What to look for in energy efficient hot tubs
Find your energy efficient hot tubs by looking for key signs like high R-values and avoidance of expensive options like air nozzles or lightweight covers.
Hot tubs can be a major energy drain, even when you are not using them. To save as much money as possible, search for the most energy efficient hot tubs on the market when you’re buying. Here are several signs that your hot tub will run as efficiently as possible:
1. Insulation Materials. Your hot tub should come with as much insulation as possible. Closed-cell foam insulation is the best option for modern hot tubs, and most come with a suitable layer included. However, you should also study the R-value of the insulation and shell. The R-value indicates how easily heat can pass through the materials. A high R-value helps a tub contain heat and will help you save money.
2. Low Standby Requirements. Every hot tub has a “standby” rating, or how much electricity it consumes when not turned on and actively heating. Study information on the standby mode and how much energy it consumes. Find a low standby-wattage rate to help save money during the times when you aren’t using the tub.
3. Low Horsepower. Horsepower refers to the strength of a hot tub motor. You might want higher horsepower for your car, but it’s not always better in hot tubs. In fact, low horsepower can often get the job done with a variety of pleasant jets, while still saving you plenty of energy. This is also true of the number of jets in each model. The more jets you have (and the more powerful they claim to be), the more horsepower they need, and the more energy you will waste. Look for a motor with only a few horsepower and a spa with a low number of jets to save the maximum amount of money.
4. No-Air Jets. Air jets may or may not be trendy in your area, but they will always waste money. Not only do air or hydro-air jets require extra pumping and motor running, but they also constantly pump cooler air through your warmed water. This creates a cooling effect that means your hot tub heating system has to work even harder to reach the right temperature.
5. Heavy-Duty Spa Covers. The spa cover helps trap residual heat in your hot tub and makes it easier for the tub to heat back up the next time you use it. Some spa covers are made to be light so that people can easily pull them off and on, but this will waste a lot of heat. The heavier, more insulated covers will serve you better when it comes to saving money.
Energy Efficient Hot Tubs and Pricing
Energy efficient hot tubs vary considerably when it comes to the initial cost. Ideally, you should only be spending around $12 or so per month to operate an energy-efficient tub option, with its low electricity needs and high heat conservation ratings (although costs will also vary based on the broad factors like energy-market conditions). First-time costs can start around $4,500 for new models, but vary based on brand and size.Compare hot tub prices »