Summer is over and fall is here. There’s a chill in the air and you’re turning your attention to the winter months that will soon be here. If you own a hot tub, you have a choice to make. Are you going to drain it and shut it down until the spring or will you and your family continue to use and enjoy it through the cold months?
Believe it or not many hot tub owners enjoy a warm, jet propelled, soak outside in the winter elements as much as, if not more than, the warm months. While you can close it if you wish, a soak in a hot tub while snow falls around you is a beautiful experience.
If you’re someone who wants to use your hot tub in winter, this blog is for you. Read on for tips on how to best make use of your hot tub in winter.
Procure a High Quality Cover
While covers can help to keep debris and cold air out, not just any old cover will do. A high quality hot tub cover is like a tight-fitting lid that locks in the things you want to keep inside the hot tub, namely heat and water.
During the cold, dry months water evaporates quickly, and heat loss can make your heater work overtime. A good cover should be waterproof, with a snug fit that creates a tight seal. It should also feature a thick layer of dense insulation to prevent the escape of heat.
If you live in a snowy area, always uncover your hot tub with caution. Make sure you have cleaned off any snow or ice because the extra weight can damage the foam inserts inside the vinyl sleeve. Adding a floating thermal blanket on top of the water is a great way of saving energy costs during the winter months, too.
Keep an Eye on the Water Level
Cold, dry, outdoor air can make your spa water evaporate faster than during the warmer months. If the water level falls below the skimmer level, it won’t be able to circulate and do its job to maintain an even water temperature throughout your hot tub.
As circulation is crucial to preventing frozen pipes, you should check the water level after every soaking. It’s a good idea to check the water level every few days between soaks and to top it off so it doesn’t fall below the level of the jets.
Make Sure the Water is Clean
Because winter offers very few opportunities to drain and refill your hot tub, you need to be more vigilant about keeping your spa’s water pristine. It’s a good idea to ask that everyone who uses the hot tub has a quick rinse in the shower before their soak. Keeping the lotions, soap residues, and other substances that stick to the skin out of your hot tub will greatly help in keeping the water clean until the next below freezing day.
Drain and Refill your Tub Before Winter Arrives
Make sure to do this before the temperatures fall below freezing. Attempting to drain and refill your hot tub on a freezing day will subject your hot tub to a higher risk of frozen pipes. Don’t forget to continue balancing your hot tub water chemistry and cleaning the filters as normal.
Turn Down the Jets
While full-jet mode brings relief to tired muscles, be careful not to overdo it or you may end up with a chilly tub. Remember that the jets pull in outside air, which lowers the water temperature. Also, stirring up the water exposes more surface area to the cold air, which results in even more heat loss.
Be Smart About Soak Times and Temperature
When the weather is cold and snowy it can be tempting to spoil yourself with an extra-long soak. We recommend that, regardless of the weather, 20 minutes is the ideal amount of time to soak in your hot tub. So set your timer and enjoy!
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the water in your hot tub should never exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. High water temperature can lead you to suffer from heatstroke, or you could become drowsy and fall asleep, posing a risk of drowning.
Due to cold weather, your exposed head and shoulders may confuse your sense of internal temperatures and you may be tempted to raise the temperature too high. So play it safe and keep the temperature of your hot tub around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
When your body gets warm, staying hydrated helps your body stay regulated. Make sure you have water with you and keep on sipping.
Have an Exit Plan
Before you excitedly hop into the hot tub, take a moment to prepare. Have an exit plan for getting safely indoors when you’re soaking from head to toe with subzero winds whipping around. Make sure everyone has towels, bathrobes, slip-on shoes, and a hat. Make sure your shoes or slippers have a good tread in case there is ice on the ground.
Enhance Your Winter Oasis
Consider adding some enhancements to increase the comfort and enjoyment of using your hot tub in winter. Items such as a heat lamp, something to shield the wind, towel warmers, or even a weatherproof rug to cushion bare feet from the frozen ground are all things that can add warmth and comfort and improve the experience.
Yes, you can absolutely use a hot tub in the winter. There’s nothing as relaxing as a hot bubbling spa in the cold months of winter. The warm water against bare skin feels especially refreshing. With the power on, water levels normal, chemicals balanced, and equipment working properly there’s no danger of pipes freezing.
At Crystal Waters Hot Tubs we’re here to answer any questions you have about safely enjoying your hot tub in winter. And, we also have any accessories you need to make sure that your hot tub is ready for winter use. Happy hot tubbin’!