Tips for Running your Hot Tub this Winter
Sitting in a hot tub is a fun and relaxing pastime many of us enjoy all summer. We enjoy sitting out on those warm nights, talking with friends or simply looking at the stars. Many people restrict their hot tub use to summertime, but if you haven’t sat in the hot tub on a cold winter night, breathing the 30-degree air or enjoying a light snowfall, you may find you like it. Since winter can wreak havoc on an improperly kept hot tub, we’ve put together a few tips to help you out.
Drain and winterize. If you decide not to opt for this method, take care to properly winterize your hot tub. Make sure all water is removed, not just from the tub, but from all pumps, drains, pipes and any other areas that contain water. Be sure the spa has a tight-fitting cover to guard against the elements. Much of the damage to hot tubs comes from improper winterization.
Consider energy efficiency. Most of the more modern hot tubs are more energy efficient, and the costs to keep them running over the winter may be lower than or approximately equal to the cost of winterizing and refilling the spa.
Keep the temperature constant. If you normally run your spa around 100 degrees, keep it there. It may be tempting to turn it down to 80 or so, but resist the temptation. A well-fitting cover will conserve the heat, so you won’t be wasting energy to keep up with excessive heat loss. The energy cost difference between keeping your hot tub at 80 degrees and 100 degrees is negligible, but it could make a huge difference if the power goes out. If there is a power outage, chances are that a well-insulated spa will maintain an above-freezing temperature until the power is restored. Keeping the water at a lower temperature makes it that much closer to potentially freezing.
Always turn off the jets. You most likely do this anyway, but making sure to turn off the jets when they are not in active use will save you in energy and heating costs. Circulating cold air through the water will cool it down in a hurry.
Have a well-insulated, tightly-fitting cover. We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s important, whether you are heating your hot tub all year or winterizing it. A tightly-fitting cover will keep the outside elements, like snow and rain, from getting in. A cover that is insulated well will prevent the heat transfer between the water and the cold outside air, thus conserving your heat and electricity.
Enjoy your hot tub! If you’ve decided to keep the hot tub running through the winter, be sure to use it once in a while. You bought it for your relaxation and enjoyment, so take advantage of that.