Energy Efficiency and Heat Loss: Keeping Hot Tub Energy Costs Down

Hot Tub Energy Costs

One of the biggest bugbears of hot tub ownership has always been that pesky power bill. Takes a lot of energy to keep your hot tub hot, especially during the colder months. It is possible, however, to tame the beast. It is possible to reduce that ravenous grizzly down to teddy bear size. And it’s surprisingly easy to do.

Dial it Down

One of the quickest and easiest ways to lower how much energy your hot tub uses is to simply turn the temperature down a few notches. Depending on what you normally keep it set to, you are unlikely to notice a difference of a few degrees. Your hot tub heater will, though. Those few degrees mean it has to work just a little bit less. Moving from 104° to 100° can have a noticeable effect on power consumption.

Don’t feed the bear more, make the bear smaller.

Thermal Efficiency

Turning down the heat can help, and it’s pretty easy to do. But it’s even more effective to keep the heat that’s already in there… in there. This is, of course, one of the primary purposes of your hot tub cover, but there are some things you can do to make it more effective.

Great hot tub cover The Cover GuyGet a Good Hot Tub Cover

The number one way to reduce your Hot Tub Energy Costs is to have the best hot tub cover for your environment. We can begin with the thickness of the cover itself. If it’s time to replace your deluxe cover or equivalent (5” – 3”) consider switching to the Extreme (6” – 4”) model. The extra inch of foam means even more heat not getting out of the tub after you do.

Make Sure the Spa Cover Fits

This one is a common mistake, but make sure your hot tub cover fits properly sealing in the heat and locking out the cold. If your cover is too small or too big it can cause heat and or water loss which will keep that meter turning and your bill rising.

Check the Hinge

hot tub cover seamMost of the heat that does escape from even a good hot tub cover does so through the seam or the hinge. Choosing a cover with a fully insulated seam/hinge can help a lot with Hot Tub Energy Costs. Hot tub covers come standard with two steam stoppers at each end of the hot tub cover middle seam or hinge. The two pillows are usually enough for most climates, but if you are in a colder climate the full length steam stopper is an upgrade you will want.

What’s Under the Hood?

A cover with an energy reflective underside is also a great idea. The material used on this type of underside is silvery and reflective. It bounces heat energy that escapes from the water back down into the tub. It also helps protect the cover from water and chemical damage over time.

Tiny Bubbles

Besides escaping through the hinge and being absorbed by the cover itself – if there’s no energy shield underside – evaporation is another key source of heat loss. As water from the tub evaporates into the space between the water and the cover, it takes heat with it. A very efficient way of preventing this evaporation is the use of either a bubble cover, or a floating thermal blanket.

Turn off the Air

This is a simple one but often not done. When you exit the hot tub make sure all air controls are turned to the off position. If the air valves that make the hot tub nice and bubbly are left open you can guarantee that your heater will be on a lot more. The air drawn in by the air valves is outside or cabinet air which is cold and will cool down your spa.

Stuff a Little More in

You can reduce the loss of heat in your hot tub by adding a little insulation inside the cabinet. Fill large garbage bags full of insulation and stuff it into the open areas of your hot tub cabinet. This will work just like a coat keeping the outside cool air just a little further from the sides of your spa.

Breaking the Wind

Wind break for hot tubNo, not that way.

If your hot tub is outdoors and in an exposed location, you may be losing a surprising amount of heat to the wind. Putting up a simple wind break to cut out the breeze can be an effective method of reducing hot tub heat loss.

The keys to lowering the cost of running your hot tub are all about increasing its ability to hold heat. By keeping the heat in the tub, you reduce the amount of energy necessary to maintain temperature. That can help keep your energy bill a lot more bearable, all year round.

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