In this article we’re looking at the slightly unusual topic of keeping a lower temperature inflatable hot tub.
When new owners first get into the world of inflatable hot tubs, they often ask what the maximum temperature is they can heat the water up to (answer: 104F). That’s probably not surprising, given how wonderful it is to slip into the bubbling hot waters to soak and massage your stress and aches away.
However, there are some people who want to use their portable hot tub with a lower temperature – and there are some occasions when setting a lower temperature is the right thing to do.
Can You Use Your Inflatable Hot Tub At A Low Temperature?
The answer is definitely yes. If you look at the best-selling Lay-Z Spa Miami, for example, you’ll see that it has a heater unit with a digital panel which allows you to set the exact temperature of the water. This ranges from 68F to that maximum of 104F. This range is true of all quality inflatable hot tubs, such as those made by Lay-Z Spa, Coleman, MSpa, and so on.
So if you want a lower-than-maximum water temperature, it’s a matter of setting the low temperature you want and letting the heater do its work.
Top Tip: Remember that you’ll need to check that the water you put into your inflatable hot tub is colder than your desired temperature, otherwise your heater unit will be confused! To check the temperature, either use a special hot tub thermometer or simply fill your inflatable hot tub with cold water and turn on the digital heater. After a few seconds, it will display the temperature of the water.
When Should You Set a Low Temperature In Your Inflatable Hot Tub?
There are various reasons and occasions for setting your water temperature lower than 104F. So even if you are determined to keep your water bubbling away at the maximum heat it can reach, it’s worth thinking about the following reasons:
You might find that 104F is simply too hot for your personal preference. In which case, set the water temperature lower and you’ll enjoy your inflatable hot tub so much more.
The simplest and most cost-effective way to lower the temperature of the water is to turn off the water heater! You can also leave the cover off, so that the heat evaporates from the water, speeding up the process. But if you are going to leave the cover off, please don’t leave the hot tub unattended if there are children around.
Keep testing the temperature of the water every 30 minutes or so, to see if it is at a temperature you like. When you find that temperature, put the cover back on, wait a couple of minutes and then turn the heat unit on.
The digital display will now show you the water temperature. Remember this reading. That’s because when you come to drain and re-fill your inflatable hot tub, or when you fill your hot tub at the start of next season, you’ll know your exact preferred temperature.
The Local Climate
Some people live in an area that is so hot that they want to use their hot tub as a place to cool off. There’s certainly something refreshing about stepping into a cool spa after your body has been hot all day.
A word of caution, however. When your body is hot, then suddenly plunging into cold water can zap your body of its heat 25 times quicker than cold air. So it’s best to ease in slowly and let your body acclimatise to the sudden drop in temperature.
Also, remember that a hot tub is insulated, so if you leave your cover off, then the sun will heat up the water and raise its temperature. Therefore, as soon as you finish in the tub, put the cover back on. You’ll be keeping the water cool if you do.
If you live in a place where there is a lot of sun, you might want to put up a permanent covering over your hot tub, such as a gazebo or a hot tub tent. This will keep the water from heating up too much, and it will help prolong the life of your portable spa.
Children’s skin is much more sensitive to heat than an adult’s, so they can get scalded or even burned in temperatures that wouldn’t affect an adult.
At the same time, children are less able to recognize the onset of overheating, dizziness or feeling dehydrated from being in the hot tub, usually because they are distracted by having having so much fun.
That’s why, if your inflatable hot tub is going to be used regularly by children then it’s best to set the water temperature a few degrees lower – say 98-100F. Even then, children should only spend only a maximum of 5-10 minutes at a time in the hot tub before getting out and doing something else.
They will then need to wait 20-30 minutes before they get back in. Also, even at the lower temperatures, make sure that children have plenty of water to drink so they re-hydrate.
There are certain medical conditions that mean it’s safer to have your hot tub water at a slightly lower temperature than the max.
- heart conditions
- sensitive skin or skin conditions
- men who are trying to become fathers
So if you or anyone who is going to use your inflatable hot tub fall into any of these categories, then lower the water temperature. If it’s just a one-off, then turning off the water heater and leaving the cover off for an hour should do the trick. It’s then a simple matter of turning the heater back on when they have finished in the hot tub, to boost the water back up to your preferred temperature.
It’s also worth pointing out that men who are trying to become fathers need to avoid sitting in water that is too hot. Therefore a cooler hot tub is a better choice.
To Save Money
Owning an inflatable hot tub costs money, with increased energy bills and running costs. Therefore, anything you can do to cut those costs can be an advantage.
One easy way to cut down on your energy bills is to lower the temperature of the water in your hot tub. Your portable hot tub holds hundreds of gallons of water, and heating that volume of water – and maintaining it at a high temperature – costs money.
Even by dropping the water temperature a couple of degrees you can save a few dollars a week and you’ll hardly notice the difference when you use you tub.
If you use your inflatable hot tub from Spring through to Fall, those dollars can soon add up by the end of the year.
We suggest you start off by lowering the water temperature to 100F and see how you get on with that. If you purchase a floating thermal blanket for your hot tub, you’ll maintain the water at that temperature, meaning you won’t have to give it a boost before you get in. This will also cut down on energy bills.
If you find that 100F is not right for you, then try 102F. You might be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it is – and you’ll certainly appreciate the slightly lower expenses.
In Between Times
If you use your inflatable hot tub regularly – by which we mean 4-5 times a week or more – then it’s best to keep your heater unit going all the time.
Even though this incurs costs, it’s actually cheaper in the long run to maintain the heat of the water in this way than letting it get cold and having to heat it from scratch all over again.
We suggest that you lower the temperature by 5 degrees from your normal operating temperature. So if you usually have the water at the maximum of 104F, then when you’re not using your hot tub, run the heater at 99F. Then, an hour or so before you want to use your hot tub, set the heater control up to your usual temperature. By the time you’re ready to get into your hot tub, the water will exactly how you like it.
Going On Vacation
Many people think that when they are going away on vacation they need to shut off their inflatable hot tub completely.
However, if you’re going away for up to a week, it’s a better idea to lower the temperature of the water heater by 10 degrees and keep the heater ticking over.
In this way you’ll be maintaining warmth in the hot tub water which means you’ll save time and energy – and money – when you return from your vacation. It’s actually cheaper to keep your heater unit running at a low temperature and then give it a boost when you return than to let the water go cold and have to re-heat it.
For vacations of 7-10 days or more, it’s up to you whether you turn the hot tub off completely, and then re-heat the water when you return (although to be honest, I’d drain the hot tub before I went and re-fill it when I got back, so that no bacteria or nasties develop in the water while I’m away.
Alternatively, you could set the water heater temperature to about 80F and keep the water warm while you’re away.
What About The Water Quality In A Lower Temperature Inflatable Hot Tub?
Because we naturally think an inflatable hot tub needs to be hot (after all, it’s there in the name!) we tend to think that the chemicals we add to the water are more efficient at high temperature.
However, the opposite is actually true.
That’s because chlorine and bromine perform better at cooler temperatures. This means it’s easier to maintain proper water quality if you lower the temperature of the water in your inflatable spa.
We’re not suggesting that you need to run your inflatable hot tub at a lower temperature. We just wanted to point out that it is possible to do so, and that there are certain advantages in lowering the temperature.
There are also times when it is advisable to drop the temperature by a few degrees – most notably if children or anyone with one of the medical conditions we outlined is going to use your spa.
It’s also a good idea to lower the water temperature when you’re not using your hot tub. In that way, you’ll end up saving energy and cutting your heating bills.
We hope this article has given you food for thought. Maybe you’ll even experiment with some of our suggestions. Thanks for reading!