Cold winter months can be among the best times to use your hot tub. In addition to warming up during chilly Michigan evenings, the hot water provides a welcome therapy for many owners who take advantage of the longer night hours. To get the most use out of your spa during the winter months, here are five maintenance and enjoyment tips.
1. Keep It Covered
Make sure your spa cover provides a good, snug seal all the way around. Allowing leaks during freezing winter winds and dropping temperatures will not only make your heater work harder but may also cause evaporation and freezing in the water itself. If your cover is getting older, inspect it for cracks, warping, and other damage.
2. Avoid a Snow Layer
You aren't likely to want to use the hot tub if it's constantly covered by a heavy layer of snow and ice. And the extra weight along with melting water can easily cause damage to the spa cover itself, which will only result in eventual danger to the hot tub underneath.
Skip all these problems by brushing new snow off the hot tub as soon as possible. If you get a lot of snow or freezing rain, you may want to install a roof cover over the entire spa to protect it (and you) from above.
3. Add Comfort and Safety
Along with protecting the hot tub during bad weather, protect the occupants too. Keep all pathways to and from the spa clear of ice and snow. If you have to travel a certain distance from the house, you may even want to add some overhead or side protection from the wind, rain, or snow.
With winter comes shorter days and longer hours of darkness. Check the lighting on walkways and around the hot tub to make sure that everyone can safely use the spa. You may want to provide some clothing for safety and comfort, such as extra shoes, robes, and hats for people to stay warm when not in the water.
4. Be Energy Efficient
There are several ways to help your spa be energy efficient in the cold months. Look for good insulation around the unit itself and make sure you have a cover that will hold up in your particular climate. You can add extra hot tub blankets for more insulation too.
Turn the jets off when the spa is not in use and use them less when enjoying the hot tub. Jets inject cold air into the water, which lowers the spa’s temperature and causes the heater to work more.
And avoid the temptation to constantly change the temperature as well. Work with your spa supplier or manufacturer to find a good temperature for your unit, and then just keep it consistent. The more your heater has to work, the more it can cost and the sooner it may break.
5. Check the Water
Make sure to keep water levels are sufficiently high throughout the winter, since leaks that reduce the water levels could damage the heater or pumps. If you use the spa less frequently during cold months, you may not notice changes in the water level or problems with the machinery as easily as during the summer.
So try to check the water and jets about once per week to avoid unexpected problems. Address any concerns as soon as possible so they aren't compounded or forgotten.
For more help securing your hot tub during the winter and developing a regular maintenance system, contact the hot tub experts at Pisces Pools & Spas today. We've helped Michigan families protect and enjoy their spas for more than 20 years, and we can help you too.