How Much Does it Cost to Run a Hot Tub? (Find Out Here…)

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 02/26/21 •  11 min read

How much does it cost to run a hot tub?

The cost to run a hot tub will average between $30 and $50 per month for electrical. You can expect to pay around $1 per day to keep your hot tub running smoothly. In the colder months where temperatures are below freezing, the cost could jump between $2 – $3 per day. This cost improves with better insulation. Chemicals and water can also add $5 to $20 dollars per month depending on how much the spa is being used. 

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Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

I also recommend the ULTCOVER waterproof cover to protect your spa.

The cost of running a hot tub is mainly affected by energy consumption. I have researched the costs associated with running a hot tub and compiled this article in a simplified manner to help you understand this question.

By the end of this article, it will be easy for you to tell how much it will cost to own a hot tub.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Hot Tub?

The main cost factor in running a hot tub is energy consumption. It’s not easy to estimate accurately the cost of running a hot tub because many variable factors affect energy consumption. However, you’re lucky to purchase a hot tub now because advances in technology have increased energy efficiencies. They have also decreased the cost of running hot tubs much more compared to a few years back.

Like any other hot tub enthusiast, you need to know how much it will cost to run a hot tub. Most modern hot tub manufacturers boast that their hot tubs have a high energy efficiency that will cost you as little as $1 per day and $50 in a month on the higher margin. Surprisingly, you could even incur a monthly fee of $20 to run the hot tub in a month. But it’s essential to understand the amount of energy you’ll need for your hot tub and how other factors affect energy consumption.

How Much Energy Does a Hot Tub Use?

The most considerable amount of energy in a hot tub is consumed by the heater. The hot tub heater consumes 1500 to 6000 watts for 120-volt and 240-volt heaters, respectively. The hot tub pump consumes an additional 1500 watts of energy. The cost of running the heater does not count only when in use. Heaters will need to run occasionally to maintain the water temperatures. But when you use the hot tub, the cost is much higher because both the heater and the pump will continuously run.

With these facts, you can easily estimate that the energy consumption for a 120-volt heater hot tub is about 3000 watts when in use. But the hot tub with a larger heater of 24 volts will consume 7500 watts of power. These wattages translate to 3kWh and 7.5kWh for each of the hot tubs. You can use these figures to find the actual costs incurred by multiplying the kWh (kilowatt-hour) by the energy consumption rates. Other factors affect the energy consumption by your heater and pumps. But these are the standard consumptions under ideal situations.

Cost to Run a Hot Tub Depends on Weather and Environment

The energy consumption is high in winter and places with a cold environment. The cold air outside forces your heater to work extra hard in maintaining the water temperatures at a consistently high level. Most low-end hot tubs are not designed with high energy efficiency like the higher-end quality hot tubs. This means that they have greater ease of losing energy to the environment.

It would be best to choose a hot tub based on quality design and energy efficiency because this will help keep the running cost low. The latest hot tub designs include high-tech insulation and covers to minimize energy loss from the hot water. This keeps the heating costs low even in extreme weather conditions.

The Cost Depends on How Much the Hot Tub is Used

You could say that the cost depends on how much the hot tub is used.
The frequency with which you use the hot tub drives the cost of running the hot tub up or down. If you use the hot tub more frequently, the heater and pumps will run longer, consuming more electricity. Frequent use will also require an increased frequency of sanitizing and shocking the hot tub water. Thus, more hot tub usage will drive the costs higher because it makes the system work harder to produce more energy.

Hot Tub Running Cost: 5 Things to Consider

I have seen that the cost of running a hot tub depends on several factors. Each of these factors plays a crucial role in determining the hot tub’s energy efficiency and overall cost, as I shall discuss in the next few subtopics.

1. Temperature

Temperatures affect the cost of running a hot tub. When you set your hot tub to high temperatures, it will increase the running cost. The best way to keep the cost of running your hot tub is by setting low temperatures.

You should know that lowering your hot tub temperatures by one degree can reduce energy consumption by 10 to 15 percent. But this does not mean that you’ll be required to keep changing your hot tub temperatures. No, the cost of heating back can be higher than what you saved after lowering the water temperatures. One of the everyday practices you could adopt is to practice using the hot tub at 1 to 2 degrees lower than you usually do.

The recommended hot tub temperature is 40°C (104°F). But it doesn’t mean the temperatures should remain at this point. You can set the temperatures lower, say to the human body temperature levels of 37°C (98.6°F) to save energy and money. If the temperatures are too cool for your enjoyment, you could notch the thermostat up slightly to get to a comfortable position. Other than saving energy, setting low temperatures will reduce evaporation and preserve water chemicals.

If your hot tub is not heating properly, check out our full article on the issue for more information.

A floating thermometer can help keep a check on your hot tub’s temperature levels for peace of mind.

The pHin Smart Water Care Monitor for pools, hot tubs, and inflatable spas continuously tests the water showing you the temperature, and alerts you when to add chemicals with the integrated mobile app.

2. Thermal Blanket

The answer to the minimal costs of running a hot tub is maximizing energy efficiency. And this can be achieved by any actions that will prevent heat loss from the hot tub. Though not typical, a thermal blanket is an extra insulation measure taken on top of the hot tub cover to minimize heat loss.

This means that a thermal blanket is just an additional layer that increases the hot tub’s efficiency in retaining heat and preventing evaporation. It also helps to maintain the hot tub chemicals in their proper place. A thermal blanket lies between the hot tub surface and the cover. This means that a thermal blanket improves energy efficiency and provides extra protection.

You should also note that majority of the thermal blankets serve as solar blankets. Thus, you can use them for outdoor hot tubs to trap the solar energy for heating the hot tub water. This will reduce the hot tub heater’s heat energy to bring water to the desired temperatures. I advise you to add a thermal blanket to your setup today and realize the significant drop in your electricity bills going forward.

I recommend the In The Swim’s Thermal Blanket.

3. Proper Hot Tub Cover

Hot tub covers provide one of the best mediums for energy efficiency in a hot tub. They use foam in creating thermal insulation for your hot tub. The foam is trapped between two plastic vapor barriers to prevent waterlogging from the hot tub. However, the hot tub cover can wear and start to absorb the water vapor, reducing its efficiency.

You can notice when the hot tub cover starts to take in water because it will feel heavier than its average weight. The additional weight is caused by the water trapped in the foam. When you get to such a situation, it would be best to consider buying another cover because the old one will not be efficient in preserving energy.

You should purchase a hot tub cover that is fully sealed with foam. The seal is an additional piece of foam designed to provide more insulation between two halves of the hot tub covers when closed. Although these designs prevent evaporation, they usually leave a gap between the spa cover’s two halves.

Therefore, you should invest in a good hot tub cover to save money and energy. You’ll get back the few dollars you’ll spend in the hot tub cover by saving the heat, water, and chemical costs. A proper spa cover for the hot tub traps heat and reduces evaporation. It will also prevent the evaporation of chemicals from the water surface. Combining these aspects will significantly save the cost of running your hot tub.

Inspect your hot tub cover regularly to make sure it’s working correctly.

I recommend the SpaSheild spa foam cover from In the Swim for a proper two-piece foam cover.

I also recommend the ULTCOVER waterproof cover to protect your spa.

4. How Big is the Hot Tub?

Of course, a large hot tub holds a higher capacity of water than a small hot tub. This means that you will require extra heat energy to raise the water temperatures to the desired levels. Besides, the pump will work extra given the increased water volume and probably the number of valves.

But the cost of running a hot tub is not directly proportional to the size. If one hot tub is twice as large as another, it does not mean that it will consume twice the energy required by the smaller hot tub. Instead, the energy costs will increase by a tiny margin. You could find this aspect more economical if you are running a hot tub for commercial purposes.

Check out our full article on how hot tubs work for more information.

5. How Insulated is the Hot Tub?

I have already looked at how the hot tub cover and the blanket promotes energy efficiency through insulation. But these are not the only aspects of insulation in a hot tub because its shells are also designed to provide maximum insulation against heat loss.

Low-quality and little insulation of a hot tub increase the chances of heat loss across all the hot tub sides. As such, the heating components are forced to work harder towards keeping the hot tub temperatures high. In the end, you incur abnormal costs on energy.

The modern, high-quality hot tubs are designed with energy-efficient, dense and full-foam insulation for optimum heat retention. The foam is fitted between the inner layers and the outer frame of your hot tub. The premium and luxury design models further take the insulation technology to include specially designed multi-dense foam with additional structural capabilities for your hot tub.

Maintain the heat inside your hot tub to ensure you do not use your heater’s tremendous amount of energy to keep the hot tub temperatures high. Thus, insulation becomes a significant factor for hot tub running costs.

Check out our full article on hot tub insulation for more information.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Hot Tub: Conclusion

how much does it cost to run a hot tub

So, how much does it cost to run a hot tub? I could say that there is no absolute answer. I have looked at the various factors that can lower or increase the cost of running your hot tub.

When you are buying a hot tub, you should ensure that you’ll spend as little as possible to run it. The small things that count towards keeping your running costs at manageable levels include using a hot tub cover and a thermal blanket, proper insulation, and keeping the temperatures low.

You should also select an optimum size of a hot tub for your needs. The size of your hot tub heater will also affect the power consumption and cost. Maximum insulation in cold environments and winters is also a critical determinant of cost.

You could also save energy by minimizing the frequency of using your hot tub. Most manufacturers claim that running a hot tub will cost a dollar a day and fifty dollars in a month on the higher margin.

I hope you now know what to expect in running a hot tub, whether or not you have one.

Here’s a great article from about 11 ways to help save hot tub energy costs for more information.

I hope you found this article helpful on how much it costs to run a hot tub.

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank