Absolutely! Using your spa and hot tub during the winter can lead to some of the most relaxing moments ever in your purchase. This information only applies to normal winter weather and not inclement weather, in which case you should shut your hot tub down and cover it up for the winter if it isn’t inflatable. Inflatable tubs can simply be moved to the inside of the house or deflated completely until you’re ready to use again.
If the winter weather isn’t going to be bad then it will work in your favor to use your hot tub in the winter. Using it during the winter isn’t as hard as you may think, and it is entirely cost efficient to do so. Start by draining the hot tub of all of the water and scrubbing the inside of it. This will get rid of any extra residue or leftover materials. Make sure to do a once over of the vents and filters, although it doesn’t have to be nearly as thorough as when you’re shutting it down.
After refilling the hot tub with water, check your manual for the appropriate mode to activate when running in a cold climate. Every brand has a different setting that will work best for you, and it is typically catered for freeze protection and keeping the temperature from dropping to the point that the water freezes. This is also another great situation in where having the cover on when it isn’t in use will save money and contain the heat of the water. If your pump doesn’t have to spend extra time reheating the water it will be less taxing on the unit and give you more time to enjoy in the hot tub.
Shutting It Down
In situations where you don’t have an inflatable hot tub and you don’t feel like moving your portable hot tub, you can follow the same directions for shutting the system down for winter that you would for a normal hot tub. If you’re expecting really bad winter weather then this is the ideal solution since you shouldn’t operate in bad weather anyway. Start by completely powering down and unplugging the hot tub after turning off the heater. Once it has settled down enough to where you don’t see any action from the jets, drain the hot tub of water by using the provided equipment.
Make sure to get all of the water out by using the drain valve if your hot tub came equipped with one. If you have a hot tub that has air blowers, empty them so they don’t get damaged over the winter. Next up is to take out the filters and put them in a cleaning solution while you clean out the filter basket. Always remember that the filters not only catch particles but the placeholders for them do as well, so neglecting to clean the filter basket will only cut your cleaning work in half. After the filter basket and filters are done being cleaned, place the filters in a dry place where they won’t come into contact with any dirt.
Your pump housing may come with drain plugs, at which point you want to open them and let them drain. There are additional methods you can use to get every last bit of water out, but they are not entirely necessary. The water left over that you should really be worried about is in the jet plumbing, so either dry manually or have it handled by a shop vac. Not all hot tubs will have jets to worry about, but for those that do, this is an essential piece of the hot tub experience that can be damaged if the water freezes in it. The last cleaning step is to clean the tub itself with a good spa cleaner. Give it a couple of rounds and scrub a little bit, taking great care to protect your purchase.
When all is done the only thing left to do is to top it with the cover and wrap it up so that strong winds won’t move it. It may seem like an arduous process, but thankfully this only has to be done once a year for certain types of hot tubs.
Things to Know
Inflatable hot tubs are the best for winter since they can just be brought inside. Some portable spas can be broken down and easily transported inside, but are not nearly as easy as owning an inflatable version. Pay close attention to the warnings in the manual for operating your hot tub in cold temperatures, as frozen water can severely damage the pump and other mechanics of your system. It’s easy enough to clean and prep for winter, so don’t neglect the small amount of time it takes to do so. Spa cleaners are solutions made solely for cleaning hot tubs and spas. Make sure to stock up on these since they’re cheap to own and sometimes come in packs of 3 or more. It’s better to have too many cleaners than not enough when you really need them.
Not only is it safe to operate your hot tub in winter, it is documented and supported. If you plan on using your hot tub during the winter time then it is as simple as cleaning it and keeping the water warm. The advanced controls will handle the rest, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy soaking in the winter time. The price for operating a hot tub in the winter isn’t much different from operating in the summer, so as long as you take great care in containing the heat of the water, your operating costs won’t go up much. If the weather is really bad then there is always the process of closing it down and keeping it safe. Sometimes it’s better to protect the investment rather than to just use it when there’s a blizzard warning taking place. Whatever your decision is, you’re well protected just as long as you follow the directions.