Indoor vs. Outdoor Hot Tubs (Pros, Cons, and More)
12 Minute Read
Thinking of buying a hot tub and wondering “Can I put a hot tub indoors” or “Should I put my hot tub outside or inside?”
In this article, you’ll get an idea of the benefits and potential challenges that may come with the installation of a hot tub indoors or outdoors. After reading, we hope you’ll have the knowledge to make an informed decision about whether an indoor or outdoor hot tub is best for you. Then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy using your new investment with confidence.
Outdoor Hot Tubs
An outdoor hot tub is arguably the most popular type of tub installation. It can look at home in a wide variety of backyard settings – whether it’s nestled among greenery, on your patio, near the swimming pool or in an intimate corner of your yard. The hot tub can be the focal point or the subtle addition to your outdoor oasis.
Outdoor Hot Tub Pros
Multiple Delivery and Installation Options
The delivery and installation process of an outdoor hot tub varies. It can be straight forward, or it can require a crane or HIAB. It will depend on the following:
- Access to your property
- Size and weight of the hot tub
- If access is on a slope
- Distance between vehicle and final location of the hot tub
An electrician may also be required to connect your hot tub to your home’s electricity. This is standard for most any installation.
The installation of an outdoor spa is relatively easy and cost efficient. The only addition needed, aside from connecting the electricity, may the installation of a base for your hot tub. For more details on what’s required for installing an outdoor hot tub, we recommend you speak to a salesperson.
If you like hosting family and friends for BBQs, or you simply love spending time outside in nature, then an outdoor hot tub installation could be a great choice for you. You can enjoy spending time outdoors year-round in your hot tub, while you stay cozy among the warm bubbles on cool days or winter nights. Whether it’s catching the first snowflake of winter or the first summer sunset, you won’t miss a thing if you choose an outdoor tub.
For those that love socializing, an outdoor hot tub allows plenty of room for splashing around or relaxing while also enjoying fun, food, and drinks in the backyard. Homeowners that prefer to host outdoor parties can center their gatherings around an outdoor hot tub.
As you will learn later in this article, an indoor hot tub needs ventilation due to steam and chemicals. The benefit of being outdoors means that no extra cost is needed for ventilation. Heat and humidity can cause unwanted bacteria in a non-ventilated space and extra work to clean it. Luckily, choosing an outdoor installation means that even a gentle breeze will blow away any heat evaporating from the hot tub.
Another cost influencing pro is that there is no need to have drainage installed for an outdoor hot tub. Draining and refilling of an outdoor hot tub is a simple task with the help of a hose.
Outdoor Hot Tub Cons
Lack of Privacy
Although being amongst the beauty of nature, unfortunately for a lot of people, your neighbors may still be close by. Depending on where your hot tub is positioned in your backyard, you may have restrictive privacy if you have neighbors whose homes or backyards overlook yours, or installation restrictions mean your favorite hot tub seat may face in their direction.
However, this dilemma can easily be solved with some planning with shelter over your hot tub such as a gazebo, covered patio or even some landscape designing with shielding shrubbery.
Exposure to the Elements
A hot tub nestled among the elements has its perks but also its downsides. Be prepared to be showered with rain, snow, leaves and other surprises thanks to sometimes unpredictable weather all around the country. This is where a quality filtration system and hot tub cover becomes essential — for both dealing with unwanted debris and locking in the water’s heat in the event of wind and snow.
Hopefully, a bit of rain or snow isn’t too disruptive to your hot tub time. In fact, many people enjoy being surrounded by snow or cold weather while soaking in their warm hot tub water. As it can provide privacy from nearby neighbors, a gazebo, covered patio or landscaping can also help protect you from the weather while you enjoy your hot tub.
Indoor Hot Tubs
Nothing says luxury like having a personal indoor spa. Having a hot tub indoors is a wonderful way to relax in the privacy of your own home — without even having to step outside. If you have a small backyard, or simply prefer to enjoy the hot tub inside the privacy of your own four walls, an indoor hot tub could be the right choice for you.
Indoor Hot Tub Pros
If you don’t have a private backyard that is shielded from your neighbor’s view but have a home large enough to house a hot tub, an indoor model could be a great option. With it being inside the walls of your own home, you will never have to worry about passers-by, neighbors or anyone else seeing you enjoy your aquatic downtime.
Protection from the Elements
Installing a hot tub indoors could potentially mean it could have an even longer life span because it does not have to weather sometimes harsh outdoor elements. An indoor hot tub will never have to ensure wear and tear from rain, snow, wind, hail, or the hot summer sun.
Housing a hot tub indoors can also save you money on operation costs since your hot tub will be placed within the controlled climate of your home. This may enable it to stay warmer for longer in comparison to the heating you may require when placed outside, particularly during the winter months.
Testing the water, adding chemicals, and other maintenance chores come with being a hot tub owner and it must be done no matter the weather. However, taking care of an indoor hot tub may be even easier and convenient as you can simply go into the next room versus outside.
Indoor Hot Tub Cons
Due to steamy chemical evaporation being released into the room where the indoor tub is placed, ventilation will need to be installed if opening windows and doors are not available in that room. This will ensure that the humidity and heat doesn’t create unwanted bacteria and fungus in your home.
Along with not wanting to inhale chemical fumes, you will also not want the interior of your home to be damaged by the moisture. This means you will likely need to purchase water-resistant materials such as bathroom paint or water-resistant wallpaper and flooring to ensure your indoor décor stays intact.
The installation process of an indoor hot tub is potentially costlier and more time consuming than it would be for an outdoor hot tub. Along with ventilation, an inspection is likely required to ensure your home is fit to house a hot tub.
You’ll need to ensure you have the required access to get the hot tub inside the room. If it cannot fit, you may need to remove a door, knock down a wall or do some additional light remodeling to accommodate the hot tub indoors.
The height and size of the room, the size of the hot tub you desire, as well as the size of the base that will need to be installed will all need to be taken into consideration prior to installation. You will also need to allow room for the hot tub cover.
It’s important to note that if you have a strong base where your hot tub will be placed, which can withstand the weight of a hot tub, the water, and people inside it, then an additional base installation may not be required.
Draining and Electrical Installation
Just like with an outdoor hot tub, electrical installation will be required for an indoor hot tub as well. The hot tub will need to be plugged into a wall outlet or wired directly to the proper connection through your home’s central breaker box.
If access to a drain is not readily available, then drainage will need to be installed into the room where your indoor hot tub will be placed. This is because it’s unlikely your hot tub will be able to reach a floor drain through the hose.
Not having a drain built in could cause issues down the line when it is time to replace your hot tub water with fresh water.
Overall, the decision between installing a hot tub indoors or outdoors ultimately comes down to personal preference, as either option has many pros and each has just a few cons, too. Access and ventilation in your home is essential for an indoor hot tub, but beyond that, an indoor or an outdoor hot tub can be enjoyable for several reasons.
If you are an introvert but love the outdoors and want your hot tub to be surrounded by nature, then an outdoor hot tub with covered patio or gazebo built around it to provide more privacy could be an ideal option.
If you love the constant warmth of the indoors, have the space to house a hot tub indoors, and are prepared to make any necessary alterations to your home, then an indoor hot tub could be the choice for you.
This is a big decision and there are many factors to consider. One factor to keep in mind is that initial costs could be higher for an indoor installation, but operational costs could potentially be less.
You could also consider the best of both worlds by investing in a classic outdoor hot tub as well as a jetted bath such as a Jacuzzi® Whirlpool or Swirlpool® bath, neither of which require as much space nor the ventilation requirements of an indoor hot tub.
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