We were actually pleasantly surprised to learn that you can safely run a hot tub in the dead of winter.
It may be winter, but things are still pretty warm around my home! Last summer we bought a hot tub, and we’re still enjoying it even through these colder months. We were actually pleasantly surprised to learn that you can safely run a hot tub in the dead of winter.
The walk to the hot tub is a tad chilly, but once we’re in the water it’s a warm retreat from the stresses of the day. In fact, I think I almost enjoy the hot tub more in the winter than I do in the summer, because it seems the winter months bring more stress with the holidays, tax season, and a few extra work projects. Plus, we’ve had a fairly mild winter thus far this year, so temperatures have been quite conducive to a warm soak in the hot tub after a long day at work.
The key to using it in the winter, we have found, is proper maintenance. Once temperatures dip below freezing, the pipes and tubing inside the tub can freeze. This will ruin your spa. Ours came with a “no-freeze” setting on the thermostat, so we simply switched that over once the weather got cold enough to need it, and the thermostat maintains the water temperature all of the time. Hot tubs that don’t have this option need to be set so the heating unit runs at least 15 minutes each hour to prevent freezing.
Of course, keeping the water warm uses a lot of energy, and we want to keep our bills as low as possible. To combat this, we invested in an affordable floating thermal blanket. This sits right on top of the water to help keep the heat in, while also reducing the amount of chemicals the tub consumes.
While we haven't had much snow to worry about yet this year, the weight of it can damage the cover. Since these aren’t cheap, we put a plastic tarp over it if there is snow in the forecast. Then, we can either brush it off with our snow shovel without damaging the hot tub's cover, or we can lift the tarp and dump it that way.
Now, one thing I knew is that I had no desire to be outside draining the spa in the dead of winter. This year wouldn’t have been so bad with our mild temperatures up until now, but we decided to take preventative measures to avoid this necessity. In order to ensure we could get through the coldest months without having to clean the spa, we did this job in mid November before the cold weather was due. I estimate we can get through most of February without the need to drain and clean the tub again.
It really hasn’t been difficult to keep our spa running well this winter. One thing I have learned through this is that there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as sitting in the bubbling warm waters of my own hot tub with snow flurries dancing around my head. I can’t wait until we get our first “real” snow of the winter and we can sit outside in the hot tub in the middle of a blizzard!!!!
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