Monday, April 27, 2009

How to Save Electricity While Heating Your Hot Tub

One of my very best friends is now the proud and happy owner of a hot tub thanks to Craigslist. His partner on the other hand, isn’t as happy because he said that he was concerned about how much more electricity this little extravagance was going to cost them.

I get questions about saving electricity a lot because I now have quite the reputation among by friends and family as an Energy Savings Maven (hey, there could be worse things, right?) I wondered if there really was such a thing as an energy efficient hot tub. I asked J Williams of Hot Tub Works that same question and one of his staffers offered to write a guest post on the topic for me.

Here you go my friends, this post’s especially for you!

Sink Yourself into an Energy-Efficient Hot Tub

By Jayne Hawkins


With the cost of electricity skyrocketing, it’s no wonder that we are constantly looking for ways to cut our utility budget. Saving money does not have to be difficult, and often requires just a few small changes within our homes. Even if you are new to the latest techniques, it’s never too late to make changes to keep your hard-earned wages in your wallet. Unfortunately, cutbacks and downsizing are causing many of us to reconsider our dreams and goals for the future. For many, this means saying no to a remodelled kitchen, summer patio, or relaxing hot tub.



The good news is, there are ways to get the things you want without being forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. Take the hot tub, for example. Who doesn’t want to wrap up a stressful day engulfed by a hot, bubbly soak? While a hot tub may not be a vital expense, it can certainly make the penny pinching much easier to deal with. The key to justifying a hot tub purchase is to first find ways to keep the related electricity use under control. For many of us, the energy expense that comes along with owning a hot tub weighs more heavily on our conscience than the actual cost of the tub.

Well, it’s time to dust off those brochures. Thanks to the increasing availability of energy efficient appliances and accessories, it is now possible to significantly reduce the operating costs of a hot tub. Your first move will be to set the heating thermostat to 102˚F. Many tubs are automatically set higher, leading to a higher electricity bill. The recommended temperature is not only cost effective, but it is also hot enough to melt away your stress.

Next, if you live in an area where electricity discounts are offered during off-peak hours, be sure to take advantage. By heating the water for the tub during times of low demand, you can greatly decrease the costs associated with regular soaking. Newer models will respond well to this technique, since they are usually well-insulated and therefore better capable of keeping the heat in the water.

Find out if the pumping cycle for your tub can be adjusted. Your tub may be pumped through its filtration system two or more times per day, for several hours each time. This can add up to a hefty amount in just a few days. If you have the option, program your tub to filter for less time, based on how often you use the tub, of course. However, if your tub features a pump that operates on a continuous basis, don’t attempt to change the settings.

To help your hot tub retain heat, invest in a high-quality blanket or spa cover. Most spa covers use a layer of insulation to keep the heat in, which will save you a little bit of money and time when heating it up for the next soak. If your tub is located outside, you may want to consider using a solar blanket, which will draw the warmth of the sun into the water.

Photobucket
 

While almost any hot tub can be adjusted to better suit a budget, the task becomes much easier for individuals who are shopping for a new tub. If you are thinking about purchasing a new hot tub, you can bypass all of the minor money-saving ideas and simply start searching for an energy efficient model. Typically, energy saving hot tubs are no more expensive than regular models, so it pays to look around.

When shopping for a new hot tub, ask a sales representative to recommend a quality, energy efficient model, or take to the Internet. More often than not, a hot tub that features money saving qualities will do so using an energy efficient pump, a major source of expense for other models. Energy conscious hot tubs may be programmed to heat less often, filter less frequently, or might simply contain wallet-friendly light bulbs. Today, even circulating pumps that run constantly can be less expensive than older models that cut in less frequently.

Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and purchase the hot tub of your dreams, simply out of fear of your utility bill. Visit a hot tub showroom and ask as many questions as you can, to help ease your mind and teach you more about the newest techniques. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the sales representative for a cost breakdown, as many companies will provide operating estimates in a brochure or online-based format.

There is a significant amount of hot tubs available on the market today that will address your concerns, allowing you some much-deserved relaxation or entertainment time without wreaking havoc on your pocketbook.

Jayne Hawkins is an avid writer and home improvement specialist.


Thanks Jayne! Readers, lets show Jayne some comment love!