One of the most common concerns that new hot tub buyers have is how much their new hot tub will cost them to run. Today, we will look at the various hot tub operating costs to give you a sense of what a typical hot tub costs to maintain, as well as providing a few tips for lowering that cost.
So how much will hot tub chemicals cost you? The answer really depends on how often you use the hot tub. The more you use the hot tub, the more chemicals the hot tub will require. There are two reasons for this:
- You introduce organic materials into the water (oils, lotions, sweat, etc) that are broken down by your sanitizer; typically either chlorine or bromine. Once they’ve done their job, those sanitizers need to be replaced to keep the water clean and clear.
- You also alter the balance of the water slightly. The more often you use the hot tub, the more you will need to balance the water.
Assuming you only use the mandatory chemicals and given average use (3-4 times per week) most hot tub owners will typically spend around $20-$30 per month on hot tub chemicals. This number can increase, however, if you choose to use additional chemicals such as water softeners, aromatherapy oils or water clarifiers.
A hot tub’s running costs can be split into 2 categories; heating costs and filtration costs.
Of all of the running costs of a hot tub, the heating costs are usually what people fear most. While hot tubs used to cost quite a bit to heat, advancements in technology in recent years has lead to a dramatic reduction in the cost to heat a typical hot tub. These advancements have reduced costs in two ways:
- Better insulation. Hot tubs are simply better insulated than they used to be. Hydropool Hot Tubs, for example, add a 2nd later of insulation around the cabinet and floor of their hot tubs. This not only adds more insulation, it also helps to trap waste heat from the motors and heater, further increasing the energy efficiency of the hot tub.
- More efficient equipment. Hot tub pumps and heaters are also more energy efficient than they used to be; doing the same job while using less power.
One major hot tub running cost that most people don’t consider is the cost to filter the water. All hot tubs need to run between 8-24 hours per day in order to keep the water clean and clear. These pre-programmed “filtration cycles” allow the water to pass through the hot tub filters, removing any dirt and debris in the water while also ensuring that the sanitization chemicals are distributed evenly throughout the water.
While older hot tubs needed to run 24 hours per day in order to keep the water clear, improvements in hot tub technology now means that some are able to do the same job in as little as 8-12 hours. As you can imagine, this makes a big difference in your monthly energy bill! Hot tubs like the Self-Cleaning line from Hydropool take this one step further. Their Self-Cleaning filtration system is able to maintain clean, clear water in as little as 6-8 hours per day, while also using pumps that use 1/6 the power of a traditional hot tub pump!
While some cheaper hot tub manufacturers still use outdated heating and filtration technology, a hot tub from a reputable hot tub manufacturer like Hydropool Hot Tubs will generally cost you an average of $30-$40 per month to filter and heat.
Repairs & Maintenance
Of all of the operating costs of a hot tub, repairs and maintenance are the hardest to estimate. Some people have a hot tub for 20 years with minimal issues while others seem to have to repair theirs almost every year. Why so different? The answer is usually a combination of the initial quality of the hot tubs, as well as how well the owners take care of the hot tub. Here’s a few tips to help ensure that your repairs and maintenance bills are as low as possible.
- Keep your water balanced. Well balanced water not only feels nicer, it is also much easier on the hot tub plumbing and equipment. The better your water balance, the longer these components will last.
- Fix leaks as soon as you notice them. While a slight drip doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, if it’s not looked after properly it can soon turn into a much larger problem, especially in the winter.
- Replace your filters every 12-18 months. Over time hot tub filters fill up with dirt and debris. While regular cleanings remove some of this dirt and debris, they don’t get all of it. Eventually the amount of dirt trapped in the filters reaches a point where water isn’t able to be drawn through them as easily. This makes the hot tub pumps have to work harder to keep the water circulating and reduces their lifespan considerably.
How Can You Reduce Your Hot Tub’s Running Costs?
Here’s a few simple tips that you can use to reduce your hot tub’s running costs:
- Replace your hot tub covers when they get heavy. One of the biggest sources of heat loss in a hot tub is the cover. If yours has gotten heavier recently, it is likely waterlogged. Once this happens you need to replace the cover as soon as possible. Waterlogged covers are extremely inefficient and can add several hundred dollars to your energy bill every year.
- Try lowering your water temperature by 1 degree. Studies have shown that by lowering your hot tub water by 1 degree Fahrenheit can reduce your energy bill by up to 15%!
- Run your hot tub during off-peak hours when possible. You can save a significant amount of money every year simply by programming your hot tub’s filtration cycles to run overnight when the energy rates are lower. For more information about how to program your hot tub’s filter cycles, consult your owner’s manual.