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The Cost to Run a Hot Tub in Raleigh

If you’re thinking of getting a hot tub in Raleigh, NC, you should be aware that the cost doesn’t stop once you pay for the unit itself. As with many things, there are ongoing expenses to keep in mind. While the cost to run a hot tub shouldn’t break the bank, it’s important to know what to anticipate so that you can budget accordingly.

Are Hot Tubs Expensive to Run?

Generally speaking, hot tubs are not overly expensive to run. But, you need to pay attention to maintenance and be sure to clean your hot tub properly. There are five main areas to keep in mind when you’re trying to budget for your new hot tub.

The Costs to Run a Hot Tub in Raleigh, NC

5 Main Costs of Running a Hot Tub

1. Heating Costs

Heating costs are one of the most important costs to consider when it comes to owning a hot tub. You need to consider how much energy your hot tub will use, what affects the amount of energy your hot tub will consume, as well as some other factors.

How Much Energy Will a Hot Tub Use?

When you’re talking about how much energy a hot tub will use, you need to first consider the heater. This can generally draw between 1,500 watts to 6,000 watts of energy. The pump is another thing you’ll have to consider. This can use about 1,500 watts of energy. Once you have a general idea of how many watts of energy your hot tub will use, the exact energy cost to run a hot tub will also depend on your local energy cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh), as well as the climate and your usage habits.

You’ll also need to keep the following in mind:

  • How often you use the hot tub
  • The size of your hot tub
  • How well the hot tub is insulated
  • If your cover is well-made and custom-fitted

What Affects a Hot Tub’s Energy Consumption?

Hot tub energy consumption is going to depend on several factors. These include:

  • How well you take care of your tub

You want to use an insulated cover and clean all filters regularly. This will help to keep your hot tub’s energy consumption down.

  • How frequently you use your hot tub

The more you use your hot tub, the more energy it will take to keep it running.

  • How much you heat up your water

When you heat your water you will use more energy than if you keep the water at a constant high temperature.

  • Water replacement

Some hot tubs will require you to drain and refill them 2-3 times a year. Each time you refill your spa, you’ll need to heat the water which will affect energy consumption.

Since these factors will vary from hot tub to hot tub, energy consumption can have a very wide range.

Should I Turn My Hot Tub Off When It Is Not in Use?

When you’re not using your hot tub, it’s generally advised to turn the thermostat down rather than shutting off the hot tub altogether. This is because you will use more energy starting the hot tub up from nothing rather than just heating it up from a lower temperature. It will also take longer to get your desired temperature, delaying the time you can begin to use it.

Also, if you turn off the hot tub completely, water will not circulate and will remain stagnant. This can make the water develop high levels of bacteria. When this happens, you’ll need more chemicals to balance the water, which will cost you more money. It may also come to the point where you need to drain the water, adding another cost to your budget.

If you’re going to be away for more than two weeks, you may want to consider draining your hot tub and then refilling it when you get back. The only time you should shut off your hot tub completely is when you are closing it down for any reason. This is when you should turn it off to avoid any damage. 

How Can I Keep Hot Tub Energy Costs as Low as Possible?

Keeping energy costs as low as possible is as easy as following the owner’s manual as well as the schedule for maintenance and routine care. Leaving your hot tub running at a constant temperature, cleaning your filters regularly, and keeping your spa covered are all simple things you can do to keep energy costs down.

Do Cheap Hot Tubs Cost More on Electricity Per Month?

This will depend on the hot tub. But, if a hot tub is cheap and is not made well, it will likely have poor insulation. This factor can lead to higher operating costs overall. 

If you have a cheap hot tub, it may also cost you more year-round, including the winter when you may not be using it as often. When it comes to how much it costs to run a hot tub in the winter, you also need to consider the type of hot tub you are investing in.

Heat Loss Prevention

When it comes to preventing your hot tub from losing heat, it all comes down to keeping it covered with a durable insulated cover. You may also want to consider replacing your hot tub cover as needed, usually every 3-5 years, depending on how well the cover is protected from the weather and the chemistry of your water.

2. Chemical Costs

Some people are afraid of how much chemicals for their hot tub will cost them. This really depends on how often you use your hot tub. The more you use it, the more likely it is that organic materials like oils and lotions will get into the water. Sanitizers like chlorine and bromine break these down. Once this is done, those sanitizers need to be replaced. So, the more work those sanitizers are doing, the more frequently you’ll need new ones. The water also gets off balance more frequently when you use your hot tub more, requiring more chemicals to get it back to where it needs to be.

If you use your hot tub 3-4 times a week, you can typically expect to spend around $20-$30 a month on chemicals. But, this can increase if you need additional chemicals.

3. Filtration Costs

You need to run the filter in your hot tub to keep the water clean and clear. This can be anywhere between 8 and 24 hours daily. Many hot tubs have pre-programmed cycles for filtration so that dirt and debris are removed while sanitation chemicals are dispersed evenly through the water.

Generally, you only need to run a filter in a newer hot tub for 8-12 hours, while older hot tubs may require 24-hour filtration. This can make a huge difference in your energy consumption.

4. Water Replacement

Filling your hot tub with water is not a one-and-done deal. Plan to drain and clean the tub every 3-4 months.

5. Repairs & Maintenance

The cost of repairs and maintenance is going to depend on many variables. Some people can have their hot tub for years with minimal repair costs, while others may have large repair bills. Here are some things to consider to keep repair and maintenance costs low:

  • Keep water balanced

Balanced water is better for plumbing and equipment, resulting in lower repair and maintenance costs.

  • Fix leaks as soon as possible

Small leaks can lead to larger ones. Fixing them as soon as you notice them will save you time and money.

  • Replace filters as needed

Since filters collect dirt and debris, they need to be changed to continue running smoothly. Eventually, filters won’t be able to do their job, resulting in more energy used and dirty water.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost to Run Per Month?

If you’ve been doing your homework, you’ll see that the cost to run a hot tub can run anywhere from one dollar a day to a high of $50 per month. But, this all depends on your rates and how much you use it.

As we mentioned earlier, the hot tub heater and the pump will play large roles in how much it costs to run a hot tub per month. The age and quality of your water heater will play a role as well as whether you are using a heater timer to take advantage of off-peak hours when electric rates are cheaper.

How to Keep Your Hot Tub Running Costs Low

To keep hot tub costs running low, consider the following:

Buy a quality hot tub

You know the saying, you get what you pay for. This certainly applies when talking about hot tubs.

Shop around for the best electricity rates

The lowest prices will keep your costs down.

Keep your hot tub on instead of shutting it off

This will make it easier to heat up and make it faster to reach its optimal temperature.

Invest in a well-insulated cover

A well-insulated cover keeps the heat in. More than half of the heat can be lost through the top of the hot tub.

Keep the cabinet insulated

Having the cabinet insulated helps to preserve heat.

Turn off air valves

If you have jets or air valves, put them in the off position when you’re not in your hot tub. When air gets in, it can lower the water temperature. If you leave these on when the filter is running, it can increase hot tub energy usage.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to energy costs to run a hot tub in 2022, you need to keep many factors in mind. Heaters, pumps, and maintenance can all weigh heavily on how much you spend to keep your hot tub running. You also want to consider chemical costs as well as filtration. 

Remember, you can impact your energy costs by keeping up with any needed repairs as well as keeping your hot tub clean and well-maintained. All of these things can reduce the amount you spend to keep your hot tub running.

You also want to look for a high-quality hot tub because the insulation is typically better which can lower energy costs. At Epic Hot Tubs, we offer well-made, high-quality hot tubs at prices you can afford. Call us today at 888-884-3742 to learn more about the hot tubs we offer and how we can help you turn your Raleigh backyard into your private oasis.

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About The Author:

Manny Brambila

Pool & Spa Expert

Manny has been in the Pool & Spa industry for over 15 years and is considered a pool, swim spa, & hot tub expert. He has been a Certified Pool & Spa Operator (CPO) since 2009 and worked 15 years in aquatic training and development for the largest pool chemical and customer care company. He also has been an outside consultant for the Pool and Spa industry in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles since 2018. In the past few years Manny has become Director of Operations for Epic Hot Tubs with a priority of providing customers with the most reliable information and best service possible.