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How Much Does it Cost to Run a Hot Tub in the Winter?

A hot tub provides a great source of relaxation as well as entertainment. It’s like having a mini-vacation spot right in your backyard 24/7! In North Carolina, many people can use their hot tubs through the winter months. It’s one of the many perks of living in the Tar Heel State! While hot tubs might not get as much use as during the summer, they’re still great to take advantage of all year long.

The amount of time you use your hot tub during the winter will determine how much it will cost to run. Typically, it should be less than during the summer. But, if you love using your hot tub to relax aching muscles, you may use your hot tub almost as much as you do in the summer.

We’re going to take a look at how you can estimate your cost as well as how to reduce the cost of running a hot tub in the winter.

The Cost of Running a Hot Tub in the Winter

The cost of running a hot tub in the winter will be determined on:

  • Where you live
  • Your energy costs
  • How frequently you use your hot tub

If you’re asking how much does it cost to run a hot tub in the winter, you’ll need to do some simple math. First, you need to know how much you pay for every kilowatt of energy you use. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), as of August 2021 people in North Carolina pay an average of 11.54 cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh).

Using that piece of information, you then need to determine how many KWh's it takes to heat up your hot tub. To get this number, you need to figure out how much energy it takes to fill the number of gallons of water in your hot tub. Use the fact that it takes 8.33 BTUs to heat one gallon of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Next, determine how many gallons of water your hot tub holds.

If your hot tub can hold 400 gallons of water, it will take 166,600 BTUs to bring the temperature from 50 degrees to 100 degrees. One BTU equals 0.000293 KWh so 166,600 BTUs equals 48.8 KWh. If you’re paying 11.54 cents per kilowatt-hour in North Carolina, it will cost you $5.63 to heat your tub from 50 degrees to 100 degrees. 

When the weather gets colder, it’s going to cost you more to get the temperature to 100 degrees because you’re starting at a colder temperature. By doing this little math exercise, you can have a better idea about how much does it cost to run a hot tub in the winter.

Factors That Impact How Much It Costs to Run a Hot Tub in the Winter

While doing some quick math can help you estimate how much it will cost to run a hot tub in the winter, you also want to keep some important factors in mind. If you have a hot tub that is tightly insulated, it may be cheaper for you to heat up your hot tub before each use than to keep it running. Even if you do this, it will still take longer to heat your hot tub on a cold day versus a warmer day. 

You also want to think about where you put your hot tub. If it’s in an area that never gets any sun, it’s going to cost you more to heat it, even on a sunny, warmer day. Try to install your hot tub in an area that gets at least partial sunshine most of the year.

Another factor that will impact your cost is water care. You’ll still need to test your water during the winter if you’re using your hot tub. Depending on how many chemicals you need to keep your water clean and balanced, it may cost you around $20 per month to maintain your hot tub.

How to Reduce the Cost of Running a Hot Tub in the Winter

If you want to enjoy your hot tub year-round but want to save money, consider these cost-reducing tips:

Consider a Fully Insulated Hot Tub

Although it doesn’t get as cold in North Carolina in the winter as it can in other parts of the country, you may want to consider investing in a fully insulated hot tub. This will help to trap heat that can sometimes escape through the sides of the hot tub.

Invest in a Good Hot Tub Cover

If you think you’re saving money by buying a cheaper cover, you’re going to spend more money on your energy bill. Spend the money on a cover that has a thick, dense foam cover. This will help prevent heat from escaping. 

Also, look for a cover that wraps around the hot tub’s rim. These are more energy-efficient than covers that just sit on top of your hot tub.

Consider a Thermal Blanket

A thermal blanket can help to conserve energy and keep heat from escaping. A thermal blanket floats on the surface of the water. It prevents heat from escaping when no one is inside the hot tub. Even if you’re in the hot tub, but not using all the space, you have the thermal blanket inside with you to help the water stay warmer. This can cut down on how much you spend heating your hot tub during the winter.

Invest in a Base Pan

Another option to reduce the energy cost to get your hot tub is a base pan. This sits between the hot tub’s bottom layer that comes in direct contact with the ground. It creates an extra thermal barrier to prevent heat from escaping. Hot tubs with base pans are more effective at keeping the heat in than those without them.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to how much it costs to run a hot tub in the winter, you need to consider factors like your energy costs, how much you plan to use it, and where you live. Obviously, the colder the outside temperature, the more it will cost you to heat the water inside your hot tub.

You can do things like invest in a good cover and consider buying a hot tub that is fully insulated. This can help to keep heat from escaping. Some people also invest in a thermal blanket to help keep things toasty.  All of these things can help keep your energy costs down during the winter as well as the warmer months.

Contact Us About Purchasing a Hot Tub During Any Season!

When you’re shopping for a hot tub in North Carolina, contact Custom Backyard Spaces. We have a wide variety of hot tubs in stock for delivery. Call us today at  919-444-8500 to learn more about our inventory and how a hot tub is a perfect fit for your backyard space any time of the year!