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Warming Up the Winter With Hot Spring Spas

Hot spring spas during a cold winter day offer one of the best experiences a hot tub owner can have. As snow falls on a crisp winter breeze, one can stay warm and relaxed in a hot spring spa, just as if it were balmy weather. The hot steam that lifts off of the tub and from the body melts the falling snow into little rain drops. Each person becomes their own hot spot in a cold setting.

However, there are some important considerations when using hot spring spas during days with freezing temperatures or below. Obviously, freezing hazards have to be addressed. In addition, heating up water that has been sitting out in cold air is much more expensive and time consuming; different techniques to provide thermal insulation to a hot tub will make winter hot spring spa usage more feasible.

Hot Water For Cold Days

Keeping hot tub water at the right temperature can be a challenge all by itself during the winter season. The heater will run more often and at higher power during the winter, consuming energy and requiring a longer start-up time. The best way to mitigate this issue is to preserve any heat that is made and keep it in the tub itself.

The best way to provide thermal insulation for a tub is with a thick, insulating cover. A floating thermal blanket can also be laid directly on the water surface for an additional layer. Snow accumulation should be removed from any cover. Snow is deceptively heavy when it begins to form deep piles. A plastic tarp can be used as a good snow cover and then pulled off to remove accumulated snow.

Freezing Water Hazard Protection

The biggest hazard from freezing water is within the pipes and pumps. The actual tub will usually not suffer damage from the formation of ice, but if a pipe freezes up, the water will expand and destroy the internal piping and machinery. Some hot tubs come equipped with a special mode to prevent freezing in the winter. Using this setting will ensure that the heating elements will fire whenever the water temperature begins to drop.

However, for a system without an automatic mode with feedback sensors, a timer should be manually set. A good rule of thumb is to have the hot spring spa run for 15 minutes every hour that freezing temperatures are present. In the northern latitudes, however, 15 minutes may not be enough. For temperatures colder than negative 10 degrees, it is advisable to run the hot tub much more often or even consider draining the system completely rather than risk damage to the piping.

Following these two guidelines for keeping hot tub water warm to prevent damage and to save on energy costs is the best way to enjoy this luxury through an extra season each year.

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