For those living in sunny and warm areas, thermal blankets are more than an afterthought. But for those living in cold climates, owning a thermal blanket for your hot tub can be hugely beneficial in more ways than one. But the big question is, are thermal blankets essential for hot tubs?
The answer is a resounding yes. Though often overlooked, a thermal blanket can benefit hot tub owners in both cold and warm climates. After all, who doesn’t want to save money on electric bills and make their hot tubs more efficient? Here is a basic rundown of thermal blankets and why you need one for your hot tub because of the many benefits that it provides for you and your hot tub!
- Thermal blankets can significantly cut down hot tub electricity costs.
- They can come in different shapes and sizes.
- Choosing the right blanket is the key to making the most out of your hot tub and reducing electricity bills.
What is a Thermal Blanket?
A thermal blanket (also known as a spa blanket) is a thick plastic sheet especially made for hot tubs or spas. These ‘blankets’ float on the surface of the water and are cut exactly according to the size of the tub’s cover. Its primary purpose is to act as a heat insulator between the water in the tub and the tub cover.
When the heat is trapped in the tub, it results in less electricity needed to bring the tub to an optimal temperature. Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, the heat insulation from thermal blankets will benefit you either way. Thermal blankets aren’t typically expensive, and if you are good at DIY stuff, then you can even make one yourself by gathering the right materials.
Do You Need Thermal Blankets for Hot Tubs?
Yes, you do need thermal blankets for hot tubs unless you’re a millionaire and don’t care about electricity bills. And it’s not just the electricity bills, thermal blankets also play a crucial role in prolonging the lifespan of your blanket. Heating up the tub water from cold temperature from scratch takes its toll on the tub’s heating system in the long run.
But by using a thermal blanket, you can ensure that the temperature of the tub water has been kept at an optimal level so it requires as little electricity as possible to function properly. Basically, your hot tub cover prevents the cold air from getting in the tub while the thermal blanket prevents the inner heat of the tub from escaping outside.
During winter thermal blankets become a must if you want to keep your energy bills in check. With the right thermal blanket and hot tub cover used in conjunction, you can turn a luxury item into something suitable for regular use.
The Different Types of Thermal Blankets
Based on make and material, there are two types of thermal blankets- floating thermal blankets and insulating thermal blankets. Depending on the size and shape of your tub, you can choose the one that fits your needs.
Floating Thermal Blankets
Made from lightweight insulating materials like foam and bubble wraps, these thermal blankets float on the surface of the water while insulating heat. When choosing a floating thermal blanket, make sure to choose one that fits the exact dimensions of the water line of the tub.
If the blanket is too small then the heat will seep out from the sides, causing a loss in temperature which you don’t one. Floating thermal blankets can be bought both online and offline.
Insulating Thermal Blankets
The second type of thermal blanket, insulating thermal blankets are made from thicker and heavier materials than floating thermal blankets. Mostly made from vinyl closed-cell foams, these thermal blankets act like a secondary hot tub cover which is a bit difficult to move but is far more efficient at heat retention.
Ceramic fiber blankets are the trendiest insulating thermal blankets in the market at the moment and come at affordable prices. So if you decide to get an insulating thermal blanket, try the ceramic ones for a change.
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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Thermal Blanket
Choosing the right thermal blanket for your hot tub can be a daunting task given how many options are out there in the market. But by keeping some key factors in mind when buying a thermal blanket, you can ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Here are the main factors to keep in consideration:
Material of the Blanket
The efficiency of a thermal blanket largely depends on the materials they’re made of. Generally, lightweight thermal blankets are less effective at heat retention than their heavyweight counterparts. This should come as no surprise and needs to be seriously taken into consideration when buying a hot tub.
Trust us, the last thing you want if you live someplace cold like Colorado is getting a floating thermal blanket during winter only to find it almost useless in winter.
Size of the Blanket
The size of the thermal blanket you’re buying can impact a lot on your hot tub experience. Buy one too big and it won’t fit your hot tub; on the other hand, buy one too small and the heat retention will fail. To make sure that the thermal you’re purchasing is of the right size, measure the dimensions of your hot tub with a measuring tape first. This will make the task of choosing the right-sized blanket much easier.
Thickness of the Blanket
After the material of a thermal blanket, the thickness of the thermal blanket is the most important factor. Thin and lightweight thermal blankets are good enough for summertime or locations that don’t get too cold in the winter. The regular temperature of the water is warm enough to heat up quickly with thin blankets.
But on the other hand, thick blankets can retain a lot more heat than thin blankets which can be beneficial in both hot and cold climates. Also, they tend to last longer as they’re more resistant to wear and tear.
Installation and Maintenance of Thermal Blankets
Unlike the hot tub installation itself, the installation of thermal blankets for your hot tub is fairly easy. Just unroll the blanket and place it over the surface of the tub’s water and you’re good to go. If it’s a lightweight blanket and the dimensions of the blanket are larger than the tub, then you can trim off the edges until it matches the dimension.
If you feel confident, you can also make your own thermal blanket at home. But to do so you need to have a proper understanding of how thermal blankets and thermal insulation work. First, you need to gather all the necessary materials which include:
- Heavy or light insulation materials like bubble wraps or closed-cell foams.
- Heavy plastic to cover the insulation materials.
- A pair of large scissors.
- Industry-grade glue.
After collecting all the required materials, just follow these steps to assemble your own DIY thermal blanket for your hot tub:
- Measure the hot tub and cut the plastic and insulation materials accordingly.
- Once cut, wrap the insulation material with the heavy plastic sheet as closely and tightly as possible to leave no loose corners. The plastic should be stretched tightly across the insulation material.
- Glue the edges of the blanket properly and then leave it dry for a couple of hours.
Understand that if it’s your first attempt at such a project it might not turn out perfectly, which is why it’s usually better to buy ready-made ones online or from a local spa store.
Once installed, all you have to do is take it out once every few weeks and gently clean it with a soft brush to let loose the dirt accumulated. If you don’t clean it properly the dirt will slowly contaminate the water, making it unfit for taking a dip.
1. When do I know it’s time to replace my hot tub thermal blanket?
It depends on the quality and brand of the thermal blanket you purchased. A well-made thermal blanket can last you for years provided you take care of it properly. You’ll know it’s time to change the blanket when you see multiple spots suffering from water damage.
2. Do you have to keep a hot tub plugged in all the time even when using a thermal blanket?
No, you don’t have to keep your hot tub plugged in at all times if you have a hot tub blanket installed. The thermal blanket can ensure that your water doesn’t lose too much heat over time.
3. Are thermal blankets compatible with inflatable hot tubs?
Yes, thermal blankets are compatible with inflatable hot tubs. It is all about getting the blanket to be the size of the pool so it can effectively work.
4. Are thermal blankets compatible with salt-water hot tubs?
Yes, some thermal blankets are compatible with salt-water hot tubs. Just make sure you’re buying the right one by reading the product description.
Owning a hot tub can be a hefty investment, which is why you want to reduce the post-purchase expenses of the tub as much as possible. A thermal blanket helps greatly in this regard by optimizing your hot tub operations and reducing your electricity bills significantly. So if you’re a hot tub owner who doesn’t have one, you should get one as soon as possible.
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.