Hot tubs also require electricity to function like washers and dryers, air conditioners, and water heaters. The big question is, do hot tubs consume a lot of electricity?
Does a hot tub use a lot of electricity?
The amount of electricity used by a hot tub is generally between 3,000 and 8,500 watts. The most significant contributor is the water heater, followed by the pump. But this is the peak demand. When the hot tub is not used, the heater will not be on continuously. Depending on your electricity rate, the outside temperature, and the usage, you can expect a monthly cost between $15 to $100.
In this article, I will show you what parts use the most electricity. What influences the total amount of electricity used, and how to make your hot tub more energy-efficient and lower your monthly bill.
- 1 Does a Hot Tub Use a Lot of Electricity?
- 2 How to Lower a Hot Tub's Energy Use
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Hot Tub Use a Lot of Electricity?
The heater is the main energy hog of a hot tub. It uses between 1,500 watts and 7,000 watts of electricity. Smaller hot tubs use a smaller heater. Bigger hot tubs generally use a bigger heater. The second component that uses a lot of energy is the pump, using up to 1,500 watts.
Generally, the heater is running continuously. It only works when the water temperature is under the required level. This way, it keeps the water at a constant temperature. However, when in use, the heater and the pump run more frequently. When the heater and pump are both working, it will use between 3,000 and 8,500 watts.
To know your usage, you can check the rating of the heater and pump. With that knowledge, determining your hourly electricity cost is easy. All you need to do is multiply the kWh rate with the hot tub's kWh. This will be the peak hot tub cost when the heater and pump are both working. How long both are working depends on many factors:
- Usage of the hot tub: When you use the hot tub, the cover is removed. This will mean that the water temperature will decrease more quickly. This means the heater needs to be turned on more often.
- Size of the hot tub: A bigger hot tub needs more water. In those cases, a bigger heater and heavier pump are used. A bigger hot tub will also have more surface to lose energy in all directions.
- Thermostat setting: The warmer you set the water temperature, the longer the heater needs to work. A higher temperature also increases the energy loss to the surrounding.
- Wind speeds and outdoor air temperature: The cooler it is, the bigger the energy loss will be. This is both when the hot tub is in use and to a lesser extent when not used, and it is covered. When the hot tub is used, the wind will increase the energy loss. When you live in a colder location, your hot tub will use more electricity. Similarly, the hot tub will use more electricity during the colder months.
Some factors influence the cost of maintaining the temperature of the water when the hot tub is not in use:
- The fit and quality of the tub's cover: With a good insulating cover, the amount of heat loss can be minimized. The more moisture the cover contains, the less insulating it is. Older covers also do not close the hot tub as well.
- The tub's insulation: The better the insulation, the lower the heat loss. This applies both to the ground and the sides. A hot tub with better insulation can result in a significantly lower electricity bill. When purchasing a new hot tub, check what the difference is between brands and models. Sometimes a more expensive type can be cheaper over time.
- Thermal blanket for more insulation: All methods of decreasing the energy loss will help lower the heating cost. A thermal blanket is an easy and cheap method of doing this.
- Heater timer: Using an intelligent heater timer can save some electricity.
All these factors play a small or big role in how much electricity the hot tub will use.
How to Lower a Hot Tub's Energy Use
Knowing when and how much energy your hot tub uses and is increasing your monthly electricity bill is a good start. The next step is to lower it. Here are a few tips to help you lower your hot tub energy use:
1. Choose an energy-efficient hot tub
Hot tubs may look quite similar from the outside, but they can differ on the inside. Before you purchase a hot tub, carefully check the different brands and models. The key thing to look for is a model with excellent insulation. The better the insulation, the lower your energy bill will be. This includes the pump system efficiency and the cover.
Sometimes it isn't easy to get a good overview of these factors, particularly to compare brands and models. A good dealer can be of great help here. I recommend avoiding vendors that do not show this information.
2. Age of the hot tub
In general, newer hot tubs are more energy-efficient than the older models. This is partly because of technological advancements in the design of hot tubs. And somewhat because the insulation properties will degrade over time. The most significant contributor is moisture in the insulation and cover.
Today, hot tubs are designed with efficient insulation, excellent pumps, and control to make them as energy-efficient as possible. Generally, this will make newer models cheaper to run. But that doesn't mean that an older model can not be a great bargain.
3. Hot tub insulation
One way to know if a hot tub will be energy efficient or not is by checking how much insulation it has. For a hot tub to be energy-efficient, it should have at least six inches of insulation material on the interior. Another thing to note is that hot tubs are either be partially insulated or fully insulated. The fully insulated hot tub is a better option to purchase, as it will use less electricity, especially in a cold climate.
4. Using a hot tub thermal blanket
A hot tub thermal blanket is a floating, insulating blanket that lies on top of your hot tub water. It is a relatively cheap way to decrease the energy loss from the water further. Additionally, they can cut down on evaporation. If you have an excellent cover, the total savings will not be significant.
5. Hot tub cover
Hot tub covers are an integral part of saving hot tub energy use. The cover needs to be thick with high insulating properties. With this, you can rest assured that the least amount of heat will escape from the tub. Also, keeping the hot tub covered while heating will help reduce the time it takes for the water to reach the temperature you want. Similar when you cook water in a pot using a lid.
Keep in mind that when moisture enters the hot tub cover, the insulating properties will decrease. More moisture means less insulation. If moisture is finding its way into the cover is sometimes challenging to see. But when you notice that the cover is getting heavier, moisture is the most likely culprit.
6. Hot tub usage
The more you use your hot tub, the higher the monthly cost. Every time you use your hot tub, you remove the cover, and heat will escape from the water. When you use your hot tub, try to minimize the time the cover is removed. Open it just before entering the water, and close it as soon as possible after you are finished.
If multiple people use the hot tub after each other, close the cover between them. Or try to keep the time between the usage to a minimum.
7. Hot tub location
If you place your hot tub in an outdoor canopy or indoors is will be more energy efficient. Indoors the savings will be much bigger. But also covering the hot tub will be beneficial. When you are using the tub, the heat will be trapped under the roof somewhat. Protecting the hot tub against the wind will also help reduce heat loss, and it is also more comfortable when you use it.
8. Ho tub size
The size of the hot tub is also another key aspect to consider if you want to lower your energy use. With a larger hot tub, you'll need more water, and heating will require more energy. Try to match the size of the hot tub with your requirement. If you only use it with two people, purchase a smaller one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that I get:
– Why is my hot tub using so much electricity?
Many factors can cause a hot tub to use a lot of electricity. The colder it is outside, the more energy the heater will use. If you use your tub more often, the heater will have to turn on more often, and the usage will increase. If you notice that your hot tub uses more energy before, with similar usage and outside temperatures, check if the cover is still closing correctly. If the is the case, check if moisture has not entered the cover. A cover with moisture will insulate less, increasing the heat loss.
– Is it cheaper to keep a hot tub on all the time?
Leaving a hot tub on all the time may seem unnecessary and a complete waste of electricity. However, hot tubs are designed to be left on all the time to ensure that the water is at the correct temperature and ready to be used. If you use your hot tub sporadically, lowering the water temperature can be a good idea. But keep in mind that it takes some time to heat the water again to your preferred temperature.
– Can you turn off a hot tub when it is not in use?
If you plan not to use your hot tub for some time, it does make sense to lower the water temperature. I would not recommend turning it off, as circulating the water through the filters will keep it fresh. Also, keep checking the quality and add chemicals when needed.
If you do not plan to use your hot tub during the winter, winterize it. This means that all the water is removed, also from the pipes. So it can not freeze and damage the hot tub. If you leave the hot tub on during the winter, always ensure that the temperature is high enough to keep the water from freezing in the pipes. This means that it must circulate regularly.
– How do I stop my hot tub from using so much electricity?
We have listed a few ways to lower the energy use of a hot tub in this blog article, but here is a summary of how you can stop your hot tub from using so much electricity:
- Thermostat: Lower the thermostat, especially when you are not using it for some time
- Cover: Get a good hot tub cover or thermal blanket
- Heating: Know when to heat, and only heat at the right time
- Wind: Set up a wind block
The most effective way to lower electricity costs lies in holding the heat in the hot tub. Maintaining heat in the hot tub will help reduce the heater's time to turn on to keep the water at the desired temperature. The better the insulation on all sides, including the cover, the lower the electricity bill.
– Does turning down the hot tub save money?
Generally, turning down the hot tub will save money. Lowering the temperature will mean the heater needs less electricity to keep the water at the required temperature. But keep in mind that when you plan to use it, it will take time to heat the water to the temperature you like. If you own an excellent hot tub and use it regularly, I do not recommend lowering the temperature. The insulation in those hot tubs is such that the temperature will not drop quickly. The savings on your bill will be minimal. But the downside is that when you decide to use it, you first have to set the temperature higher and wait to heat it to your preferred temperature.