Using your hot tub in the winter can be tricky—while it sounds so wonderful in the below-freezing nights of winter, it can take some convincing to actually get yourself out of your pleasant house. The winter also brings up some very interesting questions about best spa operating practices. No fear—we have a slew of hot tub winter tips that will help you get through the season safe and relaxed.
1) Use it to fend of sickness. Cold and flu season is usually in full swing in the middle of winter when everyone is sick and indoors simultaneously. If you start to feel achiness or anything in your lungs, use your hot tub as a way to sweat out the toxins and get some cool air in your lungs. Cold air can help with coughs and sweating in the hot environment (and replenishing with lots of water) may help you avoid having to use your precious sick days. If your tub isn’t already set there, crank up the thermostat to 104° and sweat away.
2) Wear a hat. This may seem like an abnormal bit of advice, but it really can help. If you live somewhere that gets the worst of the winter, a hat can help you keep your hair dry and keep the heat from escaping through the top of your head. A knit hat or baseball cap both work great to help regulate body temperature.
3) Entertain! Whether it’s a romantic night with your significant other or a party with all your friends (who could conceivably fit in your hot tub), give yourself reasons to use the hot tub. You can challenge each other to go for a roll in the snow or any other winter-related games you can come up with. Try and limit your time in the water to 20 minute increments at a time, longer if you crank down the water temperature to 100° or less. Provide your guests with plenty of water to drink and avoid alcohol as it increases the risk of dehydration. I know. Buzz kill.
4) Lotion Up. Getting out of your hot tub and feeling like your skin has gotten hammered will certainly discourage you from using it frequently and reaping the benefits. A simple solution is to apply face moisturizer before you go outside and into the hot tub. It may seem strange, but a thin layer of lotion (or even sunscreen, in a pinch) will keep your face from drying out. It even keeps airborne spa chemicals from getting into your pores and drying them out further.
5) Be conservative with your jet and blower usage. Anything that injects cool air into the water is going to rapidly lower the water’s temperature. This applies to the hot tub blowers, especially. Use them sparingly if you want to keep the water warm and be sure they are turned off after your time in the water has concluded.
6) Stock up on supplies. You won’t be able to use your hot tub if you run out of sanitizer or other vital chemicals when a storm hits. No one wants to run out when the roads are icy and inhospitable. Don’t let this keep you from using your hot tub during the winter months! Check your chemical supply stash and be sure you have enough of what you need while the weather is good and get any extras.
7) Enhance your workout routine. Cold weather makes people sedentary. While your New Year’s resolutions may have you determined for the first few weeks of January, it can be easy to talk yourself out of facing the crowded gym and slippery roads. Let your hot tub encourage you! After a workout, use your hot tub to stretch your muscles afterward. Hydrotherapy can be a good way to help your body recover so you don’t ache quite so much in the morning.
8) Use sandals or slippers. Most outdoor hot tubs are a little more than a hop, skip, or a jump away from the nearest doorway. Keep your feet warm during the journey while simultaneously keeping dirt and debris out of the hot tub water. Use shoes that have a good grip because surfaces around the tub can get slick in the freezing weather.
9) Check your water levels regularly. An unattended leak can lead to series issues with your hot tub. If water levels get low enough, your pumps and heaters can stop working and the water inside the tub freezes. A frozen hot tub can be an awfully expensive problem to remedy. If you’re not using your hot tub frequently, at least keep an eye on its functionality.
10) Have a hot drink. Whether you take your tea with you to the hot tub or have a cup of hot cocoa ready for when you get out, there’s nothing quite as comforting as your favorite warm beverage. If you do take it into the hot tub with you, just be careful not to spill!
11) Make smart choices to help save energy. You can lose a lot of heat out of your hot tub in the cold weather. Some people think they’ll save money by raising and lowering the temperature of the hot tub water based on their usage. This is not true. In fact, it’s more cost effective to maintain a set temperature than to have it constantly heating up and cooling off. In addition, be sure to cover your hot tub as soon as you’ve finished using it so the heater isn’t trying to heat up constantly cooling water. Add a spa blanket for added efficiency.
We hope the cold weather only makes you enjoy your spa more and that our hot tub winter tips have given you some great ideas. I know it makes me want to go jump in right now!