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Top Tips for Winter Hot Tub Care

tips for winter hot tub care

Winter is an invigorating time to enjoy the therapeutic warmth of a hot tub. The hot tub’s striking contrast with cooler winter air intensifies relaxation, creating plentiful opportunities for rejuvenation throughout the colder months. 

With cold weather, though, the temptation may be to breeze through or completely brush off hot tub maintenance for winter. However, proper care is essential throughout the winter season to keep hot tubs in peak condition through all four seasons. Here are our top tips on how to maintain and keep a hot tub up and running optimally during this chilly time of year.

Keep It Covered

One of the most important things to do for a hot tub during winter is to make sure it is always covered when not in use. This helps prevent heat loss from evaporation, as well as protect the hot tub against any debris or contaminants entering the spa water. Also, making sure to keep the cover secure with a locking mechanism enhances safety.

Check the Water Level

Depending on climate, during the winter months, the hot tub cover may become covered in snow, ice, or frost, which can lead to problems with the cover if not cleared off. Water-logged covers can allow melting snow and water accumulation to get into the spa. Make sure to regularly check on the spa cover and the water level of the hot tub. Draining away any excess water helps prevent overflow and damage.

Clean and Replace the Filter 

Another essential hot tub winter maintenance task is to keep up with cleaning and replacing the filter, as needed. Remember, you should clean the filter every two to four weeks in order to keep your water free of debris and contaminants. 

Starting with a high-quality spa filter simplifies upkeep. Filbur™ spa filters provide superior strength and flow with reinforced PVC center cores. Their DirtMaster™ media provides increased durability, cleanability, and remarkable filtration performance. The advanced formulation of the antimicrobial end caps is designed to resist deterioration from salt water or high chlorine concentrations in water. To ensure optimal stability even against heavy debris-loading conditions, Filbur equips its filters with wide support bands which are highly resistant to breakage. The blue filter media utilizes an antimicrobial protection feature that eliminates odors caused by mold and bacteria, providing a cleaner, safer experience.

Protect from Freezing Temperatures

The freeze protection system of a hot tub is an essential part of keeping it functioning properly during the winter months. This system is designed to keep the water temperature in the hot tub above freezing, even when temperatures outdoors drop dangerously low. It works by cycling a small amount of the spa’s water through its pipes and heater, ensuring that it does not freeze and damage the equipment.

Most hot tubs come with some form of freeze protection built in, although this may vary from one model to another. In general, most systems will detect a temperature change of more than one to three degrees Fahrenheit. Many spas begin running a pump which circulates warm water throughout the pipes and heater core when temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to ensure that no areas get too close to freezing, providing an extra layer of comfort and security.

While these systems can save hot tub owners from costly repairs due to frozen or damaged equipment in the winter months, there are still a few things they should do to make sure the system is working as efficiently as possible. 

Inspect the Equipment

The first step is to make sure that all the pipes and hoses are insulated properly during cold weather spells. This helps prevent heat loss from inside the hot tub while also preventing any cold air from seeping in and making contact with the sensitive equipment.

Check all of the valves regularly to make sure they are free from debris or blockages caused by outside elements such as leaves or twigs. Hot tub owners should also check on the condition of the pump filter periodically. If it becomes clogged up or blocked, then it will be unable to circulate warm water around the hot tub effectively, thus reducing its overall efficiency even further.

Finally, inspect the hot tub cover. Ensure that it is well-maintained and securely locked when not in use so that no extra heat escapes unnecessarily; this will help keep actual temperatures higher for longer periods of time — meaning less work for the freeze protection system overall.

Keep Up with Cleaning

When it’s particularly cold outside and spa maintenance needs to be performed quickly, having highly effective tools helps expedite the process. 

Unlike other products on the market, Paradise Scumbug™ and Scumbug Plus™ not only improve filtration in any pool or spa but prevent a scum line from forming too, while absorbing up to 40 times its weight in body oils. When it becomes saturated Scumbug simply needs to be squeezed and rinsed before reusing, making maintenance fast and simple throughout winter.

The Paradise Ultra Mitt is another essential tool. Featuring a lightly abrasive surface permanently bonded to a waterproof latex glove for superior cleaning power, this mitt offers maximum scrubbing capability without a lot of effort.

To efficiently clean debris from the hot tub, the Paradise Spa Vac™ provides a convenient and affordable option. The non-spill vacuum can be used in water depths ranging from 24 inches to seven feet without the need for batteries or additional water hookups. Its aluminum telescopic pole even extends up to over 7 feet. This simple yet effective tool easily rids the water of debris such as rocks, pennies, marbles, beach sand and more.

Monitor Temperature

Even if they are not using their hot tub, owners should still make sure to check the temperature every few days to ensure that the spa is working properly and maintaining its heat even in cold weather conditions. If anything seems off or uncharacteristic, then contacting a professional for help right away is the best course of action, so that any potential issues can be addressed before they become more serious problems down the line.

Keep Testing Equipment and Chemicals on Hand

The only real way to make sure the hot tub’s water is healthy and safe for use is to regularly test it with a quality test kit and adjust the levels as needed. Keeping enough testing equipment and chemicals on hand to avoid a cold, inconvenient trip for more supplies is essential. This helps keep the hot tub water clean, balanced and running at its best all winter long. AquaChek offers a range of convenient and highly accurate water testing products to keep spa water in the optimal range. 

To keep winter maintenance to a minimum, it’s essential to have high-quality spa chemicals on hand. Leisure Time® offers a line of spa chemicals that make maintenance effortless and reliable. This comprehensive line of products ensures that hot tubs are always pristinely maintained at all times of the year.

Following the above tips for winter hot tub care will help keep a spa safe and secure throughout the winter months, making things easier in terms of maintenance. To find out more about the quality spa and pool products and manufacturers we represent, reach out to your area’s pool and spa manufacturer rep at