How to Run an Inflatable Hot Tub on a Budget
Hot tub sales have seen an enormous increase in popularity. In fact, sales have been up by 1,000% as more Britons are spending most of their time at home due to lockdown. Many are splashing cash refunds from cancelled holidays. Others choose to rent inflatable hot tubs to treat themselves.
Due to the increase in demand, suppliers are struggling to keep up as Britons want to make the most of the recent warm weather.
How Much Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Cost to Run?
The cost of running a hot tub is around £7 to £70 a week. These costs will vary depending on the size of the tub, your electricity supplier and others. They include the cost of chemicals and filters to maintain the hot tub.
Inflatable hot tubs are cheaper to run and maintain than a traditional solid hot tub with a wooden surround. On average, an inflatable hot tub has a heating and pump system rated between 1KW to 1.5 kW.
Let’s assume the rate per kilowatt-hour is 0.15 pounds, and the hot tub is set at 40°C and used six times per week. Per month, energy costs for running the inflatable hot tub will range between £25 to £40.
Filling the tub may cost you £3 to £5, and chemicals may cost you £16 to £30 a month. Therefore, the average cost of running an inflatable hot tub is £35 to £70. Any rise in costs is due to inefficiency of the equipment and poor insulation.
Tips for Running an Inflatable Hot Tub on a Budget…
The following are tips to help you run your inflatable hot tub on a budget.
Keep the Heater Running
Electricity is the highest cost when it comes to running your inflatable hot tub. To save money and energy, keep the heater running. Here is why. Let’s assume you use the hot tub 3 to 6 times a week. When you turn off the heater, the water temperature drops over the next 24 hours.
When you want to use the hot tub again, you have to turn on the heater. This will reheat the cold water back to the target temperature, and it takes time. As such, it will cost you money. Keeping the heater running is the best option.
Here is what you ought to do. After using the hot tub, set the heater’s digital temperature control to around 35°C. This will maintain the water temperature nice and hot. When it’s time to go into the hot tub, set the digital control to your target temperature. This will take a few seconds or minutes to heat the water.
Keep the Lid On
The cover of your hot tub has multiple uses…
- You’ll always have sparkling clean water as the cover keeps dirt, debris, critters and creatures from getting in your spa water.
- It helps to ensure that evaporation is kept to a minimum.
- It helps to reduce chemical use.
As you probably know, hot water cools rapidly. If your hot tub is always uncovered, the unit will continually heat the water. As such, energy and maintenance costs will increase. All quality inflatable hot tubs come with a cover.
It helps to keep the heat in by creating an airtight seal over your hot tub. After using your tab:
- Use the cover.
- Make sure it’s fastened down securely.
- Check for signs of wear and tear, signs of ageing or damage. If the cover has any cracks or holes, it will increase your electricity bills.
To prevent this, use a vinyl repair kit to repair the damage.
Insulate the Bottom of the Hot Tub With a Protector
Another way to save money is to insulate the bottom of the hot tub with a protector. If your hot tub is set at the maximum temperature, but the surface beneath it is cool, heat is going to transfer from your hot tub into the cool ground.
Your water will start cooling rapidly. To keep the water nice and hot, your hot tub will use more energy to reheat the water. This costs money. To avoid this, insulate the bottom of your hot tub with a protector. You can buy the protector from your hot tub manufacturer or Amazon. It’s essential to insulate the hot tub throughout winter, fall and spring.
You can also use insulated foam sheets. Just lay the foam sheets under your hot tub and watch your energy costs go down. Besides keeping electricity costs down, the protector helps to extend the lifespan of your hot tub. It protects the bottom of the tub against damage.
Fill With Warm Water (for First Use)
A typical inflatable hot tub holds between 757 to 1000 litres. To save money, fill the inflatable hot tub with warm water for first use. This is a lot cheaper than filling the tub with cold water then heating the water to your target temperature.
Before adding the warm water, cover the hot tub’s floor with a thin layer of cold water. If using hot water, make sure it is not hotter than 40°C. This could damage the hot tub’s liner. Typical hot tubs have a minimum and a maximum fill line clearly marked on the inside wall.
Fill the hot tub with warm water up to the minimum fill line. Make sure the water level is not below this line. This is usually recommended to first buyers to ensure they get used to how much water rises when they get in the hot tub.
When you fill your inflatable hot tub with warm water, you save on energy costs, especially if using your hot water supply.
Lower the Main Temperature
Standard hot tubs have a maximum temperature of 40°C. Majority of hot tub owners set their target temperature as the maximum temperature. While this will make the water nice and hot, consider a slightly lower setting.
For example, instead of 40°C, set your target temperature as 37°C. Your hot tub will keep heating your water nice and hot while saving you on energy costs. Besides saving money, you’ll hardly notice the difference when you set the hot tub to a lower temperature.
You can save more money by using a floating thermal blanket. It will help to maintain the water temperature giving it a boost before you get in. If 37°C is not suitable for you, try 38°C or 39°C. Setting a low temperature is safe for people with certain medical conditions.
- Heart condition
- Skin or sensitive condition
If you or anyone is going to use your inflatable hot tub and have any of the health conditions above, lower the water temperature. Turn off the water heater and leave the cover off for an hour. After using the tub, turn the heater back on.
Look For Deals on Chemicals
When buying your inflatable hot tub, stock up on chemicals. These chemicals help to sanitise the water. Bacteria and viruses thrive in any kind of water, even hot water. When you use chemicals, they effectively disinfect your hot tub and keep your water smelling frees. The best sanitisers are bromine and chlorine.
Chemicals also maintain the correct pH levels of water and clear the water if it turns green. Shock treatments reduce irritating contaminants and eliminate odours. Your hot tub also requires oxidisers to eliminate bather waste.
These chemicals are not cheap, but you can save when you buy on sale or offer such as 2 for 1 deal. For example, instead of buying a single bottle of chlorine sanitiser, buy a 12 pack. In a 12 pack, the cost per bottle is lower than buying a single bottle.
It makes sense to buy in a bundle rather than as single items.
Keep In a Location That Sheltered From the Wind
When using your hot tub and the wind blows, it will evaporate and cool the water. As a result, you’ve to top it up and turn on the heater to reheat the water. This costs money. To prevent the wind chill factor, keep your hot tub sheltered from the wind.
The first option is a windbreaker. Having a windbreaker around your hot tub prevents the wind-chill factor. You can place your hot tub near a wall, fence or hedge. If this is not possible, create one around your tub.
Second, use privacy panels or tall plants in heavy pots. Alternatively, buy a special dome online from sites such as Amazon. Reducing the wind chill factor will help your inflatable hot tub to stay within target temperature.
You can save more money by cleaning your inflatable hot tub regularly. When you clean your hot tub, you use fewer chemicals to disinfect, sanitise the water and other problems that arise from unclean water. To ensure your hot tub is clean, use natural cleaners or buy a specialist hot tub cleaning kit.
To clean your hot tub with a natural cleaner…
- Use white vinegar.
- Prepare equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Drain your tub and spray the hot tub shell and cover thoroughly.
- Allow the solution to sit for 15 minutes, then wipe down with a sponge or lint-free cloth.
Rinse the cover and the hot tub shell before refilling with water.
One of the main reasons why people sell their inflatable hot tub is high electricity bills. During the first months of owning your inflatable hot tub, monitor your water and heating bills. Keep an eye over the next 3 to 6 months. This will allow you to know how much the hot tub is costing you.
To bring your costs down, follow the tips above.