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Can You Leave Hot Tub Outside in the Winter?

If you’re considering buying a hot tub but live in a part of the country that experiences harsh winters, you may be wondering, “Can you leave hot tub outside in the winter?”  You’ll be happy to learn that even those who live in the far north are able to keep their hot tub running all year round.  In fact, running your hot tub during the colder months is actually much better for it than shutting it down for the season.  There’s much less chance that the cold can damage the plumbing system when the tub is operating.  To learn more about winter hot tub operation, check out these notes.

Running the Water Heater

When operating your hot tub throughout the winter, it’s imperative that you prevent the water from freezing.  Ice can severely damage the pipes, plumbing and mechanical components of the hot tub.  To prevent ice from forming you’ll want to keep your water heater running and maintain a consistently high-water temperature.  If this seems like a waste of energy, it can be a relief to find out that maintaining a constant water temperature uses less energy than allowing it to drop significantly before bringing it back up again.  Having a relatively high-water temperature can also protect you if there happens to be a temporary power outage.

The Importance of a Cover

One of the most important accessories to have while running your hot tub over the winter is a tight fitting, well insulated hot tub cover.  It will help the water retain heat when the hot tub isn’t being used.  For extra protection, you might consider investing in a floating thermal blanket as well.  Preventing heat loss when the hot tub isn’t being used is key to wintertime operation.

Cabinet Insulation

Not all hot tub cabinets are built the same.  Hot tubs that are specifically built to withstand winter temperatures have much more cabinet insulation than those destined for warmer climes.  If you know your hot tub will be running in cold weather, ensure your hot tub cabinet is properly insulated.  It will make a massive difference when it comes to maintaining the water temperature. 

Maintain the Water Level

Another regular maintenance procedure that takes on even more importance during the winter is maintaining the correct water level.  Allowing the water line to fall too far below the skimmer will reduce the water circulation and increase the chances of ice formation.  Dry winter air will increase the rate of water evaporation compared with what you’d normally experience in the summer, so keep a keen eye on the water level and don’t let it drop too low.

Time Your Deep Cleaning

You’ll need to do a deep cleaning every three or four months, but you’ll need to time it, so it isn’t necessary during the coldest weather.  Emptying and refilling your hot tub (a requirement of deep cleaning) can be a dangerous proposition in freezing weather, so it’s best to avoid it if at all possible.  Try and get in a deep cleaning before the temperatures fall too low and, with careful monitoring of your water chemistry, you should be able to make it until the warm weather returns before you need to do it again.

Monitor Water Chemistry

If your water chemistry gets too far out of balance, sometimes the only way to rectify the situation is to empty the hot tub and start again.  As mentioned above, you don’t want to be doing this in freezing temperatures.  So, you need to be extra vigilant during the winter.  Insisting on showers before hot tub use can go a long way towards maintaining the proper water chemistry balance.

To learn more about hot tub use in the winter, download a free buyer’s guide today.

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