10 Ways to Run a Hot Tub Economically (Reduce Costs)

A woman in a hot tub

Last updated: March 29, 2021 at 13:22 pm

As anyone who has visited a health club or gone on a cruise will tell you, there is nothing nicer after a long day than sinking into a hot tub. A cruise is a rarity, though, and not all of us want or need a health club membership.

That’s why you might be considering getting your own hot tub to enjoy in the privacy of your garden. There are many plus points to having a hot tub, but they also have a big negative – the running costs.


There’s no getting away from the fact that hot tubs are expensive to run, especially if you want to keep your hot tub ready to jump into at all times. It’s not so bad in the summer, but keeping your water at a perfect 40°C during cold UK winters can send your electricity bill through the roof.

In this article, we’ll go through easy to follow steps (some are more obvious that others) to run a hot tub more economically and keep your bills as low as possible.

10 Ways to Run a Hot Tub Economically

If you run your hot tub with optimal efficiency, it should add £30-£40 per month to your bill. If it costs any more than that, check out our 10 tips below. We also have an article on how long you should stay in for, which will directly influence running costs.

1. Smaller the Size, Cheaper the Costs

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet and bought a hot tub, think carefully about your needs. Of course, it’s nice to imagine being a fantastic host and having all your friends over for a summer barbecue and a dip in the hot tub. In reality, how often will that happen?

You could use the hot tub all year round, but how regularly will your friends and family bring their swimsuits with them? Or want the hassle of getting dried and dressed for the trip home?

The bigger the hot tub the more it will cost to run, so be realistic. If you think it’s just going to be you and your significant other most of the time, then getting a tub for eight is going to cost a lot more for not much benefit. Choose a smaller size, and you’ll reduce your running costs.

2. Location Is Key

A lot of money-saving can take place before you’ve even bought your hot tub. We’ve discussed size, but the location is equally important. If a hot tub is exposed to cold winds, it will cool much more quickly, so you need to position it in as sheltered a position as position.

If your garden doesn’t offer much shelter, it may be worth building fencing around it on the windiest sides. It may cost you money upfront, but it will save money long term by reducing your running costs. It may offer some privacy from neighbours too.

3. Turn It Down

Most people enjoy their hot tubs most at around 38-40°C. Some people prefer it cooler, though, and for each degree you lower the temperature, you save up to 10% on the power it needs. Over a year, this can be a substantial saving.

Try reducing the temperature a degree at a time. You may not even notice the difference, and a 2-degree reduction equals a substantial saving.

4. Keep It Running

I know this sounds strange! If you’re looking to save money, how does it make sense to keep your hot tub running when you’re not using it? The reason is, it takes a lot more energy to heat an entire hot tub full of water from cold up to 40°C that it would to maintain it at 36°C at all times. So when you come to use it, it just takes a little energy to top the heat up.

Secondly, by having your hot tub ready, you’re more inclined to use it. Each time you do, you get more value for the money you spent both buying the tub and running it.

5. Cover It Up

The British weather can be pretty changeable, and cold temperatures are nothing new. If you leave your tub uncovered at all times, then it will lose a lot of heat through the surface of the water.

That’s when the suggestion to keep your hub heated up at all times turns terrible. If heat is continually escaping, the heater will have to come on far more often and could send your electricity bill through the roof.

When your tub is not in use, keep it covered at all times.

The cover will keep in the heat as well as stopping dirt and debris from falling in. Less dirt means less cleaning and less money spent on chemicals which saves you more money.

Make sure your cover is in place whenever your hot tub isn’t being used. You should also check your cover every few months. If it’s not in great shape, then you could still lose a lot of heat. If there are any tears or holes, you should think about buying a replacement cover. Look for one that is well insulated to keep in as much heat as possible.

6. Insulate the Rest of Your Hot Tub

Most of the heat escapes through the top, but that doesn’t mean insulating the rest of your hot tub isn’t worthwhile. If you have a cabinet surrounding the bottom of your hot tub, you may have assumed it was empty underneath.

Not always!

Some manufacturers insert spray foam between the underside of the hot tub and the cabinet. If yours isn’t insulated, it’s a simple task to do it yourself. Remove the cabinet carefully and pack the space under the tub with spray insulation or regular home insulation. The more heat you can keep in, the less it’ll cost you to run.

If you have an inflatable hot tub, the ground is also a place where heat can be lost, particularly if your hot tub sits on concrete. To reduce this heat loss, you can buy a protector. It’s a thick mat that acts as a base for your hot tub. A well-made protector will act as a barrier between your tub and the ground.

This will insulate the tub to reduce heat loss into the ground and protect it from potential damage from sharp stones. Tears can be extremely expensive to repair, so it’s another way a protector can keep your costs down.

7. Shut off the Air Jets

The air that creates bubbles in your hot ton does it by sucking in air, and if you’re in your hot tub and want to enjoy a wonderful massage feeling, that’s great. If you’re not, it’s just another way of introducing cold air to the warm water. This cools the water so your hot tub has to work harder to keep it at the right temperature.

More work = more money.

If you’re not fussed about the jets, turn them off to save electricity.

8. Fill the Hot Tub With Warm Water

If you already have a full tank of hot water in your home, then you should consider using this to fill up your hot tub. Most people use a garden hose to fill their hot tub with cold water, but as we’ve already discussed, heating up the amount of water contained in a hot tub will take a lot of power. If you’re able to connect your hose to a hot tap, then this is both a shortcut to get your tub up and running and a way of saving money. Be warned, though; you shouldn’t add water that is hotter than 40°C.

Top tip:

If it’s a sunny day, warm water up in a paddling pool to use for the hot tub later. Water in paddling pools warm exceptionally fast when in direct sunlight.

9. Shop Around

Too many people don’t change their energy providers as often as they should because they see it as a hassle. There are many switching services available now to make this process simpler.

It’s never been easier to go online or make a call and get advice on the best deal for you. If you’re going to be using the amount of power it will take to run a hot tub, then shopping around for the cheapest electricity tariff is a must.

Shopping around also applies to the chemicals you need to maintain the water in your tub safely. The cost of oxidisers, chlorine, testing kits and sanitisers can soon mount up. Keep an eye out for lightning deals on Amazon, 3 for 2 offers and starter kits. These can save you a lot of money but if you’ve just bought your hot tub, do your research!

Check a few sites to see what a single one of these items normally sells for, so you’ll be able to see if it’s a genuine bargain or if it would be cheaper to buy the elements separately.

10. Keep It Clean

This should be obvious, but if you’re going to be soaking your body in your hot tub, it needs to be clean. You also need to maintain the right pH balance. If your tub is dirty or the pH is outside the recommended range, it can damage the tub and, more importantly, you!

You should use specialised cleaning materials to clean your tub regularly. While you’re cleaning, you should also remember to clean the filter. If they get clogged, the pump will need to work harder, and this will cost you more. Prevention is always better (I.e. less expensive) than cure.

Conclusion: Reducing Costs Made Easy

A hot tub is a considerable ongoing expense, but if you utilise the tips above to run one economically you should be able to keep your running costs at a manageable level.

Feel free to try them all then stick with the ones that work for you. You don’t want any worries spoiling your enjoyment and relaxation. Once you’re all set, it’s time to unwind. Enjoy!

About the Author: AJ

I'm AJ, the founder of Tub Living. I first got a hot tub three years ago now, and as my knowledge grew, I wanted to help existing and first time owners enjoy their own tubs stress free.

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