Winter has arrived! Though many people dread this time of year, hot tub owners know that winter is the best season for using their spa. Enjoying invigorating cold air while submersed in soothing hot water is irresistible! However, winter presents a unique set of challenges for hot tub owners. How do you maintain your hot tub in cold winter weather?
- Drain, clean and refill before winter sets in: Change the water in your spa before winter weather becomes extreme. Flush the plumbing system and clean thoroughly.
- Maintain the water temperature: Keep your hot tub between 34 and 40 degrees Celsius. This ensures it’s ready for use any time you want to unwind.
- Stock extra maintenance supplies (sanitizer, chemicals, test strips, an extra filter cartridge) in case the weather makes it difficult and/or impossible for you to venture out. Don’t let low supplies keep you from enjoying your hot tub all winter.
- Clean the filter regularly: If not cleaned regularly (every 30 days) the filter clogs, and the water stops circulating properly, causing your spa to overheat or stop heating.
- Turn the air controls off when the hot tub is not in use. When they are open, added air cools the water requiring your heater to work harder to maintain your set temperature. This increases the cost of operating your hot tub, speeds evaporation and may cause long icicles to form on your cover.
- Limit the use of your jets and blower to keep the water warmer for longer.
- Pay attention to your cover: Invest in a good cover that is waterproof, fits snugly and insulates well. Lock the straps on the edges of the cover to form a tight seal, helping keep in heat and reducing heating costs. To make the cover easy to maneuver and avoid damage, keep it clear of snow and ice.
- Check water levels regularly: Cold, dry winter air makes your spa water evaporate more quickly than normal. If the water level falls too low there is a risk of flow issues that can cause your heater to stop working. Look for a mark on the side of the hot tub shell indicating the recommended fill level for the spa. If you can’t locate this mark, consult your manual or your dealer. Keep the water level as close to this mark as possible.
- Use enzyme-based water conditioners to extend the water life in your spa. Products like Spa Marvel increase the effectiveness of your chemical program and keep your water clean and clear for longer periods of time.
- Keep the water clean: Winter offers few opportunities for a drain and refill. Skip deodorants, lotions, shampoos and perfumes before using the hot tub or have a quick shower before jumping in. Keep your head above water to avoid hair products in the tub. Hand wash swimsuits in freshwater without detergent. Keep a regular maintenance schedule. if your hot tub is more than a hop, skip or jump from the nearest door, wear sandals or slippers. They’ll keep your feet warm as you go to and from the spa and reduce the dirt and debris carried into the water.
- Consider a thermal blanket: This insulated cover rests directly on the water beneath your cover. It provides an extra layer of protection from the cold, making it easier to maintain water temperature, lowering your energy bills and preventing freezing.
- Prepare for emergencies by having a backup generator to heat your hot tub during power outages.
- Stay safe: When the air above the water is freezing and the water below is hot, your body’s internal calibration can get confused. If you soak for an extended period of time, pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you’re tired, short of breath, dizzy, light-headed or experiencing any discomfort, it’s time to get out. Stay hydrated to help your body regulate. Twenty minutes is a good soak time for relaxing without causing problems. To help your body regulate its temperature and keep your hair dry, wear a warm hat or toque when using the hot tub in frigid temperatures.
In order to maintain proper water chemistry and keep your spa equipment in good shape during cold winter months, it’s important to regularly inspect, clean and add chemical enhancers. Ask your hot tub provider for a demonstration on how to care for your spa. Take a few minutes each week to maintain your hot tub. Consider RnR Hot Tubs and Spas ultrasonic filter cleaning, monthly maintenance plans, 50-point inspection and spa school.
Wondering how to care for your hot tub in winter? Need help with hot tub maintenance? Contact Calgary-based RnR Hot Tubs and Spas. We provide ultrasonic filter cleaning, monthly maintenance plans, 50-point inspection and spa school. Call (403) 203-0860 or fill out the contact request. RnR provides comprehensive service, expert knowledge, a wealth of field experience and the best products in the industry to help you maintain your hot tub/swim spa.