Many people enjoy using their outdoor hot tub or spa during the cold winter months. There’s nothing like soaking in a warm hot tub as you sip hot cocoa and watch the snow fall around you. If you live in a cold climate, follow these six tips to ensure proper operation and efficiency of your hot tub all winter long.
1. Stock up on Supplies – Make sure you have an extra filter cartridge and enough sanitizer, chemicals, test strips, and other spa supplies to last you through the winter. The weather can be unpredictable and you don’t want to take the chance of having to go out and purchase these items when the roads are icy or unmanaged.
2. Protect Your Pipes – One of the major risks of operating a hot tub in the winter is that water can freeze in the pipes. Check that your spa’s freeze protection system is activated, which will help maintain a constant water temperature even when you’re not using the spa. If your hot tub doesn’t have freeze protection, set your timer switch to cycle on for 15 – 20 minutes every hour to keep warm water circulating through the pipes.
3. Keep it Covered – A good insulated cover is essential for reducing the energy requirements of your hot tub during the winter. It is also recommended to use an inexpensive thermal blanket under your regular hot tub cover to help keep the heat in, reduce chemical use, and decrease moisture build-up on the cover. Be sure to spray the vinyl cover with a quality protectant to safeguard against harsh weather conditions and also remove snow before it accumulates on the cover.
4. Watch the Water Level – Check your hot tub’s water level regularly, especially if you do not use your spa every day. If the water in your spa gets too low, the pumps and heater may stop working which will cause the water to freeze.
5. Maintain the Water Temperature –The colder it gets, the longer it takes for your spa to heat up. It is less expensive and more efficient to maintain the water temperature of your hot tub on a daily basis than it is to let it get extremely cold and then reheat it when you want to use the spa. It also keeps water from freezing in the pipes and reduces chemical use.
6. Turn off Air Jets – Running the air jets in the winter uses a great amount of energy because they inject cold air into the spa water. If you do use your jets, make sure you turn them off after every use.
For a list of recommended hot tub manufacturers, visit our Hot Tubs Buyers’ Guide.
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