How Much Does It Cost to Run a Hot Tub?
Updated: Feb 14
Why wait for your next holiday to enjoy relaxing in a hot tub or swim spa? You can enjoy such a pleasure any time you want in the comfort of your own home. But before committing to such an investment - how much does it cost to run a hot tub?
In this post, we tell you how much. Armed with all more information on hot tub running costs, you will be able to identify energy-efficient hot tubs/spas before making a buying decision.
Are Hot Tubs Expensive to Run?
Hot tubs and all the costs associated with them vary massively, making buying one a little confusing. If you've never experienced owning a hot tub, you might be unsure about running costs.
Of course, the hot tub will make a difference to your monthly energy bill, but it won't increase it significantly. Plus, there are ways you can save money on your electric bill.
Many factors affect hot tub running costs, so let's dive in and get the ball rolling.
How Much Does It Cost to Run a Hot Tub?
Energy usage is the most obvious cost, and we'll look at that later, but what about other ongoing costs?
For example, we recommend your hot tub be serviced at least once a year by a qualified hot tub service engineer.
You must cover the cost of servicing and maintenance as and when needed. Alternatively, you could purchase a service plan from a reputable dealership that includes an annual service of the hot tub. Also, consider add-ons such as drain downs, refilling, and hot tub valeting services.
In addition to the hot tub maintenance, you need to buy care products and other consumables to keep your hot tub in tiptop condition.
For example, you'll need to pay for ongoing quality maintenance equipment and replacement parts such as filters and chemical treatments.
What Affects a Hot Tub's Energy Consumption?
Calculating the exact amount of energy a hot tub uses is difficult because of the many variables. A better way to look at the subject of consumption is to think about what affects how much electricity a hot tub uses.
The factors that affect hot tub energy consumption include:
The hot tub heater: Most hot tubs/spas use electricity to heat the tub, and they come with different kW ratings. Some heaters are also more efficient than others, and bigger-sized hot tubs/spas have a larger kW rating.
Electrical components: Components such as the air blowers and pumps affect how much energy your hot tub uses.
How much water the hot tub holds: A large volume hot tub will cost more to run. A typical hot tub contains around 1500 litres, so you will likely use approximately 6,500 litres per year, allowing regular topping up after usage.
The hot tub insulation: A hot tub has insulation material inside the cabinet, around the underside of the shell and surrounding the plumbing system. Different insulation materials are more efficient at maintaining a constant temperature. The most efficient heat-retaining system is multiple layers of high density, closed-cell polyurethane full-foam insulation, which is also waterproof.
The hot tub cover insulation - value and quality: Hot tubs or spas usually come with a cover or lid. The ideal hot tub cover is a minimum of four inches thick in the middle and two inches at the front and back. It should also fit the hot tub snuggly and create an airtight seal.
Usage: The more you use your hot tub, the more energy it requires to maintain the temperature.
Stop/start heating: You'll have to pay more for energy if you turn the hot tub on every time you want to use it. On the other hand, energy consumption will be lower if you maintain the water warm. More heating equals higher costs!
Refilling: Periodically, you need to refill the tub.
Filters and chemicals: If you use good quality hot tub chemicals and filters, you won't need to change the water and reheat it so often.
Local climate: If you live in a colder part of the UK, more energy is required to maintain optimal hot tub heat levels. If the tub's location is indoors, it will consume less energy than if outdoors.
How Much Electricity Does a Hot Tub Use in the UK Per Day?
Many factors can affect the amount of energy a hot tub uses.
A benchmark figure is around 75p to £1 per day.
This figure is based on current energy tariffs in England of about 12p to 13p per kWh (kilowatt-hour). The average price may vary.
What is the Average Cost to Run a Hot Tub Per Month?
This total cost is based on using the tub three or four times every week.
A good quality hot tub should cost you no more than around £30 to £40 per month in terms of running costs.
More use or greater frequency of use will mean more heating - and more energy consumption!
When you first switch on your hot tub, there will be a massive drain on energy, but when it reaches the desired temperature, your costs will even out.
How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost to Run for a Year?
Calculating the annual running costs of a hot tub is not that easy. Several factors come into play, not just the unit cost of electricity on your electric bill but also servicing and maintenance, water care products and other consumables.
However, we can estimate average hot tub running costs. The following cost breakdown is based on a good quality tub that you might use three or four times each week and enjoy a soak in the tub for between 30 and 45 minutes.
We estimate hot tub running costs to be between £675 and £965 annually.
Running costs can be broken down as follows:
Energy costs: £275 - £365
Water care and consumables: £350 - £300
Service costs: £150 - £300
How Can You Keep Your Hot Tub Energy Costs as Low as Possible?
Reducing hot tub running costs is not an exact science. But, here are our top tips that will help you keep your hot tub costs to a minimum and improve energy efficiency.
Use an off-peak electricity tariff for heating your hot tub.
Use a well-insulated cover.
Use a thermal blanket.
Use a windbreak.
Set the temperature.
Keep your hot tub clean.
When not using your hot tub, close the air jets.
Decide if it is time for an upgrade.
Let's go into detail about how to reduce hot tub running costs.
1. Use off-peak energy for heating your hot tub
Operate your hot tub economically. Energy providers tend to charge less early in the morning and late at night. Install a hot tub thermostat with a timer, and set it so that the hot tub is heating the water during those off-peak hours.
2. Use a well-insulated hot tub cover
A custom fitting cover on your hot tub will keep the heat in. A good cover will also reduce evaporation, trap heat, and prevent those all-important spa chemicals from evaporating. Ensure your cover is in good condition because 70% of heat loss is through water evaporation and a thermal blanket or cover prevents excess heat from escaping from the water’s surface.
3. Use a thermal blanket
This will be extra insulation and offers many benefits. It will help trap heat, maintain an ambient temperature, and prevent evaporation. A thermal blanket will also ensure those expensive hot tub chemicals like chlorine are where they should be. You lay the thermal blanket under the lid/cover. A solar blanket allows solar power to heat the water, so you consume less electricity - good news!
If you position your hot tub outdoors, the wind is something you need to think about all year round. The water in the hot tub will evaporate much quicker if the air around your hot tub constantly moves. The wind will also cool it, which means the heater ends up working harder - increasing the overall cost. Choose the location wisely!
Believe it or not, a hot tub can lose around 60% of its heat from the surface.
5. Setting the water temperature
If you leave your hot tub running all the time, it should be cheaper. But this depends on how often you use the tub/spa and the temperature set. The maximum water temperature is 40°C, but you don't have to maintain this temperature all the time for your tub to work correctly.
Save energy and save money by setting a lower temperature. A lower hot tub temperature will also reduce evaporation and, in turn, preserve the chemicals added to the water.
A floating thermometer will help you monitor the water temperature.
Between sessions, use a thermal blanket and lid/cover to prevent tubs/spas from becoming too cold.
6. Keeping your hot tub and water clean
The longer you wait before cleaning your hot tub, the dirtier it will get. Soaking in water that contains dead skin cells, bacteria, and body oil isn't appealing. And contaminated water does damage to the hot tub too.
A dirty spa will take its toll on the filtration system. The surfaces can also get damaged, and gunk will build up inside the plumbing. If you leave the hot tub cleaning for too long, you could find yourself facing much larger repair bills because there are damaged parts that need replacing.
7. Remember to close the air jets
Remember to close the jets when not using your hot tub. They are a way for air to get into your tub, which could cool down the water. If you allow the water to cool too much, the heater has to work harder to heat the water to a more comfortable level.
Closing the air jets will keep the cool air out and help maintain a steady temperature.
8. Water conservation
We already mentioned what you can do to prevent evaporation, but you can also be proactive and conserve water. A hot tub can be a fun place with family and friends, but try to keep splashing to a minimum to avoid worrying about needing to replace water.
A hot tub can be a fun place to be with family and friends but try to keep the splashing to a minimum. It's best if splashing games are saved for the days by the pool as there's more space, and you don't have to worry quite so much about losing water and having to replace it.
Before turning on the air jets, make sure they point downward rather than upward to avoid excessive splash-out.
Regularly check your hot tub for damage or leaks.
9. Clean your hot tub filters
Keep an eye on your filter; a dirty filter uses more energy. Cleaning your hot tub filter when needed as when a filter is full of debris the pump must work overtime to draw the water through it. Weekly cleaning and maintenance are ideal, with a fresh filter or deep clean completed every 3-4 months.
10. Turn off the lights!
If your hot tub comes with an in-built light system think about how much this is using.
Do you leave the lights on when the hot tub is not in use?
Are you using energy efficient bulbs?
All these factors can add up and increase your electricity spend every month. For some models you may have to wait until your hot tub is empty to get to some of the bulbs.
But, if not, you can make positive changes now. Make sure your hot tub lights aren’t turning on at random points when it is not in use. Furthermore, in the summer months you could turn the lights off altogether due to the hours of sunlight available.
11. Is it time for an upgrade?
Hang on a minute - isn't that a drastic measure to take? There are some situations when it might be worth considering an upgrade. For example, did you buy your house with a hot tub in it?
Do you know how long ago the previous owners installed it? How well did they maintain and service it? Does it look in good condition? If it never received much love and attention, it might be more cost-effective for you to look for a new hot tub set rather than repairing or refurbishing it.
If you've been the proud owner of your hot tub for several years, maybe now is the time to consider more energy-efficient hot tubs or spas on the market. A new hot tub will work better and use less energy, so you should be able to recoup the money spent on a new purchase in time.
Are Larger Hot Tubs More Expensive to Run Than Ones That are Smaller?
The cost will be slightly higher to run a large model because the water capacity is greater, and more heating is needed. However, most people find if the hot tub is energy efficient, the increase is not too much.
Why Are Cheaper Hot Tubs More Expensive in the Long Run?
Cheaper hot tubs are not as well-designed and energy-efficient as more expensive models. More affordable tubs tend to be less well insulated, so they lose heat quickly. They also need more energy and have higher running costs. A cheaper model may seem a bargain when buying - but it could end costing you more in the long run.
When you buy a hot tub from Aqua warehouse, we make sure you get the best price on an economical hot tub that won't cost a fortune to run! All our hot tubs are from top manufacturers, offer luxury features, and come with a comprehensive warranty. Perfect for everyone! Click here for more information.
Should I Turn My Hot Tub Down When Not in Use?
Recommendations are that you keep the temperature at least a few degrees (most experts agree on 5 degrees) lower than when using it.
Avoid turning off the hot tub/spa entirely because frequently turning it on and off means a higher electricity bill. It is the main factor that contributes to users pending more than necessary!
If you add up all the elements of running a hot tub/spa, the annual cost for an average-sized, good-quality hot tub/spa that you use three or four times a week should be no more than £950. Work this out as a daily cost, and it is no more than a cappuccino from your local Starbucks.
Would you be willing to sacrifice that for the fun, relaxation, and enjoyment you get from having a hot tub/spa in your home? Only you can decide whether you want to join the hot tub owners club.
1. Is it cheaper to leave a hot tub on all the time?
While it might seem counterintuitive, the answer is yes. We recommend you leave your hot tub/spa on all the time and maintain the desired temperature - you'll find the running costs are cheaper.
2. How much does it cost to run a hot tub in winter?
You can expect the running costs to be a little bit more in winter because the pump and heater will have to work harder to maintain the temperature of the water. One of our tips is to make sure your tub/spa is well insulated against the UK's cold climate with full foam to reduce kWh consumption and running costs.
3. Will hot tubs increase your energy bills?
Yes, using more water for a hot tub/spa increases energy bills because they run on electricity. Electricity is required to power the heater, pump, lights, and other working components. But it is still a lot cheaper to heat an average size hot tub than a full-size swim spa.