Are Hot Tubs Expensive To Run?

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We all love a good hot tub, there is nothing better than a boiling hot, hot tub on a cold winter’s day to warm you up. So if you have finally made the plunge and bought the hot tub that you have had your eyes on for awhile. 

Are Hot Tubs Expensive To Run

You fill it up, turn it on, crank up your heater and then indulge in a nice long soak.

Then you get the electricity bill and it seems a bit higher than usual and depending on how often you use it, the bill could be a lot higher.

Before you purchased the hot tub you may have thought “how much does it cost to run a hot tub?” and just thought you would work it out as you went along. 

Well now it’s time to see if you can make some adjustments so that you can save both money and energy, whilst keeping your fancy hot tub. 

What Are The Running Costs?

Well it really depends on several factors. That’s probably not what you would want to hear and as nice as it would be if there was a definitive answer there is not.

How much it costs you to run your hot tub is not going to cost you the exact same amount as your neighbour or others in your town. 

There are just too many variables to take into consideration:

  • The make and model of your hot tub can make a big difference due to some heating up faster than others.
  • Hot tub age, this one is simple the older your tub is the longer its going to take to get up to heat and thus draws more power
  • Cost of utilities, obviously your water and electricity bills are going to go up. You can get an estimate for energy costs with this energy efficiency calculator.
  • Local sales tax, any supplies you purchase will have the tax applied to them immediately making them fairly pricey.
  • How long you run the hot tub, self explanatory but the longer you run the hot tub the more you will be paying.
  • How often you run the hot tub also obviously impacts the running costs as the more you run the tub the more you pay.
  • How many people use the hot tub, the more load placed on the tub, the more power needed to maintain the heat and water level as well as more chemicals being required.
  • Whether you keep the hot tub covered, if you do not then the chemicals and hot water will slowly evaporate and the heat in the water will dissipate. 
  • Maintaining the temperature, keeping the water at the perfect temperature for you and any friends to enjoy will draw a lot of power.
  • If the hot tub is salt water or pure, salt water naturally contains chlorine so having a salt water hot tub means it will keep itself cleaner than a pure water hot tub where you will need more chemicals to maintain.
  • How well you take care of your hot tub, this is vital as if you constantly clean and check your hot tub it will last longer and cost less than having to call out for a repairman when the hot tub faces inevitable wear over time.
  • If you have upgraded any of the equipment, this is for those of us with older tubs, obviously they will not last forever but upgrading equipment whilst costly will extend the life of your tub.

Whilst it is impossible to perfectly pin down the exact cost of your hot tub, what is possible is using some certain tactics to keep your hot tubs maintenance costs as low as possible, regardless of any variables.

Some Cost Saving Tactics

Heat The Hot Tub Up During Off Peak Hours

The cost of electricity does go down later in the day and is often cheapest at night or early in the morning.

This is due to less people using appliances during these off peak hours and thus you will save money on your energy bill by heating up your hot tub at night or early in the morning.

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If your hot tub contains a thermostat and has a circuit timer then set the thermostat to heat your hot tub during off peak hours. 

Use A Hot Tub Cover

Putting a cover over your hot tub will reduce evaporation, trap heat, and prevent chemicals from evaporating with the water. Maintaining the levels with a hot tub cover will lead to you not needing to replace them as often.

If you do already have a cover and it has been sitting next to your hot tub getting dusty, clean it off and start using it as it is an underrated tool to save money.

If you regularly use your cover then take some time to inspect it for any tears or damage that could affect its performance.

Blocking Wind

If your hot tub is kept outdoors then you do have more to worry about compared to those who keep their hot tubs indoors. Leaves and other debris can fall into the water.

As well as any insects or small animals who will get stuck. 

Wind seems pretty innocuous but it can have a noticeable effect on your hot tub’s water level. The more the air moves above your hot tub, the faster the water will evaporate.

Wind also cools down the water thus making your heater have to work harder and use more power to maintain the temperature you set.

There is no danger of this happening whilst there is a cover over your hot tub but this will not be the case whilst you are using it. So what can be done to protect your wallet from the wind whilst you are using the hot tub?

Creating a windbreak around your hot tub is crucial to deflecting wind, a natural breaker such as a shrub or a man made one like a screen will do the job.

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.