Using Your Hot Tub During Winter
Winter: we know it's cold. It is very much here to stay, and things could get colder over the next couple of months. For many people, this is the perfect time to own a hot tub. Getting home after a long day when it’s cold outside and sinking into that gorgeous hot water and bubbles is one of the great pleasures of spa ownership. It can even help cure a cold. For others, however, winter is a time to stop using the tub until things warm up again.
Here’s some key decisions that you need to make:
OFF or ON?
As we mentioned, loads of people love to use their hot tub in the winter time. It’s important to remember, of course, that with a lower external temperature the heater system in your spa has to work harder to keep the water at your ideal temperature. This means your energy bill will rise, so it can be better to turn the temperature down a couple of degrees to keep control over your hot tub running costs.
Even though you should keep your hot tub running all the time for the best and most efficient operation, if you plan to not use your spa at all over the winter, you need to ensure that you properly drain it before it gets too cold. Most hot tub damage that we hear of which occurs during the cold winter months is caused by freezing of leftover and undrained water in the pipes. This damage can cost you far, far more than just running it during the winter.
Using Your Spa During The Winter
If you decide to keep your hot tub active during the winter period, there’s a few things you need to do in advance to prepare…
1. Change the water
Before it gets too cold, it’s well worth doing a complete water drain & refill on your hot tub and then giving it a thorough clean. Trying to change the water when it’s freezing outside can be tricky and not much fun. Changing the water and giving your hot tub a proper deep clean before the cold winter sets in can ensure that your spa is in the best working condition so you can enjoy it.
2. Check Your Cover
Many of the heat losses of a hot tub, particularly an older one, come from the surface of the water. Before winter hits hard, make sure to do a thorough check of your hot tub cover and ensure that it’s in good condition… not bowing and coming up at the corners, for example. This will release and waste precious heat and your energy bills will soar.
3. Floating Thermal Blanket
In addition to the cover, you can invest in a thermal blanket that floats on the water’s surface and stops the heat from rising. It also protects the underside of your hot tub’s cover. Be sure to do your research, though. Some companies sell very cheap thermal blankets for under £50 – in our experience these are cheaply made and will disintegrate, filling your pipework and pump system with bits of foam. Not good.
4. Check Your Water Level
It’s important to keep an eye on the water levels in your spa during the winter – in particular if you’ve not used it for a while. If the water level drops too low then your pump and heater can shut down, which could result in frozen water and expensive or terminal damage to your hot tub.
Shutting It Down
If you decide that you'd rather have your hot tub shut down during the winter, that's OK too. But make sure this is done properly to avoid expensive damage to the spa's internal components.
Here at H2O Spa we offer a full Hot Tub Winter Shutdown Service for just £179 to take away the hassle for you, leaving you with peace of mind in knowing that your hot tub has been shut down correctly and prepared for the cold times ahead.
If, however, you'd rather do it yourself, this is what you need to do:
1. Flush & Drain
First, you need to completely empty and flush all the water from your hot tub and the components within it. During the colder, winter period, you can't have any water in the hot tub that's not circulating around the system - it will freeze and can cause damage to the components or plumbing.
2. Air Blower
If your hot tub has an air blower (most do) then you need to take the time to drain all the water from that too. Shut off the heating system and run the air blower for 30 seconds to push all the water from the system and dry it out.
3. Replace The Filters
If you're turning off your hot tub for any long period, it's a good time to remove and clean the filters. If they're in need of replacement, this is the perfect opportunity to do that. Clean your filter, dry it and put it somewhere safe for the winter.
4. Loosen Your Fittings
Once the hot tub is completely drained, be aware that there could still be water in many of the fittings that connects all your pipework together. Loosen these and allow any water to drain out.
5. Clear The Jets
It's important to make sure that there isn't any water in the jet system, too. Using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, blow air through each of the jets in turn to make sure all of the water has been blown out.
6. Final Clean
Now you need to do a full, deep clean of the hot tub shell and cover to make sure all bacteria is removed so nothing can fester and grow whilst your spa is empty.
If you need any advice or tips, feel free to contact us.