Should I Leave My Hot Tub on All the Time? [Yes! But Why?]

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 04/06/21 •  13 min read

Should I leave my hot tub on all the time?

Yes, you should leave your hot tub on all the time to ensure the hot tub is in good working order. The hot tub will consume less energy if the water temperature is maintained and is well insulated. Water chemistry and filtration will also be maintained if the hot tub remains powered. Only turn the hot tub off for long periods if you are draining the spa and going on a vacation, cleaning your hot tub, or winterizing your hot tub.

Stop wasting time and money with hot tub maintenance and confusing water chemistry! The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course will help keep your hot tub balanced, sanitized, and crystal clear all the time.

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

I recommend the ULTCOVER waterproof cover to protect your spa.

A couple of years ago I wanted to know if I could leave a hot tub on all the time during the summer and if it would cost me more. The simple answer was yes, I should leave it on, and no, it didn’t cost me more.

I did some more research on leaving a hot tub on all the time and this is what I found…

But it would be best if you find out more about our answer by reading this article to the end. I shall tell you why it’s necessary to leave your hot tub on even when you’re not using it.

Don’t worry about high electricity bills because turning the hot tub on and off consumes more energy than allowing it to run all the time.

Let’s find out how!

Can You Turn a Hot Tub Off When Not in Use?

You can turn off your hot tub, but this is not a recommended practice. A hot tub that remains running will usually consume less electricity than turning it on and off. When the hot tub is powered up, the heater will need an enormous amount of energy to reheat the water. The filtration system will also need to run consistently for a longer time causing more energy consumption.

I usually advise turning off the hot tub in situations you’ll be away for an extended period. For instance, being away for months might require you to turn off the hot tub because it will consume unnecessary amounts of electricity. A good example is leaving for a vacation home. It makes no sense to allow the hot tub to run for months when you know you won’t be using it. So turning off the spa and draining it is best practice.

Some circumstances and situations can make you not use the hot tub over a long period. When you find yourself in a situation like this, there’s no point keeping the hot tub running. Remember that I advocate for keeping the hot tub running when you plan to use it at a higher frequency. Doing this will make the tub ready for use any time you need it. It will also help to keep the electricity bills at a minimum.

Remember that it’s okay to turn your hot tub off when carrying out routine maintenance practices or cleaning. You should turn it off while refilling or draining the old water. When maintaining the hot tub or replacing its parts, I strongly advise that you always turn it off. Failing to do so can cause electrocution because you can touch the wrong component.

So, Should I leave my hot tub on all the time? Yes, however, turn it off when you are not using it over a long time or planning on maintaining and servicing the hot tub.

Check out this great article from shop clear water pools about leaving a hot tub off when not in use for more information.

How Much Electricity Does a Hot Tub Use?

Most hot tub owners incur an electricity cost of between $20 and $50 in a month. If you turn the electricity on and off regularly, you’re likely to incur much higher electricity bills. However, you can maintain low electricity costs by ensuring that the hot tub water temperature is consistent all the time. But there are other factors to consider while trying to figure out the amount of electricity required to run your hot tub.

Turning off a hot tub will cool down the water. When the hot tub is turned on, the heater will immediately try and compensate, using a large amount of energy to reheat the spa water for proper use. By keeping the hot tub on all the time, the water’s heat can be maintained using smaller amounts of energy.

Check out this great article from hydro pool hot tubs for more information on hot tub energy costs.

First, the cost of electricity is affected by the set temperature and the hot tub’s insulation quality. Also, keeping the cover on the hot tub when not in use affects the amount of electricity used by a hot tub.

Hot tubs that are not energy efficient will usually increase your electricity bill. But the majority of the modern hot tubs are typically energy-efficient and are well insulated.

When you are not using the hot tub, you can lower the temperatures to avoid energy wastage as long as it’s not freezing outside. Small amounts of heating to regain the temperature to the required levels will significantly impact the electricity bills.

Check out our full article on the cost to run a hot tub full-time for more information.

should i leave my hot tub on all the time

Temperatures Affect the Cost of Running a Hot Tub

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.

Should I Leave My Hot Tub Heater On All The Time?

You may leave the hot tub heater on, depending on the surrounding temperatures. Suppose you live in a region that experiences cooler temperatures throughout the day. In that case, you should leave the hot tub heater on all the time, so the water doesn’t get too cold. But if you live in a climate that experiences high temperatures, there’s no point in keeping the heater on.

Suppose you’re not going to use the hot tub for the next couple of days in winter and do not wish to winterize the hot tub. In that case, I usually advise turning the heater to low temperatures to prevent the hot tub water from freezing. Generally, I typically recommend reducing the hot tub temperatures by 5 degrees from the usual temperatures you set the heater. For instance, you can set it at 97 degrees if it’s usually 102 degrees.

It will help if you know that hot tubs take somewhere between 3 and 8 hours to heat the water to the desired temperatures. As such, be sure that you want to turn the heater off when you decide to do it because reheating the hot tub will usually take a lot of your valuable time.

A hot tub will usually have an average heating rate of about 3 to 6 degrees per hour.

Check out our full article on how long it takes to heat up a hot tub for more information.

What Temperature Should I Keep My Hot Tub When Not in Use?

A hot tub should be kept at 5 degrees lower when not in use. A temperature between 95 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit will keep the hot tub in good working order. Maintaining these temperatures helps to save energy for reheating the water when you want to use the hot tub again. 

When you reduce your hot tub temperatures slightly, you will keep the energy bills low because you don’t have to reheat the water from scratch. Such temperatures will maintain your hot tub water above freezing levels. Unless it is scorching outside, it’s always good to avoid setting the hot tub to very low temperatures. This will reheat the hot tub longer. Besides, more energy will be consumed to reheat the hot tub.

Should I Leave My Hot Tub on All the Time in the Summer?

There’s no problem leaving the hot tub on all the time. The summer temperatures can make your hot tub water exceed your preferred temperature range for soaking. Instead of powering off the hot tub, reduce the temperature of the water to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have tried to cool an overheated hot tub once, you have seen that lowering the hot tub temperature is not an easy task. It takes a lot of your time before the water can cool to the desirable levels. Taking the lid off the hot tub and allowing the summer breeze to cool it down can help.

Check out our full article on using a hot tub in the summer for more information.

Should I Leave My Hot Tub on All the Time in the Winter?

Yes, you must leave your hot tub on all the time in winter. The spa water should be set to a temperature of 104° F if the air temperature is below freezing. Hot tubs that are well insulated and rated by the manufacturer for winter conditions offer a great luxury to people who use them. Never turn off a hot tub in the winter unless you are draining the spa and going on a vacation, cleaning your hot tub, or winterizing your hot tub.

When a hot tub runs all the time, the temperatures will be maintained constantly at desirable hot-tubbing temperatures. As such, you will not need to reheat the hot tub for hours when you want to use the hot tub. Remember that heating the hot tub water’s huge volumes consumes much more energy than maintaining the temperatures at the same constant levels. More so, keeping the hot tub temperatures at all-time in the winter ensures that the hot tub is ready for use any time you want to do so.

For the safety of your hot tub, I strongly recommend leaving the hot tub running all the time in the winter. If turned off, water in the pipes, the pumps, and the heater can freeze and damage these components.

Similarly, you may feel that the hot tub will not be used over the coming winter. In such a case, there’s no point in leaving the hot tub running because it will incur unnecessary energy bills. I recommend winterizing the hot tub professionally to ensure it remains in good condition for use when you’ll need it again.

Check out our full article on using a hot tub in winter for more information.

How to Run a Hot Tub Economically

One of the best methods to ensure that the hot tub runs economically is buying an energy-efficient hot tub. Hot tubs have different modes to reduce energy costs, such as sleep mode and economy mode. These settings often turn down the water temperature to below 100 ° F, reducing filtration throughout the day to below 2 hours.

The critical factor to choosing an energy-efficient hot tub is the construction materials. Hot tubs constructed from acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement are more energy-efficient. A low-quality hot tub is cheaper and less likely to work well on your electricity bills. Experts find this to be among the most significant determinant of energy use for hot tubs. But it is not the only factor.

You could run your hot tub economically by making sure that you provide it with quality insulation. This will help to make the energy loss to be at a minimum. Check that the filters, the pumps, and the heater are efficient and working as required. You may also buy a quality hot tub cover and place it around the hot tub properly when it’s not in use. The cover will prevent heat loss and keep dirt and debris from falling into the hot tub.

You need to adjust the hot temperatures by about 5 degrees when you’re not using it over the next two weeks. If the duration exceeds, turn off the power entirely, drain it, or winterize the hot tub if you are going into the winter months.

I advise that you check whether there are off-peak hours for electricity bills in your local area. If you find any, set the filters and circle pumps during the off-peak hours to ensure you incur minimum energy bills.

how to run a hot tub economically

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.

You may consider purchasing a thermal blanket for more enhanced insulation of your hot tub.

I recommend the In The Swim’s Thermal Blanket.

I also advise keeping the filters clean. You can also maintain the filters by subjecting them to a deep soak every three months or replacing them after 12 to 24 months of use.

For proper cleaning of a hot tub filter, I recommend the Lalapool Spa Filter Cleaner to get the job done right.

I also recommend Leisure Time O Filter Cleaner to soak your hot tub filters for the best results.

Should I Leave My Hot Tub on All the Time: Conclusion

should i leave my hot tub on all the time

I have seen that you can leave the hot tub running all the time to save on energy, maintain temperatures, and prevent damaging the hot tub components.

I have seen the importance of buying a quality hot tub in maintaining minimal running costs.

Other factors that can allow you to run the hot tub economically are using a proper cover and a thermal blanket and maintaining the filtration cycle.

I hope you found this article on “should I leave my hot tub on all the time?” helpful.

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank