While we all love to soak in hot water, we don't want to get into hot water with high utility bills! It can be stressful or confusing trying to track your energy usage, but do not fret! We’ve listed 5 different ways to save energy and minimize that bill when the time comes. The best part is you can do all 5 or pick and choose only a few that you think are the best for your scenario.
- If You’re on Vacation Mode, Then Your Spa Should Be Too!
When you are out of town and aren’t using your spa, don’t forget to turn down the thermostat! If you will be gone for a week or more during the warmer summer months, set it at its lowest level or turn off the heater. This will minimize any energy usage that you simply don’t need.
In the cold, winter weather, a level of heating must be maintained to prevent freeze damage to the pipes and plumbing, but it can still maintain a lower temperature than if you were using it daily or weekly.
If you are away for a considerable amount of time during the winter, you can also go through the process of winterizing it by removing all water from the plumbing system.
- A [GREAT] Spa Cover is a MUST!
Why is it so important, you ask? To put it into different terms for you, you wouldn't buy a house with no insulation in your attic, would you? Of course not! Although the outside walls are insulated, the majority of heat loss is through the roof. The same principle applies to your hot tub. Even though our hot tubs have insulated shells (full foam insulation or thermal panels), most of the heat loss will still be through the "roof" of your spa- the spa cover. Your spa cover will be your saving grace when it comes to conserving the heat and water in your hot tub.
If your cover is in good condition, you’re (almost) all set! To be extra conservative and get the most out of your spa cover, make sure the tie straps are snug and latched when the spa is not in use. This will reduce heat leakage, and keep it safely secured when you are not hot tubbing.
If your cover has deteriorated, heat leaks will occur at the hinge-fold and on the spa shell rim due to improper seating of the cover edges. A cover in good condition will provide a vacuum heat seal, keeping more heat in your hot tub when not in use. If your old cover has become very heavy, this means that foam-core insulation is water-logged. A high-quality replacement spa cover will not only save energy, but it will also last longer, be more resistant to water absorption, and improve the beauty of your spa.
- Air Jets, Lights, Blowers, Oh My!
That sounds like a handful of spa jargon, but it’s pretty straightforward. When you aren’t using your hot tub jets, or aren’t really a ‘jet’ person, remember to turn them off! Air induction jets are wonderful features which provide soothing massage to the home spa experience, but as they induce air into the spa water, they also lower the water temperature. This heat will have to be replaced by the spa heater, causing a higher energy bill than expected.
The energy impact is minimal when you’re using your spa, but remember to shut-off air and water lights when the spa is not in use. Since it’s not being used the majority of the day, remembering this step is a great and easy way to reduce your energy costs.
Powered Air Blowers used to be popular, but recently have not been offered by as many manufacturers. Not only do they sound like a vacuum cleaner (so loud!), but air blowers also consume a lot of energy and will actually lower the water temperature rapidly. They’re injecting cool air into the water, cooling it down, then wasting even more energy to heat it back up. No thank you Air Blowers, not for us!
- Always a Good Time for a DIY Project
Who doesn’t love a fun construction project?! Creating a windbreak around your spa is not just an attractive privacy solution…Cutting wind exposure can also significantly reduce heat loss and make your hot tubbing time more enjoyable. Shrubs, privacy panels, or fencing, as well as spa enclosures can all be effective windbreaks.
Not a DIY kind of person? Many builders or even crafty friends and family would love to help you create a windbreak for your hot tub oasis. Just be warned, they might want to test it out when it’s complete!
- Time for a Little Cleaning: Filter Cartridges and the Plumbing System
Clogged or worn-out spa filters will reduce the circulation of your spa water. This causes pump motor strain, and your heater element to perform less efficiently. To avoid this, simply rinse off your filter at least every 2 weeks with hose water. Rinsing out your filters should be a part of your weekly or monthly routine, depending how often you use it.
You should also soak your filters with every water change (every 6 to 8 weeks) with non-foaming filter cleaning compound. This will deep clean the filters and make them almost good as new. Your filter is what’s helping keep your water clean, so replacing it annually is a great way to maintain your spa's peak performance. The result of a clean and fresh filter is both energy savings and cleaner water. Win win!
When changing your spa's water, it’s also a good idea to flush the plumbing system and heater element with a cleaner made specifically for spa plumbing. This will help maintain unimpeded water flow and help keep your heater element working efficiently by removing calcium build up on the heater element.
Whether you chose to do all 5 energy savings tips, or just pick 1-2 to start, you are on the right track! Every little bit counts and will help towards a lower energy bill. Going forward, you’ll now be able to relax and have a clear mindset both in and out of your spa.