Dipping into a hot tub while the cold weather is upon you can cause an extreme delight in the senses. The harsh contrast of a cold environment to submerging your body in hot water makes owning a hot tub in winter something to look forward to.
For the regular hot tubbers who enjoy a good soak, the winter months can make the experience of hot hydrotherapy even more appealing.
If you own or are considering buying a hot tub for the winter months, you should be aware of a few details that will make your life easier. The first aspect of owning a hot tub in winter is knowing how to save money with energy-efficient practices.
How to cut monthly expenses on your hot tub in winter
There are a few areas that you should pay attention to when trying to reduce your monthly energy expense; the interior shell insulation, installing a base pan and purchasing a quality spa cover and the use of your jets.
Invest in a well insulated hot tub
The insulation of your hot tub plays a major factor in how well it preserves heat. The space between the shell of your hot tub acts as a buffer between the outside elements and the water.
The highest quality hot tubs are filled with dense foam that hardens to fill the shell. This traps heat inside the tub thereby reducing the time your heater spends heating the water.
Install a base pan
The idea of an energy-efficient spa is to reduce the amount of energy required to heat the hot tub. Reduce the level of exposure your spa has to the frozen ground in order to reduce the amount of heat that is lost. The additional protective layer between the ground and your hot tub helps maintain water temperature for longer periods of time.
Invest in a quality hot tub cover
If you’re in an area that gets a lot of snow, you’ll need a spa cover that’s at least 15 centimetres (or 6”). Be sure that your hot tub cover has an airtight seal and use the cover locks (if applicable) when covering your spa to avoid any space between the tub and the cover. This prevents heat from escaping and also reduces water evaporation.
Reduce your jet pressure
Although you may want to maintain the pressure of a good hydro massage, keep in mind that jets pump air from outside the hot tub into the water. During the winter months, the air is considerably cooler, which can reduce the water temperature and trigger your water heaters to work a little harder.
What temperature should I keep my hot tub in the winter?
The recommended water temperature doesn’t change just because the winter temperatures set in, so keep your hot tub between 38°C-40°C (100°F-104°F). It becomes unsafe for anyone to soak in water temperatures above 40°C (104°F) so maintain the same water temperature all year round.
Should I drain my hot tub in the winter?
Avoid draining your hot tub during the winter months since your spa becomes more vulnerable to pipes freezing in the process. Draining and refilling your hot tub in sub-zero temperatures is not recommended since water can freeze and cause damage.
Instead, plan to change your water late in the fall season before the temperature falls to extreme levels. The recommended maintenance schedule suggests you should change your water at least once every four months however, there are ways to get by without draining your spa during the winter.
How to maintain a hot tub in the winter
If you’re planning on using your hot tub in winter, you’ll need to abide by a number of recommended maintenance practices in order to ensure the water stays clean and balanced.
Avoid draining the water in sub-zero temperatures
There’s no doubt that the water in your tub can get to a point where it needs to be replaced. The way to manage this problem is to change the water in small increments. Remove 15-30cm (6-12in) of water at a time. This way as you replace what you’ve removed with freshwater, there’s no chance of your hot tub pipes freezing.
Keep up your water balancing maintenance
Even if you’re not using your hot tub as much as in the summer months, it’s still best practice to maintain a regular water-balancing schedule. Keep your water clear and balanced to avoid any further problems later down the line (like the need to replace water).
Enforce the shower-before-you-soak rule
It might be more of a hassle for bathers to shower before soaking, but you’ll avoid tracking in a lot of contaminants that are commonly brought in by people. Showering before hot-tubbing will reduce the amount of lotion, hair products, body dirt and oil in your tub making it easier on the filters creating less of a need for chemicals (and draining the water).
Helpful tips for using a hot tub in the winter months
The following tips will make your winter hot tub experience more enjoyable. They may not apply to everyone, but a few accessories can make a big difference in the level of comfort you have going back and forth from your house to your spa.
Have an entrance and exit strategy
You may think lightly of making your way to your hot tub from the house, but when the wind and snow start gusting, you don’t want to rush and slip considering the icy and snowy conditions. Knowing exactly how you’ll get to your tub and how you’ ‘ll get back saves you from a panic mode in less than ideal temperatures.
Wear a hat, toque or beanie to keep your head protected
Although the water temperature is enough to keep you warm, you’re only covered from the neck down. Wearing a type of covering on your head can protect your hair from freezing (if wet) and keeping your body temperature from dropping.
Use sandals or water shoes to get from your door to the tub and back
Keep a pair of sandals or water shoes to protect your feet walking on the cold ground. There may be jagged ice or snow that you might prefer to avoid stepping on with bare feet.
Keep a robe and dry towel nearby
Obviously, a robe would be ideal for getting out of the tub. It can be a big shock to go from 40°C (104°F) to sub-zero temperatures. Getting your body covered will let you get back to the house more comfortably without feeling like the world is ending with you like a frozen popsicle.
Get a cover lifter
As a bonus to preserving the quality of your cover, you reduce wait time in getting in and out of the tub. A cover lifter makes it much easier to slide the spa cover on and off the hot tub while keeping it off the ground as well.
Spend time in your hot tub all winter season
There’s no reason not to enjoy your hot tub in the winter months. Your backyard retreat will soon become a hot oasis for beating the cold climate.
Take the necessary precautions and whatever accessories will make you most comfortable and enjoy the benefits of the winter hot tub experience.
If you’re considering purchasing a Beachcomber spa, click here to find the best hot tubs for sale that meet your specific needs.