Crystal flakes swirling around in chilly breezes, candy cane crisp air biting at your nose, and white wonder mounds blanketing your neighborhood. What is missing from this wonderful cold day? A cozy hot tub to snuggle under while you admire the winter wonderland view all from your porch or backyard. Using your hot tub in the winter is one of the best ways to get the most use out of your mini retreats right outside your door. Here are the top 8 tips for using your hot tub in the winter these next few frosty months.
1. Use your Cover
Make sure you always secure your cover over your hot tub immediately after use. This is one of the most important tips for taking care of your hot tub in the winter. It is also a good idea to lock your cover as this seals off or insulates your hot water from the cold environment. You want to do everything you can to keep your water from freezing during the cold months. The idea is to keep the heat in and the cold out. If there is any damage to your cover, it is smart to replace buckles, locks or the entire cover all together in order to keep that tight seal.
2. Change your Water During the Warmest Part of the Day
Typically, you want to change your water about every 3 months. As mentioned above, you want to do everything you can to keep heat in and the cold out to avoid your pipes freezing. Therefore, it is a good idea to change your water anytime between noon and 3:00 p.m. as this is the warmest part of the day. Also, try to pick a day during the cold month you change the water that is a little warmer than other days. In addition, it is wiser to drain and refill your water a little at a time and instead of all at once so that the new water can reach the same temperature as your old water. A good recommendation for this is about 6”-12” of water at a time.
3. Check the Water Levels
Be aware that the dry, cold weather sucks up moisture faster than warmer weather. This means you need to check your water levels more often and make sure they never fall below the skimmer level (where the micro filter is placed) to avoid the pumps malfunctioning and causing your water to freeze. Circulation through the pumps is vital to keeping your water hot. As a side note, it is wise to keep your hose in the house, the garage, or somewhere that is not left lying out in the open cold as to keep your hose easily running when you need it.
4. Keep your Water Clean
As usual, make sure you and your family are always rinsing off before getting into the hot tub. You do not want your water mixing with any possible lotions, soaps, detergents, sweat, or other body oils with your water.
5. Open your Waterfall Valves when not in Use
Sometimes, smaller lines, like your waterfall valves, do have the risk of freezing. Open your waterfall valves when you are not using the hot tub to allow the hot water from the cabinet to flow through the pipes to keep them from freezing.
6. Turn Off Air Controls when not in Use
Leaving the air controls on in the cabinet will cause the air between the water and the cover to push up on the cover. The pressure will cause the seal to break a bit and allow heat to escape. In addition, the added air to the jets will slowly cool the water and make your heater work harder to keep the temperature hot. This will cost you more money in the long run.
7. Bring Extra Comforts
It is always a good idea to surround yourself with little luxuries like:
- heat lamps
- A towel rack next to your hot tub
- An outdoor rug so you don’t have to walk barefoot on concert or the hard ground
- A cover to shield the hot tub from the winds
- A bathrobe to use as soon as you leave the hot tub
- Outdoor solar powered lights around your hot tub so you don’t have to get in or out of the hot tub in the dark. This is especially nice when days get dark faster in the winter.
- A glass of water to hydrate (Remember that you tend to dehydrate faster in the winter)
8. Don’t Neglect your Hot Tub
Maintaining your hot tub is just one more thing in your household to take care of and can seem annoying at times especially in the winter. However, it is very important to maintain your hot tub at least once a week whether that be adding more water, adding your routine chemicals, or making sure your filters are all working properly. Neglecting your hot tub will cause you to have to spend a lot more time later fixing your hot tub and may require bringing in an expert.
Overall, enjoy your hot tub experience in the winter! These tips for taking care of your hot tub in the winter will ensure a wonderful time for you and your family. It is always a relaxing way to warm up after coming home from work, after a long afternoon of sledding, taking a walk, or just to enjoy that hot-cold combo.
If you are looking to learn more about your hot tub or looking to buy one read more in our other article, Build a Vacation in your Backyard.