Will Installing a Hot Tub Increase My Electrical Bill?
Do Hot Tubs Use a Lot of Energy?
Many people know that hot tubs can be fairly expensive to install. On average, an above-ground hot tub can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Meanwhile, in-ground hot tubs cost an average of $8,000 to $25,000 to build. However, the costs associated with a hot tub don't stop at installation. According to HomeGuide, the average monthly costs for hot tubs are $20 to $30 a month for an above-ground unit and $30 to $100 per month for in-ground hot tubs.
These costs are high, but what is driving them? The majority of the monthly expenses associated with your hot tub come from the electricity needed to heat them.
Factors That Affect How Much Power a Hot Tub Uses
When it comes to powering your hot tub, keeping the water warm is the greatest source of energy consumption (ranging roughly from 1,500 to 6,000 watts depending on your specific hot tub). After the heater, your hot tub's water pump draws significant energy (around 1,500 watts). Depending on how often your tub has to heat and circulate water, this adds up.
The larger your hot tub, the more energy you will need to bring the water up to your desired temperature. The first time you heat your water after filling the tub is when you will notice the largest spike in your power bill. Because so much water needs to be heated, it is recommended that you always keep your hot tub set at a stable temperature and don't turn it off between uses.
Other factors that can impact how much it costs to power your hot tub include:
- The size of the hot tub
- Your climate and the time of year
- Whether you are keeping your hot tub at a constant temperature
- The location of your hot tub in the yard
- How well insulated the tub is
- Whether you keep your hot tub securely covered when not in use
Additionally, the more use your hot tub sees, the more energy it will use. When your hot tub is not in use, it is typically covered. This keeps the water well-insulated, reducing the amount of heat that can escape. When you use your hot tub, the cover comes off, and people get in – both of these dramatically reduce the temperature of the water, requiring the hot tub's heater to turn on so that it can bring the temperature back up.
Hot Tub Heating Best Practices
So, you know your hot tub is a bit of an energy hog. What can you do to reduce your energy costs while still enjoying your hot tub? Though it may not seem like it, there is actually a lot you can do! And a lot of it is quite easy and doesn't take more than a few minutes. Keep reading to learn more.
Keep Your Hot Tub at a Consistent Temperature
You may have been told that you should turn your hot tub off when you aren't using it to save energy. This is not true and, in fact, has the opposite effect. Every time you have to heat the water more than a few degrees, it uses a significant amount of energy. When it only has to heat your hot tub a few degrees, its heater doesn't have to run as long and therefore uses a lot less power.
Similarly, use your heater's timer function to schedule it to do most of its heating during off-peak hours when the cost of electricity is less expensive. Off-peak hours are generally considered before 5 pm and after 8 pm during the week. Weekends and holidays are considered off-peak as well.
Invest In a Good Hot Tub Cover
Most of a hot tub's heating loss comes through the top of the hot tub. Most hot tubs have well-insulated sides and/or shells. And, if your hot tub is in-ground, the earth acts as an excellent insulator. Therefore, a great way to reduce the amount of energy you're using to heat your hot tub is to invest in a good, well-insulted hot tub cover.
Many hot tubs come with custom-fit covers – these are the best. A cover made specifically for your hot tub will ensure that you have a tight seal and that less heat escapes when the hot tub is not being used. With less heat loss, your heater will run less, saving you money.
Get to Know Your Hot Tub's Settings
You should also spend some time familiarizing yourself with the different settings on your hot tub. Many modern models have a wide range of settings, including an eco-setting, all designed to help owners save on energy. For example, you can set up heating schedules to ensure that your hot tub is ready when you want it but isn't expending excess energy when you don't. This includes vacation settings where your hot tub's temperature can be somewhat reduced when you know you won't be using it for an extended period of time.
Similarly, many models allow you to schedule when your hot tub runs through its filtration cycles (something that must be done daily and requires the water pump to run for an extended period). Go into your settings and set up your filtration cycles to run during off-peak hours.
Keep Your Hot Tub Well-Maintained
Finally, take care of your hot tub. A hot tub in good working condition will run more efficiently, ultimately using less energy over time. To keep your hot tub well-maintained, you should ensure that it is kept clean, debris is removed from in and around the hot tub regularly, filters are cleaned and replaced regularly, and all repairs and leaks are taken care of promptly and by a professional.
Similarly, if you have special pool or hot tub lighting, either in or around the hot tub, you want to make sure it is in good working condition. Faulty lighting is often a contributor to excessive energy bills, and even something as simple as a broken timer that keeps your lights on all day or all night can have a significant impact.Want more tips on how to get the most out of your hot tub this summer? Review our blog for electrical safety tips around pools and hot tubs.