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The Ultimate Guide to Elevating Your Backyard Oasis

What is the most efficient way to heat a swim spa?

Swim Spa Sold by Classic Pool Spa and Hearth
Swim Spa in Snow

11 Considerations for your Swim Spa Efficiency


Heating a swim spa efficiently involves several considerations, from the type of heater used to insulation and maintenance. Here are some guidelines for efficiently heating a swim spa:

Unwrapping a Swim Spa to show inner workings

1. Heater Type

Electric Heaters: These are the most common for swim spas. While they’re convenient, they’re not the most cost-effective in areas with high electricity costs.
Gas Heaters: These can heat water faster than electric heaters. Natural gas heaters are generally more efficient than propane ones but require a natural gas line.
Heat Pumps: These are more energy-efficient than standard electric heaters. They work by extracting heat from the air and transferring it to the water.
Solar Heaters: These harness energy from the sun to heat your swim spa. They’re environmentally friendly and can reduce heating costs, but the efficiency depends on the sunlight received in your location.

Northern Exposure

2. Good Insulation

A well-insulated swim spa retains heat better, reducing the amount of energy needed to keep the water at the desired temperature. Ensure the spa has high-quality insulation, especially around the shell and the cover.

American Whirlpool offers the exclusive patented Northern Exposure thermal barrier technology that recycles your hot tub’s heat for more efficient heating and lower bills.

One of the most significant advantages of this technology is its efficiency. Not only does it maintain optimal temperatures, but it also results in substantial cost savings in the long run.

Covana Hot Tub Cover for sale at Classic Pool SPa and Hearth

3. Use a Quality Spa Cover

Covana Hot Tub Covers are more than just a cover. In a world filled with choices, Covana stands out not just as a luxury but as a necessity for those who value comfort, security, and efficiency. Their hot tub covers, while being the face of the brand, are merely an introduction to a world of features that ensure you get the best out of your relaxation time. Crafted with precision, designed for efficiency, and built for comfort, Covana systems are indeed the future of relaxation.

Regular Hot Tub Maintenance Service

4. Regular Maintenance

Ensure your spa’s heater, pump, and other systems are regularly maintained. Clean filters and ensure water flow is not restricted. Regularly check for leaks and repair any detected.
If you prefer Classic Pool Spa and Hearth provides Hot Tub Cleaning & Swim Spa Maintenance in the Portland metro area.

Optimal Hot Tub Temperature

5. Optimal Temperature

Don’t overheat your spa. Determine a comfortable temperature and stick to it. Every degree lower can save a significant amount of energy in the long run.

Keeping an eye on the temperature isn’t just about comfort. It’s about safety. Extremely high or low temperatures can pose health risks, making it essential to strike a balance.

Typically, most hot tub manufacturers recommend a temperature range of 100°F to 102°F.

Hot Tub Wind Break

6. Windbreaks

Wind can increase heat loss. Using fences, shrubbery, or privacy panels as windbreaks can be beneficial in preventing heat from escaping.

Wind breaks can prevent leaves, dirt, and other debris from being blown into the tub. This can help keep the water cleaner, reducing the need for frequent cleaning and potentially extending the life of your filters.

Wind, especially during colder months, can make the experience of getting in and out of the hot tub less enjoyable. A wind break can provide a more comfortable environment, shielding bathers from cold gusts.

Infrequent Swim Spa Use

7. Scheduling

If you’re not using the swim spa frequently, consider lowering the temperature and then reheating it when you intend to use it. However, don’t let the temperature drop too much, as reheating from a very low temperature might consume more energy.

Even with infrequent use, filters can get dirty, affecting the efficiency of the circulation system. Check them periodically.

Always use a good-quality insulated cover when the swim spa or hot tub is not in use. It helps in retaining heat, reducing evaporation, and keeping out debris.

Lifetime Swim Spa Guarantee

8. Opt for Energy-Efficient Models

If you’re in the market for a new swim spa, consider models with energy-efficient features. Look for certifications or ratings that indicate the spa’s energy performance.

American Whirlpool offers fantastic efficiency with their exclusive Northern Exposure patented technology.

Thermals Spas not only strives to perfect in Thermo Lock System Technology, but also provides energy-saving technology as a primary driver of future technology too.

The Location of your Swim Spa

9. Location

Consider the location of your swim spa. If it’s positioned in a sunny spot, it can benefit from passive solar heating. Conversely, shaded areas can help in hotter climates, reducing the amount of energy required to cool the water.

Using an insulated cover when the spa is not in use will also prevent heat loss and reduce energy costs.

The closer it is to your home’s electrical source, the shorter and more efficient the wiring can be, which can reduce installation costs.

Off-Peak Energy Efficiency

10. Use Energy during Off-Peak Times

Some regions have tiered or time-of-use energy pricing. If this is the case in your area, consider heating the spa during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower.

Check with your utility company to determine when off-peak rates apply. They often have a detailed rate schedule that identifies peak, off-peak, and sometimes shoulder or mid-peak periods.

Many utilities offer time-of-use (TOU) pricing. With TOU pricing, electricity costs vary depending on the time of day, with prices being lowest during off-peak times.

Swim Spa Accessories

11. Consider Other Accessories

There are other accessories like ozonators that can help reduce the workload on your heater by maintaining water quality without needing to frequently change the water, which would then need reheating.

Some modern swim spas come with an eco mode that adjusts the heating cycles to maximize energy efficiency.

Ensure that the filters are clean and of high quality. Clogged or inefficient filters make pumps work harder and consume more energy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Swim Spa Energy Efficiency Tips for the Portland Metro Area

What is the best way to heat a swim spa?

While a heat pump is an energy-efficient, cost-effective way to heat your spa or swim spa, many factors come into play. The insulation of your swim spa, the quality of your cover, and the conditions of the location of the swim spa all come into play.

What temperature should I keep my swim spa?

If you use your swim spa for both swimming and general exercise, you may find that the ideal temperature is between 84 and 88 degrees. A little warmer temperature—up to 90 degrees—might be more comfortable if you have kids in the pool spa.

Are swim spas expensive to heat?

Your swim spa’s pumps and water heaters are powered by electricity, which also makes up the majority of the expense. You should budget between $50 and $100 each month for energy costs, which vary depending on where you reside (some places charge more during peak hours and less during off-peak hours).

Is it better to continually heat a pool spa or only heat it when you need to use it?

If the pool won’t be utilized for a few days, lower the temperature or switch off the heater. You’ll save money and energy by doing this. The idea that heating a pool again requires more energy than just reducing the temperature or shutting off the heater is untrue.

Do swim spas heat up like hot tubs?

The majority of pool spas have 99 degree temperatures. You may adjust the hot tub side of the dual-zone swim spas to a temperature of 104 degrees.

How long should a swim spa take to heat up?

If you are starting from a cold tap water temperature it can take a full day. If you maintain it at a high 80 degrees it should only take a few hours.

How long does a swim spa last?

Swim spa lifespans typically range from 8 to twenty years, however maintenance practices significantly affect longevity. Here are some crucial factors to take into account when selecting a dependable pool spa that will endure as long as possible, along with some suggestions for extending its lifespan. American Whirlpool and Thermals provide a lifetime warranty on the insulation and frame, which helps to guarantee that your swim spa is a wise investment for both your house and your well-being.

Are swim spas high maintenance?

Although there is maintenance required for all three types of outdoor water features, swim spas often require more upkeep than pools or hot tubs. This is due to the fact that they have a lot more moving parts than hot tubs or pools. This increases the likelihood of anything going wrong. Additionally, you may select to maintain your swim spa with the professional maintenance team from Classic Pool Spa and Hearth.

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