For homeowners who already own a hot tub, and for those considering a new hot tub, hot tub energy saving is becoming more and more of a priority. Naturally, it’s about saving money on the high cost of utilities - but for many, it’s about addressing energy consumption and environmental responsibility. Whether it’s about economy or environment, the basics are common. And the best results will derive from a commitment to serious hot tub energy saving habits.
The Hot Tub Cover
Heat rises upwards, and although many hot tubs have well-insulated shells, there is a substantial amount of heat loss through the hot tub cover. Heat will leak through the hinge-fold and edges when a hot tub cover is old, deteriorating or waterlogged. Under these conditions, there will be little hot tub energy saving. A high quality hot tub cover will reduce heat leakage, save energy, and last longer – and it will all contribute to significant hot tub energy saving.
Creating a Windbreak
Depending on the location of the hot tub, it’s a good idea to create some type of windbreak. While it does create some privacy, and even some aesthetics, cutting down on wind exposure actually reduces heat loss. Windbreaks can be easily fashioned using decorative fencing, shrubbery, and even custom designed hot tub enclosures. Any of these options can be effective for hot tub energy saving and each will contribute in part to overall energy consumption.
Setting the Thermostat
Most quality hot tubs come with a “high limit” thermostat, set at 40°C (104°F). For comfort and health, hot tub temperatures should be set at about 38°C (100°F). Indeed, this will also reduce energy consumption and contribute to hot tub energy saving since each degree of temperature demands more energy. For the homeowner, it’s also important to remember that lowering and raising the thermostat does NOT conserve energy – it does the opposite.
While on Vacation
Turning down the thermostat while on vacation DOES contribute to hot tub energy saving. In fact, in some hot tubs, the heater can actually be turned off during long absences. However, in regions where weather can be freezing, there may be a requirement for some heating to be maintained so that damage to the hot tub plumbing is prevented. In these situations, it may be best to properly “winterize” the hot tub (perhaps some advice from the hot tub dealer).
Heat while Off-Peak
In many regions across the country, utility companies promote reduced rates in off-peak hours. It may sound minor, but it all contributes to hot tub energy saving. And if the hot tub is equipped with a programmable timer, then the thermostat can be synchronized to kick in during those off-peak hours. Once the hot tub is heated, a quality hot tub cover will ensure that the heated water will be maintained long after the heater has been turned off.
Energy Wasting Features
Air jets, power air blowers, and fancy lights all consume energy. Here, a good hot tub dealer can recommend features that will be energy efficient while contributing to hot tub energy saving. The better hot tub brands are already offering energy efficient features, and these are worth including in a new hot tub purchase. There may be additional cost for some of these high-tech features, but the long term savings on utilities will make it worthwhile.