Winter Hot Tub Tips
This article comes from Hot Tub Focus.
Winter Hot Tub Tips
Here are some of the top tips to help you get the very best from your hot tub over winter:
Preplan any routine draining
Firstly try to time it so that you don’t have to drain and refill your hot tub in the depths of winter if at all possible. Few of us enjoy working outside in the freezing cold and, if the temperature is around freezing point or below when you try to do this job it will be much more difficult. The risk of standing water freezing inside the hot tub is increased and if you drain the old hot tub water over the garden it will take ages to disperse and may well freeze into a slippery solid block of ice.
Most hot tubs can go from between 3 and 4 months between water changes so, if you change the water as late as you can in the Autumn you may well be able to get through until the worst of the winter weather is passed before you need to change it again.
Keep up with your schedule of routine maintenance
It might be tempting not to go out into the cold regularly to maintain your water chemistry but it is just as important to keep up with the routine jobs as it is in the Summer. In fact, bearing in mind that you will want to avoid changing the water for as long as possible keeping up with your water chemistry is doubly important. In theory at least if you keep your PH levels correct and your sanitizer working at it’s optimal level then you should be able to avoid a full water change for up to four months. It will also help a lot if you have a shower before getting into the hot tub in that dirt, debris and impurities from your body will be washed away rather than going into the hot tub which will build up and cause problems. Obviously you should try to do this all year round but in the winter, if you are trying to avoid changing the water, then it becomes much more important.
It’s also important that you try to remove the hot tub cover every week throughout the winter and allow it to dry out. This can be a bit challenging in the winter months due to the weather but, if there is a warmer or a dry, windy day, then letting the hot tub cover “breath” will significantly help to reduce moisture damage and lengthen the life of the cover.
Check your hot tub cover
Your hot tub cover will be vital over the winter as it will be the primary means by which the water keeps hot. Obviously hot air rises so, if your cover is worn, waterlogged or doesn’t fit properly then you will be losing a lot of heat through it and this will be reflected in your energy bills.
Firstly, make sure that the cover still fits properly and that the fastenings are effective. Then check for any obvious damage. Tears in the vinyl can be problematic as there is a risk that the vapour barrier beneath it will be tor and letting moisture through to the foam core. If you core starts to collect moisture it slowly becomes waterlogged and becomes heavier and heavier until it is almost impossible to lift off the hot tub. In extreme cases the water will freeze inside the core effectively creating a massive block of ice sitting on top of your hot tub.
Not only is the weight of a waterlogged hot tub cover problematic it will also severely lose it’s insulating capacity as the water content increases. If you know that you have either a poor quality or a waterlogged hot tub cover you need to think very carefully about the practicality of running the hot tub through the winter without replacing it. You will waste a significant amount of energy and, in some cases, find that the hot tub struggles to keep up to temperature.
Use the hot tub’s freeze protect mode
I guess this is winter hot tubbing 101! Most hot tubs will have a freeze protect mode which will sense when the air temperature is getting close to zero and keep the hot tub’s circulation pump going to keep the water moving and prevent it from freezing. You can just keep this switched on all the time even if you intend to keep the hot tub at working temperature over the winter as a back up in case the water temperature falls or you programmed the hot tub incorrectly.
Use the jets sparingly
Your jets and blower add cold air from inside the hot tub cabinet to the water. In summer this isn’t so much of a problem as the air will be relatively warm but, in winter the air being introduced could be 40 degrees centigrade or more lower! This will obviously lead to a rapid decrease in the water temperature meaning that your hot tub will have to work harder and use more energy to make up the difference. Using your jets is nice however, if at all possible use them sparingly during the winter months when it is very cold.
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