Knowing how to maintain it can be challenging if you own a hot tub, especially when you live in an area with all four seasons. You have to contend with winterizing the tub and cleaning it during spring, summer, and fall.
The trickiest issues are temperature control. Most people are unsure if they should turn the temperature down when not in use. This article seeks to demystify hot tub temperature control and teach you why you should not leave the hot tub on for months.
What temperature should I leave my hot tub on overnight?
As a general rule of thumb, keeping it within 5° of your preferred temperature is good. When your hot tub is not in use, the amount of money saved maintaining a higher temperature is cheaper than turning the temperature down and re-heating the water 10-20°.
While it may sound like common sense to turn your hot tub down every time, it is not in use. Instead, it’s better to maintain a constant soaking temperature, typically around 100° Fahrenheit, for many people.
Should I leave my hot tub on all the time?
Yes. If you keep your spa heated all the time, it will use the least energy when it is at the same temperature as the surrounding air temperature, if that’s warm enough for you. Which it probably isn’t.
Since many modern (and efficient) hot tubs can raise the temperature of water from 3° to 10° Fahrenheit per hour, this could easily take 3-4 hours or longer to heat up to optimal temperatures of 100°-102° that many people prefer.
What temperature should you keep in your hot tub when not in use?
Leave your hot tub set to the temperature you prefer for soaking, and avoid turning it down each time you exit. Heating the water in your tub is the biggest drain on electricity, and it’s less expensive to maintain a constant temperature.
Keeping it at a constant temperature of around 96 – 104°F is relatively cheap. If you are not a frequent user or can only use it, say at weekends, you may be tempted to turn the temperature down to save money. This could be a costly mistake.
As a simple guide, to heat 100 gallons by 1℉ takes around 0.25kWh. To raise the temperature of 400 gallons by 35° would use 35kWh. With an average cost of 15 cents per kWh – you can find this on your electric bill – it would cost you around $5 to get your temperature up from 65° to 100°.
Raising the temperature from 95° to 100° would cost only 75 cents. Most owners say it costs them around $1 a day to run their hot tub, so you can see where the highest cost is.
What temperature should I keep in the hot tub in the summer?
In the height of summer in hotter climates, set your temperature to around 80° and still feel comfortable when you get in. As a rule of thumb, many users keep their hot tub set at temperatures ranging between 97-and 99 degrees.
Can I turn off my hot tub in summer?
Heating water back up is less economical than simply lowering the water temperature. The best way to spend less to run your hot tub is to lower the temperature of the water. Depending on the outside temperature, lowering the temperature of your hot tub water by 1 degree can lower your energy bill by up 10-15%.
This does not mean that you should constantly change your hot tub temperature. However, the cost of heating the water back up to temperature can be more than what you saved by lowering the temperature in the first place. So instead, try using your hot tub 1-2 degrees cooler than you normally would.
How to run a hot tub economically?
Keep reading to learn how to run a hot tub economically;
Turn the temperature down on your hot tub
Most people like to run their hot tubs between 38 – 40 degrees Celsius. So, make sure it is ready to use whenever you want. But, holding a hot tub at this temperature, especially in cold weather, can use more energy and cost more money to run.
The easiest way to save money on your hot tub is to turn the temperature down a few degrees. Each degree will save you approximately 10% on your hot tub energy bill.
Use a hot tub cover
Approximately 60% of heat escapes through the surface of the hot tub. To reduce this, you need a well-insulated cover in good condition. If your hot tub cover is passed, it’s best. However, you may find it cheaper to get a replacement cover in the long run. Adding a cover lift will make it easier to lift and keep it in good condition.
Insulate your hot tub cabinet
The space between the underside of the shell and the cabinet can be a way for heat to escape if not insulated properly. Therefore, we usually recommend that people get full foam insulation in the cabinet.
The best way to do this is at the factory, during the ordering process. If your hot tub doesn’t have this, don’t worry. You can do a ‘DIY’ version at home. Buy some standard wall insulation or spray foam insulation and pack it inside the cabinet to stop the heat from escaping. You can also add an insulating board to the inside of the cabinet to keep heat in. This is a good way to reduce hot tub running costs.
Close your hot tub air jets
Air can introduce a whole new massage experience to your hot tub. But, it also brings in cold air, reducing the water temperature. This means the hot tub is constantly working to bring the temperature up. Turn the air toggles off while you are not using the hot tub to reduce hot tub running costs.
Clean your hot tub filter
Keeping your hot tub clean will make your hot tubbing experience so much nicer. But it will also help to reduce your running costs. If your filter is dirty and clogged, the filtration will have poor water flow and work twice as hard to stay clean.
You rinse your filter weekly using an instant or an overnight filter cleaner. In addition, it’s a good idea to get a spare filter so that you can rotate them while cleaning and never have any downtime on your hot tub.
Use continuous filtration pumps
Continuous filtration pumps are one of the quietest pump styles. These pumps constantly circulate the water to prevent long periods of filtering and heating, thus using less power overall. This will help in saving money on hot tub energy bills.
When new, most hot tubs are fairly well insulated. Over time, however, spray foam insulation commonly found in hot tubs can become waterlogged and lose its effectiveness.
If you notice a leak in your hot tub, have it fixed as soon as possible. Even minor leaks can, over time, cause your hot tub to lose a ton of insulating value by slowly saturating its insulation.
Program your filtration
One of the easiest ways to save on the energy costs of your hot tub is to program its filtration cycles. All hot tubs need to filter their water to get rid of contaminants and keep it clean and safe.
This adds up to a significant part of the monthly hydro cost of a hot tub. Fortunately, newer hot tubs allow some degree of control over their filtration, although they do this differently.
Use economy mode
If you’re going on vacation or won’t be using it for a while, check to see if your hot tub can be set to “economy mode.” Economy mode differs from a standard mode in how it heats the hot tub. Rather than heating the water consistently to maintain your set temperature, the economy mode will only heat the water during your scheduled filtration times.
Check this too: How Do You Clean a Badly Stained Bathtub?
Economic mode reduces your hot tub energy costs by running your heater less. However, the downside of the economy mode is temperature fluctuation. Therefore, it’s best only to run economy mode when you’re not going to be home for 2-3 days or more.
Replace your old filters
Regularly clean or replace your dirty hot tub filters. Water cannot pass through a dirty filter as easily as it can through a clean filter. Unfortunately, the pumps have to work harder to filter the water properly. For that reason, constantly pulling water through a dirty filter will reduce the life of your pump and make it work harder, which will increase the energy cost.
Turn air controls off
Your hot tub’s air controls should be shut off when you’re not using the hot tub. This is because the air these controls ad will cool down the water, causing your heater to work more to compensate. Unfortunately, the added air also slowly increases your pH, which means adding more chemicals to compensate.