How Can I Keep My Hot Tub Warm Cheap?


For many people, finally owning a hot tub is a matter of pride and joy. Enjoying the luxury of a hot dip after a hard day’s work can quickly become one of the best pleasures of life. But new hot tub owners suddenly get a reality check when their utility bill arrives after the first month of using a hot tub.

Not only is buying a hot tub expensive, but running and maintaining is costly as well. If you’re a hot tub owner, the good news is there are a couple of things that you can do to run your hot tub for cheap. The first thing is to ensure that the hot tub remains warm for longer. But how can I keep my hot tub warm cheap? Here’s everything you need to know to use your hot tub at your convenience while keeping the electricity costs down.

Key Takeaways

  • To know exactly how much energy you’re spending or saving on your hot tub, use the appropriate formula.
  • Reducing hot tub electricity bills can be quite easy and quite effective with cheaper alternatives to keep the hot tub warm.
  • Optimizing your hot tub for low electric bills requires some effort and forethought since even the location of your hot tub matters.

Hot Tubs, Hot Costs

Running a hot tub at your home is expensive, but how expensive it’s going to be depends a lot on three factors- your location, the electricity bill rates, and how often you use it. Combining these 3 factors, you can easily determine how much of your electricity bill is resulting from your hot tub usage.

To calculate the bills from your hot tub, you need to first know how much you pay per kilowatt-hour (KWh). The amount will differ from place to place, so if you leave somewhere like Utah where utility bills are cheap, you’re really lucky! Once you know that, the next thing to determine is how much KWh your tub uses.

The energy consumption of hot tubs differs from model to model, but the standard is 8.33 BTUs (British Temperature Units) to heat per gallon of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. If your hot tub uses more or less BTUs than 8.33, you can look it up in the product manual, or directly get in touch with the manufacturer for details.

The last thing to determine is the water capacity of your hot tub. Once you have all three figures in place, you need to apply the hot tub cost formula to get the final figure. The formula is as follows:

Hot Tub Electric Cost = Power Consumption / 1,000 × Utility Rate × Usage

Using this formula for a tub that can hold 400 gallons of water, we can determine that it will take 166,600 BTUs to raise the temperature in the tub from 50 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, costing you $5.63 (based on North Carolina kilowatt rates) every time you run your hot tub.

How to Keep Your Hot Tub Warm for Cheap?

Spending between $5-$10 for each hot tub session can be a bit hard to bear considering the current economic conditions. Ideally, you want to bring down your hot tub expenses as much as possible, especially during the winter months when hot tub usage goes up.

Luckily keeping your hot tub costs down isn’t as hard as you might think as long as you keep the following tips and tricks in mind.

Buying a high quality hot tub cover

1. Buying a High-Quality Hot Tub Cover

When you leave the top of a hot tub open, it loses a lot of heat in the process even if you keep it running. Purchasing a good-quality hot tub cover will prevent this from happening and trap the heat inside the tub. This results in less power used to heat the water.

There are different types of hot tub covers in the market, so you need to choose one that fits the size and dimensions of your hot tub. If you try putting a round hot tub cover on a rectangular hot tub, it simply won’t work or be as effective. A good quality hot tub cover should be water and UV-resistant for maximum efficiency.

Fill your hot tub with hot tap water

2. Fill Your Hot Tub with Hot Tap Water

One great way to minimize the usage of the heating function of your hot tub is by filling it with hot tap water. Since the water is already hot, the tub will have to use less energy to bring the water temperature to an optimal point. Usually, the temperature of hot tap water sits at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

This technique is especially useful during the summer months when even normal water is a bit hotter than usual. Alternatively, you can fill the tub with cold water during the summer months 24 hours before using it. The external temperature will ensure that the water is slightly heated, reducing energy usage when heating.

Keeping a static temperature

3. Keeping a Static Temperature

Some people tend to use their hot tubs once a week while others use theirs multiple times a week. If you fall in the latter group, then an excellent way to keep your energy bills down is to keep the hot tub set at one particular temperature. This might sound impractical at first, but hear us out.

Every time you turn off your hot water tub after use it needs to use a significant amount of energy to bring back the water temperature to the ideal heat level. But if you keep the temperature set to a low point, the water will constantly remain heated at an optimal temperature without having to expend high amounts of energy every time to heat the water.

Use your hot tubs only on weekends

4. Use Your Hot Tubs Only on Weekends

It sure feels nice to take a dip in your hot tub every other day, but you also have electricity bills to consider. One way to run your hot tub cheaply is only using it during weekends. Sure it doesn’t sound like what you signed up for, but the reality is they guzzle a lot of electricity every time you use them.

By using them only on weekends you can ensure that your electricity bills are affected as little as possible by your hot tub usage. Just start it up on a Thursday or Friday night and use the hot tub until Sunday before turning it off again. The only caveat is that it’s not practical in cold areas where a hot dip is necessary every other day.

Using an insulating inflatable lid

5. Using an Insulating Inflatable Lid

It’s no secret that a quality hot tub cover can cost you a pretty penny, which is why insulating inflatable lids for hot tubs can be an excellent alternative to them. These lids don’t take too much space to store or install; all you have to do is blow it up when you need to and place it over the hot tub.

Paired with a floor protector, an inflatable lid can work just as well as its heavier counterpart. They come in various shapes and sizes, so finding one that fits your tub shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

Choose the right positioning for your tub

6. Choose the Right Positioning for Your Tub

You would be surprised to know how much the positioning of your hot tub matters when it comes to using them as cheaply as possible. You’ll want to place them in a sheltered area i.e. in front of a high fence or behind the back wall of your home or porch so that it gets as little exposure to wind as possible.

The underlying theory is very simple- being exposed to windy or chilly open areas significantly decreases the temperature of the water in the hot tub even if the tub is turned on. Of course, enjoying a pretty view while taking a dip is fun, but do you want to know what’s more fun? Saving money in a struggling economy.

If your backyard or porch doesn’t have any sheltered area, you can invest in an inflatable hot tub dome which can be deployed when you’re planning to use the tub, providing some additional privacy alongside saving you money. These domes act as an additional layer of insulation aside from keeping the tub temperature static.

Go for smart hot tubs

7. Go for Smart Hot Tubs

With the busy lives, most of us have to live every day, it’s not unusual to turn off a switch or remember how many hours ago did you turn your hot tub on. Thanks to modern technology, the fallacy of forgetfulness can easily be rectified with smart hot tub systems.

Smart hot tubs are capable of automatically adjusting the temperature as well as turning on and off based on preset schedules. What’s more, these smart tubs can be linked to your smartphone or other devices using the manufacturer’s proprietary app which provides you with notifications and remote control.

Go for smaller hot tubs

8. Go for Smaller Hot Tubs

This might sound like a no-brainer, but too many hot tub owners own hot tubs far larger than they need. The size of a hot tub correlates directly with the energy it draws, so a smaller tub will draw less energy, meaning less energy bills. Don’t get dazzled by the sleek and shiny design of larger hot tubs when a smaller one will suffice.

Ensure proper maintenance for your hot tub

9. Ensure Proper Maintenance for Your Hot Tub

It’s sad but true that most hot tub owners don’t ensure comprehensive maintenance for their tubs after purchase. They’ll give it a thorough wiping once in a while, but that’s it. But if you want the best and most long-lasting performance from your hot tub, you need to ensure proper maintenance for your hot tub.

The first tip for hot tub maintenance is to use clean and chemically treated water for filling the tub. Unclean or untreated water can clog up the internal mechanisms of the tub over time, significantly reducing the performance of the tub. The second tip is to invest in good-quality filters that can be cleaned easily.

If you can follow these two simple maintenance tips, you won’t have to contact a technician for hot tub troubleshooting any time soon.

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Factors That Contribute to Your Hot Tub Bills

Factors that contribute to your hot tub bills

While the make and model of a hot tub definitely contribute to how much electricity bills you’re paying, there are also a couple of other factors that influence the amount as well. These include:

Your Location

The location of your home and the surrounding environment can play a significant role in your hot tub expenses. By surrounding environment, we don’t mean the natural environment, but rather the environment surrounding your home. You can have two hot tubs of the same model in two homes in Colorado, but the bills at the end of the month can be wildly different.

As a rule of thumb, you want to place your hot tub in an enclosed area so that the cold weather or wind doesn’t decrease the temperature of the tub. You can also change the location of the hot tub from one area to another depending on the change in seasons.

The Energy Rates of Your Area

Depending on the energy rates of your area, your electric bills after getting a hot tub might hit the ceiling or increase slightly. This is something you should take into consideration before even buying one because there are few feelings as worse as realizing your hot tub will have to sit in a corner of your backyard and collect dust because the electricity bills are absurdly high.

The Size of the Hot Tub

The size of your hot tub also plays a key role in your energy bills. Smaller tubs require less energy to heat, resulting in lower electricity bills. Larger hot tubs on the other hand tend to use more electricity to heat the water to a boiling point which results in higher electricity bills.


1. When is the best time to turn on your hot tub?

Nighttime is the best time to run your hot tub as electricity billing during off-peak hours is significantly less.

2. Can solar power reduce my hot tub energy expenses?

Absolutely! There are solar installations known as solar hot water systems that are connected directly to all water sources in your house. You can use solar power to fill your tub with hot tap water or connect the tub to the solar system directly.

3. How can I reduce extra energy bills from hot tub usage during winter months?

There are only two ways to reduce extra energy bills from hot tub usage during winter months- either by using it less frequently or by connecting it to a solar system.

Final Thoughts

Owning a hot tub can be a lot of fun, but seriously expensive as well. But by making some smart choices and a bit of proactivity on your part, you can significantly reduce the operating expenses of the hot tub while still enjoying the benefits. Hopefully, the tips and tricks discussed above will help you do just that!

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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.

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