How Much Does It Cost To Run A Hot Tub?
What to look for when shopping for your hot tub to keep long term costs low.
Keeping ongoing costs low is always important to consider when investing in anything. You want to make sure the investment is affordable and practical. Just like many products we purchase today, the ongoing costs of running your hot tub is going to depend on a variety of factors. It pretty much boils down to which brand you end up choosing. Let’s lay out all the costs, up front & lifetime, that go into the hot tub running costs. This will help us understand what is important to look for when shopping in order to keep your costs low overtime.
Up front Hot Tub Costs
How much does a hot tub cost?
There are a few things to factor into pricing when shopping for a hot tub. The list below lays out how much a hot tub costs up front.
Site preparation: $0 – ???
The sky is the limit when it comes to site preparation. Sometimes we have families that already have a patio in their backyard. Other times, we have families who are creating a backyard staycation and have decided to completely renovate their space. If you’re looking for something simple, you can have a pad installed for anywhere from $500 – $1,000.
Electrical Installation: $300 – $1,200
Electrical costs depend on the voltage of the hot tub and the capacity you have in your existing panel in your home. Some hot tubs are 110V/20amp that plug into a regular outlet. Other hot tubs are 220V/50amp and require a separate electrical box to be installed outside.
Hot Tub Cost: $4,000 – $17,000
Then there is the cost of the hot tub. This is going to vary in price based on the type of hot tub you’re considering. Generally, just as most products, you get what you pay for when shopping for a hot tub. Plug N’ Play roto-mold hot tubs are going to be the most affordable quality hot tubs starting at around $4,000. You then have entry level models, premium models, and luxury models. View the chart below for a breakdown on how much a hot tub costs.
Lifetime Costs of Running a Hot Tub
The next most important thing to factor in is your lifetime costs. Sometimes, hot tubs can be very inexpensive & seem too good to be true (hint: most likely they are). We’ll get into more detail about hot tub running costs below.
Energy Costs to Run a Hot Tub
Your monthly operation costs are going to depend on 3 main factors; foam insulation, filtration type, and the quality of your cover.
View our Energy Calculator for Hot Spring & Caldera Hot Tubs.
It is so important to make sure the hot tub you’re purchasing has full foam insulation for so many reasons. For the sake of this topic, lets talk about how full foam insulation helps keep operation costs down. The important questions to ask are “Are your hot tubs fully insulated & how?”, “what is the density of your foam?”, also “what is the R-value?”. Hot Spring High Life hot tubs have foam that goes up to 60lbs (the average in the industry is 1/2lb)! This is the reason Hot Spring & Caldera spas cost $15/mo on average to operate. If the hot tub you’re looking at does not have at least a 2lb spray foam throughout the entire hot tub, it’s time to move on. Poorly insulated hot tubs can run you $80-$150+ to run a month ($960-$1,800 per year!!).
The type of filtration will also factor into your hot tub running costs. Sounds a little strange – let us explain. There are two types of filtration – cycle filtration & 24 hour filtration. Cycle filtration is when your jet pump comes on and off at a low speed to filter your hot tub. 24 hour filtration has a circulation pump that runs 24 hours a day slowly heating and cleaning your hot tub water. Which is more efficient? Actually, the 24 hour filtration. The difference in cost? Not much if the hot tub is insulated well, but every penny adds up!
This one is pretty easy. You want your cover to have 3 things. 1 – you want it to be thick to insulate well. 2 – you want a “tapered fit” so that any rain water runs off the cover to keep it in good shape and lengthen the life of your cover. 3 – you want it to fit snug & seal completely on the shell and around the sides of the hot tub with a “skirt”. This will keep the heat in your hot tub which will keep your hot tub running cost low.
Tip: Keep your hot tub up to temperature. Yes – this actually helps lower your operation cost. Why? Because when you lower your hot tub temperature, your hot tub has to play catch up & uses more energy at once to bring the hot tub up to temperature. If your hot tub is insulated well, keeping it up to your preferred temperature will help you save money!
Other Costs to Run a Hot Tub
Hot tub chemicals cost about $20 per month on average (ranging from $10-$30+). Choosing a water care system that produces additional sanitation can sometimes be a little more expensive in your initial purchase. However, the long run chemical costs & less frequent water changes will save you money over time. Salt Water Systems require minimal chemicals, water changes only 1 time per year, and require less maintenance. Traditional chlorine systems require more chemicals, water changes 3-4 times per year, and generally take more time to maintain.
Dumping & Refilling your hot tub. This is necessary to give your hot tub a “refresh”. With a Freshwater Salt System, you only need to empty and refill your hot tub once per year. With all other systems, you’ll need to empty and refill your hot tub at least 3 times per year.
Replacement parts. Filters will need to be replaced every 1-3 years depending on the filter type & how well you’ve taken care of them. Hot Spring’s Tri-X filters are ceramic & have a longer lifespan than any other filter. Filters cost anywhere from $35-$120 and you’ll need anywhere from 1-5 filters depending on which model you have. You’ll also have to replace your cover every 5-7 years. A quality cover costs anywhere from $295-$595 depending on the size of your hot tub. This gives your hot tub a fresh new cover & lightens the load of lifting your cover on and off your hot tub with your cover lifter.
How Does Hot Spring Keep Hot Tub Running Costs Low?
Energy efficiency is important to Hot Spring. Hot Spring Spas hot tubs are designed with energy efficiency in mind. You can enjoy lower monthly operating costs with Hot Spring Spas energy-efficient spas. Hot Spring Spas makes your spa energy-efficient by:
- Insulation: Totally insulating every Highlife Collection model with multiple layers of high density, polyurethane foam that’s also used to insulate commercial freezers. Using the innovative FiberCor™ insulation in the Limelight Collection models, which fills the cabinet completely to a density that is 4 times greater than the ½ lb. foam used on most spas
- Custom Spa Covers: Manufacturing all spa covers to ensure a custom-fit and tight seal to lock in warm air, and have a dense foam core with a high R-value for insulation
- 24 hour Filtration: Continuously circulating spa water with the SilentFlo 5000® circulation pump that uses less energy than a 40-watt light bulb
- Jet Pump Technology: Featuring the powerful WaveMaster® jet pumps dedicated to powering the jets and are only activated when you need them
- Jet System Technology: Featuring the SmartJet® system that lets you direct power only to the jets you choose, for less horsepower and energy
- Efficient Heater: Designing our own heaters to maximize the transfer of heat to the water for maximum efficiency
- Recycling Heat: Featuring our patented pump shroud that transfers heat from the equipment compartment to the water to utilize pump exhaust heat, minimizing water cooling and energy consumption
- LED system: Featuring dimmer-controlled LED lights that use less energy than a standard light bulb in all models
Overall, the cost of owning a hot tub is going to depend on how well you maintain your hot tub, the water care system you choose, and ultimately which brand you end up choosing. By choosing a highly reputable trusted brand, your hot tub operation costs are going to be significantly lower. The cost to run a low quality hot tub can actually end up costing you more in the first year than if you chose to spend a little more up front. So, whether you own a hot tub currently or you’re just starting off on your hot tub shopping journey, we hope this article will help guide you in making the best decision for you and your home!