Welcome to The Spa Shoppe's first blog! This will be a blog aimed at teaching hot tub, and pool owners how to get the most out of their hot tubs, and pools. We will discuss everything from water chemistry (and why it's important), to proper maintenance (with the least amount of work), to troubleshooting problems (and how to prevent them from happening). I thought I'd start out by talking about something that everyone wants to know, how to save money on your hot tub's monthly hydro bill.
Most hot tubs today are fairly well insulated when new; however foam hot tub insulation, and covers can become waterlogged and lose effectiveness over time. If you notice a leak be sure to get it fixed as soon as possible. You're losing water that you've already paid to heat and have to replace it with cold water that you have to then pay to heat. Once the leak has been fixed be sure to also remove and replace any insulation that has become saturated. Foam insulation works by heating the air bubbles within the insulation. If it gets wet and those air bubbles become water bubbles it loses most of it's insulating value.
|Thermal image of the centre of a hot tub|
cover without a full hinge sealer.
Programing Your Filtration
Check your owner's manual to see if your hot tub allows you to control it's filtration cycles. Most newer hot tubs will allow for at least some degree of controllability over the start time and run time of the hot tubs filtration. Program your hot tub to only run mid day, or overnight to avoid peak energy rates; most hot tubs will only need to run 8-12 hours a day to properly filter the water with average use. Some hot tubs now allow you to program each day to run differently to account for the different peak energy times on weekends. Note: Some hot tubs that use a circulation pump to filter the water are designed to run for 24hrs a day and shouldn't be changed. Check your owner's manual for more information.
If you're going on vacation, or just won't be using your hot tub for a few days check to see if you can set to economy mode. This will drop the set temperature 10-20 degrees, and only heat the water on a filtration cycle. Some manufacturers even have preset programs that allow will automatically switch between economy mode during the week and standard mode during the weekend if you are a weekend only user. Note: Economy mode should only be used if you are not planning on using the hot tub for two or more days, any less than that and it is more efficient to keep it at a set temperature. You can instead lower the set temperature by 2 degrees. Even a 2 degree drop can make a big difference in the energy consumption of a hot tub.
- Clean or replace dirty filters. A dirty filter doesn't allow water to pass through it as easily as a clean filter does; making the pumps work harder to keep up.
- Shut your air controls off when you're not using the hot tub. The air that is added will cool down the water and cause your heater to work harder to keep up.
- Make sure to lock your cover clips when you're not using the hot tub. These clips help to keep the cover firmly closed; without them the cover can be lifted by the wind, or from positive air pressure building up under the cover if your air controls are left open. This will allow heat to escape. If your clips are broken you can buy replacement clips from your local hot tub store.
- You can install a floating thermal blanket that sits on the hot tub water; adding another layer of insulation and slowing evaporation. If you have a well insulated hot tub a significant amount of the overall heat loss will come through evaporation.
Anything we missed? Add your suggestions in the comments section below.
The Spa Shoppe is a hot tub and pool supply store in Whitby, Ontario. We carry the full line of Hydropool hot tubs and swim spas; and offer service on all brands of hot tubs, pools, and swim spas. Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheSpaShoppe) or follow us on Twitter (@thespashoppe) to get notified when new blog entries are posted.