8 Tips for Using your Hot Tub in the Winter

Hot Tub in the Winter

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.

What are the Different Hot Tub Brands?

Looking to buy particular hot tub brands or swim spas right away? Here at Spa Logic, we are working to not only continuously update our inventory page on our website for you to see what we have in stock, but we are also opening a new location in Tigard, Oregon on December 5th to supply you with more options. Our family business wants to give you and your family an enjoyable hot tub experience right now. Come visit one of our three locations either in Portland, Beaverton, and coming soon, Tigard. To specifically browse each location’s inventory pages, view Portland Spa Inventory or Beaverton Spa Inventory now.

If this is your first time buying a hot tub or swim spa, read our guide for beginners.

Visit our inventory page where you can see what we currently have in our stores or what we can customize order for you. Here are a few major aspects to keep in mind about manufacturers and features when browsing our different hot tub brands. The main differences between the brands are what they are made out of and the types of features they offer:

Coast Spas

Coast Spas are great for warmer, outdoor weather. If you and your family want lots of bells and whistles or features included with your hot tub, this is the one for you. Some of these features include waterfalls, plug and play (this is where you can plug in your hot tub to a standard household outlet), wireless connectivity (where you can connect your touchscreen phone or iPad to control your hot tub features or play music), and chromotherapy features. Coast Spas are built with an acrylic interior and a polymer cabinet (the outside shell.) Their major features include the following:

  • Hydro cyclonic filtration system
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Infinity series
  • Angle iron construction for added support

Read more about what makes Coast Spas unique on their infinity collection.

Clearwater Spas

Clearwater Spas are more on the higher end when it comes to quality and what they can do for you. These hot tubs have a synthetic frame option so that the hot tub does not include any wood. It also comes with many of the same features Coast Spas includes such as the lights, jets, and wireless connection. Here are some of the main features it includes:

  • Can include up to 107 jets for massage therapy
  • Has the most advanced water system in industry
  • Insulation called RTB (reflector thermal barrier) This is the most energy efficient insulation system.
  • 20 year warranty
  • Great hydrotherapy massage

Tuff Spas

Tuff Spas, as the name implies, can withhold tougher outdoor conditions such as rain, cold, snow, etc. Both their interior and exterior shell is made with polymer plastic. This is meant to last longer and be more durable. Tuff Spas do not come with all the features like coast spas do. They still do come with a few features like LED lighting and powerful messaging jets. Tough Spas also come with a built-in, lifetime warranty cover.

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    4 Strengthening Exercises for Back Pain

    One of the benefits of using a swim spa is that it is specifically built for exercise, which will help heal your joints and muscles that ache, hurt, or just need strengthened in the most natural way. Unlike regular pools, swim spas use powerful river jets that give your torso support and buoyancy so that you can more easily swim and have that optimum resistance workout. They also can come with built in rows and resistant bands if you want more resistance added to your swim spa exercises. While you workout, the crystal clear water is set to the ideal warm temperature that soothes sore and tight muscles. You can also add Epsom salts for a perfect hydrotherapy experience that will reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain. If you want to know more about swim spas and hot tubs read “Build a Vacation in your Backyard” or visit our inventory.

    What to Know Before Getting into the Exercises

    According to experts like physical therapists and trainers, it is critically important to keep in mind that you are always involving all three ranges of motion in all of your swim spa exercises you do. In order to achieve strength in all parts of your back muscles, you have to work all angles your back muscles can move. This way you are strengthening your back muscles from more than just one range of motion, which not only helps the pain you currently have but it also prevents future injury. The goal is to be strong in all ranges of motion, not just one! These three general ranges of motion include:

    1. Front to/and back- moving both forwards and backwards.
    2. Side to side (left and right)- moving both left and right or side to side.
    3. Rotational- moving in a curve such as a circle of a half circle.

    These may look slightly different depending on the exercise. The ones I’m about to give you include all three ranges of motion and are made to strengthen multiple muscles in your back at the same time. For every exercise, do 3 sets of 15-30 reps.

    4 Proven Exercises for Back Pain

    Remember to copy all swim spa exercises exactly how it is shown for best results. The gifs shown below are shown outside of water so you can see exactly how to do them when you are in the water. Also, don’t forget that your back muscles are a part of your “core,” just like your abs. These exercises strengthen your entire core. Do 3 sets of 15-30 reps.

    1.Wall Kick Outs/Oblique Twists: this works both your legs and your core (abs and back.) Do this exercise from 4 different sides of the spa. One going with the current, one against the current, and then the other two on both sides of the spa. This will give you resistance from the current on all four angles (front, back, left, and right.) The oblique twist is for your rotational motion.

    2. Bicycle Kicks: similar to the kick outs and oblique twists, this exercise is good for your legs and core. This exercise gives you that alternating left to right difference from the kick outs. Do this exercise from 4 different sides of the spa. One going with the current, one against the current, and then the other two on both sides of the spa. This will give you resistance from the current on all four angles (front, back, left, and right.)

    3. Ball/Band Resistance: this exercise is great for your lower back and abs. You can also do this exercise facing, left and right, and turned away from the current. This gives you resistance from all four sides. If your swim spa comes with a resistance band, use that in place of a ball. Once you feel comfortable standing on two feet, try balancing on one foot both left and right! This will help your balance and even help strengthen your knees further at the same time. (You can do these same exercises with a band doing the same motions.)

    4. Elbow to Knee Touches: this strengthens your lower abs and lower back. It gives you that perfect ab crunch. Do this exercise from 4 different sides of the spa. One going with the current, one against the current, and then the other two on both sides of the spa. This will give you resistance from the current on all four angles (front, back, left, and right.)

    Post Workout Warm Down

    This is the best cool/warm down you will ever do! The wonderful and unique part about a spa workout is that you get to use your swim spa as a hot tub as well. Relax in your lounger or bench with the jets massaging your back, hitting where your pain or soreness is in order to give that extra pressure to recover. Allow the Epsom salts to sink into your pores and relax those tight muscles–a perfect way to finish off your workout.

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      Build a Vacation in your Backyard

      Imagine, you get home after a long and stressful day at work. Your boss was nagging you all day about deadlines and your co-workers weren’t pulling their weight making you overwork. You think to yourself, I need a vacation. So, why not take a quick escape onto your back deck or outside patio? Now, you are leaning back in your personal hot tub paradise looking out at the burnt orange sunset with a glass of rosé in your hand. Ahhh, the jets are messaging the tension right out of your back. Your spouse joins you with your kid and you chat about the better parts of your day while gazing out at the view. Your kid tells you about how he hit his first home run today at school. Suddenly, you forget all about work and that you were even stressed. You found your vacation in a hot tub.

      Know your Purpose For a Hot Tub

      Now that you know you want your next vacation to be in a hot tub, it is important to know exactly why you are buying a hot tub because it depends on the style, features, and size you will get.

      • For recreational and entertainment: if you are buying a hot tub where you will spend quality time with your family and/or friends, you will want to consider buying a hot tub with a bench or a lounger. You may want to consider adding certain features such as lights, aromas, and little fountains to add to your conversations with your friends and family while you vacation in your hot tub. You may want to lay back in your lounger and enjoy the flowers and trees in your backyard.
      • For health and wellness: If you are buying a hot tub where you want to get some agility work in to help with strengthening or recovering tired muscles, you may want to consider buying a swim spa. You will have the extra space and current to move around for certain exercises.

      Know What You are Buying

      There are two main factors when considering which kind of hot tub is right for you.

      First: do you want a hot tub or a swim spa? What is the difference?

      • Hot Tub: a hot tub is your basic small pool with jets, lights, aromas, or other features you can add to relax and enjoy your family, friends, and the outdoors.
      • Swim Spa: think of a swim spa as an upgraded hot tub. It’s larger and allows you to swim and do agility work. A swim spa is a full aquatic fitness system. You can set it up to have rowing equipment, arm and leg bands for resistant training, a current to walk against, etc.

      Second: do you want a lounger or a non-lounger/bench?

      • Lounger: a lounger allows you to sit back comfortably in your seat. It gives you extra relaxation where you can kick out, lean back, and let the jets message your sore and tight muscles. Think of it as a reclining chair!
      • Bench: a bench is for normal sitting and accommodates more people. Think of this as your couch. More people can sit on the couch and only one person can sit in the recliner.

      Know your Price Range

      It is important to give yourself a budget depending on what you can afford and what your purpose is for the hot tub or swim spa. Hot tubs can start out as low as $5,000 and go all the way up to $35,000. Here are our hot tubs less than $15,000 and more than $15,000. Factors such as size, condition, features, and brand play a part in price. Make sure you know the price range you are willing to spend before you buy your hot tub. Other prices include the following:

      • Electricity (depends on the voltage your hot tub uses.)
      • Water maintenance/chemicals/salts (about $200 annually.)

      Know your Electrical Capacities

      Remember to know your electrical capacities at home and what you are willing to spend. For example, if you are buying a standard patio series plug-in, expect to be expending about 115 volts, which is a standard, three-pronged outlet and is like your in-home outlets. A space heater plug-in is the same. The higher-end hot tubs take up to 230 volts and are required to be wired by an electrician. These are your three-pronged outlets and are similar to a washer and dryer outlet.

      Test out your Hot Tub or Swim Spa

      Bring your family and bathing suits to test out sitting in different hot tubs with and without water to see what is the most comfortable for you, your spouse, and your kids. It’s always a good idea to try out a hot tub before purchasing just as you would try out laying on a bed at the mattress firm before buying your mattress. As always, you should be confident in knowing you will love your hot tub. Also, you will be making the decision with your family so you know everyone will be happy.

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