Do you want to relax in a hot tub, conceive an idea, and shout “Eureka!” when you’re done? Then you should purchase an inflatable hot tub and become Archimedes’ doppelganger!
Inflatable hot tubs are considered to be portable and an inexpensive investment by individuals at large, however, very few tend to notice that they become expensive to run over a period of time.
To prove whether the former or the latter is true, I did some research and came to an interesting conclusion are inflatable hot tubs expensive to run?:
Yes! Inflatable hot tubs are expensive to run over a period of time. This is largely due to the inherent limitation of the inflatable tub itself which does not maintain water temperature for long. This limitation slowly, but gradually starts adding at least $20- $50 to the monthly electricity bill.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t buy one. Before making the purchase, it is important to do a bit of research.
This includes the costs associated with the usage of inflatable hot tubs, how can these costs be reduced to a minimum, the factors involved in determining energy costs, and most importantly, if it is possible to fill the inflatable hot tub with warm water to save on the monthly electricity bill.
What Are The Ongoing Costs Involved In Running An Inflatable Hot Tub?
Initially, people often think more about the cost of purchasing a tub rather than the ongoing costs associated to run it properly.
There’s no exact estimate for the ongoing costs but it most importantly depends on each individuals’ geographic location.
In a warm city, the cost of using this tub can be significantly cheaper as opposed to a cold city. Similarly, if you’re living in a country where the electricity is expensive, it can become costly to use the tub on a regular basis.
Following are the different elements that contribute to the ongoing costs in running an inflatable hot tub:
- Cleaning Products to Keep the Tub Neat and Tidy
- Water Filters
- Water Treatments to Keep the Tub Bacteria-free
Electricity is usually the most expensive element on this list. This is because a hot tub needs energy to power up the pumps and the heater to warm up the water.
Running a hot tub in a cold ambiance is more costly. This is because it takes a significant amount of time to warm up the water to its desired temperature and later to maintain it.
The insulation material, typically used in these tubs, is inefficient in preserving the desired temperature, therefore, the heater is going to function more frequently in such cases.
Similarly, regular maintenance is also required to ensure the longevity of the tub. This includes replacement of water filters at regular intervals, water treatments to keep the tub free of bacteria in germs, and self-cleaning after every usage to prevent any clogging damage to the water pipes.
This means you’d end up paying more frequently to the spas for maintaining your inflatable hot tub.
Related Read: How To Find The Perfect Inflatable Hot Tub Seats?
Which Factors Are Important In Determining The Energy Costs Of Running An Inflatable Hot Tub?
The cost of energy required to power up an inflatable hot tub varies demographically. Typically, you would want to look into the following questions to come up with an initial estimate:
- In which country do you live?
- In which city do you live?
- Is the ambient temperature too cold?
- How many electricity suppliers are there in your area?
- Does your inflatable hot tub allow simultaneous operation of the pump and the heater?
- Do you plan to keep the tub indoors or outdoors?
- What is the size of your tub?
Let’s look into these questions one by one.
Question 1: In which country do you live?
Answer: If you’re living in a country that experiences both summers and winters, then you’re likely to receive a lesser electricity bill during the summers.
This is primarily due to the time it takes to warm up the water to its desired temperature and later to maintain it.
For example, if you were to heat something from 0 degrees Celsius all the way up to 100 degrees Celsius, it may take a significant amount of time compared to heating up something from 50 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius.
Question 2: In which city do you live?
Answer: Comparing Thunder Bay with Toronto in Canada can be a bit extreme here but it is also very important to consider. Cities like Thunder Bay experience a lot of cold days each year whereas Toronto is considered to be more season friendly.
The reason for discussing this is that nobody would want their water pipes to get frozen. Unless you’re living in Thunder Bay, you might want to spend some extra bucks on running the water heaters regularly to ensure that the pipes do not freeze in such temperatures.
Question 3: Is the ambient temperature too cold?
Answer: Simple, the more warm the ambient temperature is, the lesser the energy cost required to warm up the water and maintain it and its desired temperature.
Question 4: How many electricity suppliers are there in your area?
Answer: Having more than 1 energy supplier in an area means that competition is likely to bring down the consumer price offered by utility companies.
If you have the privilege of living in a city with several energy suppliers, choose the one with the lowest rates and the highest offering to keep the energy costs at the lower end.
Question 5: Does Your Inflatable Hot Tub Allow Simultaneous Operation of the Pump and the Heater?
Answer: Many inexpensive inflatable hot tubs do not come with the offering of simultaneous operation of water pump and heater.
You have to use the pump to fill up the inflatable tub, once that has been done, the heater can be turned on to warm it up which can be more time consuming and inefficient.
Unless you plan on purchasing expensive inflatable hot tubs, you’ll have to bear with this limitation.
Question 6: Do You Plan to Keep the Tub Indoors or Outdoors?
Answer 6: Unless you’re living in a warm city, indoor temperatures are often more warm compared to the outdoor temperatures.
The same analogy applies here, that is, it takes more time to warm up the water from zero degrees Celsius to one hundred degrees Celsius than it takes to warm up the water from halfway through to one hundred degrees Celsius.
Related Read: Can A Hot Tub Be Placed On A Deck?
Question 7: What is the Size of Your Tub?
Answer: The larger the tub, the more time it would take to fill it up using a water pump and later to warm it up using a heater.
How to Lower the Cost of Running Your Inflatable Hot Tub?
There are some measures that you can take to lower the operational cost of your inflatable hot tub. Here are a few tips:
- Use an insulated ground mat and place your inflatable hot tub on it to prevent heat from escaping.
- Use an inflatable hot tub that has a better-insulated covering. This will ensure that the water stays warm for a longer period of time.
- If it is plausible, make use of a small tub. The amount of time required to fill up and heat the water is way less compared to a large tub.
- Choose an energy supplier that offers uninterrupted electricity at a lower rate (compared to its competitors). This will significantly reduce the energy cost in the long run.
- Keep your tub clean and replace water filters more frequently. Clean water filters will help in filling up the water more quickly rather than clogged ones.
- Avoid switching off the pump and the heater more frequently. This is because the time it takes to warm up from scratch is higher compared to warming up already warm water.
- If your water tub has an energy-saving feature, make sure to enable it. Some tubs come equipped with a climate control feature which automatically switches off the heater when the water achieves its desired temperature.
- Keep the walls of the tub neat and clean at all times. This will save you from buying chemicals to clean the surface area while also enhancing the lifespan of the tub.
- Prefer using the hot tub outdoors if you’re living in a city with a warm temperature. This will reduce the time required to warm the temperature to its desired level.
- If you’re a frequent user of the tub, make sure to buy your maintenance equipment and material in bulk to make use of bulk discounts.
- Maintain the pH levels of the water properly. This will prevent you from buying chlorine and other chemicals required to maneuver these pH levels.
The above is not necessarily an exhaustive list but mere suggestions from experience. If you have any tips that you’d like to share with us, let us know in the comments sections below.
Related Read: What Could Cause A Hot Tub To Constantly Run?
Can I Save Money By Filling My Inflatable Hot Tub With Warm Water?
This is like asking if you can make tea in an oven rather than making it from the tea machine. All electrical devices come with their unique offerings and it is always advisable to use them for their primary functionalities.
Yes, I know that I can use my personal car as a pick-up truck but that’s not exactly why it was built in the first place.
Similarly, all inflatable hot tubs come with their own water pumps and heaters that are designed to ensure the product lasts its lifespan.
It is generally advisable not to fill up your inflatable hot tub with pre-warmed water because you run the risk of damaging the surface area. Further, some tubs’ warranty terms and conditions explicitly specify the risk of voiding the warranty should the user put pre-warmed water onto the surface area of the tub.
In the short run, you may be able to save a few bucks since the heating system and the water pump may not kick-in, but in the long run, you’re risking the warranty of the product which may render the product unusable and unrepairable.
Related Read: How Do I Know if My Hot Tub Heating Element is Bad?
What Things Should I Need to Know About Buying an Inflatable Hot Tub?
If you are purchasing an inflatable hot tub for the very first time, it is important to consider the following six things:
- Brand: Good brands like Canadian Spa & Coleman specialize in offering premium products to their customers. They also offer after-sales support to all their customers which goes on to show the willingness of the brand to help its customers.
- Capacity: Count the number of people you are willing to use it simultaneously. Small tubs are more efficient than large tubs in terms of saving energy.
- Price: Search for products in your budget range. Do not compromise on purchasing a tub with a lot of features but no brand name. It is not necessary that a cheaper tub offered by a good brand is a bad tub. All hot tubs offer one prime feature, that is, warm water for all the users!
- Safety: Most hot tubs come with an extended cable of at least twenty feet. This is to ensure that their placement is away from the electrical socket, thereby ensuring users safety.
- Weight: An inflatable hot tub should be portable and easy to use. If you’re the type of person who carries it along to each and every party, it is preferred to buy a lightweight tub to enable portability.
- Massage system: If you want to enjoy the perks of bubble jet massage, then you should look to purchase an inflatable hot tub that offers this system. Mind you! It can be expensive.
Related Read: Can You Put Inflatable Hot Tubs On Decking?
So Should I Buy an Inflatable Hot Tub or Purchase an Expensive in-built Tub System-Indoors?
It depends. If you are very cautious about your privacy and do not have any problems with the initial investment, then the perks of using a built-in hot tub almost always outweigh inflatable hot tubs.
On the contrary, if you’re someone who is comfortable with the ongoing costs associated with the use of an inflatable hot tub, then it is always advisable to purchase it in place of a pre-built tub system.
That way, it makes the product mobile and easy to use anywhere, be it a friend’s party or yourself with family in an outdoor environment.
The system is very easy to use and install which can be done with the help of a user guide that comes with the purchase. Meaning, you can make use of it all by yourself rather than relying on someone to come, assemble, and fit it for you.