Hot Tubs In The Snow
There are many considerations that you need to make before using your hot tub in the snow.
Yes, there is nothing wrong with using your hot tub during the winter. You don't have to worry about your pipes freezing if you have normal water levels, the power running, and all of your internal equipment running properly.
However, there are other factors that come into play during the winter months, which can help you use your hot tub optimally and save money on electricity.
Come with us as we explore the best ways to optimize your winter-time hot tub use.
Is Using a Hot Tub In The Snow Okay?
Yes, it's totally fine to use your hot tub when there is snow out. In fact, many hot tub owners say that their favorite time of year to use their hot tub is during the winter months. Warm water can be incredibly soothing and very complementary alongside cold weather.
Of course, there are a few additional care items that you need to be aware of.
For starters, if you live in an area where it snows, you need to make sure to remove your hot tub cover carefully. Prior to lifting the cover off of your hot tub, make sure that you wipe any additional snow, ice, or water off of the cover. Snow is very heavy and can damage the foam under the vinyl if no precaution is taken.
While you're soaking, you should also make sure that you have a place to step outside of your hot tub. Move ice and snow out of the way of your exit path. You may even consider placing some slippers and a robe next to your hot tub so that you can stay warm when you get out. Doing so can also protect your feet from any snow and ice.
Keeping Your Hot Tub At The Right Temperature
We say it all the time — the recommended water temperature for using your hot tub is 104-degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether you're using your hot tub during the winter or not, soaking in a water temperature higher than that can be dangerous.
During the winter months, people often set their hot tub water temperature to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because the weather is very cold outside, you may feel tempted to turn the water temperature up. Unfortunately, the more you turn the temperature up, the shorter you will be able to soak.
Keep it safe at 100 degrees and immerse your full body if you start feeling cold.
How To Care For Your Hot Tub In The Winter
Many hot tub owners wonder if they need to treat their hot tub like they treat their pools during the winter.
There is no need to shut off the pipes and clear out all of the water. Winter is a wonderful time to soak. However, if you decide to shut your hot tub down for the winter, there are a few things that you need to make sure to do.
Drain Your Hot Tub Water
One of the biggest causes of hot tub damage during the winter is freezing pipes. If you don't drain or winterize your hot tub, your pipes will freeze and you will need to spend a ton of money to fix it. It is best to keep the water running if you can, as it will cost far less than repairing damaged pipes in the long run.
Remove Water From the Air Blower
If you have a hot tub with an air blower, you must remove all of the excess water from it too. Once you shut the heater off, run your blower for half a minute or so. Your blower will get rid of all of the excess water so that it remains dry once you shut the power off.
Once you are done, use a wet vac to suck up any water that is leftover. Usually, excess water sits in the jets or at the bottom of the hot tub.
Get Rid Of Your Old Filters
Your filters hold onto moisture, which will freeze and turn into ice once temperatures drop below freezing. Remove your filters from your hot tub and clean them off with some freshwater. If you notice that they are dirty and need to be replaced, then go ahead and throw them out. Otherwise, you can dry them off and store them until your are ready to fire that bad boy up again.
Optimizing Your Hot Tub In The Winter
Prior to winter, you should change the water out in your spa and make sure that it has been cleaned from top to bottom.
It is much easier to perform hot tub maintenance before it gets cold out.
You should also spend some time researching hot tub covers to find one that is strong and sturdy for winter. Temperature loss occurs mostly on the surface of the hot tub.
If you have a hot tub cover that is ripped, you will need to replace it so that you can retain your hot water.
One great way to reduce overall energy costs is to purchase a floating thermal blanket that sits on the surface of the water. You can cut these blankets so that they fit perfectly within your tub.
Make sure that you check on the water level of your hot tub as well. If you don't use your hot tub for a few weeks and the water level drops, it could end up damaging your spa heater and water pumps. Take some time to fill your spa with water if necessary.
What Is The Cost Of Running a Hot Tub In the Winter?
Hot tub owners know that heat and electricity are ongoing expenses.
No matter what time of year, you will always have to pay to keep your hot tub running.
If you have a hot tub that was manufactured in the last decade, you probably pay well under $25 per month to keep the heat up.
Unfortunately, cold temperatures in winter can increase the costs associated with running your hot tub, as the cold air puts more pressure on your heater.
To determine how much you will pay, you need to take a few factors into consideration.
For starters, low-end spas don't typically come with all of the necessary components to keep the spa insulated. If you have a lower end spa, it may not be able to resist a low temperature climate. Newer hot tub models come with full foam insulation, which sits just under the shell and acts as a dense barrier between the inside of the tub and the freezing air.
Second, if you have a base pan or thermal barrier on the bottom of your spa, you can greatly reduce your costs. Just as you should get a cover to protect the top of your spa, you should get something to protect the bottom of your spa. Similar to your cover, your base pan or thermal barrier should be thick and durable. The last thing you want is ice or snow tearing into your base pan.
Thirdly, you need to consider how thick your hot tub cover is. Not every cover is made equally. If you can, try and look for a hot tub cover that has locking latches. Latches help keep your hot tub cover air tight so that your water can remain as warm as possible at all times. Plus, a good hot tub cover will keep your spa clean too.
When you're trying to figure out how much it is going to cost you to run your tub in the winter, you need to consider the model you own, the frequency of use, the temperature you set it at, and the electricity costs in your region.
Hot Tubbing In The Winter
There is nothing quite as refreshing and rejuvenating as hot tubbing during the winter. Hot tub use is completely safe during the winter as well, though you need to keep a few things in mind so that your tub doesn't take on any damage in the long run.
As we said before, ensure that you have completely drained you spa of water if you decide to power it off during the colder months so that you don't have to worry about the pipes or any of the components freezing. If you're planning on keeping it running, just make sure to clear any snow or ice from around the shell and cover, and get yourself a new cover and base pan to keep it completely insulated.
Have fun and happy hot tubbing!