Tips For Keeping Your Hot Tub Running Smoothly All Winter Long

Winter is just around the corner and the temperatures are soon expected to plummet. For this reason, finding the ideal chill spot where you can kick back and relax is necessary. A hot tub is one of those spots that can act as a welcome respite from unpleasant, cold temperatures. Moreover, sitting in a tub is also associated with helping loosen muscles and also reduce swellings, explains WebMD. For most homeowners, sitting in the hot tub during summer is a good way to pass time — but, enjoying a hot tub in cold temperatures is one of the most pleasant experiences yet. 

Think about it — soaking in warm water while watching falling snow from your patio, deck, or rooftop. While this might sound enticing, winter is no joke and is known to wreak havoc on almost anything that is left unprotected. Having said that, you will be relieved to know that, hot tubs are built to withstand extreme winter temperatures. By implementing a few tips and tricks, you will be able to enjoy your hot tub all winter long. So instead of closing your hot tub this winter, take a look at the following ways that will help you run your hot tub without too much trouble.

Protect the hot tub

A versatile hot tub cover with proper insulation is often overlooked. As mentioned earlier, many people use the hot tub during summer, and the benefits of a well-insulated cover are not quite emphasized. During winter, the hot tub cover comes in handy in more ways than just keeping the debris at bay. Heat loss often occurs close to the water surface and one function of a hot tub cover is to keep the heat in, according to the Backyard Oasis. Essentially, the hot tub walls are insulated, however, leaving the tub running without a cover, especially during winter, defeats the purpose of the insulated walls. 

The amount of energy needed to run the hot tub during winter depends on several factors. However, preventing heat loss by using a good cover is a good way of keeping your energy bills low. A good cover should have a tight seal that doesn't allow heat to escape, for this reason, be sure to carefully inspect your cover before winter sets in. Look for holes and cracks that will allow heat to escape, if there is significant damage, you will need to replace the cover entirely. When buying a new hot tub cover, getting the best quality is necessary. You also need to pay close attention to the size, shape, and density before picking just any other hot tub cover from the store, per The Cover Guy.

Keep an eye on the water levels

Naturally, a hot tub losses water through evaporation especially when left uncovered or used substantially. However, how much water is lost is dependent on factors like humidity and also the tub's water temperature, (via Hot Tub Owner HQ). On average a regular hot tub loses up to 2 inches of water every week. For this reason, it is quite easy for anyone to fail to notice a drop in water levels. Maintaining the ideal water levels in your hot tub is necessary, Hot tub focus recommends maintaining a water level between 2 to 3 inches above the inlet jets. 

It is ideal to check the water levels at least once every two weeks during winter. Needless to say that water levels drop faster with use, however, even if you rarely use your hot tub, be sure to keep an eye on the water levels every once in a while. To make it easier for you to top up water in your hot tub during winter, consider leaving a hose out purposely for this task. Remember, you will need to get water from inside after winterizing your outdoor water lines.

Change the water before winter

Changing the water in your hot tub is one of the most important maintenance practices that you ought not to miss. Depending on your usage, you might need to change the water every few months to prevent chemical build-up, mentions HotSpring. One telltale sign that you might need to change the water is if it fails the sniff test. While there are a couple of reasons why your hot tub water might have some odor, changing the water and cleaning it is an effective way of eliminating the smell, (via Master Spas). However, your timing needs to be perfect especially if you need to use your hot tub during winter. 

If the next cleaning schedule is during the coming cold months, it will be in your best interest to do it before. There is no doubt that changing hot tub water is a time-consuming task, and doing it during winter makes the work even more daunting. Keeping the hot tub in the best possible condition before the cold sets in will save you from spending long durations outdoors. What's more, there is always a risk of the water freezing during the process and damaging your prized equipment. It is also worth mentioning that you should only change the water through the filter area to prevent an airlock.

Keep the water temperature constant

Keeping the water temperature constant is vital for hot tubs during winter. This will go a long way in helping you conserve energy and keep your electricity bills down. However, the big question is what temperature is ideal for hot tubs? Well, according to Zagers Pool & Spa keeping the water temperature between 102°F and 104°F is recommended not only for comfort in the tub but also to help reduce the risk of freezing. While it might be tempting to reduce the water temperature when you are not using the tub, keep in mind that you are running the risk of the water freezing when there is a power interruption. 

If you are worried about the energy cost of maintaining the water temperature, using a good hot tub cover will help retain most of the heat keeping the operation cost within the acceptable range. Remember, the operation cost of maintaining water at 80°F and 100°F is almost negligible but that extra 20°F temperature increase will have a world of difference in the event of a power interruption.

Stock up on spa chemicals

In order to enjoy your hot tub during the winter, it is necessary to stock up on the required spa chemicals for when you need them. Let's face it, during winter no one enjoys running around doing errands especially out in the cold. Having the right spa chemicals is vital to increase the life and also aesthetic appearance of the tub, (via FROG Pool & Hot Tub Products). It is common for homeowners to worry about the cleanliness of the tub however, creating the right water balance is also equally as important. 

Balancing the tub's water essentially involves controlling the pH levels and alkalinity in the water. It is worth pointing out that the level of alkalinity plays an important role in the performance and effectiveness of chlorine, not to mention the life of the filters as well, (via Pioneer Family Pools). With enough supply of spa chemicals, you should be able to schedule regular maintenance without having to move around too much. Early preparation should help you enjoy clean and clear water for the rest of the cold winter months.