The best way to lower the cost of running your hot tub is to first understand what is costing you the most money. The most expensive part of running a hot tub is powering up the heating element. Almost all hot tubs are heated using an electrical resistance coil. As electrical energy is run through the heating element, the resistance causes heat, which is absorbed by the water running through the heater. Secondary electrical costs come from running the pump(s).
The best thing you can do for your wallet is to be sure your hot tub is running as efficiently as possible. Read on for our tips to lower the cost of running your hot tub, in order of impact and ease of implementation.
- Cover condition and the quality of the cover makes the biggest impact on energy savings and heat retention. A water logged or otherwise damaged cover has a significantly reduced thermal rating and can be difficult to move. The cost of a new higher quality cover quickly pays for itself in
electrical savings, as the heating element is used much less.
- Turning down the temperature of your hot tub between uses makes a huge impact. Lowering the temperature from 104 to 100 (or even less) saves a lot in electrical costs because the heating element is powered up less frequently. The lower you set the temperature, the more you’ll save, but it will take longer to heat back up before use.
- Closing air jets while the hot tub is not in use will help to reduce heat loss. Most hot tubs have valves that allow air to be sucked into the return jets when opened, causing bubbling action in the water. This is nice when you’re using the hot tub, but the turbulence at the surface allows heat to rise and escape much quicker. Especially in the winter, the air being introduced is much cooler than the water temperature, causing a rapid temperature drop.
- Maintaining a clean filter cartridge will reduce the cost of running the circulation pump. A dirty filter will restrict water flow and force the pump to work harder, drawing more energy and thus costing more money to operate. Regularly cleaning the filter cartridge ensures that not only will the water quality remain high, but the efficiency of the pump can be maximized.
- A thermal or solar blanket can be cut to size and floated on top of the water surface. The “heavy-duty bubble wrap” can serve as a lighter, secondary cover to further reduce heat evaporation up and out of the hot tub.
- If a hot tub is consistently buffeted by wind, the air flow around the tub will whisk away heat and maintain lower temperatures around the unit, speeding up heat loss. Having a simple wind break can make a big difference and will also increase privacy and comfort for bathers when in use.
- LED lights are all the rage now as their energy consumption is much lower than standard incandescent lights. Hot tubs can upgrade to this technology to save a little, but making sure that the lights are turned off when done using the hot tub is the best way to save on lighting costs.
- As technology in many industries advances, some of that invariably finds its way into the pool and spa industry. Pumps, motors, lights and heaters are more efficient, more thought is put into the hydraulic design of the plumbing systems, insulation has improved, control systems have more options, the list goes on. Older hot tubs were usually just a pump, heater, and a filter. That same system in a newer hot tub will be, by default, much more efficient. Newer hot tubs usually use a very small circulation pump or a two speed pump to significantly lower the cost of heating and filtering. They’ll also allow for a higher speed/stronger jet pumps to add the jet action that bathers desire when the hot tub is in use. Newer tubs generally have more design and equipment options as well, allowing for more capabilities at a lower operational cost. Eventually, it might be worth investing in an upgrade to a more efficient system.
Contact us directly if we can help you with your hot tub or swimming pool maintenance or answer any questions. Visit the South Shore Pool Supply Retail Store for all of your hot tub and pool products.