The price tag on a hot tub is just part of the expense. Its long-term costs depend on a number of factors including its design, maintenance and your utilities package.
2020 saw a surge of interest in hot tubs across the UK. For most customers, it was the temptation of creating a little COVID-safe getaway within their own homes. One of the most common questions on these customers’ minds was how much a hot tub would add to their monthly expenses. There are a number of factors that contribute to the costs of your spa pool and taking stock of each one can help you arrive at an approximate figure.
Most hot tubs are designed to use electric heaters to bring the water up to the set temperature. This, inevitably, adds to your electric bill. But how much of a dent it makes depends on:
- The size of your tub and the volume of water it holds
- Whether the tub is a ‘plug-and-play’ model (13-amp design) or requires higher energy consumption
- The ambient temperature
- The amount of time it takes to reach the standard temp you prefer
- How often you use the tub
- Construction of the hot tub
When you’re shopping around for a tub, these are features you should keep in mind. On average, a hot tub is used around three to four times a week, for approximately 45 minutes each time. Figures presented by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy showed average electricity prices in 2020 to be 17.2p/kWh. As this figure varies by region, it may be a bit more or a bit less in your area.
Why does energy efficiency matter?
Besides being more environmentally friendly, energy-efficient models make your electric bill lighter. So, don’t automatically choose the model with the lower price tag, take into account the build and materials used as this will impact ongoing costs. For example, most tubs use an electrical heater, but some heaters are designed with more energy-efficient elements. Titanium heaters are more efficient conductors of heat than stainless steel ones.
Also, consider what kind of insulation the tub and tub cover have. For how long will they be able to keep the water in your hot tub warm? An energy-efficient model will be able to keep the water temperature stable for longer without depending solely on the heater. This means a more expensive but more energy-efficient model will be more cost-effective in the long term.
As it is with any machine, regular upkeep will ensure that your hot tub is in good working condition. Routine maintenance includes balancing the pool chemicals for the optimum pH level, cleaning and replacing parts (such as the filter) as required. According to What Spa, the cost of pool care chemicals and filter replacement is between £250 -£330 per year. If you use your tub more often than usual and have multiple people using it, cleaning and chemical balancing will need to happen more frequently.
There’s no way of getting around the regular servicing of your tub. This is not only necessary for safety and health but is also important for the smooth running of the spa pool.
If you don’t have the time or patience for this, you could sign up for a local service that does this for you. This way you may be able to avoid expensive repairs. Service charges could cost anything between £150- £200 pounds for a one-off service and monthly or quarterly subscriptions will be £25- £30 pounds a month.
Water consumption and waste water charges
Let’s not forget to account for the key element in your spa pool – water. The prices for this varies from one region to another and on your provider. It also depends on whether you pay a metered charge or unmetered charge for your water. Any wastewater treatment also needs to be factored in.
The more water your hot tub holds, the higher costs will be. A large six-seater or eight-seater will not only make your water meter race but will need more electricity to run. So, opt for a hot tub that fits the number of people who are likely to use it at a time rather than unnecessarily choosing a much larger design.
Tips to keeping your ongoing costs low
- Buy a good quality tub that is energy efficient and uses long-lasting materials. The sudden demand for hot tubs during lockdown saw a number of ill-constructed spa models entering the market via disreputable dealers. Customers are drawn to the lower price tags, but they end up spending more on long-term care.
- Buy from a dealer with a good, long-standing reputation who is able to offer you service support locally.
- Don’t skimp on maintenance and replacing parts as and when they need it. When problems are dealt with early on, they end up being much less expensive.
- Shop around for energy and water providers so you can get the best deal. You can use a comparison site to switch to the lowest energy tariff available in your region.
Contact Sutton Spas for fuss-free spa pool ownership
We’re committed to finding the spa pool that fits your needs and your budget. We’re ready to back up what we say on the sales floor with quality products and a reliable service team. Contact us on 0121 827 1868 to discuss our energy-saving hot tub solutions, made for UK weather and people.