Reduce your Hot Tub Running Costs
With a few helpful tips you can ensure your are running your hot tub efficiently and cost-effectively. Nobody likes paying big electricity bills or spending too much on maintenance so understanding how to properly maintain your hot tub can ensure you keep both of these to a minimum.
We’ve compiled a check-list of 10 helpful tips which will help you reduce your hot tub running costs.
Table of Contents
Choose the Correct Size Hot Tub
Before you purchase a hot tub decide what size you need. Larger hot tubs cost more to run than smaller hot tubs as they hold more water which you need to heat and treat with chemicals.
Most hot tubs are designed to seat a specific number of people, so choose one which suits your requirements. If you’re a couple who plan on taking a dip a couple of times per week go for a hot tub which seats 2-3 people and not a super-size tub.
Choosing the appropriately sized hot tub for you, is the most effective way to reduce your hot tub running costs.
Leave the Water Heater On
If you plan on using your hot tub regularly (3 or more times per week) it is widely accepted that it’s more cost-effective to leave the water heater activated.
We would recommend setting your hot tub to a temperature of around 95-100°F and then an hour or two before use, turn it up to 104°F – if you like the water extra hot.
If you turn the heater off between uses the water will cool to the outside ambient temperature. This causes two problems:
- It’ll take hours to heat up the water to your desired temperature
- The cost of heating the water up each time will likely use more electricity than keeping the water constantly warm
Why is it cheaper to keep the water constantly warm?
Most hot tub heaters are thermostatically regulated and will only switch on for a short while to top up the temperature of the water if it falls below the temperature you set.
Use a Hot Tub Cover
If you use your hot tub regularly and choose to leave the water heater activated between uses, it’s extremely important you use a hot tub cover to reduce your hot tub running costs.
Most hot tubs are supplied with a cover which fits tightly over the tub when not in use. They are great for keeping dirt and insects out as well as safely preventing young children from falling in. However, the main purpose for using a hot tub cover is to prevent the heat from the warm water escaping. If you don’t fit a hot tub cover the water heater will run for longer and may struggle to maintain the water temperature during colder weather – raising your electricity bills.
Lastly, you should regularly check the condition of your hot tub cover. A few things to look out for are:
- Is your hot tub cover heavier than usual? If so it may be waterlogged and will not be insulating your tub efficiently.
- On a frosty day, check to see whether your cover has warm spots, places where the frost has melted quickly and heat is escaping. Check for rips or gaps – you’ll be losing money.
- If you have an inflatable hot tub which uses a cover you blow up, ensure it’s fully inflated and fastened securely to ensure an airtight seal.
If your hot tub wasn’t supplied with a cover or you need a replacement, MySpaCover are a company which produces a large range of high quality covers in different shapes and sizes.
Check your Electricity Tariff
Your hot tub will raise your electricity usage so it’s worth checking whether you can find a cheaper electricity tariff or supplier.
Ask your supplier what your standing electricity charge is and what you’re charged per unit of electricity used. Your supplier may find you a cheaper tariff or you could save money by switching providers.
Some energy providers also charge less for using electricity at certain times of day (or night). These off-peak hours tend to be quieter periods, for example, between the hours of 10pm and 8am. If available, there’s potential to reduce your hot tub running costs by a significant amount by setting your hot tub heater to come on during these times.
Turn Off the Air Jets
If your hot tub uses air jets, limit their use during periods of cold weather.
When activated, they pump large amounts of cold air through the water which can cool your hot tub quicker than the heater can warm the water.
Some more premium hot tubs use water jets instead of air jets. In this case, the water from the tub is used so the water will not lose its heat.
Shelter your Hot Tub from the Wind
Placing your hot tub in a sheltered spot away from the wind will provide a more pleasant bathing experience and helps maintain a constant water temperature. It’s also an effective way to reduce your hot tub running costs.
A natural wind break such as a line of hedging or constructing a fence will help reduce heating costs. However, using windbreaks such as trees or large shrubs should be avoided as they’re likely to drop leaves into the water.
Clean the Filters
Filters should be cleaned regularly, most are easy to remove and only require a rinse under running water to remove most debris. Aim to do this at least once per week to prolong the life of the filter and ensure there are no blockages.
If after cleaning your filter remains soiled or heavily discolored you should consider replacing it. Hot tub filters are readily available and are relatively inexpensive.
A blocked filter will restrict the flow of water and cause the pump to work harder – which will cost more to run and may lead to breakdowns.
Manage your pH Levels
Unless you have an inflatable hot tub which you empty between uses you’ll have to buy chemicals, such as chlorine, to treat your water. These can be costly so you want to ensure you’re using them correctly.
The most important thing to check is the pH levels of your water. Maintaining a pH level of 7.2 to 7.6 will ensure that chlorine added to your water works efficiently since a pH of around 7.4 is optimal for chlorine disinfection. If your pH is outside this range you risk having to use larger quantities of chlorine which is inefficient and a waste of your money.
Luckily, managing your pH levels is easy. Firstly test the water using a pH water tester and either add a product like Leisure Time pH Balance Plus or Leisure Time Spa Down to your bring the pH of your water back into the correct range.
Use the Power Saving Timer
If you find you’re using your hot tub less frequently you will almost certainly save money by turning the water heater off between uses. For example, if you only use your tub a couple of times per week or less, a better solution to heating your water would be to set the hot tub heater to come on for several hours before you intend to use it and turn off when not in use.
Most hot tubs come equipped with a power saving timer and they’re very easy to use. So if you’re planning on taking a dip on a Saturday evening, set the timer to come on the day before – you’ll have a nice warm tub but won’t need to keep the heater running 24/7.
Fill your Hot Tub with Warm Water
Hot tub heaters are designed to be as efficient as possible and they are great at keeping your water at a set temperature. However, they are not capable of heating cold water very quickly. This means you usually have to plan ahead and turn on the water heater 24-48 hours before you intend to jump in.
You can save time and reduce your hot tub running costs by filling your hot tub with warm water from your household supply. Just ensure the water is no hotter than 104°F otherwise you may damage your hot tub and risk burning yourself.
Additionally, if you don’t need your hot tub to be as full as possible you can fill it to the “minimum fill line” (which is an option on most inflatable hot tubs). This will help you save money on the initial water cost as well as the ongoing cost of heating the water.