What you NEED to know before buying a hot tub this summer

HOT tub sales have rocketed in lockdowns over the last year, and it's the closest many of us will get to a pool this summer.

But shoppers could be forking out more than they realise for a relaxing dip, with running costs potentially adding up to hundreds of pounds a year.

Bargain inflatable hot tubs are often a sell-out at shops like Lidl and B&M, costing as little as £300.

What many new owners might not budget for is the ongoing running costs that can add up on top of the initial outlay.

How much does a hot tub cost to run?

The cost of running a hot tub varies, and can be anywhere from around £1 to £2 per day for electricity.

That might not sound like much, but that adds up to around £30 to £60 per month and over six months of summer and other months of good weather, that's £180 to £360.

How to compare prices to get the best deal

JUST because something is on offer, or is part of a sale, it doesn’t mean it’s always a good deal.

There are plenty of comparison websites out there that'll check prices for you – so don't be left paying more than you have to.

Most of them work by comparing the prices across hundreds of retailers.

Here are some that we recommend:

  • Google Shopping is a tool that lets users search for and compare prices for products across the web. Simply type in keywords, or a product number, to bring up search results.
  • Price Spy logs the history of how much something costs from over 3,000 different retailers, including Argos, Amazon, eBay and the supermarkets. Once you select an individual product you can quickly compare which stores have the best price and which have it in stock.
  • Idealo is another website that lets you compare prices between retailers. All shoppers need to do is search for the item they need and the website will rank them from the cheapest to the most expensive one.
  • CamelCamelCamel only works on goods being sold on Amazon. To use it, type in the URL of the product you want to check the price of.

If you ran a tub all year round it would be double that, although it's likely you'll use it less in the very cold months of winter – most inflatable tub makers recommend you don't us it in very low temperatures.

Lay-Z-Spa which is a popular hot tub brand, estimates that running costs are around £7 to £10 per week, according to its website.

That's based on its Vegas Airjet model which fits four to six people and holds 775 litres of water.

The cost is based on using it three times a week in average summer temperatures for the UK, and spending 25 minutes in it, with bubbles for 20 of them.

The estimate also uses the tub having a cover on when not in use and being shielded from winds.

Meanwhile energy experts USwitch calculate that some tubs can add between £155 and £310 to energy bills, depending on the type of tub, when used between May and September for 30 minutes per day.

Hot tubs have large running costs because they are meant to be kept at a high ambient temperature so they are ready for use, it says.

Understanding the cost can help you avoid extra costs later on.

What can affect the cost of running a hot tub and how can I save?

There are a number of factors that can influence the cost of running a hot tub.

Hot tubs are generally left on or near the temperature you use it at most of the time when it's set up.

This is more cost-effective than turning it on and off each time, which takes more power to go from cold to hot each time, than staying at a warm temperature.

Many spas these days have energy saving temperature controls and other features, so make sure you read up on the instructions to get the best out of the tub you are buying or one you've bought already.

Lids are also not just for show or to keep leaves out, they will keep the heat in too so keep them on when not in use and shut them tight.

The bigger the tub, the more water you have to heat and the larger the area exposed to the external temperature.

How often you use it will also determine the cost – both months per year, and times per week.

If you have it on in the colder months then it will take more energy to keep it hot against the outdoor temperature.

How to save on your energy bills

SWITCHING energy providers can sound like a hassle – but fortunately it’s pretty straight forward to change supplier – and save lots of cash.

Shop around – If you're on an SVT deal you are likely throwing away around £300 a year. Use a comparion site such as MoneySuperMarket.com, uSwitch or EnergyHelpline.com to see what deals are available to you.

The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed deals – meaning you'll pay a fixed amount usually for 12 months.

Switch – When you've found one, all you have to do is contact the new supplier.

It helps to have the following information – which you can find on your bill –  to hand to give the new supplier.

  • Your postcode
  • Name of your existing supplier
  • Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
  • An up-to-date meter reading

It will then notify your current supplier and begin the switch.

It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won't be interrupted in that time.

The outside temperature at any time can also affect the cost in this way, and so too can the wind.

You can try and locate the tub in an area sheltered from gusts and Lay-Z-Spa recommends putting a mat underneath to keep it even more insulated.

The more you use the tub, generally the more it will cost, but don't forget once it's on you'll be keeping it at or near a useable temperature, rather than turning it on and off, so you'll want to use it enough to make it worth having on in the first place.

Most tubs have a maximum temperature of 40C, but you should turn it down from this when not in use.

You'll usually find instructions on the best temp to keep it at from the maker of your hot tub, either in the box or online.

Lastly, how much you pay will depend on your energy costs and it could be the perfect time to make sure you're on the best deal and switch to a better one to save.

If you have a smart metre you can monitor the cost of running a hot tub more closely, and make adjustments to the temperature to make potential savings.

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