Those new to hot tub ownership often wonder what to expect when it comes to ongoing costs. The answer really depends on a number of things – which hot tub brand and model you own, which water care system you chose, and how often you use the spa. Being educated about ongoing costs before you buy can help you choose a model that will give you the greatest value over time.
How Much Does it Cost to Run a Hot Tub?
This frequently asked question depends on where you live, what the climate is like in any given time of season, how big or small a hot tub you buy and how often you use your hot tub. The cost for electricity is different in every part of the country and changes often. Our hot tub energy calculator is capable of giving you a ballpark estimate of what the average monthly operating costs of a hot tub could be in your area of the U.S.
What makes a hot tub model energy efficient?
Choose a spa model with energy-efficient features that keep energy costs low. Some of the things to look for in the most energy efficient hot tub models include:
- A fully insulated hot tub cabinet The more insulation or the heavier the density of the insulation, the better.
- A dedicated circulation pump Some hot tubs do not have a dedicated circulation pump. This important energy saving feature circulates spa water 24 hours a day using very little energy. Without it, the much larger jet pumps are required to turn on and circulate the water throughout the day, which leads to higher energy costs.
- A tight-fitting insulated foam spa cover Look for a hot tub cover with extra insulation at the center hinge – which is where hot air is most likely to escape.
- LED lights can also help reduce energy costs Better brands of hot tubs will come with LED lighting systems that not only save energy but add to the hot tub experience.
Of course your climate will also impact your energy costs. If you live in a region with extreme winters, it will be even more important for you to choose a hot tub with excellent energy efficiency – not only to keep costs low, but also to ensure you’ll use your hot tub through those cold winter months.
Should I turn the temperature down on my hot tub when not in use?
It really depends how often you are going to use your hot tub. If you use your spa every day then it will cost you more to heat the water back up every day when you want to use it. If you are going away or don't intend on using your hot tub for a longer period then it is advisable to turn the temperature down. Well designed hot tubs like ours are designed to be highly energy efficient. So much so that it costs more to reheat the water back up to temperature when you turn it down. If you have to wait for the water to heat back up again you may not use your hot tub as often.
How much do hot tub chemicals cost per month?
There are a wide variety of water care options available. The three most commonly used systems are traditional bottled water care (good), a combination of Ozone, Silver and MPS (better), and automated salt water systems like the FreshWater® system from Hot Spring® (best). Each of these systems requires a different level of interaction from the spa owner, and comes at a different cost.
Traditional water care is the most inexpensive approach and has served many spa owners very well for 30 years. Depending on your spa usage, traditional water care can typically cost about $20/month.
If you opt to upgrade to an Ozone system, you will find that you do a little bit less work to maintain your spa water, and the cost per month breaks down to be just slightly higher than that of traditional water care.
Use Your Hot Tub More
Of course the more often you use your spa, the more energy you will consume and the more you will spend on water care. Is it cost you are worried about, or are we really talking about value? The more you use your spa, the greater the value is, and the more you get for the money you spent. It makes a lot of sense to spend more up front on a spa that offers energy-efficient features that reduce operating costs, and features a water care system that makes using the spa more enjoyable. Consider the cost-value equation when trying to determine how much you should spend on a hot tub.