Let’s be frank here. Owning an inflatable hot tub costs money. After all, you have to fill it with water. It uses electricity to heat the water and to create the massage system. Also, you need to buy chemicals to keep the water sanitized and safe for your hot tub users.
What this means, is that your heating and water bills are definitely going to rise. So what you need are ways of keeping these costs to a minimum. Because if you don’t, then owning your hot tub can end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for.
By following our money saving tips, though, you’ll enjoy your hot tub without it costing you a small fortune.
1. Keep Your Motor Running
OK. We have to admit this one seems the complete opposite of what you’d expect. To save energy and money you should keep the heater running all the time! Weird, right?
But in our experience, if you use your inflatable hot tub regularly – let’s say three times a week or more – it’s much better to leave the heater on all the time. That’s because if you turn it off, the water temperature is going to drop quickly and drastically over the following 24 hours or so, until you use your hot tub again. You will then have to heat this cold water back up to your target temperature. It’s basically like starting out all over; and that’s going to take time, energy, and money.
Therefore, keeping the water hot actually works out to be more economical.
We suggest that when you finish in your hot tub for the day, you set the heater’s digital control to around 96F. That will keep the water at a nice-and-hot temperature. Then, about an hour or so before you’re going to use your spa, set the heater to your preferred target temperature. By the time you’re ready to get in, the water will be piping hot.
2. Keep It Covered
Heat rises. Always keep that in mind, and you’ll see why it’s vital that you put the cover on as soon as you finish with the hot tub and take it off just before you get in.
Even if you’re only popping into the house for a sandwich or a bathroom break, it’s best to slip the cover on.
All quality inflatable hot tubs come with an insulated cover that does a great job of keeping the heat in. But it’s important that you use the cover and that you keep an eye on it for wear and tear.
Make sure you put the cover on correctly, and check that it’s fastened down securely so that it provides an airtight seal over the hot tub.
Also, check the cover for any damage or signs of aging. This is important if you have stored your hot tub away over the Winter. If you notice any holes or cracks, then use a vinyl repair kit straight away to repair the damage. If you don’t, it’s going to cost you money in increased heating bills.
You’ll be surprised at how much heat is lost in a 24 hour period through just a tiny hole or crack in the cover, or out through a poorly-secured cover. So – we can’t stress this enough – check your cover for any damage and repair it at once. If you don’t, the damage will gradually worsen until it’s too serious to repair, and you’ll end up having to buy a replacement cover down the line.
We have a popular article on caring for your inflatable hot tub cover, full of advice and easy-to-do tips, which you can read by clicking here (opens in a new tab): How To Care For Your Inflatable Hot Tub Cover.
3. Keep The Wind Off Your Hot Tub
Another key point to keep in mind is the wind chill factor. When you’re in your hot tub, every time the wind blows over your hot tub surface it cools and evaporates the water. As a result, you have to add water to top it up and use energy to reheat the water. Both of these cost money.
To avoid this cooling factor of the wind, be sure to have a windbreak around your inflatable hot tub. When choosing where to site your hot tub, think about putting it near a fence, a wall or a hedge if you can. If that’s not possible, then create a windbreak around the tub. This can be done with privacy panels, shrubs, or even tall plants in heavy pots. You can even buy a special inflatable hot tub ‘dome’ from sites such as Amazon.
Your aim is to reduce or even eliminate the effect of the wind on your hot tub. Adding a windbreak also has the added benefit of giving your hot tub a pleasant attractive look, and it gives you some privacy.
4. Insulate The Bottom Of Your Inflatable Hot Tub
As well as heat rising, it also transfers to any surface that is colder. So if your inflatable hot tub water is at the maximum temperature of 104F, and the ground underneath your hot tub is even a little cooler than that, the heat is going to transfer from the hot tub floor into the ground. So the water is going to cool rapidly.
And as we have already seen: heat loss costs money.
In order to avoid this, be sure to have some insulation under your tub. Your hot tub might come with an insulated ground mat. If that’s the case, then be sure you use it. If your hot tub doesn’t have a ground mat, then you can buy one from your hot tub manufacturer or from websites like Amazon. Alternatively, you can buy some insulated foam sheets and lay these out under your hot tub.
As an added money-saving bonus, using a ground mat or some insulation under your inflatable hot tub helps increase the lifespan of your spa, as it protects the underneath against damage caused by rough surfaces.
It’s especially important to insulate under your inflatable hot tub if you plan on using it in the Spring or Fall – or even throughout the Winter. If you do plan on using your hot tub all year-round, we have a guide on how to do this, which includes tips and ideas for insulating your spa. You can read the guide here: 4 Season Inflatable Hot Tubs.
5. Fill Your Inflatable Hot Tub With Hot Water
An easy way to save money is to fill your inflatable hot tub with hot water from your household supply.
It’s usually cheaper to do this than to fill it with cold water and then heat it up to your target temperature. If you do follow this tip, then keep in mind these points:
- cover the floor of the hot tub with a thin layer of cold water before adding the hot water
- make sure the hot water isn’t hotter than 104F, as it could damage the liner
- never add boiling water to top up the temperature
Also, think about how much water you really need in your hot tub. You’ll see there’s a minimum-fill line and a maximum-fill line marked on the inside wall. Consider filling your hot tub only up to the minimum line (but never less than this).
This is something we always recommend to our first-time buyers, so that you get used to how much the water rises when you get in and when you switch on the massage system.
Filling your spa to the minimum-fill line saves you water costs and reduces how much water you need to heat (or add, if you’re filling it from your hot water household supply). Again, this will save you money.
6. Re-think Your Target Temperature
All inflatable hot tubs have a maximum temperature of 104F. In our experience, the majority of hot tub owners heat their water to this temperature. But, if you choose a slightly lower setting – say 102F – you’ll be surprised at just how much energy and money you can save.
By setting your thermostat at 102F, for example, you’ll be saving money on your start up and every time you need to reheat the water. So the savings over the course of the Summer or even the year, can be considerable.
7. Keep It Clean
When you keep your inflatable hot tub clean, this in turn helps keep the water clean. This in turn means that you’ll need to use fewer chemicals to fix unnecessary problems that can arise from unclean water.
In our article How To Clean Your Inflatable Hot Tub, we walk you through everything you need to know about cleaning the outside and the inside of your hot tub, as well as how to maintain a clean lid.
As well as cutting down on the need to keep using expensive chemicals to shock or sanitize the water, keeping your inflatable hot tub clean also helps prolong the life of your hot tub, so that you don’t need to spend big money on replacing it.
8. Buy A Bundle Of Chemicals
You are going to need to buy some chemicals when you buy your inflatable hot tub. These are to sanitize the water, to shock the water if it turns cloudy or even green!, to maintain the correct pH levels of the water, and so on.
One way to save money here is to buy a bundle of chemicals rather than just a single tub or bottle at a time.
On sites like Amazon, for example, a single bottle of chlorine sanitizer costs around $18. But if you buy a pack of 12, each bottle works out at under $12. So although there is a bigger initial outlay, you end up saving money over the course of a season.
Don’t worry if you have zero knowledge of using chemicals, or if this seems a scary part of owning a hot tub. We have an easy-to-understand and easy-to-read article which covers everything you need to know: Your Guide To Inflatable Hot Tub Chemicals.
9. Monitor Your Bills
It might seem a little pernickety, but it can be worthwhile to keep a close eye on your water and heating bills. This is especially true during the first months of owning your new inflatable hot tub.
Check you bills before you buy and install the hot tub. Then keep an eye on them over the following 3-6 months. You’re looking to see how much the hot tub is costing you, and whether you’re happy with this cost. If not, re-read through our list and make sure you are following all the tips above that can help save you money.
The other thing to keep an eye on, is if there are any spikes in your bills. If you notice a month where your bills increased noticeably, then think back to what was different in that month. Did you use the hot tub a lot more? Did you forget to put the lid on properly and it blew off? Did some children use the hot tub, with all the associated splashing and possible waste or water?
Whatever it was, think about what caused the increased bills and consider ways you can prevent a repeat down the line.
So there we have our top tips for saving money on your inflatable hot tub. Although it takes a little effort and time to follow these, we think they’re well worth doing as you can save some serious money on your water bills, your energy bills, and your chemical purchases.
We hope you have learned some cool ideas. And if you have any of your own, please get in touch through our Contact page. We’d love to hear them and add them to our guide. Thanks for reading!