The most energy efficient hot tubs usually have lower monthly operating costs. Finding the right energy efficient hot tub goes beyond your initial investment on the hot tub. It is equally important to consider the ongoing energy costs to use the hot tub. The goal is to strike an optimum balance between the features you want and the hot tub’s energy consumption.
Keeping your hot tub water constantly warm is a function of electricity. It is an ongoing expense during the whole serviceable life of your hot tub. On average, hot tub electricity costs can range from $10–$20 per month in temperate places such as Los Angeles. Energy costs are higher in colder regions.
The energy consumption of hot tubs varies widely from brand to brand. Here are common factors that determine hot tub energy use and cost:
Quality: By their very nature, well-built, high-quality hot tubs are more energy efficient than those of lesser quality. Quality starts with the reputation of the manufacturer, the type of materials used and the quality of construction and installation. While the bulk of heat loss happens on the open water surface, dense full-foam or multi-density foam insulation helps prevent heat from escaping from the sides of your hot tub. A fully insulated hot tub cover and hinge seal also help keep the water warm when not in use.
Size: Proportionately, a bigger hot tub consumes more energy because it has more water to heat than does a smaller hot tub. For instance, a HotSpring Grandee NXT hot tub that can hold 460 gallons of water would cost $20.67 per month to run, while a HotSpring Jetsetter hot tub that can hold 210 gallons of water would cost $16.02 per month to run.
Pump and heater voltage: The higher the voltage, the higher the energy consumption and electricity costs. A 240-volt circulation pump or heater naturally consumes more electricity than its 120-volt counterpart.
Installation location: An indoor hot tub has a lower running cost because it normally has an ambient temperature compared to an outdoor hot tub especially during the colder months.
Weather: During warmer weather, you need less time to heat your hot tub water at the desired temperature than during colder weather. For example, if it’s 75⁰F outside and your hot tub temperature is at the same temperature, heating your hot tub water to 100⁰F will take about four to eight hours. Under colder conditions such as a chilly 50⁰F outside and your hot tub water has the same temperature, you’ll need about 8–16 hours to heat the hot tub water to 100⁰F. This means lesser energy cost during warmer weather and more during the colder months.
Frequency of use: The more your hot tub is used the more it will cost to run the pumps, heater and filtration system. Circulating water also loses heat faster than stagnant water. Control systems, lighting and sound systems also contribute to energy use.
As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.