Most hot tubs today are fairly well insulated when new; however foam hot tub insulation and covers can become waterlogged and lose effectiveness over time. If you notice a leak be sure to get it fixed as soon as possible. You’re losing water that you’ve already paid to heat and have to replace it with cold water that you have to then pay to heat. Once the leak has been fixed be sure to also remove and replace any insulation that has become saturated. Foam insulation works by heating the air bubbles within the insulation. If it gets wet and those air bubbles become water bubbles it loses most of it’s insulating value.
For that same reason you should replace your hot tub covers as they become saturated. When buying a new hot tub cover check to make sure it has a “full foam” or “full hinge” seal. This is a piece of foam that runs the entire width of the cover and is designed to insulate the center of the cover when the cover is closed. Without this you will only have a thin piece of vinyl insulating the hot tub between the two foam sides of the cover.
Thermal image of the centre of a hot tub cover without a full hinge sealer.
Programing Your Filtration
Check your owner’s manual to see if your hot tub allows you to control it’s filtration cycles. Most newer hot tubs will allow for at least some degree of controllability over the start time and run time of the hot tubs filtration. Program your hot tub to only run mid day, or overnight to avoid peak energy rates; most hot tubs will only need to run 8-12 hours a day to properly filter the water with average use. Some hot tubs now allow you to program each day to run differently to account for the different peak energy times on weekends.
Note: Some hot tubs that use a circulation pump to filter the water are designed to run for 24hrs a day and shouldn’t be changed. Check your owner’s manual for more information.
If you’re going on vacation, or just won’t be using your hot tub for a few days check to see if you can set to economy mode. This will drop the set temperature 10-20 degrees, and only heat the water on a filtration cycle. Some manufacturers even have preset programs that allow will automatically switch between economy mode during the week and standard mode during the weekend if you are a weekend only user.
Note: Economy mode should only be used if you are not planning on using the hot tub for two or more days, any less than that and it is more efficient to keep it at a set temperature. You can instead lower the set temperature by 2 degrees. Even a 2 degree drop can make a big difference in the energy consumption of a hot tub.
- Clean or replace dirty filters. A dirty filter doesn’t allow water to pass through it as easily as a clean filter does; making the pumps work harder to keep up.
- Shut your air controls off when you’re not using the hot tub. The air that is added will cool down the water and cause your heater to work harder to keep up.
- Make sure to lock your cover clips when you’re not using the hot tub. These clips help to keep the cover firmly closed; without them the cover can be lifted by the wind, or from positive air pressure building up under the cover if your air controls are left open. This will allow heat to escape. If your clips are broken you can buy replacement clips from your local hot tub store.
- You can install a floating thermal blanket that sits on the hot tub water; adding another layer of insulation and slowing evaporation. If you have a well insulated hot tub a significant amount of the overall heat loss will come through evaporation.
While going out and buying a new, state of the art, energy efficient hot tub is still the best way to ensure you’re spending the lowest amount possible on your hot tub, it’s not always practical to do so. As you can see there are still many ways you can save alot of money with your exisiting hot tub. Even small things like lowering your temperature by one or two degrees, or reprogramming your hot tub’s filtration to run on off-peak times can make a large difference on your monthly energy bill.
If you have any more questions about how to save money on your new or used hot tub give us a call at 905-666-5333. If you found this helpful share it with your friends and family on Facebook, Google +, or Pinterest. You can also like us on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/TheSpaShoppe ) or follow us on Twitter (@thespashoppe) to get notified when new blog entries are posted. Do you own a pool as well? Check out our entry for how to spend less on the maintenance of your pool.