and if you are really lucky you might even get a little eye contact and a real smile.

Whether you are playing games, watching a movie or just having a good conversation, you can round out your hot tub family time with some burgers on the grill and s’mores in the fire pit. Your hot tub family time this spring break is sure to reconnect and rejuvenate your family.

How much does a swim spa cost?

It’s not always easy to find up-front pricing information from reputable pool and spa dealers online. But last month we lifted the curtain so that you have a good idea how much in-ground poolsabove ground pools and hot tubs actually cost – and what you get for the money. Now we’re rounding things out with a discussion on swim spas.

Swim spas really are an amazing, do-it-all solution to in-home relaxation, fun and exercise. Think about it. With this one piece of equipment, you can:

  • Swim an unlimited distance, at nearly any speed, in a simulated open water environment.
  • Enjoy low-impact water resistance exercises, including water aerobics, rowing and more.
  • Have family fun! It is a pool, after all. (And the kids love the current!)
  • Relax in the hydrotherapy seats after a workout, or anytime – for any reason.

If you’re shopping for a swim spa, there are a number of options to consider. One of the first is size – how large of a swim spa do you need? They’re available in a variety of configurations, with the most prominent variable being the number of hydrotherapy seats. While you’re shopping, the other major consideration on your mind is likely price.

Swim Spa Pricing
$13,999 and up

What you pay for a swim spa will depend on the size of the swim spa you choose, and the options you decide are important. At Aurora, we proudly carry Bahama Pro Series swim spas in 13-, 17- and 19-foot lengths. The simplest way to look at it is that the longer the spa, the more hydrotherapy seats you’ll get.

All models have padded headrests, and fun things like underwater lighting, illuminated jets and a waterfall. Some models include exercise equipment while it’s an option on others, and some include a Bluetooth stereo system while on others it’s an add-on. Add-ons, of course, add to the price.

If you need some help deciding which swim spa is right for you, if you’d like to talk through your questions with us, if you’d like to see a swim spa to get a feel for the durability and design – or if you’d like to do all three – stop by a showroom today. We’d love to see you!

Above ground pools: common price points

When you think of a backyard pool most people picture traditional in-ground styles. But for many, less expensive above ground pools are a fantastic option – not only for their lower price point but because they aren’t permanent. This makes them great for homeowners who may want or need to move their pool at a future date.

As with any purchase, when you’re shopping around it’s always helpful to know how much you can expect to spend. As we’ve shown you with hot tubs and in-ground pools, we also want to show a pricing guide for above ground pools. Above ground pools are available in three general categories: Entry-Level, Medium-End, and High-End.

Entry-Level

Starting at $599

Entry-level above ground pools are a great way to dip your toes into pool ownership. These non-permanent pools can be moved, so they’re also a good option for people who need something a little less “forever.” Typically constructed of a steel frame with a vinyl liner, you can expect these pools to last about 10 years. They’re available in several sizes and can be purchased with heaters and filters.

Medium-End

Starting at $1599

While not permanent, pools in this range do need to be installed. Expect solid walls with a vinyl liner, a wider range of sizes, and some shape options, too. These pools will need filtration systems, and heating systems are available. Additional options can be added to enhance your pool experience, and you can expect a longer lifespan from these pools, than those in the entry-level category.

High-End

Starting at $2999

A top-of-the-line above ground pool can last 30 years. Yes, really. Round or oval, up to 35 feet, and with heavy-duty metal or resin walls, these pools are built to last.

As you’re trying to choose the type of above ground pool that’s right for your family, visit our website to learn more about selecting the right pool size and shape for your yard and your lifestyle. And as always, call or come by to talk to us. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you make your choice.

So how much is a hot tub, anyway?

Shopping for a hot tub? Sure, you’re looking at fun features, size and seating configurations. But we have a pretty good idea that the number one thing you want to know is “how much does it cost?”

Truth is, you can get a hot tub at pretty much any price point. As you would imagine, lower priced tubs will include fewer features, and will be manufactured differently from higher-priced models. Yet they still provide an excellent hot tub experience. It’s about striking a balance between what you want, and what you can afford.

So, let’s dig in. Hot tubs are available in three general categories: Entry-Level, Premium-Grade, and Ultra-Grade.

Entry-Level Hot Tubs

Beginning at $2999: Spas in this category offer fewer features, but they’re affordable, especially for people who are shopping for their first hot tub. Many hot tubs in this category are called “plug-and-play,” which means they run off of a standard 110V outlet. There isn’t really much to the installation – you just set it up, fill it up, plug it in, and when the water is heated – enjoy it!

Premium-Grade Hot Tubs

Beginning at $4499: If you’re looking for a more traditional looking hot tub with a wood-like exterior and a shiny acrylic shell, this is the starting point. Here is where you’ll also begin to find fun features like lighting and water features, and jet-lined seats.

Ultra-Grade Hot Tubs

Beginning at $7999: For the very best ownership experience, this is the category you want to be in. Spas in this category are a definite investment, but you can expect them to last 10, 20 or more years. In addition to all the bells and whistles, you can expect efficient operation for low energy costs, unique design, innovative jets and more.

Once you’ve settled on the category of hot tub you’d like to have, stop by one of our showrooms to see and feel the models you’re interested in. Our knowledgeable sales team can discuss features, options, estimated operating costs and more.

How much is an in-ground pool?

So, just how much does an in-ground pool cost?

If you’re shopping for a pool, it’s likely one of the top questions on your mind. And the answer is, well, it depends. A lot of pool installers won’t be too upfront with pricing. It’s not that it’s a trade secret; it’s just that there are so many variables that it’s difficult to offer a general price.

But we’ve found a way to break down pricing factors and ranges so you’ll have a good idea of what you can expect when you’re shopping for an in-ground pool, and so you’ll have a good idea what will fit within your budget.

As you’re pool shopping, always remember that you get what you pay for. As you browse the internet, you’ll probably come across inexpensive in-ground pool kits from discounted websites. But you won’t get a high-quality pool that will last, and chances are by the time you add on everything you need to get your pool up and running, the price will increase substantially.

That said, let’s begin:

In-ground Pool Price Ranges

The price of a new in-ground pool can range from $13,999 to $33,000 or more. Basically, the more you spend, the more features and customization your pool will have.

Low-end price range: In this category, you can get a round, budget-friendly pool starting at $13,999.

Medium-range price point: In this category, rectangle vinyl pools starting at $26,999 are on offer. These pools are available with a variety of liner combinations, and are among the most popular pools sold in the country.

High-end price range: In this category, fiberglass pools starting at $33,000 are available. Fiberglass pools come in a variety of shapes and with lots of accessories; but of course these options all affect price.

For details on any of these pools, please come by the store. We’d love to talk to you about the options that are available, and help match you with the perfect pool for your budget and your yard.

Saunas – Tools of Elite Athletes

Ever had a chance to visit a professional sports team’s training facility? What did you notice? We’ll bet you saw a hot tub! Did you see a sauna? All professional sports teams have recovery equipment for their players. More and more are adding saunas to their recovery equipment inventory.

 

Hockey players in particular are getting hip to the benefits of regular sauna use, likely due to the amount of NHL players coming out of Finland. Those Finns are sharing this very Finnish tradition with their teammates.

 

Teemu Selanne – perhaps the most famous Finnish hockey player of all time, Stanley Cup Champion, and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee – loves a sauna and swears by it. He’s even taken the Stanley Cup into a sauna!

 

Of course, Teemu Selanne can have any sauna he wants. He prefers the Finnleo brand of sauna, the very same Finnleo we carry here at Aurora.

 

Check out this interview with Teemu Selanne: 

 

 

Check out the benefits of regular sauna use

 

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to appreciate all of those benefits. We all need a sauna in 2018. Today’s world is laden with toxicity – byproducts from all of man’s “advanced” endeavors and “progress.” Most people, even the most health conscious regularly ingest some amount of processed “foods” and alcohol.

 

The sauna is a phenomenal way to regularly rid your body of the junk it absorbs from the world around us. So whoever you are, whatever your lifestyle, a Finnleo sauna is sure to improve your health! Visit your nearest Aurora showroom. We’ll be glad to give you an in-person demonstration!  

Spa Hacks

Everyone enjoys a good hack; useful little tips that make life just a bit less frustrating. We have a couple of spa hacks that you can use to make cleaning up a little easier.

Sticky stuff

Do you have trouble with sap, pitch or another sticky substance staining your vinyl spa cover? We have a simple fix, Peanut Butter. Yes, peanut butter. Simply rub peanut butter on that sticky stain and let the oils in the peanut butter lift that sticky stain away. If the stain is really stubborn, you can let the peanut butter sit in the sun for a few minutes so the oils really penetrate the stain. For this hack you want to be sure to use the peanut butter sparingly. There is no need to glob on the peanut butter, this is a situation where  a little bit goes a long way.

Big filters

Cleaning your ATV filter can be a pain. Finding something large enough to clean it in is frustrating, but we have a simple fix for this too. Head to your local hardware store and pick up some large garbage bags with a 1-2 mil thickness, the kind contractors use that are really heavy duty. All you need to do is add your filter cleaner and water in a ratio of 1 part filter cleaner to 10 parts water. Put your filter into the solution, then squeeze the air out of the bag and zip tie it closed. Let your filter sit in the garbage bag over night. The next morning you can use filter floss to take care of any particles that are left over. This simple hack makes cleaning your ATV filter a breeze!

The next time you find yourself frustrated with your spa maintenance remember these little hacks so you can spend your time in the spa rather than just cleaning it. Stop by the store, I’m sure we have a few more hacks up our sleeves that you’ll find helpful.

Winter really IS the best time to start your pool project

You may have just finished dreaming of a white Christmas (or not – we know thoughts of the fluffy white stuff often cause mixed reactions), but like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation, we’re here to turn your thoughts to summertime and … swimming pools!

Don’t worry – no singing “Mele Kalikimaka” required.

In all seriousness, there are some rather practical reasons why, if you’re considering installing a pool, you should start the process now.

  1. The Deals – This time of year you can often find good deals on pools. Most people simply don’t recognize the benefits of starting their pool projects this time of year, so business is a little slower. Companies like ours in no way shut down, though – we’re still hard at work.
  1. Better Conditions (weather permitting, of course!) – During the summertime, it’s hot and humid. Our crews work hard, but conditions mean that for safety’s sake crews must take care. In the winter – providing we don’t get too much snow, ice or rain – a project can be completed quickly without the worries of heat and dehydration.
  1. Ready for Summer – We saved the best for last, of course. Start your project now, and your pool will be ready to use the first day of the season! Before we know it, the temperatures will warm. And our phones will begin ringing off the hook as everyone decides THIS is the year they want to install a pool. We’ll begin to fill our schedule, weeks and eventually months out. But you – you’ll already be relaxing poolside.

A backyard pool can add so much to your quality of life. From fun gatherings with family and friends, to relaxing solo swims and energizing exercise – it’s a purchase you’ll enjoy for years to come. Request your free pool brochure, browse our site for inspiration, or stop by a showroom to speak with one of our knowledgeable salespeople to get the (beach) ball rolling on your pool project today!

Healthy eating with your Kamado Joe

As you ring in the New Year, it’s natural for your mind to turn towards your goals or resolutions for the next year. For many that goal is to eat healthier. Eating healthier is only going to happen if you can find a way to make it taste great. Your Kamado Joe is the answer to making delicious food that is not only healthy, but fun to make.

Here you will find a few healthy recipes to get started on your journey to healthier eating.

Meat

Cooking meat is probably the first thing that you think of when cooking on the Kamado Joe. Changing up the type of meat and the way that you season it is a great way to make the meat that you would normally smoke in your Kamado the perfect entree for a healthy dinner. Here is a great recipe for Smoked Salmon that will leave your taste buds happy and give you a great dose of Omega 3.

Vegetables

Veggies are another great thing to throw on your Kamado Joe. Vegetables are at the top of the list when it comes to healthy eating. Putting them on the Kamado adds a great flavor. Here is a recipe for some grilled veggies that your family will love.

Dessert

Dessert is something that you might not think about cooking on your Kamado but it is a great healthy way to get a little sweetness at the end of your meal. Grilled cinnamon pineapple is an easy sweet treat to start with grilling.

You will need:

4 cups of fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Bamboo skewers

Heat your grill between 325 and 375 degrees. Simply place your pineapple chunks on bamboo skewers that have been soaked for 5-10 minutes in water. Sprinkle the pineapple chunks with cinnamon. Put them on the grill for 5 minutes, turn and cook another 5 minutes until tender.

 

A quick internet search will turn up many more healthy recipes that you can grill up on your Kamado Joe. With a few new recipes and your Kamado Joe grill, you are sure to stick to your goal of healthier eating. Stop by our showroom to pick the best size of grill for your family.

Winter is the perfect time to build a pergola. Let us tell you why.

“Hey mom, watch this!”

“Hold on honey,” you say. You can see from where you are, because of glare from the sun. You get up and move across the yard, where you can clearly see your son execute an excellent belly flop.

You wince. “Great job, honey!” you say. He’s proud – what else can you do?

There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching your kids have fun in the backyard. But roasting under the sweltering Tennessee sun sure does take a lot of the fun out of it. Sure, you can use a patio umbrella or other source of temporary shade to get some relief, but then you have to worry about putting it up and down, taking it in when it storms – it’s really kind of a hassle.

The solution? A pergola!

A pergola can add so much to your outdoor landscape. Not only does it offer relief from the elements, but it can create a cozy spot for relaxing or entertaining guests. We’re proud to carry designer pergolas from Housewarmings Outdoor, the same company that crafts our quality outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and firepits.

And it might surprise you, but winter is the perfect time to start a pergola project. By beginning now, you can be sure to have your new pergola in place before the spring and summer fun seasons begin. When the weather warms you’ll be able to landscape and decorate. Enjoy your favorite book in the shade. Eat a delicious family breakfast outdoors. Have your friends over for a cookout. Or, just be ready for the next time you hear “Hey mom, watch this!”

Browse some of the available styles online. What’s your favorite? Rustic? Tuscan? Pavilion? Something else? We’ll help you choose a design that fits your style and your budget, and that will create the outdoor entertaining and relaxing space you’ve always wanted.

Sauna use and Alzheimer’s Disease

Recent news stories say nearly 50 million Americans may be in the early stages leading to Alzheimer’s disease right now. Those are pretty scary numbers. But there may be some things you can do to mitigate your risk. In fact studies out of Finland, where sauna use is common, have shown a 65 percent reduction in Alzheimer’s disease and a 66 percent reduction in dementia in men who used sauna 4-7 times a week.

That’s powerful.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers several suggestions for how you can “love your brain.”

Many of those tips apply to sauna use:

  1. Break a Sweat – The Association recommends engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise to elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow to the brain. You might be surprised to learn that sauna bathing has similar benefits, having been shown to elevate heart rate and increase blood flow.
  2. Butt out – Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. While a sauna can’t help you stop smoking, it can help you detoxify, and it can help you relax – which can be incredibly helpful as you try to stop an addiction.
  3. Fuel up Right – Eating a healthy diet that’s low in fat and includes lots of fruits and vegetables can slow cognitive decline. Many sauna owners adopt the habit of enjoying fresh, cool water and fruit following a sauna session.
  4. Catch some Zzzz’s – Not getting enough sleep can result in problems with thinking and memory. Regular sauna use has been shown to help people sleep better, when taken in the evening.
  5. Take care of your Mental Health – Studies have linked depression with cognitive decline. Seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, and associated conditions is important, as is reducing stress. Saunas are a great place to reflect, meditate, relax and de-stress. If you have depression, seek medical help, but your sauna can be a helpful tool.

If you’d like to read the Alzheimer’s Association’s full list, click here. If you’d like to learn how a traditional or infrared sauna can fit into your home, your lifestyle, and your budget, stop by a showroom today.

Discount hot tub buyers guide

This time of year you can find “great” deals on hot tubs everywhere you look, but how do you know if you are actually getting a great deal? This guide will help you navigate through buying a discounted hot tub, so you can KNOW that you are getting a great deal!

Buy Brick and Mortar

Nearly all retailers are going to be discounting at least some of their hot tubs. That means that you have no reason to purchase from an online retailer or a traveling gig that is only in town for a short time. You can find a great deal at your local dealer who is going to be there for the long haul. If long term support isn’t part of the package, you really aren’t getting a great deal.

Know What is Included

As you are looking for that great deal, be sure you know what is included with the discounted price. It is especially important to find out if delivery and installation are included. If they are not included in the price, be sure to find out what the fees will be so that you know what your bottom line will actually total.

Warranty

You want to make sure that you know up front if your discounted hot tub still comes with a warranty. Some could come with limited warranties or no warranties at all. This could set the stage for a great deal that actually ends up costing you in the long run.

Don’t Sacrifice

When looking at discounted hot tubs, don’t sacrifice the things that you want out of a hot tub just because you can get a great deal. Ultimately, if the tub you purchase doesn’t fit your needs, you won’t be satisfied. Buyer’s remorse can ruin best of deals.  Go into your purchase with a clear mind, knowing what features you want and why you need those features. Buying a hot tub that actually meets your needs will ensure that you enjoy it for years to come, getting a great deal is just icing on the cake.

 

Purchasing a hot tub is a big decision, even if you are getting a great deal. At Aurora Pool, Spa, and Billard we would love to put our 34 years of experience to work for you. Our extensive knowledge will make buying your hot tub a breeze.

Holiday Recipes You Weren’t Expecting…

True blue grill greats don’t cover and park their grills for winter! They know that there’s nothing like a grilled meal to warm the bones and the raise spirits when it’s cold outside! What’s more, grilling is a great excuse to break out the warm, cozy clothes and get some fresh air!

Do you number yourself amongst the grill greats? Do you aspire to be a grill great? We’ve got a wild idea for you to try this Christmas… Omit the oven this year and….

GRILL CHRISTMAS DINNER

Whether your family prefers lamb, beef, fish, or foul for the holiday meal (or all of the above), you can make it better on your grill. Check out these recipes for inspiration!

Is your grill up to the task? Does it have the size, features, and multi-functions to pull off this Christmas miracle? If your answer is “No,” fear not. We are here to help!

KAMADO JOE GRILLS

We proudly carry Kamado Joe Grills and have plenty in stock to set you up in time for the big day!

Kamado Joe Grills are not simple, average backyard grills. Kamado Joe designs are based on an ancient, Asian-style grill – the kamado – a thick-walled cooker that imparts rich, smoky flavor to meats, fish, and vegetables. Relatively unchanged for centuries, air flows through the grill’s ceramic body and out its vented dome. Chunk charcoal comes to life as smoke and heat.

Kamado Joe is proud to draw on that tradition, modernizing the grill’s classic style with unparalleled craftsmanship, innovative accessories and a range of flexible cooking surfaces, all of which you can get at Aurora!

Visit our Kamado Joe page to learn more about these kickin’ Kamados. Bear in mind that these also make phenomenal Christmas gifts!

Happy Holidays and Happy Grilling!

Fiberglass pools in winter

Winter is coming soon. Is your pool ready?

No, we’re not talking about Game of Thrones. (Although, that might make an amazing blog post someday.) We’re here to talk about your fiberglass pool in the winter.

We actually get quite a few questions about this. People wonder if their fiberglass pools are strong enough to withstand the winter weather. The answer is: Yes!

Cold (and hot) temperatures are not a problem for fiberglass pools, so long as you properly care for them. (Don’t worry, though – they really don’t require much care at all.) Need convincing? There are thousands of fiberglass pools in Canada, scattered from one coast to the other. With properly winterized plumbing, Canadian pool owners are able to open these undamaged pools each summer with no problems. Now, compare our Tennessee winters to the brutal cold, snow and ice our neighbors to the north experience. It’s no contest, is it?

Relax. Your fiberglass pool can handle winter temps and conditions with ease.

Wondering WHY fiberglass pools are so dependable? It’s because fiberglass is a material that’s exceptionally suited to this application.

  • It’s structurally strong – Unlike concrete or vinyl, fiberglass offers very little expansion and contraction with heat and cold.
  • It’s chemically stable – Fiberglass doesn’t react with other substances, so it’s resistant to UV rays, pool cleaners, chlorine and other pool sanitizers, etc.
  • It’s very strong – The material has a high strength-to-weight ratio, so it’s resistant to damage.
  • It’s very flexible – Compared to other pool materials, it’s incredibly flexible. So while the soil around the pool moves as it freezes and thaws, a fiberglass pool handles the pressure with ease.

Our Trilogy fiberglass pools are made right here in Tennessee, custom-crafted to order, and come with a lifetime warranty. So no more worrying, OK? Your fiberglass pool can handle the winter like a champ.

Spa shopping? Don’t buy until you read this.

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So you’re spa shopping? Great! There are so many benefits to hot tub ownership, from relaxation and health to quality time with your family, we’re sure you’re eager to begin. But before you get started, take the time to consider these four things to help your shopping experience go as smoothly as possible.

Size

How many people do you want your hot tub to hold? If you can honestly say that you are the only person in your home who will ever need to use your hot tub, then a smaller model like the Dover may be perfect for you. But if your family will use the hot tub together or you plan to invite friends over, you’ll want something larger like the Big Easy or the Paradise Bay.

Purpose

Are you hot tub shopping specifically for therapeutic purposes? The healing powers of soothing hot water are well documented, and often recommended by physicians and therapists. Hot tubs can help you recover from an injury or illness, help you sleep at night, and more. As you’re shopping for a hot tub, share your therapeutic needs with us, and we can help you select the model with seating and jet configurations that will work best for you.

Location

Now that you know the size of hot tub you’d like, you need to make sure you have a good location for it. Obviously, the spot you choose must be large enough to accommodate the spa. You also need access to electrical, and, ideally, some measure of privacy. Your hot tub will need to sit on a solid foundation – a reinforced concrete pad at least 4” thick, or a deck that can support 100 pounds per square foot. You’ll also need to make sure you’re adhering to the appropriate codes when your hot tub is installed.

Budget

We know your budget is important to you – and it’s important to us, too. We’ll work with you to find a spa that fits your needs, and your budget. As you’re considering your budget, be sure you think not just about the cost of the spa, but about the monthly operating expenses. Hot tub ownership includes purchasing the chemicals you need to keep the water clean and healthy, and the energy you need to run the pump and heater.

Now you’re ready to start shopping!

Benefits of Microsilk

There are so many benefits to investing in a hot tub: quality time with family, a place to relax, relief from muscle soreness and tension due to stress, etc. Buying a Marquis hot tub with Microsilk can add to your list of hot tub benefits.  Microsilk is an amazing skin and beauty treatment that will take your hot tub to a new level.

Benefits to your skin

The tiny bubbles of Microsilk help to clean your pores in a way that soap and water simply cannot. It is like a facial for your entire body. You will get a deep exfoliation all over that leaves your skin extremely clean and feeling softer than ever. Microsilk has also been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, keeping you looking young and feeling great. Microsilk also promotes skin cell growth and skin metabolism. It increases hydration and has been shown to have wonderful effects on those who suffer from eczema and psoriasis. The effects of just one 20 minute Microsilk session have been reported to last anywhere from 12 hours to 3 days. The best part is that Microsilk sessions simply require you to take a relaxing soak in your hot tub, no surgery or lengthy beauty rituals are required to achieve these amazing results.

Benefits to your overall health

The highly oxygenated bubbles have up to 70% higher oxygen levels than regular bubbles, offering great health benefits. Microsilk can stimulate your immune system, kill harmful bacteria, and promote healing. Negatively charged ions within the bubble called anions are also released into the air, so you are breathing in a rich level of oxygen. This helps to improve your serotonin levels, promotes relaxation, deep sleep, and can even help you recover from physical exhaustion. The health benefits of Microsilk are fabulous and they all come from soaking for as little as 20 minutes a day.

How does it work

So how does Microsilk give you all of these wonderful health benefits? Tiny, highly oxygenated bubbles with a negative charge are released into the water creating a cloud around you. These tiny bubbles are traveling down into your pores and bonding to the impurities, taking the impurities with them as they leave your body. Other bubbles that are not entering your body are popping under the water releasing all of their rich oxygen into the water instead of popping at the surface as regular bubbles do. By releasing the oxygen into the water, the water is also maintaining a consistent water temperature, which enhances circulation and puts your body in an ideal state to rejuvenate its self. Your hot tub with Microsilk does all of the work. The only thing required of you is relaxing.

Eight unique ways to have fun in your sauna

Life is crazy, especially this time of year. With everything on your plate, it can be hard to find time to relax, unwind and have some fun. But it’s something you need – and the busier you get, the more important it is to give your body and your mind a chance to rest and recover.

How? Well, when you have your own sauna, escape is just a few steps away. Plus, using your sauna is so much more than you might think …

Fall in love with a wonderful book. Whether you’re into traditional books or their e-versions, time in your sauna can be well-spent between the pages, or “pages,” of a book.

Unwind with your favorite music. Are you a rock n’roller? Or is classical music more your speed? Either one – or anything in between, is a great way to make your sauna experience even more enjoyable.

Nab some great online shopping deals. (Hey. Don’t judge. For a lot of people, shopping is loads of fun.)

Tell stories. Make sauna time family time, and share stories with each other. The funnier, the better. We can all use a good laugh.  

Invest in yourself by learning something new. (Yes, learning CAN be fun.) Just pull up an instructional video online, and learn how to do something you’ve always wondered about.  

Make yourself laugh, by watching a funny movie on your phone or tablet.

Enjoy a game. Of course you can play cards or your favorite board game in the sauna!

Snooze. So this one might not be high on the fun meter, but catching a catnap in your sauna can be a great way to rejuvenate, while the sauna eases your tension and helps your muscles relax.

Still on the fence? The health and wellness benefits of saunas are well-known. They relieve stress, flush toxins, burn calories, can induce deeper sleep and help fight illness, and so much more. What’s left to decide, other than if you want a traditional or infrared model?

Winter Pool Closing Tips

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Today, we’re cooking up something special. (No, it’s not cookies. Sorry. We like cookies, too.) It’s an easy-to-follow recipe full of winter pool closing tips, that you can customize based on where you live! (That’s almost as exciting as cookies, right?)

So, fellow chefs, let’s get started. After all, if you want to prevent damage to your pool (above ground, on-ground or inground) during the winter and make your pool easier to open during the spring, this is the recipe for you.

The Perfect Recipe Filled with Winter Pool Closing Tips

Recipe: Cold-Climate Winter Pool Closing Tips

For our brisk Tennessee winters, this is the recipe for you!

  • Step 1 – adjust the pool pH to 7.2-7.8 to prevent algae growth, staining and scaling.
  • Step 2 – shock the pool. (Follow the directions on the product you choose.)
  • Step 3 – run the filter. (You’ll need to run it 24-48 hours depending on the cleanliness of the water.)
  • Step 4 – skim and vacuum the pool well.
  • Step 5 – add an algaecide.
  • Step 6 – lower the water level. (Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Very few pools need to be drained completely. Not sure? Call us!)
  • Step 7 – turn off and drain the pump, and turn off the filter heater and other equipment. Properly cover and/or store the equipment for the season.
  • Step 8 – shut off power to support equipment. Remove fuses or turn off circuit breakers.
  • Step 9 – remove and store slide and diving board, if you have them.
  • Step 10 – cover securely, and fill water bags halfway. Be sure edges are sealed to keep out debris.

That’s it! Maybe not as tasty as cookies, but if you have a pool that needs winter care, we promise you’ll find these recipes just as satisfying.

Back Pain Relief is Just a Soak Away

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Back pain is absolutely miserable because it keeps you from enjoying your daily life. Fortunately, a combination of heat and hydrotherapy can go a long way in providing back pain relief and getting you back to your normal life. Treating your back pain quickly is important. Experts agree that a hot tub is an excellent option if you’re looking for back pain relief. Owning your own spa gives you a huge advantage because it means that you can treat your back pain in the comfort of your own home, on your own time frame.

Back Pain Relief for Chronic Pain

When treating an injury, it is important to know the proper time to use your hot tub to aid in your back pain relief. If it is chronic back pain that you suffer from, your hot tub can be used anytime that you experience pain and need the relief that heat and relaxation can offer you. Soaking in the hot tub will loosen and relax your muscles, helping to quickly relieve your pain. You don’t need to worry about aiming for a specific time frame if you are treating chronic back pain.

Back Pain Relief After Injury

If your pain is from a recent injury, avoid the hot tub for the first 24-48 hours until the initial swelling has gone down. For the first day or two after the injury, ice the area every few hours and avoid heat altogether. After the swelling has gone down, your hot tub will be instrumental in your recovery. The heat will relax your muscles, while the weightlessness of being in water while you stretch and exercise will put less stress on your joints and other muscles. Many stretches that your doctor or physical therapist recommended can be done in your hot tub. A simple soak is also a beneficial way to use your hot tub for pain relief. A hot tub will also help relax away all of the stress that undoubtedly comes along with back pain.

Whether it is chronic back pain or isolated pain from a recent injury, a hot tub can play an important role in your quick recovery to find back pain relief.

Troubleshooting: Top Hot Tub Problems and Their Solutions

#9 AuroraTroubleshooting hot tub maintenance can be a little overwhelming if you’re not informed. But we’ve got you covered! Here are some of the more common hot tub problems and their solutions.

Hot Tub Water Chemistry

This is the most common hot tub “problem” for most, because the idea of water chemistry and maintenance can be overwhelming for those that have never done it before. But the solution is fairly simple and begins with purchasing and using a water testing kit a few times a week and following instructions for obtaining optimal results through the use of your sanitizers and shocks when necessary. If you need assistance, just call the experts — we can certainly guide you to crystal clear water!

Clogged Hot Tub Filters

Body oils, sunscreen and other residues in the water can result in grease build-up and possibly even blockage of your filter. In addition to regular water chemistry maintenance, you should clean your filter at least every 4-6 months to help prevent filter clogging. Consult the care instructions that come with your filter, but in most cases, you simply remove it from the hot tub and spray it down with the house to loosen debris build up. However, annual replacement of your filter is also recommended for optimal performance.

Tripped Breaker

Because ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and residual current devices (RCD) are often put on low settings to prevent electrical problems, a hot tub — which requires constant power of some kind — can cause the breaker to trip. In addition to finding the breaker box and resetting the breaker, you may want to make sure that your outlet can handle the wattage of electricity your hot tub requires, so you may need an electrician to check it out if the breaker trips frequently.

Hot Tub Heater Failure

If your hot tub is perpetually failing to hit the desired temperature, then you could have problems with your heater. This is often due to heating element corrosion, caused by low pH (below 7.0) balance of the water for a long period of time (again we’re back to the importance of water chemistry!). Check the filter and thermostat for damage too.

Leaky Seals in Your Hot Tub

If you’ve got this water chemistry thing down, but still can’t seem to get the water to balance out right, then leaky seals could be to blame. Replacing o-rings, pump seals and caring for your water filter can prevent leakage. And remember that leakage around the hot tub equipment may cause an electrical short, so be careful!

Malfunctioning Hot Tub Pump

Do you hear a humming noise, or even a clanking? Worn bearings, seals and leaks from your pump are likely the cause. If your pump malfunctions, it’s difficult to repair — you’ll likely need a new one. That’s why regular maintenance of your hot tub is so important, including at least annual checks by a professional.

Weak Hot Tub Jets

If you feel like you’re not getting the power from your jets that your hot tub once had, then you might have build up in the lines or silicone corrosion caused by — you guessed it — poor water chemistry. Also, winterizing your hot tub correctly — including fully draining the hot tub and cleaning the jet lines — can help prevent this. If you use your hot tub all year long, then you need to do a full drain and clean out at least every six months to keep it functioning properly (since it doesn’t get a break).

Poor Water Circulation

Failing to run your pumps long enough can result in poor water circulation. And you want that water circulating well so that the hot tub stays clean (running the water through the filter, etc.). As a general rule, for every 10 degrees of your water, you need to run your pump for one hour each day (i.e. if it’s 90 degrees, then your pump needs to run for 9 hours each day).

Circuit Board Corruption

This is not a problem you want to have because repair can be expensive. Warning signs include problems programming your hot tub, as well as burns, cracks or melting near components (from overheating), which is also a fire hazard. As you may have guessed, routine hot tub maintenance is the way to avoid this cumbersome problem.

Of course, if your troubleshooting efforts have not made an effective difference in the function of your hot tub, it may be time to call the experts. Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard is proud of our service department and would be glad to help you get your hot tub back in tip-top shape so you can enjoy it more!

Easy Hot Tub Exercises for Your Health

exercise weightsHot tubs are great for relaxation and connecting with those you care about, but did you realize that it can double as your at-home gym? There are a variety of easy exercises that you can do in your hot tub that can improve your health, while helping you to avoid the soreness and inflammation commonly associated with a “land-based” workout.

Strength Training in Your Hot Tub

Strength training is motion with the addition of an increased load. This is commonly associated with weights in a gym, but adding water resistance can also be extremely effective at strength training, with a decreased risk of injury. With a pair of water resistance weights in hand (lighter than weights at the gym, but specially designed for water strength training), try this water push up:

  • Sit in the hot tub with water just below your chin and your back firmly against the side or seat
  • Hold your arms shoulder height, straight out in front of you
  • Bring the weights into your chest, and then back out again for a “push-up”
  • Increase speed for more resistance

Cardio Workout in Your Hot Tub

You don’t need all the bells, whistles and extra equipment to get a good cardio workout in your hot tub. As long as it raises your heart rate and increases your breathing, you’re doing just fine. Scissor kicks is a great cardio workout that you can do from the comfort of your jetting hot tub seat:

  • Have a seat and extend your legs out in front of you
  • brace yourself with your arms either behind you on the sides of the hot tub, or next to your thighs/backside on the seat
  • Kick your feet up and down quickly with a full range of motion without bending your knees

Yoga in Your Hot Tub

Yes, “hot tub yoga” is definitely a thing! Yoga is great for increasing flexibility, as well as circulation, balance, and mobility — and so is the warm hydrotherapy of a hot tub! It’s a great partnership! If you’re already a yogi, then doing your poses in the hot tub will add an extra challenge for you. If you’re new to the practice, we recommend you take at least one class to learn the poses safely and correctly before moving to the hot tub.

As a disclaimer, you should always talk to your doctor before implementing a new exercise routine, especially if you’re going to integrate the hot tub. And if you’re in need of a hot tub for your “at home gym,” give us a call and we’ll help you find the perfect one!

All About Your Swimming Pool Safety Cover

Whether you have a vinyl/steel pool or a fiberglass pool you might want to consider getting a safety cover.  Accidental drowning of people, pets, and non-domesticated animals is a major concern for pool owners.  Purchasing a swimming pool safety cover is one way to keep from worrying about accidental drowning during the months that your pool is not being used.  These safety covers are made from a very strong vinyl and is pulled nearly as taut as trampoline; which will keep people and animals safe if they happen to fall on or cross over the pool area.

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Safety covers will not only help keep your family safe during the months that you are unable to swim, but will also help to protect your investment through the winter months.  A safety cover is very thick and dark, which keeps the sunlight from getting to the water and prevents excessive algae growth.  The safety cover also acts as any other pool cover  in keeping leaves and other debris out of your pool. This allows the water to stay at a more manageable pH level for when you reopen your pool the next summer.

Fall & Winter Swimming Pool Safety Cover Maintenance

Your swimming pool safety cover will make your winter pool maintenance much easier. However, you will occasionally need to attend to the task of keeping leaves off of your pool cover.  With most safety covers, the tautness of the cover will allow leaves to blow right off the cover, but if any leaves do catch, you don’t want to let them collect all winter on your cover.  The leaves will begin to decay. Fortunately, leaf removal is not a difficult or time consuming task.  The easiest way to take care of the leaves is to get to them while they are still dry.  If they are dry, you will be able to simply use a leaf blower to blow the leaves off of the cover.  You will want to make sure that you dispose of the leaves and not simply blow them off, or as you know they will be right back on your cover in no time.

Unfortunately, fall and winter weather is usually pretty wet and many times it will be impossible to get to the leaves before they are wet.  Once the leaves are wet you will want to remove them promptly. The best thing to do is use a leaf rake that is specifically designed for use with a swimming pool safety cover. This is an attachment that can go on the end of your pool pole, making it easy for you to reach all the way across your pool cover.  Again you will want to be sure to haul away the leaves and not leave them around the pool after you have removed them from your cover.

Taking the extra time to properly maintain your safety cover will ensure that it lasts for many years and will make opening the pool next year a breeze.

Outdoor man caves

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Everyone knows at least one guy who has one. He’s the envy of all his friends. He has the escape, the big screen TV, the relaxing recliner, the mini fridge, he has the MAN CAVE. Every guy dreams of that place to check out from the stress of life and enjoy the big game.
 
Usually this man cave is down in the basement or tucked away in a back room. What if YOUR man cave was actually in the great outdoors? The main feature…a hot tub. A hot tub is the ideal place to relax and unwind. It is also a great place to entertain, making it the perfect feature for your outdoor man cave.

Selecting a hot tub

When shopping for the perfect hot tub for your man cave, you will want to make sure that you choose one that really delivers. At Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard we have a wide selection of hot tubs that do not disappoint. Whether you are looking for a hot tub that seats 2 or one that will accommodate all of your friends, you will be sure to find one that is the perfect size for your space. Cup holders, lighting effects, and even audio systems are just a few of the features that can be added to your hot tub to make it ideal for entertaining.

Adding a TV

No man cave is really complete without a TV to watch all of the big sporting events. You can add a TV to your space that gives you a perfect line of vision right from your hot tub. Don’t have a covered place for your TV? How about using your tablet with a waterproof case mounted to your hot tub? You never have to miss a game again!

Outdoor Kitchen

Good food and drinks are a must for any man cave. You can step your game up to the next level by adding an outdoor kitchen. You can build in a mini fridge to store your favorite beverage and a Kamado Joe to grill up some steaks. Everything you need for entertaining and relaxation will be right at your fingertips.

Finishing touches

You’ve got your basic plan, a hot tub, a TV, and an outdoor kitchen. Now you just need to add the finishing touches. Landscaping and stone work can be used to bring your outdoor man cave to the next level in luxury and style. Your outdoor man cave will now be the envy of all your friends.

Hot tub Maintenance: Get the Family Involved

Your new spa was an investment in fun and relaxation for the whole family. Your kids are enjoying swimming in the afternoons and you get to relax and unwind every evening after work. Hot tub maintenance isn’t hard and doesn’t talk long, but why not get the kids involved in helping maintain your family investment?

When kids take on some of the responsibility of caring for the spa, they will have a pride and sense of ownership.  In fact, your kids will likely even see hot tub maintenance as a fun chore to do!

  • Brushing down the sides and floor of your spa is something that should be done regularly.  Teach your kids how to properly do this job and they now have a new mission as a deep sea explorer that is both fun and functional!
  • Kids also enjoy vacuuming the spa. They may not enjoy vacuuming the floors, but teach them to use a water vacuum to remove debris and vacuuming will become their new favorite activity (at least for a while).
  • Monitoring the water level and filling the spa as needed is another kid friendly job that the kids can take off of your plate freeing you up to enjoy more time relaxing in your spa.

Don’t get too excited about pawning off all of the maintenance jobs on your children. Some jobs still require adult supervision, but bringing the kids in to help with the job is still beneficial.  For example, testing the water for proper PH and alkalinity is a great lesson in chemistry. The kids are sure to enjoy using the test strips to see the chemical levels.  Learning which chemicals need to be added to sanitize, disinfect, or clarify the water, are great lessons in the importance of clean water. Kids will see that keeping the spa well maintained is an important part of owning a spa.

Getting the whole family involved with hot tub maintenance, not only helps keep your spa in great shape, but also helps your kids to appreciate the work that goes into their fun new play area!

Fire Pit Safety Tips

Fall is the perfect time to use an outdoor fire pit. The crisp cool night air makes an outdoor fire pit an ideal place for you and your guests to enjoy a warm conversation or a romantic evening. There are many different options for fire pits today. Whether you prefer a more modern style or traditional decor suits you better,  you are sure to find a fire pit that will perfectly complement your outdoor living space. As you consider purchasing a fire pit for your fall entertaining, you will also want to learn a little bit about fire pit safety.

Fire Pit Safety Tips You’ll Use All Year Long

  • Fire pits, by nature, are a safer way to keep your fire contained, than a traditional campfire.  Many fire pits have a mesh surround which allows you to enjoy the beauty and heat that your fire produces, while keeping the majority of stray sparks contained. Other styles of fire pit don’t have mesh, but they sit deep with in a stone surround. Keep all components of your fire pit in good working order for the best results.
  • When building your fire, it is best to use natural materials such as kindling or fire starter sticks. These natural materials my start your fire a little slower, but will give you more control over the flame. When using lighter fluid or other chemical starters, your fire will start quickly but can easily get out of control.
  • For the best fire pit safety, find a safe location for it in your backyard. Your fire pit will need to be on a flat level surface, in an open area where there is proper ventilation.  It will need to be a fair distance from your home and any other outdoor structures. We recommend keeping your fire pit 10-20 feet away from your home and at least 3-5 feet away from outdoor furniture, plants, or trees. Be sure that any dry, dead, or low hanging foliage is cleared in a circle approximately 15-20 feet around your fire pit.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby to extinguish any escaped flames before they get out of control.
  • Finally, be sure to allow everything to cool completely before cleaning any ash or left over debris from the fire pit.

With proper fire pit safety precautions, a fire pit can be the perfect accessory to turn your backyard into an inviting fall retreat.

Top 6 Benefits of Owning a Swim Spa

Top 6 Benefits of Owning a Swim Spa

Swimming is awesome. Going to public pools is not. Neither is waiting for a lane at a gym. With a swim spa, you can take all of the good and none of the bad — and the benefits go far beyond pure convenience. Here are our Top 6 benefits of owning a swim spa. Because investing in a swim spa is investing in yourself.

Nearly Weightless, No Impact

For older people, people with arthritis or people who suffer from joint pain, running, aerobics and strength training might not be possible. But swimming is. You feel just a fraction of your body weight when submerged in water, which takes pressure off your bones, joints and muscles, allowing pain-free exercise.

Heart and Lungs

Swimming promotes cardiovascular endurance, increases heart rate and boosts lung capacity.

Physical Endurance

Swimming against a deep, high-volume current, like that produced by a swim spa, requires serious physical stamina, which you’ll develop with regular use.

Lean and Mean

A full-body, muscle-elongating exercise, swimming is one of the best ways to reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Regular exercise in a swim spa can help you achieve an Olympian’s physique.

Mental Strength and Focus

It’s hard to get in the zone in a public pool, or even while doing laps in your own pool. When you’re submerged in a liquid treadmill, however, you’ll experience meditative qualities that reduce stress and promote mental health.

It’s Fun

Counter-current swimming is one of the most enjoyable activities you’ll ever experience. Around 90 percent of owners still use their spas regularly even after 10 years.

Believe it or not, the Top 6 Benefits of Owning a Swim Spa only scratches the surface of why a swim spa purchase may be right for your family. Check out one of our showrooms and try one out for yourself!

Don’t Buy Online Hot Tub Parts

The Internet: where anyone can sell just about anything. Sure, sometimes it’s fun to go online and find specialty items – like a decorative case for your phone or a missing piece to your mother’s china collection. However, we recommend you stay away from purchasing online hot tub parts. Here’s why –

Just because online hot tub parts are cheaper doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.

Our service department frequently receives questions about the price of certain hot tub parts. We work hard to keep our prices competitive, but it’s not uncommon to find a lower price on the Internet.  There are good reasons for that!

  • We guarantee the part we sell you is appropriate for your brand of spa.
  • Using a part purchased from Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard Gallery won’t void your warranty.
  • We give you helpful installation advice if you choose to install the part yourself.
  • Our parts are factory authorized, which allows our service techs to install them if you need that service.
  • You receive the peace of mind that comes from knowing the part will work correctly when installed correctly.

We know some of you are still considering online hot tub parts.

If you’re willing to take that gamble, we urge you to keep these things in mind:

  • Is the part you purchased appropriate for your brand of spa? Or is it a counterfeit part?
  • Is the part new? Unused? Is it somebody else’s returned part? Is it a reboxed or misboxed part?
  • If you have difficulty installing the part, who is going to help you? We are unable to give installation help or advice for parts that were not purchased from us, due to liability issues.
  • If you install a part and it’s defective, then what?
  • If the part fails, will it be covered under warranty? If the part wasn’t from an authorized dealer, it’s highly unlikely.

You did your due diligence when you decided to invest in a hot tub. It’s important to be just as diligent about getting the right replacement parts for your hot tub! We hope you put as much faith in Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard Gallery with your parts and service needs as you did when you purchased your hot tub from us. Know this: if and when you require assistance with your hot tub, we’ll be here for you.

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Hot Tub Safety Tips for Children

Summer is coming to a close, meaning the kids in your life will want to invite their school friends over to use your hot tub! Go ahead and welcome them in – a hot tub is fun for everyone! However, if your guests include children, make sure you have hot tub safety tips for children in place.

Be as aware as you would around a pool.

A good rule is that no children are in the hot tub without vigilant adults present, ever!

Lock your hot tub cover.

It’s wise to supervise, but you can’t always have eyes on your hot tub. A cover lock keeps all visitors, children or otherwise, from using the tub when you’re not there.

Soak with them!

This maximizes their safety, and minimizes the fear factor. Turning the jets off will make your hot tub seem less intimidating to smaller children. Once they feel more at ease you can turn the air on, but at a lower level to begin. Keep in mind that little ones may not have the strength and body weight to steady themselves in front of strong jets. Hold onto them until they’re able to withstand the force and maintain control on their own.

Cool it down.

Turn down the heat – especially for young children who are first-timers. Let them ease into the hot tub, a toe to begin, then a foot, and so on. Turn the tub down to 100-degrees or lower for their inaugural dip, until they feel comfortable with the temperature.

Pre-teens and teens: a different set of rules.

The party rules change for older, bigger, more energetic kids. Regarding horseplay, running, diving, splashing water out of your tub: No way! Keep your eyes peeled when these adolescent frolickers inhabit your hot tub. No electronics are allowed in the tub, unless they’re a bonafide accessory of your hot tub.

It’s okay to be the bad guy.

State the rules up front and be that “spa cop.” Spa toys are toys, but other accessories are not. Oh yeah, don’t let anyone jump on the cover!

Set soaking time limits.

Keep an eye out for red faces. If they look too hot, have them get out for a few minutes, or at least hang out on the edge of the tub, and dangle their feet. After they’ve cooled down, they can re-enter the tub.

Keep them hydrated.

Have refreshments nearby. Juices and water are ideal. And remember. Water + Kids = Hunger, so have plenty of munchies for them when they finish hot tubbing – not before. You don’t want snacks spilled in your hot tub – it can be an ugly mess. Lastly, avoid broken glass and/or pottery by using non-breakable cups and plates around your hot tub.

It’s a hot tub, not a hot bathtub.

Nobody, kids included, should be allowed to add anything to your hot tub. That means no bubble bath or soap – ever!

Stow your spa chemicals.

For safety’s sake lock them up and out of reach.

At Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard Gallery, we are serious when it comes to hot tub safety tips for children – and all of our customers! If you have any question about safety features, give us a call and we can help!

Vacation or Hot Tub?

When it comes to saving up money for something big, you really can only save for one thing at a time. So you have to figure out which one thing is going to make you the happiest in the long run. A vacation or hot tub? Studies show people are happiest when they are surrounded by quality relationships… but we all know it takes quality time to build quality relationships. Additional research published by the National Institute of Health concludes that “the absence of positive social relationships is a significant risk factor for broad-based morbidity and mortality.”

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So which is better? Vacation or hot tub?

Realistically, an amazing vacation can certainly provide quality time with those closest to you and give you the chance to create some amazing memories. But this is a short term investment in your happiness — it only lasts as long as the trip and the few days of euphoria afterwards. Then it’s back to life and reality with the next “break” often at least a year away. So, it’s our encouragement that you consider the investment in a hot tub as an investment in your daily efforts toward happiness. Because, with a hot tub, you can take time to relax and connect with family and friends as often as you like. You don’t have to wait until next year to do it — it can be a daily ritual. Even if it’s just 20 minutes a day, you can briefly pull away from the worries of reality and spend time laughing together.

What it really comes down to is what you find most important. Are you looking for a short-term respite from life’s woes, or a long-term investment that can bring you daily connection and relaxation? I’m guessing by now you know what our vote is! Besides, you can always take a vacation next year.

Above Ground Pool Safety

Maybe one of the reasons you went with an above ground pool was for added safety. After all, it’s harder for children or pets to fall into a pool raised several feet off the ground than it is for them to stumble into an in-ground pool. However, as with anything of that nature, you should take some additional safety measures to protect all access points, especially if you have little ones. Consider these above ground pool safety tips as you prep your yard.

Deck Access Safety

If you have or plan to build a deck around your above ground swimming pool, this can provide easier access to the water if you don’t take extra precautions. The deck should have a railing and a gate at the top of the stairs that only latches from the inside. Most children at risk of drowning will not be able to reach a latch of that nature, or simply may not know how to use it. As an extra step, add a lock to the gate that requires either a key or combination.

Ladder Safety

If your above ground pool doesn’t have a deck, then you likely have a ladder to access the water. When the pool is not in use, your ladder needs to be removed from the pool and put away in a secure location to make sure your children don’t get into the pool unsupervised. Another option is a retractable ladder that will lock in an upward position when not in use.

Water Security

There are also water security systems available that, when activated, will alert you when the water is breached. You can get systems that transmit a signal to an alarm you install indoors so that you can always hear it. Some of these attach to the side of the pool and others float in the water. All of them can be shut off manually when you’re actually using the pool together too.

We’re excited you’ve selected a backyard pool for your family to enjoy together. There is certainly nothing wrong with taking extra above ground pool safety measures to make sure your family is safe even when the pool is not in use.

Beautiful Backyard Upgrades

There’s no better time than now to create that backyard oasis you always dreamed about. It won’t be long before the weather cools off a bit, meaning you’ll want to spend more time outdoors. Make sure to create a space that’s great for all seasons using beautiful backyard upgrades… brought to you by Aurora Pools.

Outdoor Kitchens

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This is the crème de la crème of backyard entertaining. An outdoor kitchen makes enjoying a beautiful day on the patio something you want to do every weekend. Fire up your Kamado Joe grill for mouthwatering meats and grilled vegetables. Include a mini bar so all your favorite drinks are right at your fingertips. Beautiful rock designs add character to your outdoor element. Include some comfy and attractive outdoor furniture for a full extension of your home’s living space.

Pools and Spas

What better time than now to finally get that pool you’ve been dreaming of? Or maybe a hot tub is on your wish list – or maybe even both. Aurora Pools offers a full line of in-ground pools, above ground pools and spas. We can work with you to construct your ideal backyard getaway that’s ideal to use all year long.

The Extras

We want you to have a backyard that you look forward to coming home to every day. Our outdoor living designs include anything you can dream up – pergolas, outdoor fireplaces & firepits, furniture and more. We are your one stop for the perfect outdoor living space.

Hot Tubbing in the Summertime?

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Yes! You can – and should – enjoy your hot tub all year long. Once you get used to the calming, relaxing, rejuvenating effects, you won’t ever want to be without it, even in the middle of a Tennessee summer.

 

It seems like a no-brainer, but during the summer you’ll probably enjoy your hot tub more if you lower the temperature. Most people find somewhere between 85-94 degrees comfortable in the summer heat. Keep the cover on to insulate the water from the ambient temperature. On very hot days, you might consider just turning off the heater completely. The sun and air can warm the water to a comfortable, but not too hot temperature – just like it would with a swimming pool.

 

If your hot tub sits in the sun, you’ll need to apply sunscreen just like you would if you were going to the pool. A wide-brim hat and sunglasses are good ideas, too. Of course, if your hot tub is installed in a shaded area – say beneath a Pergola – the sun won’t be a concern for you.

 

Staying hydrated in the summer is always important, no matter what you’re doing. So while you’re soaking, keep a bottle of cold water nearby, and be sure to sip frequently so you don’t become dehydrated. Keep the alcohol to a minimum. It can actually dehydrate you.

 

Consider a nighttime dip:

If you still want the soothing effects of warmer water, even on hot days, think about delaying your soak until the sun goes down. You can turn the temperature back up a little, and enjoy the calming water and hydrotherapy while you do a little star gazing. Doesn’t that sound perfect?

 

With just a few minor adjustments you can get maximum enjoyment from your hot tub – year round.

 

Visit your nearest Aurora Pool, Spa, & Billiard Gallery. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be glad to discuss our current savings offers and find the hot tub that best suits your needs!

Arranging Your Outdoor Furniture

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Unless you’re a professional designer, arranging furniture can be a challenge. Arranging furniture outdoors? That’s another ballgame altogether.

But don’t worry – with a few simple tricks, you can master your patio or deck arrangement and be all set for year-round outdoor fun.

 

  1. Grab some paper and a pencil. No, really. This doesn’t have to be a scale drawing, but a decent sketch of the area will help you develop a good plan.
  2. Think about the purpose of the area you’re considering. Is it a dining area? A conversation space? A front porch people watching spot? The purpose of the area will obviously dictate the type of furniture you purchase, and how you arrange it.
  3. Choose your focal point. Just like designing an indoor space, outdoor spaces need focal points! An outdoor fireplace, a swimming pool, a hot tub, a pergola, or another architectural element can serve as the focal point – as can a view!
  4. Think about traffic flow. Arrange your furniture so that people will be able to walk comfortably around and through the set up. Make sure people won’t be tripping over tables – or each other – as they maneuver to a seat. Also, ensure the main traffic flow (for example: from the pool to the patio door) goes around the seating area and not through it.
  5. If you’re furnishing a large outdoor area, break it up into smaller sections with furniture groupings. Establish an area for outdoor dining, and a separate area for relaxation and conversation. Comfortable furniture is the key to ensuring said pieces don’t turn into expensive, large yard ornaments!
  6. Don’t forget the accessories. Complete your outdoor area with cushions, accent pillows and rugs made from sturdy outdoor fabrics. Add greenery with potted plants, and include decorative outdoor lighting.

With a little planning and the right furniture pieces, you can maximize the style, comfort, and ultimately the communal time your family and friends will enjoy together!

Pergola Possibilities!

Pergola Possibilities are endless…Picture a beautiful pergola in your backyard…

 

Where would you build it?

  • Would it stand alone?
  • Would it be integrated into a deck?
  • Would it be built off of your house?

What would you arrange below?

  • Patio furniture and fire pit?
  • An outdoor kitchen?
  • A spa?

Would you dress your pergola with?

  • Privacy fabric?
  • Foliage?
  • Paint or stain?

 

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The aesthetic options and useful functions of pergolas are numerous.

 

Aurora Pool, Spa, & Billiard’s gallery proudly offers designer pergolas from Housewarmings Outdoor.

 

All Housewarmings Pergolas are constructed with western red cedar. All pergolas include all requisite mounting hardware. These pergolas are sized by canopy (header length and purlin length). All headers & purlins are notched to provide precise alignment and additional structural support.

 

Contact us to discuss installation and options!

 

Together, we can make your backyard reach its full potential.

Sauna In Summer

We’re often asked, “Is it safe to use a sauna in summer?”

YES IT IS.

 

With discretion and common sense, there’s no reason why a person shouldn’t continue their sauna use year round.

 

No matter the time of year, it is imperative that you stay well hydrated, continue to hydrate during your sauna session, and notify others of the time and duration that you’ll be enjoying your sauna. These are the same recommendations we’d make for swimming pool and spa safety as well.

 

As with spa use, the more you utilize your sauna, the better you’ll feel and the healthier you’ll be. Here’s a reminder of the health benefits of regular sauna use:

 

  • Calorie burn
  • Weight loss
  • Detoxification
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved blood flow
  • Improved skin tone
  • Improved immune system function
  • Limber muscles and joints
  • Overall physical and mental relaxation
  • Increased quality time with friends and family

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Visit the sauna section of our website, call us, or visit our showroom to learn more about our easy, stand alone saunas.

 

Get on the path to better health. Sauna this summer.

Hot games to cool you off

teenagers indoorSummer in Tennessee is nothing to guffaw at. And while we’re all for a good swim, there are also those days when you just want to stay in to be cool, away from the beating sun and heat. So how about a game room as an indoor summer fun alternative at home?

Get Your Kids Off Electronics

Staying indoors often means vegging out in front of the TV or playing video games all day for your kids, so we get that you want to send them outside. But your teenagers aren’t always going to be cooperative, and there will be days that you can’t be out in the yard with your little kids to keep an eye on them.

 

It’s in both your best interest and theirs to have a fun alternative inside too — whether that’s doing a full-scale game room, or just adding a game table to your entertaining space (such as in the basement).

 

Great for Entertaining

If you enjoy being the host/hostess with the mostest, then you’ll want to have a few options for entertaining your guest, especially if your home is a hub for larger social gatherings of friends or family. Fourth of July is fast approaching, and not everyone will want to be outdoors the entire time. A game table gives them options and creates great bonding opportunities for family or new connections with friends.

 

Game Room Options

There are several options to choose from when you’re looking at what game tables will best suit your needs:

 

Pool Table — The obvious choice for teenagers and adults alike. Choose from traditional or more elegant table designs to suit your decor.

Table Tennis — This is a game table the whole family can enjoy. Not to mention it makes for some interesting party games for the adult crowd.

Table Soccer — Another family or party classic, foosball can be very competitive and fun!

Table Hockey – Spur your inner competitive drive on the “ice.”

Dart Boards — Bring some old tradition to your game room for new flair.

 

Give your friends and family choices when it comes to summer activities at your home. When they want to take a break from the pool and keep cool inside, give them the option of a game table!

Plan Your 4th of July Pool Party

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Large crowds and spectacular fireworks certainly have their appeal for 4th of July festivities. But sometimes you just want to do something at home with your closest and most fun friends and family.

The Fun

What is a 4th of July party without some swimming pool fun? Here are some pool game excellent ideas that will keep everyone entertained and on point with the theme of the night:

  • Diving for Red, White and Blue — Once it starts getting dark, but still too early for fireworks, divide everyone up into 3 teams and toss red, white and blue glow sticks into the pool. The first team to collect all theirs wins!
  • Pool Fireworks — Toss several water balls up in the air as a player dives, attempting to catch as many as possible before hitting the water. The player that catches the most wins.
  • 13 Colonies — You’ll need large marbles divided by color in this game (13 of each). Place 13 cups on one side of the pool ledge and buckets containing each color marble on the other side. Teams take the marbles across the pool in their toes (fists if younger) to put in the cups. First team to get a marble in each cup wins!

The Food

4th of July pool party means grilling too! And nothing grills quite like a Kamado Joe! The options are endless, since you can grill, bake or smoke whatever your taste buds desire! Need some ideas? Check out these Kamado Joe recipes.

The Fireworks

What’s a 4th of July party without fireworks!? Maybe you have an excellent view from your backyard of a grand display nearby. And you can turn your pool into its own fireworks display by adding red and blue LED lights to your water features! Even so, you still need to set some off — it’s tradition! Just make sure you’re abiding by city ordinances. If it’s legit, then we recommend having everyone contribute, either by bringing their own or contributing to a pot and you buy them ahead of time. And adhere to safety precautions, of course! 

 

If this all sounds amazing, but you don’t have a pool yet, we can help! Contact us today so we can get started on your pool project. If it’s not ready in time for this year’s festivities, at least you can start planning ahead for next year!

Quality Outdoor Furniture is Worth the Investment

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What can make your swimming pool or hot tub environment even better?

Outdoor furniture as an extension of your relaxing indoor living space, of course. But don’t settle for the plastic chairs you find at big box stores. Sure, they’re inexpensive, but you ultimately get the quality, comfort and durability that you pay for.

It’s worth it to invest in quality outdoor furniture. And there are certainly ways to know that what you’re buying is going to last.

 

    • Try it First – Simply put, make sure that the furniture and cushions are comfortable before you spend the money. Try them in a showroom instead of buying online.

 

    • Durability – Look for quality materials that can handle the outdoor elements without a lot of maintenance. The best materials include metals like wrought iron or aluminum, and strong, dense woods like teak, eucalyptus, cedar, and all-weather wicker.

 

    • Color Options – Speaking of less maintenance, if you go with wood furniture, get it in natural stains or earth tones. Bold colors often require more frequent refinishing. If you’re looking to make a statement, choose cushion fabrics that reflect that instead.

 

    • Fabric – And get furniture with fabric that also can withstand the elements (though we recommend you still bring it in as often as possible for the longest durability). Look for acrylic fabric that is solution-dyed and designed for outdoor use. Spun polyester may do the trick too, but you may notice some fading over time.

 

We offer Telescope Casual Outdoor Furniture at Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard because we believe it to be durable, quality furniture. Bold colors and designs with both wicker and aluminum structuring (among others) let you know that what you’re buying will reflect your style and last for years to come. Come by our showroom to see what we mean.

Salt vs. Chlorine to Sanitize Your Pool

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A clean swimming pool is the only way to go, which means you’re going to need a sanitizing system to keep the water sparkling. There are two options available to you: chlorine and salt. If you’re looking for a way to sanitize your pool that doesn’t require so many chemicals – in regard to the investment of both time and money – then a salt sanitation system is the way to go.

Benefits

So what are the benefits of salt sanitation over chlorine? Well, understanding how a salt sanitizing system works will essentially give you the answer. It’s connected to the filtration system of the pool. The salt system has two metal plates in it and when the water passes through the salt cell of the sanitation system an electric current (electrolysis) binds the water molecules to the salt creating hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite.

 

It’s important to understand that these are the same chemicals found in the chlorine you purchase at a store. However, the difference is that they are naturally created through the salt sanitation process. This means that the water is less harsh on the body. Your pool water will not have the strong odor that occurs when using chlorine from a bottle. The water will be less abrasive on your skin as well.

 

Some might argue that the chlorine in a bottle is more effective at cleaning out bacteria from the pool. However, with a chlorine treated pool, you are required to test the pool water several times a week and add chemicals to adjust it appropriately, even sometimes “shocking” the water (adding a lot of chemicals to get it back where it needs to me – a process that means your pool can be unusable for a few days). A salt generator, however, is a continuous process, so you’re testing the water balance with less frequency and don’t need to shock the water nearly as often.

 

In the long run, using a salt sanitizing system should not only save you money on products, but it should also save you time. If you’re still uncertain as to which option is best for you, Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard is happy to help. Feel free to give us a call or come by the showroom to discuss available options.

May is National Water Safety Month

At Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiard, our priority is your safety over everything else. We’ve fully met our own standards in customer service only when you feel fully water safe. That’s why we find it important to provide you with information on all the ways to make your pool as safe as possible.

latham_automatic_safety_cover_08Safety Covers

There are pool covers that you simply put on the top of your pool like a blanket. This can help keep out debris, but they’re not going to keep your children or pets from falling in the water. In fact, covers like this can be a hazard when safety is a concern, because if your child or pet gets stuck under the cover, it makes things even harder.

Instead, install a safety cover when your pool is not in use. These pool covers are designed to withstand hundreds of pounds of weight and pressure without giving, completely sealing the water from any access points. The covers are secured to the patio surrounding the pool in a grid format, with several latch points, insuring no access while the cover is on.

Safety Fence

AGP with deckBecause safety covers are time consuming to attach if you’re accessing the pool on a regular basis (many pool owners only use them during the off season), a safety fence is another worthy investment in securing your swimming pool from unwanted access. You can do everything from installing a permanent wood or chain fence around the pool, to obtaining a removable, mesh safety fence (which is tension based).

What you want to look for is self-latching capabilities and a latch that is interior, rather than exterior, so that small children cannot reach it to open the gate. Of course, it can’t hurt to have a locking mechanism as well.

Safety Ladder

AGP locking ladderFor an above ground pool, invest in a safety ladder, which attaches securely to the pool so that there is no wobbling when people use it to get in or out. Also, install one that will lock in a straight up position when the pool is not in use, so that no one can access it until the ladder is unlocked.

For additional pool safety tips and products, contact Aurora Pool. We are honored to help make your backyard as water safe as possible so that you can rest easy knowing your children and pets are secure.

 

Splash Cards – Savings for your loyalty

Are you a Splash Card customer? If not, ask us how to get one of your very own Splash Cards next time you drop by the showroom.

There’s nothing better for a pool or spa owner than crystal clear water. It’s the kind of water you can truly relax in, because you know it’s safe and clean. No matter what time of year it is… Splash Card customers save 10% on all chemical purchases. Plus, our team of experts can help you pick and choose the chemicals you need – without you wasting money on what you don’t need.

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Stop by the showroom to visit with us and to get one of our Splash Cards for your family. And let us know how we can help you along the way!

Features of American Select Spas

We’re proud to offer American Select Spas at Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard – an industry leader in energy efficiency with hot tub usage. The key is their Hydro-Therm Heat Regeneration System.

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The exclusive water manifold system utilizes the friction created when water passes through the hot tub components to create heat. And it’s the only system like it in the entire industry. This patented pending Friction Manifold can create one degree of heat every 20 minutes – up to three degrees every hour – when someone is using the spa, or when the spa pumps are on a high speed.

 

Where did the idea for this innovation come from? A desire to save hot tub owners money and promote energy efficiency. When you’re using your hot tub, heat is naturally escaping, with the water temperature decreasing by up to one degree every 20 minutes. Every time you use your spa, the heaters use up to 3kWh to heat it back to your preselected temperature after you exit. Over a month, that can add up to around 80kWh, or about $8 on your electric bill (based upon the national average of $0.10 per kWh).

 

But, with the Hydro-Therm Heat Regeneration System, your hot tub is the exact same temperature when you get out as when you first stepped in. It also saves unnecessary wear on your spa components, so you’re saving on maintenance costs too.

There are plenty of other great features with American Select Spas:

 

  • Beautiful acrylic colors for the tub of white, sterling or tuscan and cabinet colors in coastal gray and mocha
  • A digital touchpad for spa controls with pre-programming options
  • Manufactured with Balboa equipment for reducing energy waste
  • Pressure point, therapy and whirlpool hot tub jets for a better massage
  • Adjustable LED lighting system
  • Prozone CSS-5 Salt Sanitizer/Ozone System to reduce chemical usage
  • Optional stereo option, including an auxiliary input jack for a MP3 player

 

Come by the Aurora Pool Knoxville showroom and see what the American Select Spas are all about in person. We’ll be certain you’ll see why we’re proud to be a dealer.

Not all outdoor furniture is the same

We’ve all been there. You purchase a set of outdoor furniture for your patio or deck, and you love the way it looks…..For a while.

But it doesn’t take much exposure to our Tennessee weather until the quality of that furniture really begins to show. The fabrics fade or mildew – or both. The metal rusts, the paint flakes, the wicker deteriorates. Or a storm blows through and that lightweight furniture just blows away.

 

Suddenly that outdoor furniture that seemed like such a great deal … isn’t!

 

Maybe it’s time to invest in a quality set of outdoor furniture. A set that’s built to last. At Aurora Pool, we’re proud to offer the Telescope Casual line of quality outdoor patio furniture. Telescope Casual has been producing quality products in the USA since 1903. (It’s true! You can even check out their online catalog archive, going all the way back to 1927!)

 

AUR Lake Shore_04_2012Whatever you’re looking for in outdoor furniture, there’s a style for you.

 

Outdoor dining is a summer tradition for many families. Telescope Casual sets come in a variety of styles and sizes to fit your space and your budget. Round, rectangle, oval and square, table height and bar height, with chairs to match. Add an umbrella for protection from that hot summer sun!

 

Cozy conversation sets for the patio or deck are also popular. Ours are built to last, with powder-coated or marine-grade polymer frames, and built for comfort, with cushions that can handle the sun and rain without fading.

 

Fire tables add a fun dynamic to your outdoor area. Add coordinating seating and you have an instant gathering spot for family fun and grown-up gatherings.

 

But that’s not all – Telescope Casual also makes picnic tables, lounge chairs for the dock or pool, and even quality aluminum frame beach chairs for when you’re on the go.

 

When you’re tired of replacing your outdoor furniture season after season, and you’re ready for something that will last, stop by one of our showrooms today.

Go chlorine free, for free

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It’s what you’ve always wanted – a beautiful in-ground pool right in your own backyard. It’s your personal oasis. Someplace you can relax at the end of a long day, a place you can have fun with family and friends, a place to cool down during those hot Tennessee summers.

The thing is – those summer days will be here before you know it. So if you’re thinking about a pool, now is the time to make your move. Book your project with us before May 31st, and we’ll include a salt system (valued at more than $1500!) at no additional charge.

So, what’s a salt system?

 

We’re glad you asked!

 

A salt system is an alternative to using traditional pool chemicals for keeping your pool water clean and clear. In the long run, a salt system can save you a significant amount of money, since you aren’t spending so much on chlorine or other pool chemicals during the swimming season.

 

These systems are also very easy to maintain. Typically they need to be checked weekly or so to make sure they’re producing natural chlorine as they should, and you might need to balance the water from time to time. And you know what less maintenance means – more pool time!

 

Some people have asked us if the salt water will hurt their eyes, or if it tastes like ocean water. The answers are no, and no. Salt water pools have about 1/10 of the salt level of the ocean, so it’s not really comparable. If you’re concerned, you can wear goggles but typically the water is no more irritating than traditional pool water. And as for the taste – well, you aren’t drinking it, right? If you do get a small amount in your mouth or lick your lips you might notice a slightly salty taste, but that’s all.

 

If you’re interested in a salt water pool, and you’re ready to get started on your backyard pool paradise, give us a call today!

Take Your Memorial Day Grilling to the Next Level

As you know, around here Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer grilling season. Whether you’ll be at the lake, in the mountains or in your own backyard, there’s nothing better than gathering together with your family and friends, and firing up the grill.

Now, that old discount store grill may do an OK job on hot dogs for the kids, but if you really want to take your grilling experience to the next level, it’s time for a Kamado Joe.

Kamado Joe Grills
The Kamado Joe’s proven ancient ceramic design gives food a rich, smoky flavor that just can’t be beat, and the flexible cooking surfaces mean you can cook a wider variety of foods on your grill than you ever imagined.

Feeling inspired? If you think you’re ready, stop by our showroom in Knoxville, Farragut or Morristown to choose your Kamado Joe, and then try out some of these recipes over Memorial Day weekend.

Steak is a delicious grilling standby. In this video, Kamado Joe’s resident chef shows you how to make The Perfect Steak. https://youtu.be/YDB4Vg_jLSg

Burgers are always a crowd-pleaser. These Kamado Joe Smash Burgers use the Cast Iron Griddle and Stainless Steel Laser Cut Fish and Veggie Surface. The beautiful crust and juicy grilled onions can’t be beat! https://youtu.be/8mftTVitQOE

If chicken is more to your taste, how about BBQ Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters? You’ll need the heat deflector for this tasty recipe. https://youtu.be/OUaI4UknoWk

If you want to see what your Kamado Joe can really do, how about Kamado Joe Peach Pie? https://youtu.be/ILZOXK0kE5Y

Or, surprise everyone with breakfast! Bacon, Egg and Cheese Cups are quick, easy and tasty. Serve ‘em up with a fresh fruit salad and your day is off to a great start. https://youtu.be/z9lXfw04gWU

Wow! All of that, and it makes great hot dogs, too.

Get a Swim Spa Before Summer & Enjoy the Season

All winter long, we wait for summer and all the fun it brings. Blooming gardens, family cookouts, weekends at the lake – and swimming! Really, there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a dip in the pool.

Sometimes, though, budgets or space mean installing your own swimming pool isn’t feasible. If that’s your situation, have you ever considered a Catalina Swim Spa?

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Swim spas come in a variety of sizes, and offer features that just aren’t available on traditional swimming pools. Portable and in-ground models are available, and they can be installed indoors or out.

If you enjoy swimming for fitness or other forms of water exercise, a swim spa is made for you. The powerful jets allow you to swim against the current for unlimited distances at the speed that’s comfortable for you. Turn off the current, and the flat bottom is perfect for all forms of water aerobics and other low-impact exercise.

Most models also include dedicated hydrotherapy areas with powerful massaging jets, so you after your workout, after work, or for any reason you choose – you can enjoy a relaxing massage.

Beyond all that, though, swim spas are fun! There’s plenty of room for the family to play and relax together. The adjustable temperature means you can enjoy the warm soothing water of a spa when you need it, or the cooler water of a typical swimming pool when you’re ready for some summer fun.

You can even add a sound system, water features, LED lights and more to your Catalina Swim Spa, for a truly customized experience.

If you think a swim spa might be just what your summer needs, stop by any location soon to check out our line of Catalina Swim Spas and choose the model that’s best for you! In the meantime, check out this gallery for some inspiration!

Kamado Joe Easter Dinner

Looking for a way to take your family’s special Easter dinner up a notch? Why not make it a Kamado Joe Easter dinner? Here are some great recipes that are perfect for that bit of decadence, family fun and faithful celebration.

Curing & Smoking a Fresh Green Ham

The Kamado Joe is an amazing way to cure and smoke a traditional Easter ham raised and butchered locally for the best possible flavor.

Double-Smoked Ham

Take that ham up a notch with a Kamado Joe Easter dinner double smoke!

Bleu Cheese Stuffed Leg of Lamb Roast

Do this right and you’ll get a perfect smoke level and the marinade with onions and bleu cheese results in an outstanding flavor profile.

Carolina Brisket

This 13 hour slow smoked brisket will have mouths watering!

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Salmon with Crusted Crab Potatoes

If you’re looking for a seafood flare to your family gathering, this may be the way to go for your Kamado Joe Easter dinner!

Roasted Goose

You might associate roasted goose with Christmas, but there’s no reason you can’t make it for Easter too!

Bleu Cheese Filet Mignon with Tequila Scallops

Make the bleu cheese butter and marinade the steaks ahead of time for the perfect consistency and flavor.

Canadian Rack of Pork

Prep the brine the day before, refrigerate the pork in the brine for at least half a day and then slow roast for at least 2 hours. It may take a while, but it’s well worth the flavor!

Lobster Tails

This is a quick and easy recipe that is super impressive for your Kamado Joe Easter dinner!

Cinnamon Rolls

It doesn’t have to be Easter dinner that you make on your Kamado Joe! How about cinnamon rolls for Easter morning!

Whether you go a little more traditional with a ham, go fancy with a lamb roast, or go for seafood flare, the Kamado Joe is a great way to make your Easter holiday meal tasty and memorable.

Hydrotherapy: Hot Tub Pain Relief

There are just some pains that never seem to let up. Maybe you’re dealing with arthritis and your prescription medications only scratch the surface. Or maybe you’re incredibly active and muscle pain is par for the course. Maybe you want to be active, but the aches and pains you endure make that nearly impossible. Whatever pain you may be dealing with, you can find hot tub pain relief with daily hydrotherapy. Research published by the National Institute of Health shows how effective hot water therapy is for athletic and pain relief (and for cardiovascular health!). The Arthritis Foundation also advocates for warm water therapy as a treatment for arthritis pain. We offer a variety of hot tub models at Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiards. They all provide benefits for hydrotherapy and pain relief. As you’re deciding whether to purchase a Dream Maker Spa or Marquis Spa, keep these features in mind for optimal pain management.

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Hot Tub Pain Relief: Jets

How many jets a spa has and the placement of those jets is important to the physical benefits of a hot tub’s use. For example, Marquis’ high-flow, low pressure jetting systems achieve balance between the therapy they provide and the way they jets feel on your body. Jets drive heat deep into your muscles, bringing relief without pressure. Bahama Spas work to make sure every jet is placed for optimal pain relief benefits.

Hot Tub Pain Relief: Contour of the Seats

The right contour of the seats in a hot tub creates buoyancy in order to minimize the weight and pressure on your body. Signature Spas USA focuses on correct placement of the body for the best results. The soaking seat in Sundance Spas allows for control over your hydrotherapy experience and generous support to help you maintain posture.

Other elements to consider when looking for a hot tub that’s optimized for hydrotherapy are the number of available seats, seat spacing, and water temperature controls. Aurora Pool, Spa and Billiards is happy to help you find the best hot tub for your pain relief needs.

4 Great Ways to Spend Your Tax Return

Some might dread tax season, but if you’re lucky enough to get a tax return, it might be the perfect time to splurge on you and your family a little. Based upon the average tax refund amount of $2,500 to $3,125, here are a few great ways to spend that bonus (i.e. you overpaid on your withholdings):

That Hot Tub You Always Wanted

Now is a great time to finally get that hot tub you’ve been dreaming about. Hot Tubs at Aurora Pools start at just $2,999. But even with our higher end models, you can make a significant down payment and then talk to us about financing the rest with low interest rates and monthly payments you can easily afford.

Kamado Joe – Grill Like a Boss

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The average tax refund would easily cover one of our larger Kamado Joe grills and a slew of accessories! It comes with everything you need to grill, sear and smoke and has the most available cooking surface in its class, providing moister meat with a wood-fired flavor. It’s also the best built, best backed and most versatile grill! It’s great for socializing, whether just with your family or with a crowd.

Your Very Own Tanning Bed

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Forget tanning salon memberships to get the perfect, sun-kissed glow. Your tax return could mean a tanning bed right in your own home, giving you easy access and the privacy you prefer. Stop dreaming of buying a home tanning system… you really can enjoy your very own new home tanning bed or tanning booth at a great value and
price that fits your tax refund budget.

Accessorize Your Yard With Your Tax Return

Maybe you already have all the major elements for your backyard haven – the pool or hot tub or maybe even the grill. But why not create an extension of your indoor living space and take your outdoors up a notch? We’d love to help you install that Kamado Joe grill into a full outdoor kitchen, deck out your hot tub or pool, get you some comfy outdoor furniture, or simply get those accessories you’ve been wanting.

Daylight Savings – What to do With Your Extra Hour

Daylight Savings means you gain an extra hour of sunlight in the day. What are you going to do with that extra time? How about spending it with your family and friends in your newly renovated backyard? That’s right, at Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard, we have everything you need to create an amazing extension of your home’s living space just steps outside your backdoor. And the first place to start, is with a swimming pool.

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So Many Pools to Choose From

Whether it’s above ground pools, in-ground pools or on-ground pools, we have the perfect pool design to match your tastes, available space, preferred features and budget. When it comes to in-ground pools, you can choose from our vinyl and steel option (which tends to be the most affordable) or a fiberglass pool. The On-Ground Pool is the perfect solution for a pool enthusiast with a sloping backyard – the pool is installed partially in the ground and partially out and perfect for a partial deck too! Our above-ground options are metal wall pools that give the versatility of being a non-permanent fixture.

Eat Outdoors More

How about a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen to enjoy after Daylight Savings? Now dinner can be prepared and consumed poolside! We have a wide selection of outdoor kitchen designs and accessories including outdoor ovens, traditional and Kamado Joe grills, built-in refrigeration and more!

Bring Out all the Comfort

At Aurora Pool, we also have showrooms full of outdoor furniture, fire pits, umbrellas and even pergolas to help make the design of your backyard oasis all your own. Don’t waste a single minute of daylight! Come by one of our three locations today and we’ll help you get started on the backyard design of your dreams, just in time to enjoy it to the fullest!

Hot Tub Accessories for Safety, Convenience and FUN

There are so many hot tub accessories on the market today, you can add nearly anything you need for safety, for convenience, or just for fun!

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Hot Tub Accessories for Safety

Freestanding and side-mounted handrails can help you enter and exit your spa without losing your balance. This is especially helpful if you or someone in your family is using the hot tub to help cope with or recover from an illness or injury. When you’re sick or hurting, climbing in and out of a hot tub may not be easy. Having something sturdy to hold on to can greatly reduce the chances of a slip or fall.

Spa-side steps are also a great addition for safety. Most include some type of non-skid surface, and many include built-in storage for cleaning spa cleaning supplies. Or toys. You know – for the kids.

Hot Tub Accessories for Convenience

Free-standing towel racks keep your towels or robes nice and dry while you enjoy soaking in your spa. Shelves and tables that mount to the side of your hot tub keep drinks, snacks and phones within reach.

You might even consider adding an outdoor shower. Sure, you could invest in a plumbing installation and hire a contractor to build a shower surround. Or, you could set up an economic solar shower near your hot tub so you and your guests can quickly rinse before enjoying the spa.

Keeping your spa clean will add to your enjoyment, and small things, like a quick shower beforehand, make a big difference. If you spa is outdoors, just encouraging people to rinse their feet before stepping into the spa helps, too. A backyard foot bath – a shallow tray with a ridged bottom filled with water, is an inexpensive and easy way to encourage this.

Hot Tub Accessories for Fun

We saved the best for last! No matter the reason you purchased your hot tub, you want to enjoy it, right? From waterproof playing cards to floating bluetooth-enabled speakers, this is where you can create the hot tub experience that speaks to you.

A floating cooler, so your drinks are always close at hand? Check. A floating LED light system that produces an underwater light show? Check. Inflatable toys – for the kids, of course. Check. Fragrance, to set the mood? Why not.

There are just so many options – stop by one of our locations today and choose the accessories that are right for you.

Life Really IS Better With a Marquis Hot Tub

How is life really better with a Marquis hot tub? We’re glad you asked!

Sleep – we all need it!

50 to 70 million people in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder. If you’re really struggling with sleep, it’s important to see your doctor. They’ll want to get to the root of the cause, and rule out anything serious. Some problems may require medical intervention, but don’t be surprised if your doctor also recommends lifestyle changes to help improve your sleep: avoiding screen time before bed, limiting the amount of caffeine you consume, and developing a calming bedtime routine.

A 20 minute soak in your Marquis hot tub can be the keystone in this routine. Hot water therapy triggers your body’s natural sleep mechanics, reduces stress and anxiety, and can help prepare your for a peaceful night’s slumber.

Stress – we all have it!

Just as there are nearly unlimited ways to add stress to your life, there are nearly unlimited ways to relieve it. But few of those are as enjoyable as relaxing in a Marquis hot tub.

The warm water and soothing jets can ease away the stress stored in your muscles, especially your neck, shoulders, back and legs. As you relax in the contoured seats you can feel the tension of the day begin to melt away.

As you know, stress takes a mental toll, too. Consider adding a sound system to your spa so you can enjoy your favorite music while you relax. Plus, aromatherapy additives for your hot tub water can help you achieve the state of mind you desire.

Pain – we don’t want it!

Many people who use a hot tub report fewer trips to the chiropractor or therapist, reduced pain medications and an overall improved feeling of wellness.

Regular use of a spa can help provide relief from a number of medical conditions, from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue to eczema and more. The warm water provides hydrotherapy – an increase in your body’s temperature, which causes your blood vessels to dilate, increasing circulation and promoting healing.

The water also supports your joints and allows free movement, so you can enjoy gentle exercise and build strength. Plus, the jets offer massage, relaxing tight muscles and easing your pain and discomfort.

From stress and pain reduction to a better night’s sleep, life really is better with a Marquis hot tub.

Kamado Joe Grill or a New Hot Tub? Why Choose?

Life is filled with tough choices.

Paper or plastic? Credit or cash? Cream cheese or lox?

Actually that last one isn’t tough at all. Cream cheese is delicious, and if you think it’s reasonable to put smoked, oily baitfish on a bagel at 6 o’clock in the morning, get your head checked. You’re a psycho.

One choice that doesn’t have to be difficult, however, is whether to get a new grill or invest in a hot tub. The choice isn’t tough at all because you shouldn’t have to choose in the first place.

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If you’re truly going to create a backyard oasis that’s the envy of the neighborhood, you need the bubbling bliss of a spa and a Kamado Joe grill that transforms meat into culinary heaven.

Not just any grill will do.

If grills were Billy Joel albums, Kamado Joe would be “Streetlife Serenade.” Sure, it might not be the best seller on iTunes, but every true fan wouldn’t want to live without it.

There’s a Kamado Joe for everyone, but no matter which model you choose, you’re going to reinvent the art of grilling. Smoke and sear your way to wood-fired perfection on every juicy, smokey thing you cook. Meat, veggies, and even dessert go in, and culinary euphoria comes out.

But what good is all that without a healing, soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating spa?

Bahama Spas took that name because stepping inside of one transports you to the Caribbean — but without airline tickets, watered-down frozen drinks and American tourists embarrassing themselves by pretending that they can relate to the locals.

Stiff, tight muscles loosen up. Achy, swollen joints recede. Stress and anxiety drown in bubbly, massaging ecstasy.

And what’s waiting for you when you get out? Oh, that’s right! Your food is done! Smoked and seared to temperature-controlled perfection.

See, some choices aren’t choices at all.

Compare Hot Tub Warranties for Peace of Mind

A new hot tub is an investment – not just financial, but in your health and in your family. When you make the purchase you want to make sure you’re making the best possible decision. It only makes sense. So while you’re shopping for a hot tub and comparing features, don’t forget to compare warranties, too. They may not be as fun as sound systems and jet configurations, but a good warranty is just as important to your long-term enjoyment of your spa.

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To make sure the warranty covers everything you need, ask a few questions:

Is the warranty easy to find, and easy to understand?

Hot tub manufacturers should be proud of their warranty, and it should be easy to find on their website, like Dream Maker Spas. Be sure you read the warranty, and ask questions about anything that isn’t clear.

Does it cover all your needs?

A hot tub warranty should cover all the necessary parts of the hot tub – shell, plumbing, equipment and even labor, for a period of time. If there are limitations or exclusions, these should be very clear, so that there are no surprises. If you fully understand the warranty – what’s covered, what isn’t, and any other details – you’ll be better able to compare warranties from different manufacturers.

Has the manufacturer been in business for a long time?

A warranty is only as good as the paper it’s written on if the company that produced your hot tub is out of business when your spa needs a repair. When you’re shopping, only consider manufacturers like Dream Maker with years of experience and certified by industry groups.

If you need to make a claim, can you reach the manufacturer?

If your hot tub needs a repair, making a claim should be as easy as possible. When you’re spa shopping and comparing warranties, see if you can easily find the manufacturer’s customer service phone number and other contact information. Are they on social media? If so, take a look at their accounts. Do they seem to respond to questions posed by customers in a timely fashion? These are all great clues to how responsive they’ll be to you, if you ever have a question or concern.

Quality hot tub warranties are a sign of a company that stands behind the products it sells. So when you’re looking for a spa shop around – compare features and prices, of course. But for peace of mind, be sure to compare warranties, too.

Unexpected Sauna Health Benefits

Saunas have been around for thousands of years. If you trace the sauna tradition back to its Finnish roots, you’ll discover it began as little more than a space dug into an embankment in the ground. Today’s saunas are comfortable, stylish spaces that can be equipped with custom lighting and seating, your choice of a traditional or infrared heat source, and more. But one thing hasn’t changed – the unexpected sauna health benefits. 

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You probably already know how saunas, like those from market leader Finnelo, can help you relax, reduce stress, ease muscle tension and even flush toxins from your skin. But you might not know that science has proven sauna use can also have some cardiovascular health benefits similar to exercise.

Unexpected Sauna Health Benefits: Overall Cardiovascular Health

A study, conducted by professionals at the University of Iowa and University of Texas, set out to determine if sauna use could be an exercise replacement for people who aren’t physically able to get the exercise their cardiovascular systems need. During the study, the researchers had 25 healthy volunteers sit in a 78.8 degree room to achieve baseline readings. Then, they had them sit in a sauna heated to 163.4 degrees for 30 minutes. The results were interesting, and encouraging. The scientists observed some significant changes in the study participants following their sauna use. For instance, heart rates increased an average of 22.4 beats per minute, systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased, and naturally occurring substances that have positive health benefits and that typically increase with exercise went up as well. Ultimately, the study determined that sauna use isn’t a replacement for exercise, as exercise offers some benefits that just aren’t achievable from sauna use. But for people who can’t exercise, using a sauna regularly may help their overall cardiovascular health.

So the next time you fire up your Finnelo sauna, remember the unexpected sauna health benefits. Not only are you easing pain and discomfort, improving your circulation and relieving mental stress, you’re helping condition your heart.

Dream Maker: A Perfect Valentine’s Spa Date Night

Life is so busy these days. Between work, school, kids and other commitments it sometimes feels like there’s no time to breathe, much less spend quality time with the one you love. Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy a romantic evening with that special someone. This year, instead of scheduling dinner reservations and fighting the crowds out on the town, plan a romantic spa date night in. All you need is a little ingenuity, your Valentine, and your Dream Maker Spa.

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Build the Excitement

Don’t just ask your Valentine to join you. Make it special with an invitation that will help build excitement for an evening of romance.

What: A romantic evening under the stars

When: Valentine’s Day

Where: Our Dream Maker Spa

Just bring yourself and a smile.

Set the Mood for a Spa Date Night

Create a romantic scene. It’s Valentine’s Day, remember? Plan to have refreshments on hand, like special chocolates and fresh fruit. Purchase your favorite bottle of wine or champagne, and serve it in shatter-proof glasses. Or, if you prefer, serve a special non-alcoholic drink. Just be sure to have a wine chiller or cooler nearby to keep your drinks cool and refreshing.

Use your favorite music service to build a romantic playlist. Classical music and soulful R&B are excellent choices, but anything your partner enjoys will work. You can play music straight from your phone, use a bluetooth speaker, or your home sound system if it has speakers wired to your hot tub’s environment.

Don’t forget the lighting. Scented candles can really add to the romance, and the LED Moon Glo Waterfall and optional perimeter lighting create the perfect ambiance. If your hot tub is indoors, be sure to dim or turn off the lights. If it’s outside, let the moon and the stars provide a romantic glow.

Relax and Reconnect

Slip into the warm water with your partner and rest in the contoured seats. Adjust the jets for your comfort, and let your spa ease away your stress while you and your Valentine reconnect.  Be sure to have a couple of warm towels, cozy robes and slippers hand for when your romantic Valentine’s Day spa date night is complete.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Recipes for your Kamado Joe Grill

You know your Kamado Joe isn’t just a grill. It’s a lifestyle. One that allows you to build great memories while preparing delicious food for your family and friends. This Valentine’s Day, instead of an expensive dinner out, why not add to those memories by preparing an amazing meal on your Kamado Joe?

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Cooking for two? Try this delicious Honey-Soy Cedar Planked Salmon with Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes. After soaking the cedar planks for half an hour prior to cooking, you’ll have a complete, romantic meal in about 30 minutes.

Rotisserie cooking makes for juicy, flavorful meat. JoeTisserie Chicken will be the star of your Valentine’s Day meal. Just use your JoeTisserie accessory and you’re ready to go.

If you’re looking for a more traditional Valentine’s Day entree, try Restaurant Style Prime Rib on the Kamado Joe.Take the time to properly season and prepare the meat, sear it on the grill and and use the heat deflector to complete the cooking time for an entree that’s sure to impress.

Maybe your idea of a romantic meal includes a delicious seafood main dish. Iron Pan Scallops with whiskey pan sauce, bacon and a little Parmesan cheese combines delicious, unique flavors that will help you create a memorable meal.

Some people prefer a more casual Valentine’s Day celebration. Does this sound like you? Maybe a homemade Chicken Alfredo, Three Meat or White Pizza will please your special someone. Just serve with a salad and a good bottle of wine for a complete meal.

Did you know you can even make a special, romantic Valentine’s Day dessert in your Kamodo Joe? Here are some to try:

Drunken Pineapple a la Mode 

Kamado Joe Cheesecake

Just top it with your Valentine’s favorite topping!

This year, start a new Valentine’s Day tradition by preparing a romantic meal on your Kamado Joe – the grill that’s so much more. Your special someone is bound to be impressed.

Dream Maker Spa: A Common Cold Remedy

The common cold. It doesn’t sound so bad. But in reality, it can be miserable. A stuffy head, aches and pains, chills – they all add up to days of coughing and congestion, and many restless nights. You know about the over-the-counter cold remedy that Grandma would recommend – like hot tea or chicken noodle soup – to ease cold symptoms. But did you know your Dream Maker Spa can actually help you feel better, too? It’s true!

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Aches and Pains

You know nothing soothes your aches and pains better than your hot tub. So when your cold symptoms settle into your muscles, soak in your Dream Maker Spa and let the heat and jets help you feel better. Relax in the contoured seats and let the water ease the pain you may be feeling in your joints. You can even adjust the amount of air that mixes with the water to get the massage that feels best to you.  

Rest and Relaxation

When you’re sick, you know you need to rest. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. After all, it can be hard to slow down even when you’re feeling great. When you have a cold, a dip in your hot tub can help you unwind, so that your body can get the rest it needs to heal.

Breathe Easy

One of the worst cold symptoms is congestion. The stuffy nose, the sinus headaches – it’s just miserable. Steam is a tried-and-true remedy, and one your grandmother probably recommended. Just like the steam from a hot shower, the steam from your hot tub can help clear your nasal passages, giving you some relief.

Beat the Chills

When your body fights a cold, it can leave you feeling chilly. You can always snuggle up with a pile of blankets – but wouldn’t you rather warm up in the peace and comfort of your hot tub? Let the water gently warm your body and push the chills away, while your Dream Maker Spa’s digital controls keep the water within one degree of the temperature you select.

So this cold season, if the germs sneak through your defenses and you find yourself sick, turn to your hot tub for an all natural common cold remedy. Just be sure to have a warm robe, a snuggly towel and some slippers on hand for when your relaxing soak is complete. You don’t want to catch another chill on your way back inside!

Achieve Your 2017 Health Goals With a Finnleo Sauna

At the beginning of every year we’re motivated and driven for greatness. We want to go further, accomplish more and feel better. However, we often find that momentum dragging after a few short months (or even weeks) as life still come barreling at us at full speed.  Without the proper tools to help us be successful, it can be hard to keep our goals accomplish-able, especially when it comes to our health.

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Invest in Your Health

Why not give yourself a leg up for 2017 and invest in a Finnleo Sauna to help you on your road to a healthier lifestyle? Whether your ideal end result is losing weight, relieving stress or just helping to alleviate some pain in your muscles and joints, a sauna can help you to manage one or a combination of them with just a few minutes of use each day.

Sweat Your Way to Health

When you sit in a sauna, the radiant heat gets deep into the core of your body and results in a lot of sweating. While that may not sound entirely appealing at first, rest assured, it has amazing health benefits. For starters, white blood cell production increases, boosting your immune system. Also, the penetrating heat causes those sweating pours to release nasty toxins that impede optimal health.

If weight loss is on the 2017 resolution list, then a sauna can certainly help you get there when you pair it with an active lifestyle and healthy diet.

The heat causes your cardiovascular system to work harder, improving circulation and increasing your heart rate, in order to keep the body cool. This converts calories into usable energy, and you might consume anywhere from 300-500 calories when you spend 20 minutes in a sauna. And, as if closing the door to the sauna and disconnecting from the world around you isn’t enough to calm your nerves, the heat of a sauna helps to relax sore joints and muscles. It also helps to increase the release of endorphins, the happy chemical in the body.

Adding a Finnleo Sauna to your daily care regimen can be a great tool for accomplishing your health goals for 2017.

Above Ground or In-Ground Pool – Which Shall it be?

Your budget is set and the location in your backyard determined; you’re ready to get a pool installed this spring! But maybe you’re not so decisive about whether it’s going to be an in-ground or above ground pool.

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The most obvious consideration as you compare the two pool types is your budget.

The cost of either is broad depending on size, features, materials and design. You’ll find that the materials and installation process for an in-ground can make it significantly more pricey than your run-of-the-mill above ground. But you could easily get all the bells and whistles with an above ground and see a similar cost to a basic in-ground option. Your budget will be a large determining factor here.

Is safety a concern?

Small children run the risk of falling into an in-ground easier than gaining access to an above ground. Of course, you can make either as safe as you need it to be with latched fences, alarms, safety covers, and more. But if you’re looking at a basic installation without the extras and safety is a large concern for you, then the above ground may be worth considering.

Considering customization?

On the other hand, if you have the room in the budget for customization and aesthetic appeal is a big priority, then you’re going to have more design diversity with an in-ground pool. The shape of an above ground is basically limited to circular or oval, and sizes vary slightly. With an in-ground pool (more specifically, one made of concrete rather than fiberglass), you can dream up most anything and, with the right contractor, can have it made. Then again, adding some decking and landscaping and an above ground pool can look pretty great too.

Don’t forget, both types of pools require regular upkeep and maintenance.

One isn’t better than the other here (that is, unless you go with a salt filtration system, but that’s another post entirely). You’re still going to need to do seasonal opening and closers, regular cleaning and filter changes, chemical balancing and repairs to both in-ground and above ground pools. Incidentally, we have a maintenance guide to help you in this area.

Personal preferences and budget are going to be your key factors as you decide between an in-ground or above ground pool. There’s no right or wrong answer here.

Is an Above Ground Pool Right for You? Decide This Winter

Winter can be mental torture. Temperatures plummet, the grass turns brown and you’re trapped inside with nothing to do like Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining.” Well, instead of having lengthy conversations with ghosts before picking up an axe, use the bleak solitude as a chance to plan for the spring. The big melt, after all, will be here before you know it. So the big question you want to ask yourself this winter is this: is an above ground pool right for you and your family come spring?

Pros and Cons of an Above Ground Pool  

Compared to in-ground pools, above-ground pools are temporary and comparatively easy and inexpensive to install. They can be drained and moved when needed. Since they don’t require regular cleaning, chemical treatments and filtering, they’re super-easy to maintain. Also, modern above-ground pools are simply nice to look at.

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Now let’s look at the downside. Everyone loves an above-ground pool — except the grass it sits on. If you get an above-ground pool, you’re dooming a pretty big patch of perfectly good grass to a slow, painful death. Unlike their in-ground big brothers, above-ground pools don’t add value to your home. In fact, they can actually be a burden if you ever decide to sell. Above-ground pools are limited in size, shape and depth. They’re not good for laps and are pretty much limited to splashing around or just chilling out. Also, if you’re into diving, and you like your head and neck the way they are, an above-ground pools is not for you.

So there you have it. Like anything else, above-ground pools have pros and cons. Basically, above-ground pools come with a whole bunch of lesses. They’re less expensive, less work and less functional than in-ground pools.  

Who Says a New Year’s Resolution Can’t be Fun?

You set a New Years resolution. You’re going to lose weight. You’re going to quit smoking. You’re going to quit drinking — or at least bring it down to below Jim Morrison levels.

cameo_couple_close_720x458_72_rgb2017 is here, and your New Years resolution with it.

The thing is, improving your health and well-being doesn’t have to be something you dread doing (not that we think all those other things are bad ideas). You can reduce stress and anxiety, release muscle tension, improve mental focus and promote healing all without withdrawal, hunger or elliptical machines.

The Beauty of Hydrotherapy

Starting at about $150 a month, you can join the millions of Americans who have discovered the amazing benefits of hydrotherapy. You get out of a hot tub better than you went in, and with brands like Marquis and Sundance, there is an option for every person and every budget. Hot tubs have long been associated with fun, decadence and Champagne. We’re not against any of those things — unless, of course, they go against your New Year’s resolution. But science has proven that hot tubs are much more than just the centerpiece of a good party. The warm, relaxing water and powerful massaging jets are are truly therapeutic. Hence the name hydrotherapy. Time in a spa can rejuvenate the body and quiet the mind.

Make your 2017 New Years resolution one you’ll enjoy enough to stick with. Invest in a hot tub this year. Your body — and your family — will thank you.

Ideas for Screen Free Family Time

It’s a technology-driven world and your kids are submerged in it. Okay, let’s be honest, we all are. When we have a screen in front of our face, we are not engaging on a personal level with the people right next to us. Which is why screen free family time on a regular basis is a must. So how do you get everyone excited and involved without the glow of blue light? Consider creating an outdoor space that takes you away from your everyday woes and gives your family the opportunity to laugh and enjoy each other’s company.

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Ideas for Screen Free Family Time

Swimming

For starters, consider a swimming pool. Aurora Pools in Knoxville has above ground, on ground and in ground pool options available, each with its own benefits depending on your budget and the landscape of your yard. Add accessories like a diving board, fit pits or even an outdoor kitchen to make an entire evening together.

Relaxing

Of course, pools are pretty seasonal. A hot tub from Aurora Pools is something your family can enjoy all year round, avoiding the it’s-too-cold-to-do-anything trap, which inevitably leads to burying our faces and electronics. Spas are the quintessential feel-good additive to the backyard motif, great for family time as well as relaxing connection with your significant other after the kids go to bed or following a long day at work.

Playing

Looking for something new for all of you? Why not get a billiard table. Then you can all learn how to play pool together and even have family tournaments. And hey, tie in those electronics by learning how to play through YouTube videos; that might even get your kids more engaged. What a great thing to add to holiday festivities with the extended family, too! Light up the fire pit, enjoy some hot tub time and organize a pool tournament to keep everyone off their phones and tablets and engaged in building stronger relationships together.

Thankfully, Aurora Pools has everything you need to make that happen.

Research Now: Start Your Saltwater Pool Journey Early

Pool season is over for most now, the pool cleaned and covered for hibernation. However, if you’re thinking of transitioning to a saltwater pool purification system when you open it up next spring, then now is the time to start researching the options that are available.

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Saltwater Pools & Chlorine

First, there’s something you should know but may not realize: saltwater pools do contain chlorine. The difference is, it’s a naturally occurring chlorine produced by the salt as it’s processed through the generator that comes with a saltwater purification system. The major difference is the level of chlorine produced by a saltwater system – it’s much lower than a pool in which you add chlorine yourself.

The Cost of a Saltwater Pool System

While the up-front cost of a saltwater purification system may be more than that of a chlorine pool, the longer you have it, the more that cost balances out. So if you plan to maintain your pool long term, a saltwater system certainly works in your favor. Of course, there are electrical costs from running the generator each day (how long you run it depends on the season). But you’re also not constantly having to add chemicals manually, saving the cost of both your time and purchasing replacement chemicals frequently.

Make Maintenance a Breeze

If you’re looking for something that makes it easier to keep your pool clean, then saltwater may be ideal for you. With a chlorine pool, you have to test the water, shock it and add chemicals as needed to get rid of algae growth and other concerns. If you’d rather not spend the time, a saltwater pool only has to be cleaned once a year. Now, mind you, that annual cleaning is rather labor intensive – drain the pool, scrub the pool, change filters, check the generator, and refill – but that one day a year may be more doable for your daily schedule.

Aurora Pools offers several saltwater generator options for your current pool or a new one – we’ll certainly find something that fits your needs and desired maintenance level. Contact us to examine more thoroughly if converting to a saltwater system is right for you.

Kamado Joe Thanksgiving Recipes Your Family Will Want All Year

There’s no hard and fast rule saying a delicious Thanksgiving meal requires you to slave over a hot stove all day. Instead, consider cooking this ever-important meal on your Kamado Joe! It keeps the kitchen clean, and your Kamado Joe is equipped to cook portions both bit and small. These Kamado Joe Thanksgiving recipes are so mouth-watering, your family will beg to enjoy them all year long.

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The Centerpiece: An Appetizing Turkey

Whether you’re a fan of turkey or you prefer the sides, a beautifully prepared bird is always the centerpiece of the holiday table. Using your Kamado Joe is the best way to get the tastiest, juiciest, and eye-appealing turkey. Brine your turkey for 24 hours using the recipe below, then cook it low and slow on your Kamado Joe. Plan to let your turkey 20 minutes for every pound at 250 degrees. Use a thermometer to check the internal temp of your turkey, but don’t overcook it. You want the breast to be 160 degrees and the thigh/leg meat at 180 degrees. Once that happens, pull your turkey off the grill and let it rest 15-30 minutes before you carve it. To really up your turkey cooking game, check out 11 Tips to help you cook the best bird on your Kamado Joe.

Apple & Orange Turkey Brine Recipe

2 Quarts Orange Juice
2 Quarts Apple Juice
2 Cups Kosher Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg
10 Allspice Cloves (whole)
1 Gallon Water

Sweet Potatoes & Brussel Sprouts

It’s not a traditional holiday side dish, but it’s so tasty that it’ll be the start of a new tradition for your family.

Kamado Joe Thanksgiving Recipes: Pumpkin Pie

Yes, you read that right. You can make entire Thanksgiving meal on your Kamado Joe… even the pumpkin pie! Pair it with homemade whipped cream, and it’s the perfect finishing touch to a delicious Thanksgiving meal!