Can I use my hot tub in winter? (Advice, handy tips and more)
December 16, 2023
Estimated reading time - 7 minutes
Author – Phil Sharp - Freelance Writer
Do you own a hot tub or planning to buy one during the winter months? Are you asking yourself “can I soak in my hot tub during winter?” Perhaps you’re concerned about causing problems with your hot tub if you use it while it’s cold outside?
Good news, you can sit back and relax in a nice warm soak when the temperature drops!
In this article you’ll learn the answers to common questions people have on the subject and key tips on how to winterise your hot tub. From here you’ll have the peace of mind that you can soak without any stress.
In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Jacuzzi Group. You can see the list of the brand owners at the bottom of this article. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing (December 16, 2022) and may change without notice.
Can I use my hot tub in winter?
Yes, you can use your hot tub in winter.
Enjoying the benefits of warm water and hydrotherapy on a cold day can be both relaxing and relieving. Equally, if you’re an active person, such as a runner, a soak after a winter’s run can help sooth muscles and joints aiding in faster recovery times.
As with using your hot tub in the summer, make sure the chemicals you add to your hot tub are balanced, water levels are normal, and equipment is working correctly. This means you'll be ready to take a dip and switch off.
Should I empty or drain my hot tub in winter?
No, you don’t need to drain or empty your hot tub in winter, if you are going to be using it.
However, if you don’t plan on using it over the colder months or are going away for a period of time, we recommend following a winterising procedure.
If you are unsure about how to do this, contact the customer service team or showroom you bought your hot tub from.
If you are a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub owner, you can use the contact link below.
Can you leave a hot tub outside in Winter?
Yes, you can leave a hot tub outside in winter. Because the majority of hot tubs are installed outside, we recommended you keep the hot tub cover on when you're not using your tub. This will help prevent weathering, heat loss from water and reduce your running costs.
Handy tip - Placing your hot tub under a shelter such as a gazebo or pergola will help protect your hot tub during the winter months, especially if you live in an area where there's snowfall.
To get a better idea of what we consider to be the best hot tub shelter options to consider in the UK, we recommend you read this article.
What is the best temperature for a hot tub in winter?
It's only natural that given winter is the coolest time of year, people want to raise the hot tub water temperature.
Typically, anything above 37.5 degrees celcius is warming to your body and provides a pleasant hot heat while you bathe in the cold environment. As our pores are open from 38 degrees, allowing you to feel the heat all over it can be a great feeling going from cold to hot.
However, if you are not going to be using the tub for a while, but do not wish to drain it, you can reduce your temperature but no lower that 27 degrees celcius.
For best health and safety practise, we recommend spending up to 20 minutes at a time in your hot tub.
For children, the maximum time in the winter should be 10 minutes, particularly in water temperatures greater than 37.5 degrees.
Temperatures hot tub users find most comfortable for soak periods (typically 20 minutes) will vary. It may require some experimenting at the beginning until you find a level both yourself and those who may soak at the same time, are happy with.
It's important to keep in mind that the cooler the ambient temperature, the greater the cooling effect on your hot tub or swim spa. This will likely result in an increase in running costs. This is quite normal and not a fault with the product.
Read this article to learn more about common questions people ask about hot tub water temperature.
How do I protect my hot tub in winter?
If a hot tub isn’t looked after, or key accessories aren’t used, winter can have a negative effect on your hot tub, both externally and internally, so it’s important to protect it from the elements. This advice also applies to the peak temperature of summer. Leaving a hot tub shell exposed to sunlight and heat will cause damage.
Some brands for example HotSprings®, Hydropool™ and Jacuzzi® will have spent time creating cabinetry and insulation to protect the components and reduce running costs. This will allow them to withstand extreme temperatures, but not all hot tubs will have this level of quality.
Checking with your manufacturer what level of resistance to the elements your hot tub has, along with the quality of the insulation, will help with understanding if additional protection is needed.
A hot tub cover should be used and locked when heating or not in use. This will be more energy efficient and ensure the extreme weather doesn’t affect your hot tub.
How do I take care and maintain my hot tub when it's cold?
Taking care of your hot tub in the winter doesn’t require any less attention and maintenance than you would for using it in the summer. However, there are a few areas that need more attention.
Here are three ways you can take care of your hot tub in winter:
1 Check pumps more often: Due to the weather dropping and affecting the water, it’s important to check the pipes regularly so they don’t freeze. Keeping a regular filtration and heating cycle will help avoid this.
2 Put the hot tub cover on: When you’re not using the hot tub, placing the cover on and locking it tight will help keep the elements from affecting the inside of the shell. This will also help when heating the water, trapping it where you want it.
To ensure maximum energy efficiency, check your manufacturer's recommendation for when to replace the cover.
3 Check water levels: Naturally, your water levels will drop over time as water evaporates from your hot tub. But during the winter, this can be harmful to your jets and pumps if they fall too low, leading to damage if they freeze. Being mindful of this will ensure you keep the water at the correct level.
Should I leave my hot tub pump on all the time?
While leaving pumps on won’t damage your hot tub, it may not be the most energy efficient option. Your hot tub will have to work harder during the winter to heat up the water, but this is important to keep filtration working and keep the temperature from dropping too much.
Ensure your filtration settings are programmed on a suitable cycle so you can avoid this. Also check to make sure the clock is set correctly.
Can I use my hot tub if it’s snowing?
No matter if it’s summer or winter, a hot tub will still function in the same way. However, we recommend you take extra care if you want to have a soak while it’s snowing. This includes wearing appropriate footwear before entering or after exiting your hot tub.
Can I add snow to my hot tub to refill the water?
We highly recommend you do not put snow into your hot tub water to refill it. This will upset the chemical balance of the water due to the impurities within the snow.
It will mean the water is unsanitary and will require a chemical rebalance, taking more time and sanitisers to accomplish. Refilling via a garden hose is the best way to refill your hot tub.
After reading this article, you should feel more relaxed at the idea of using your hot tub in the winter and key pieces of advice so important components that could be vulnerable to the cold such as plumbing, shell and pumps stay in best working order.
The main point to remember is that you can use your hot tub during the winter, and it can be a great feeling to take a dip on a frosty night and be a relaxing environment to banish the cold!
Hot tub maintenance will need to be kept up, as it would in the summer, to make sure everything is working as it should.
Have questions around heating your hot tub water such as "how can I heat my hot tub up quicker?" or `"how soon can I heat my hot tub after drain and refill?" For the answer to these questions and more, we recommend you check out this article. You can also download our Hot Tub Buyer's Guide.
Disclaimer: The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Jacuzzi Group. HotSpring® is a trademark owned by Watkins Manufacturing Corporation. Hydropool™ is a trademark owned by Hydropool Inc.
Affiliations: Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jacuzzi Group. All rights reserved.