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How Can I Find an Energy-Efficient Hot Tub?

Many people today are more conscious than ever about managing their expenses and making sure they are getting a great value for their money. You can rest assured that a hot tub is a great investment in your personal wellness. When shopping for a hot tub, however, it is important to not only consider the upfront purchase price, but also the ongoing energy costs to use the spa. Oftentimes, you can find a hot tub that has a lower purchase price, but does not have as many energy-efficient features as you may want. The goal is to strike the optimum balance between features and cost.

Hot tub energy consumption is straightforward and predictable. Here are the factors that matter most, whether you're choosing a new hot tub or optimizing energy consumption on the hot tub you already own.

The fundamentals of hot tub energy efficiency:

Hot Tub Insulation

Insulation is the most important factor in energy consumption. Your hot tub can lose heat through its walls. The more heat it loses, the harder it has to work to keep the water warm. Insulation options include:


(no foam). This is a lining around the perimeter of the spa that transfers the heat generated by the motor and pump back into the hot tub water.


Urethane foam that fills and fully insulates the space between the hot tub shell and its cabinet.


An innovative new material that is four times denser than the full-foam urethane insulation material used on most hot tubs.

Hot Tubs With Total Insulation

This insulation style employs multiple layers of foam in varying densities. The high-density foam expands and compresses the light-density foam to fill or minimize voids and gaps where heat can escape.

Circulating the Spa Water

Jet pump

Some hot tubs rely on the jet pumps to circulate the water. Jet pumps draw more power than circulation pumps and are usually noisier.

Circulation pump

A dedicated circulation pump continuously circulates the hot tub water using a small amount of energy. The Highlife® and Limelight® Collections of Hot Spring® spas feature a circulation pump that uses as little energy as a 40-watt light bulb.

Why Do I Need A Spa Cover?

A deteriorating cover allows heat to leak. A waterlogged cover has almost no R-value.

  • Fits tightly
  • Has a dense, high R-value (its resistance to heat) foam core
  • Features additional material to lock in heat at the edges and seams

A deteriorating cover allows heat to leak. A waterlogged cover has almost no R-value.

In addition to a high-quality cover, a floating thermal blanket can provide an additional layer of insulation and even extend the cover's life by reducing waterlog.

Tips to help you maximize your spa's energy efficiency:

  • Pay close attention to the quality of your spa water. When you take good care of your spa water, it will last longer. When you drain and refill your spa, you have to heat a large volume of water from cold to hot - and your energy bill will show it. The FreshWater® system can help you extend the life of your spa water - and allow you to drain and refill as little as once a year.
  • Take good care of your spa cover. Having a good-quality spa cover is key to locking in heat that can escape from your spa water. Be sure to choose a cover that is designed specifically for your spa model, and replace it when it starts to show its age.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Many people do not realize that, unlike an in-ground spa, a portable spa is always hot and ready. A hot tub typically uses more energy heating the water than it does maintaining the water at a set temperature. So, while it might seem logical to adjust the temperature down when you are not using the spa, it's not necessary and can actually cost you more. Select your preferred water temperature and leave it - it is more energy-efficient and you'll never have to wait for your hot tub to heat up. It will always be hot and ready for regular or daily use.