The popularity of hot tub sales has skyrocketed. In fact, sales have increased by 1,000% since more Britons are staying at home owing to the lockdown. Many people are splurging on cash refunds from cancelled vacations. Others opt to pamper themselves by renting inflatable hot tubs.
Suppliers are straining to keep up with the increased demand as Britons seek to capitalise on the recent mild weather.
Inflatable hot tubs are an excellent low-cost option to enjoy a hot tub at home or anyplace else you can set one up. Inflatable hot tubs are substantially less expensive to buy and install than traditional hot tubs. They do require power, as well as chemicals, cleaning, and, of course, water. None of these are available for free.
What is the cost of running an inflatable hot tub? The short answer is that it will cost between £40 and £120 a month to run, but this is dependent on a variety of factors. Let’s look at how much it costs to run an inflatable hot tub.
The cost of the hot tub
The first big expense of an inflatable hot tub is the hot tub itself. The most common inflatable hot tub is the Bestway/Coleman SaluSpa. They run anywhere from £300 to £450 depending on where you buy it.
The next biggest cost after buying the hot tub is the electricity to heat it. A typical inflatable hot tub has a 1300-watt heater and an 80-watt circulation pump. The circulation pump will run always run while the hot tub is set up. The heater runs as needed to keep the water at your set temperature.
An inflatable hot tub only has enough power to heat the water 1 to 2 degrees per hour. If your water is 15 degrees and you set the temperature at 37°C it will need 20 to 40 hours to heat up. The colder it is outside and the higher you set the temperature, the more the heater will run. To improve cold weather performance and reduce the heating bills, consider adding extra insulation to your hot tub. See our article on insulating an inflatable hot tub to learn more.
The cost of electricity averages £0.10/kWh in the UK. An inflatable hot tub that needs 1380 watts or 1.38kWh to heat will cost £3.25/day or £97.50/month. If your heater only runs 50% of the time, it reduces to about £46/month. If it only runs 25% of the time it will cost £25/month.
Monthly Maintenance costs
Inflatable hot tubs require routine maintenance. Most inflatable hot tubs require maintenance every six weeks.
Filters – The filters should be updated every 6 weeks. Most inflatable hot tubs utilise two filters, which cost about £3.75 apiece.
Chemicals — To be clean and safe, hot tub water need continual chemical treatment. Bromine pills, shock treatments, and anti-foaming agents will be required. Depending on how frequently you use your hot tub, you may require more. Chemicals will set you back roughly £7.50 every six weeks.
Cleaners – You will need to clean the hot tub as well. Cleaning supplies will set you back roughly £12 every six weeks. Test strips — While using your hot tub, you should test the water every other day. If you use it on a regular basis, it translates to 15 tests every month. Every six weeks, test strips will cost around £6.
Water — A 4-person inflatable hot tub requires little more than 1100L of water to fill. Every six weeks, the water should be replaced. 1 litre of water costs less than 1p, which is roughly average for much of the United Kingdom. The cost of filling the hot tub with 1100L of water is £11.
Total Cost Per month
If we add these up, out cost every 6 weeks is £35. That works out to £25.35 per month for hot tub maintenance including filters, chemicals, cleaners and water.
Total Cost Per Month for An Inflatable Hot Tub
If your heater runs non-stop your electricity cost is £97 per month. Hot tub maintenance costs £25.35 per month. Your total cost of ownership each month is £97 + £25.35 = £122.35.
Tips for saving money on an inflatable hot tub cost
Let’s be honest here. It requires money to own an inflatable hot tub. After all, you’ll need to fill it with water. It makes use of energy to heat the water and power the massage mechanism. You will also need to purchase chemicals to maintain the water sanitary and safe for your hot tub customers.
This implies that you’re heating and water expenses will almost certainly rise. So, you’ll need to find strategies to minimise these expenses to a minimal. If you don’t, buying a hot tub may wind up costing you far more than you planned for.
However, if you follow our money-saving recommendations, you’ll be able to enjoy your hot tub without spending a fortune.
The biggest area where you can save money on your inflatable hot tub is the electricity usage. This is the biggest part of the monthly cost. Here are a few things you can do.
- Turn the hot tub temperature down if you won’t be using it for a few days. Remember it turn it back on in time to heat up for your next use.
- Don’t turn the hot tub all the way up to 40° Only set it to 38°C. The higher the setting, the more power is needed.
- Locate the hot tub in a sheltered location out of the wind. Wind blowing across the top will make it cool down faster and take longer to heat up.
- Make an insulating pad to set the hot tub on. Construction foam makes a good insulator.
- Minimize the use of water jets. Water jets make the hot tub water cool down much faster. It will stay warm longer while using it if they aren’t on. The colder your hot tub gets during use; the more heat is required to reheat it.
- Drain your hot tub during the months when you won’t be using it. You won’t pay any maintenance and power costs while the hot tub is empty and put away.
In more detail here’s a guide.
- Keep Your Motor Running
We have to agree that this one appears to be the polar opposite of what you’d expect. To save energy and money, leave the heating on all the time! Isn’t it strange and counterintuitive?
However, if you use your inflatable hot tub on a regular basis – say, three times a week or more – it is much preferable to leave the heater on all the time. That’s because if you turn it off, the water temperature will decrease dramatically over the next 24 hours or so until you use your hot tub again. You will next need to re-heat this cold water to your desired temperature. It’s essentially like starting from scratch, which will involve time, effort, and money.
As a result, keeping the water hot is really more cost effective.
- Keep It Covered
The temperature increases. Always keep that in mind, and you’ll understand why it’s critical to put the cover on as soon as you finish using the hot tub and remove it just before getting in.
Even if you’re only stopping by for a meal or a toilet break, it’s a good idea to put the cover on.
All high-quality inflatable hot tubs come with an insulated cover that keeps the heat in. However, it is critical that you utilise the cover and keep an eye on it for wear and tear.
You’d be shocked how much heat is lost in a 24-hour period through a little hole or crack in the cover, or through a poorly fastened cover. So – and we can’t emphasise this enough – inspect your cover for any damage and restore it as soon as possible. If you don’t, the damage will progressively grow until it’s too severe to fix, and you’ll have to buy a new cover later on.
- Keep the Wind Away from Your Hot Tub
Another key point to keep in mind is the wind chill factor. When you’re in your hot tub, every time the wind blows over your hot tub surface it cools and evaporates the water. As a result, you have to add water to top it up and use energy to reheat the water. Both of these cost money.
Your aim is to reduce or even eliminate the effect of the wind on your hot tub. Adding a windbreak also has the added benefit of giving your hot tub a pleasant attractive look, and it gives you some privacy.
- Insulate the Bottom of Your Inflatable Hot Tub
Another important consideration is the wind chill factor. When you’re in your hot tub, the wind sweeps over the surface, cooling and evaporating the water. As a result, you must top it up with water and expend energy to reheat the water. Both of these are expensive.
Heat not only rises, but it also transfers to any cooler surface. So, if the water in your inflatable hot tub reaches a maximum temperature of 40°C and the ground beneath your hot tub is even slightly colder, heat will flow from the hot tub floor to the ground. As a result, the water will swiftly chill.
And, as we’ve previously seen, heat loss is expensive.
To avoid this, make sure your tub has adequate insulation underneath it. An insulated ground mat may be included with your hot tub. If that’s the case, make sure you employ it. If your hot tub does not come with a ground mat, you may purchase one from the manufacturer or from websites such as Amazon. Alternatively, you may purchase insulated foam sheets and place them beneath your hot tub.
It’s especially important to insulate under your inflatable hot tub if you plan on using it in the Spring or Fall – or even throughout the Winter. If you do plan on using your hot tub all year round, we have a guide on how to do this, which includes tips and ideas for insulating your spa.
- Fill Your Inflatable Hot Tub with Hot Water
An easy way to save money is to fill your inflatable hot tub with hot water from your household supply.
It’s usually cheaper to do this than to fill it with cold water and then heat it up to your target temperature. If you do follow this tip, then keep in mind these points:
- cover the floor of the hot tub with a thin layer of cold water before adding the hot water
- make sure the hot water isn’t hotter than 104F, as it could damage the liner
- never add boiling water to top up the temperature
Also, think about how much water you really need in your hot tub. You’ll see there’s a minimum-fill line and a maximum fill line marked on the inside wall. Consider filling your hot tub only up to the minimum line (but never less than this).
Filling your spa to the minimum-fill line saves you water costs and reduces how much water you need to heat (or add, if you’re filling it from your hot water household supply). Again, this will save you money.
- Re-think Your Target Temperature
All inflatable hot tubs have a maximum temperature of 40°C. In our experience, the majority of hot tub owners heat their water to this temperature. But if you choose a slightly lower setting – say 39°C – you’ll be surprised at just how much energy and money you can save.
By setting your thermostat at 39°C, for example, you’ll be saving money on your startup and every time you need to reheat the water. So, the savings over the course of the Summer or even the year, can be considerable.
For more on this topic, check out our guide Keeping a Lower Temperature Inflatable Hot Tub
- Keep It Clean
When you keep your inflatable hot tub clean, this, in turn, helps keep the water clean. This in turn means that you’ll need to use fewer chemicals to fix unnecessary problems that can arise from unclean water.
As well as cutting down on the need to keep using expensive chemicals to shock or sanitize the water, keeping your inflatable hot tub clean also helps prolong the life of your hot tub, so that you don’t need to spend big money on replacing it.
- Buy A Bundle of Chemicals
You are going to need to buy some chemicals when you buy your inflatable hot tub. These are to sanitize the water, to shock the water if it turns cloudy or even green! to maintain the correct pH levels of the water, and so on.
One way to save money here is to buy a bundle of chemicals rather than just a single tub or bottle at a time.
On sites like Amazon, for example, a single bottle of chlorine sanitiser costs around £18. But if you buy a pack of 12, each bottle works out at under £12. So, although there is a bigger initial outlay, you end up saving money over the course of a season.
- Monitor Your Bills
It might seem a little pernickety, but it can be worthwhile to keep a close eye on your water and heating bills. This is especially true during the first months of owning your new inflatable hot tub.
Check your bills before you buy and install the hot tub. Then keep an eye on them over the following 3-6 months. You’re looking to see how much the hot tub is costing you and whether you’re happy with this cost. If not, re-read through our list and make sure you are following all the tips above that can help save you money.
Whatever it was, think about what caused the increased bills and consider ways you can prevent a repeat down the line.
So, there we have our breakdown on how much the hot tub costs to run and to maintain, top tips for saving money on your inflatable hot tub. Although it takes a little effort and time to follow these, we think they’re well worth doing as you can save some serious money on your water bills, your energy bills, and your chemical purchases. Thanks for reading!