A BREAKDOWN OF AVERAGE HOT TUB RUNNING COSTS
One of the questions most frequently asked by customers looking into buying a hot tub, and possibly one of peoples biggest concerns is, “How much will a hot tub cost me to run?”. Like buying a new car, buying a hot tub, especially for the first time is a big investment and it is important to consider the ongoing costs you will likely have to budget for before making a final decision. There are many factors that affect running costs and it may be a surprise to learn that not all hot tubs cost the same day to day.
WHAT DO I NEED TO CONSIDER TO GET THE BEST RUNNING COSTS?
It is important to understand the factors that affect running costs the most to ensure you find a hot tub that you will be able to afford comfortably to use all year round for many happy years to come!
Hot tub brands or manufacturers often use different methods or materials to insulate their spas and there are lots of things to consider.These are the three most typical methods of insulation used: -
- Full foam insulation in its truest sense means that other than the equipment bay (usually on the front side of the spa where the pumps and control systems are housed), the entire rest of the cabinet area will be filled with foam, encasing all of the hot tubs plumbing and literally filling the void. This method is more expensive to manufacture and this will usually be reflected in the price of the spa but will certainly deliver the cheapest running costs, usually around £1 per day (or a bottle of wine per week!!). Another advantage of this method is that all of the plumbing is encased in the foam meaning that not only is the pipework insulated, but also supported entirely and locked in place in the foam. We have found over the years that hot tubs we have sold with full foam as the method of insulation such as Sundance Spas and Jacuzzi hot tubs are not only the most energy efficient but also much less prone to the dreaded plumbing leaks!
- 3/4 Foam or Foam over plumbing is where an amount of insulating foam is sprayed over the spas shell and also covers the pipework but will not reach the corners of the cabinet leaving a void or air gap to the outer cabinet panels. This type of insulation delivers good running costs but will not be quite as energy efficient as the more expensive full foam method. You could expect a typical average running cost of around £1.40 to £1.60 per day with 3/4 foam.
- Thermal Blanket insulation is very common particularly at the entry level market with hot tubs. This is typically a layer of high density bubble wrap, with copper or aluminium foil on each side to reflect heat generated by the spas pumps and equipment back through the shell and into the water. Hot tubs insulated in this way will often be significantly cheaper to buy but it is important to prepare for higher electricity bills as a lot of heat will be lost due to very much an imperfect seal. We have found that spas insulated in this way running outside can produce running costs in the region of £3 to £4 per day upwards, so although cheaper to buy up front, your cost of ownership will ultimately be more expensive.
A good hot tub cover will keep heat locked in and reduce running costs on any spa. It is important to consider the thickness and quality of the outer skin and finish, but also ensure that your hot tub cover has a centre fold steam seal which covers the full width of the crease. This seals off the centre and helps prevent heat loss through the top of your spa. The best covers will allow snow in the winter months to settle, even with 40 degrees centigrade of bubbling water underneath!
HOW MUCH WILL A HOT TUB INCREASE MY ELECTRIC BILL?
Even within the ranges of hot tubs that we sell from our hot tub showrooms in Cheshire and Leicestershire, running costs will vary depending on the range and model.
At MySpa, our range of hot tubs also use different methods of insulation but rest assured we have been careful to ensure that our spas are going to be energy efficient and competitive across all of our ranges. Our high end Sundance Spas 980 Series, 880 Series and 780 Series models, as well as the Jacuzzi Hot Tubs J-500 Series, J-400 Series and J-300 Series models are all Full foam insulated as standard, but also include an additional layer of recycled crushed denim (Jeans!) with reflective aluminium foil on each side, which lines the inside of the cabinet panels and adds not only an additional heat retention barrier, but also a noise cancelling barrier too! These spas vary in size and water volume but will typically cost around just under £1 per day to run. The Sundance Spas 680 Series and Jacuzzi Hot Tubs J-200 Series models are all full foam insulated, but do not currently utilise the denim Winter Wrap.
Our own brand of MySpa Wellness Collection Hot Tubs are insulated with a few methods using foam around the shell itself and in the base, as well as a thermal blanket as described above. All the cabinet panels are also lined internally with KingSpan panels, as used in the building trade to insulate roofing, flooring and stud walls. Though still not quite as efficient as full foaming which is more expensive to manufacture, these popular hot tubs are still very competitive costing around £1.50 to £1.75 per day to run.
*Remember, ambient temperature will also have a big effect on running costs for all spas, warmer months of the summer will cost less to run than in the colder months of Autumn and Winter so don’t be alarmed when looking at your smart meter in the middle of February!!
DOES CHANGING THE WATER AFFECT MY RUNNING COSTS?
Yes, each time you change the water on your spa you will fill with cold water to protect the shell acrylic and allow it to heat up evenly. Hot Tub heaters are typically the size of a kettle (3kW) as a hot tub relies on good heat retention through insulation for good running costs. We would suggest in line with BISHTA (British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association) recommendations that you change the water in your spa at least 4 times per year or every 3 months. Through good water maintenance this should be more than enough to maintain good safe water conditions to enjoy your hot tub all year round. Heavier users however with larger families, or who entertain more regularly, may need to do this more often and so will have more heat up costs to factor in.
A typical hot tub will also contain around 1500 litres of water so you will likely use (allowing for regular topping up after usage) around 6,500 litres of water per year. Households on a water meter may also wish to factor this into their yearly hot tub budget.
WHAT OTHER HOT TUB OWNERSHIP COSTS SHOULD I BE AWARE OF?
On top of the day to day electrical running costs of a hot tub you will also need to budget for chemical usage, replacement filters, hot tub servicing, hot tub repairs and maintenance. Just like owning and running a car requires more than just fuel, it is important to consider these additional costs and budget for them each year.
HOW MUCH WILL I NEED TO SPEND ON HOT TUB CHEMICALS EACH YEAR?
Yearly hot tub chemical costs are largely dependent on usage of the spa itself. The more frequently you use your hot tub the more chemicals such as chlorine or bromine you will get through. Also a spa that is used mainly by the same couple throughout the week is not going to require as much chemical treatment as one used by a family of 5 who also like to entertain regularly. The frequency and way you use your hot tub may vary throughout the year however and we would suggest that to give you an idea of what to expect, the average family tends to spend around £300 to £400 a year on hot tub chemicals. On its own that may seem like a fair amount of money but this will be broken down into smaller payments as and when you require a top up.
All of the hot tubs we provide from our hot tub showrooms in Leicester and Macclesfield will be delivered with a full and comprehensive hot tub chemical starter pack, with one of each product required to make hot tub maintenance as simple as possible. As each product runs out you will need to replace them individually as some items you will use more frequently than others.
Hot Tub chemicals are in stock and available to purchase in store at our hot tub showrooms in Cheshire and Leicestershire. Customers are also able to purchase hot tub chemicals online 24/7 at www.myspadirect.co.uk with orders delivered free of charge over £50 or available to ‘Click and Collect’ in your nearest store from 11am the following day.
HOW MUCH DO REPLACEMENT HOT TUB FILTERS COST?
Hot Tub filters vary considerably from brand to brand. Common filters will range however from as little as £25 to £35 and will need monthly cleaning, and replacing annually. Some models may have more than one filter so be sure to budget correctly for your particular hot tub.
Our range of Sundance Spas have completely unique filter systems and deliver amazing water quality with drinking water purity. Replacement MicroClean Plus filters in our Sundance Spas 980 Series and 880 Series models require no cleaning with chemicals but will need replacing on average every 12 months at a cost of £99.
The Sundance Spas 780 Series models use a two part filter system, the Cayo filter and Jupiter filter, The smaller Cayo Micro filter requires replacement every three months at a cost of £16 each and the Jupiter filter every 12 months at a cost of £55.
The Sundance Spas 680 Series models use the Captiva filter which will require deep cleaning monthly at a cost of £3.99 per filter cleaner sachet and will last on average up to 12 months before needing exchanging at a cost of £27.95.
Jacuzzi Hot Tub filters range from £50 to £150 each and again will need cleaning monthly and replacing annually.
MySpa Wellness Collection hot tubs are equipped with the Boca filters featuring two in each model. These will require cleaning monthly and will last up to 12 months. Replacement Boca filters cost £29.99 each.
Customers can purchase replacement hot tub filters in store at our hot tub showrooms MySpa Cheshire in Macclesfield or MySpa Leicester at Bentleys Garden Buildings, or alternatively buy online at www.myspadirect.co.uk with free delivery on orders over £50. Click and Collect from your nearest hot tub store is also available.
HOW MUCH DOES HOT TUB SERVICING COST?
Like most large machines such as cars, a hot tub will require a service once a year to ensure that main components are operating efficiently and to guard against unnecessary ware and tare. Hot tubs run 24 hours a day and are filled with water, mostly situated outside and exposed to the elements. To guard against unwelcome repair bills we recommend along with the manufacturers that we work with that a hot tub should be serviced annually. The cost of a hot tub service ranges from £179 to £250 depending on the model you choose and the equipment it features. Customers often combine their hot tub service with a deep clean of the cabinetry, shell and cover, as well as the equipment bay internally. This can add an additional £100 but is something that you could do yourself. At MySpa we recommend that an annual hot tub service combined with wash and valet plus which will leave your spa looking and operating like new and costs from £279.
We also offer a hot tub maintenance plan in the form of MySpa Club Membership which is very popular. These plans can be tailored to the individuals requirements although our MySpa Club Silver member plan at £49.99 per month is by far and away the most popular as it covers all four of your quarterly water changes, plus your annual mechanical service built in to the 12 months subscription. Members also benefit from a set discount of up to 15% off all hot tub chemicals, hot tub filters, hot tub parts and accessories orders either in store at our hot tub showrooms in Cheshire and Leicestershire, or online at www.myspadirect.co.uk
WHAT ABOUT ONGOING REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENT PARTS COSTS?
Sundance Spas and Jacuzzi Hot Tubs all use a UV-C purifier known as the Clear Ray Water Purification System. UV-C purifiers have a UV bulb which will need replacing once a year and usually changed at the point the hot tub is serviced, although a bulb change is straight forward to do. A Clear Ray Bulb currently costs £67.49 and can be purchased in store, online at www.myspadirect.co.uk or from one of our hot tub service engineers who carry them on their vans. If the replacement Clear Ray bulb is fitted during the hot tubs annual service then there is no additional labour charge to do so with MySpa.
Hot Tubs fitted with Ozonator’s will need a replacement generator fitted on average every 2 to 4 years at a cost of approximately £250. Ozone pipes and valves should be replaced annually to protect the generator during a hot tub service.
Hot tub covers are also exposed to the elements all year round and are extremely important to maintain lower electrical running costs as described earlier in this blog. A hot tub cover will have a life expectancy of around 3 to 5 years for most hot tubs if looked after. Regular cleaning and polishing can help extend the lifespan of a hot tub cover and we recommend using Shine and Protect at leats once per month on vinyl covers. A replacement hot tub cover will cost from £450 to £750 on average, although some larger spas of unusual size or shape can have more costly covers.
Finally components within a spa will be covered under a warranty for a period of time and a good manufacturers warranty will cover at least the cost of the replacement components themselves and usually for between 1 to 4 years depending on the range and the manufacturer. The cost of replacement parts varies dramatically from a temperature sensor at around £35 up to a printed circuit board at as much as £800.
Good spas tend to be very reliable and its important to consider your spa just like a car. If you look after it with regular servicing and maintain good water quality at all times you will minimise the risk and prolong the life of your spa. We have customers whose hot tubs are now 23 years old and going strong and we are proud to be able to offer ongoing replacement parts, servicing and maintenance for their hot tubs year after year.
Overall if you were to list these items out the cost of ownership of a hot tub might look quite high and intimidating, but its important to remember that owning a hot tub is a lifestyle choice which not only brings families and friends together and is a great way to socialise and entertain guests, but, first and foremost, a hot tub is a hydrotherapy pool.
For many people around the world owning a hot tub has changed their life for the better with the incredible health benefits, medically proven to be associated with using a hot tub on a day to day basis. If the overall cost of owning a spa can be a little as just £50 per month all in, then that would be the equivalent of a cheap meal out for two just once a month. A small price to pay when you factor in the health and wellbeing and many hours of fun and relaxation to any household every night of the week, away from the distractions of everyday life it will provide. This type of quality time can usually only be found on holiday, and once you have overcome the purchase price of a good hot tub, running it will be much cheaper than your annual holiday!
For more information or to discuss any aspect of hot tub ownership please feel free to call one of our team, we would love to hear from you.
Leicester Showroom Tel: 01164 645 870
Cheshire Showroom Tel: 01625 919 150