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Visiting a commercial spa regularly is a luxury that many cannot afford.
That said, owning a hot tub is in no way a small commitment either, especially in terms of energy bills.
Thankfully, you can enjoy a spa like experience at home at a fraction of the price with a hot tub excluding the initial cost of the tub of course.
Before buying a hot tub though, it is essential to realize its effect on your monthly energy usage.
The monthly cost of running a hot tub varies depending on your electricity costs, hot tub specifications, use, location, and weather.
While various factors dictate how much a hot tub will end up adding to your monthly electric bill, modern hot tub manufacturers claim the running price to be $1 per day.
With more usage, on average, the cost could reach $50 per month.
There are, however, energy-efficient hot tubs that can save you anywhere between 5% to 30% on your bill, despite being pricier upfront.
Read on to find out how various factors add to the monthly running cost of a hot tub.
6 Factors Affecting Hot Tub Running Costs
Calculating the monthly running cost of a hot tub is not straightforward.
Various factors decide how much power your appliance will draw to keep the water at your desired temperature.
Let’s look at them in detail.
1. The Heater and The Pump
The heater in your spa is essentially what draws the most power and is responsible for the majority of the electrical costs.
The higher the wattage, the more energy the heater draws, consuming more electricity.
On average, a 120-V heater draws 1500 W, whereas a 240-V heater draws about 6000 W.
Another high energy-consuming part is the circulation pump, which at 120-V also draws about 1500 W on average.
With these wattages, you can calculate the cost of running the hot tub – multiply them by the electricity prices of your location.
2. Location and Time Of The Year
Where you live significantly affects how much energy your hot tub uses to heat water sufficiently and consistently.
If you live in a cold climate, the heating system will overdrive trying to maintain the set temperature.
Thus, anywhere too cold or windy will cause more energy consumption than a warmer location.
Similarly, running the hot tub in winter will cost much more than in summer since the external temperature will influence your heating system performance.
3. Your Energy Provider
Your energy costs per kilowatt-hour also affect how much money you will end up paying in utility bills because of the hot tub.
According to statistics, in the United States, the average retail price for electricity in 2020 was 10.66 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Depending on the power your appliance draws, you can multiply it to the electric costs in your location and find out how much you can expect to pay after getting a hot tub every month.
Going for an energy provider that gives the best prices at night makes sure that you cut down on electric costs substantially, as that is usually when the heater has to work the hardest to keep the water warm.
4. The Size of Your Hot Tub
This one’s pretty obvious. The bigger the spa, the more water it contains.
Thus, more energy will be required to heat it.
However, if you buy an energy-efficient appliance, the cost difference is not as drastic as one might think.
Nonetheless, more water equals more heating, thus, more energy consumption.
5. Usage Frequency
How much you will use the hot tub also adds to the monthly cost of having such an appliance.
The math is pretty simple, the more you use the hot tub, the more the heating system will work to get the water to the desired setting (and keep it there).
Therefore, the usage frequency is also considered when calculating the running cost.
6. Hot Tub Insulation and Cover
Going for high-end hot tubs that have at least 6-inches of good quality foam insulation may come with a hefty price tag, but they serve you much better in the long run; the same goes for the hot tub cover.
A well-fit lid keeps precious heat from escaping, which can otherwise cause your heating system to work continuously to keep the water temperature constant.
Does Turning Off Hot Tub When Not In Use Reduce Running Costs?
Turning off the hot tub may seem like an energy-efficient move, but it is a bad idea; this will add to running costs rather than reduce them.
Leave the hot tub running once you have set the thermostat at your desired temperature.
This way, when you need to use the hot tub, the heater will only have to work to maintain the temperature (or raise it slightly), which does not require as much energy.
However, turning the hot tub off would require continuous heating to get it back up to temperature.
Hot tubs installed inside usually take about 4 hours to heat up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, heater wattage and air temperature affect how long it can take for the water to reach a pleasant temperature for a dip.
Water usually heats up by 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit per hour.
Therefore, the only time it makes sense to lower the temperature is when you want to do it for a more extended period when you will not be using your spa.
For example, if you will be away for a couple of weeks on vacation, turn the thermostat down so it does not consume much electricity.
However, turning off the hot tub between uses makes the heating system work much more than it would if it runs to maintain the temperature.
On average, a hot tub costs $1 a day to run. However, location, size, thermostat settings, frequency of use, energy providers, and part quality all play a vital role in influencing the costs.
It may cost you more upfront, but choosing an energy-efficient and better insulated hot tub can positively impact your monthly expenditures by saving up running costs.