Should I Leave Hot Tub ON All The Time? [Yes, However …]

Everyone has asked this question at least once, especially if you just purchased your first hot tub ever. Well, should you leave your hot tub on all the time then?

It is better to leave your hot tub on all the time than to turn if off every time you finish your bath. It takes less energy to maintain hot water than it takes to re-heat the water every time it cools down.

If there is a period in a year where you know you will use your hot tub more often, then it makes sense to leave it on and continue to cut on your electricity bill.

Does Turning Down Hot Tub Save Money?

Holding a hot tub at a high temperature, especially in cold weather, can use more energy and cost more money to run. The easiest way to save money on your hot tub is to turn the temperature down a few degrees. Each degree will save you approximately 10% on your hot tub energy bill.

Have you Gotten your Hot Tub Accessories this Year?

Honestly, when I experienced a hot tub for the first time, it was good enough for me. It hasn’t gone a lot before I thought how cool it would be to have a drink in my hot tub, watch a game or bring my food with me. I had no idea people already made things for your hot tub so you can do just that. I have a long list of hot tub accessories that might be interesting to you. Click here to read the article.

How do Spas and Hot Tubs Use Energy?

In order to know how to reduce your hot tub operating costs, you should first start by learning how spas and hot tubs use their energy.

The basic principle of a hot tub is to use electric energy to heat and constantnly circulate the water. A small portion of that energy goes into the lighting.

95% of the time, your hot tub will be covered and unused and this is when they use 75% of the energy. This is where the energy consumption phase starts. It extends by reducing heat loss from the hot tub cover and walls.

You would think that most of the energy goes into the heater itself. You would be surprised to know that a large chunk of that energy goes into the circulation pump as well.

The moment you take the cover off and start using the hot tub, the energy losses increase 6-fold and sometimes even more. In addition, if the jets are active with a couple of people being in the hot tub, the exposed surface will add to the heat loss since the hot water evaporates into the air.

Pumps with strong jets are known to use way more energy than the circulation pump.

Take a look at the preliminary spa energy performance results table to give you some idea on how efficient hot tubs can get.

Product Name VolumeVolume


CA Title 20
Beachcomer, 7401474389.4200266.6pass
Sundance Cameo1719378.9260261.8pass
Coast Spas, Lanai Silver1434454.2352295.4fail
Arctic Spas, Kodiak SS-11478390.5199267.1pass
Hotspring, Vanguard1288340.3135243.7pass
Arctic Spas Coyote C-601579417.2193279.2pass
Cal Spas, Atlantic1476390.0503266.9fail
Arctic Spas, Kodiak SS-21579417.2149279.2pass
Preliminary spa energy performance results

What Temperature Should I Keep My Hot Tub When Not in Use?

You might be asking yourself whether you should turn the hot tub off or simply lower the temperature down when you are not using your hot tub. If you are going to lower your temperature, then what would be the most ideal temperature to set?

If you plan to use your hot tub 3 times a week, you probably won’t save a lot by setting the temperature down, since it takes time and energy for water to re-heat. In this case, you should keep the same temperature as when you are using your hot tub.

Keep in mind that some hot tubs have their controllers go into so-called “summer mode” when you lower their temperature. This turns off the circulation pump or filter cycles to avoid generating any extra heat.

This might not be the best option to use during winter since you want to have your water circulate and maintain even temperature in all corners of the hot tub.

On the other hand, if you will be traveling and wont be using your hot tub for several days

On the other hand, if your use is sporadic, or if you know you will be away for a while, setting the tub down may save you a little money.

Have You Considered Switching From
Chlorine To Bromine?

There’s been a trend where people are switching from chlorine to bromine. I feel there is not a lot of information about that transition and how to go about it since you can’t mix the two. I have addressed the most common misconceptions about this in the following article.

Remember, if the tub is costing $20-30/month to heat, a 10% savings is only $2.50 a month. That is a small price to pay to have it ready to use on a whim.

I’d recommend setting it down to a point where the tub can reheat to normal temp in the lead time you will be able to give it. For example, if your hot tub heats 4-5 degrees/hour, and you are willing to wait for 30 minutes for the tub to warm up when you decide to use it, set it down 2 degrees.  If you can wait an hour, then set it down to about 4 degrees less.

Should I Leave my Lay Z Spa on All the Time?

Depending on how often you use your Lay-Z-Spa, in my experience it is best to leave the heater on whenever it is used regularly. It can be 3 or more times a week. I would recommend setting the spa between 25 and 35°C and then, if you wish, raise the temperature to 40°C before using it.

Since Lay-Z-Spa heaters are thermostatically controlled, they only turn on to raise the water temperature to the temperature you set. This is much better than letting the temperature rise and fall sharply, which could result in higher energy consumption. Pay attention to the ambient air temperature, as more energy is needed to keep the water warm during the coldest time of the year.

Note: A Lay-Z-Spa heater consumes 2050 W per hour when set to heat and 600 W when operating on the inflate/massage function. Therefore, I would recommend that you contact your utility company to determine your operating costs and rate to ensure that you are using your spa economically..

Should My Hot Tub Pump Run All the Time?

You should keep the circulation pump running all the time as it keeps your water fresh.

If you want to gain more control over your circulation pump, you should look for settings for the filter cycle.

Some systems can offer even more detailed settings on how long the filter cycle runs.

Circulation pumps have 2 functions:

  • constantly filter the water
  • push water through the heater

Having this in mind, you should definitely keep your circulation pump constantly on, and it should not be a problem.

Some systems have settings to shut your circulation pump off when the water is more than 95 degrees. This is suitable for areas where it’s really hot like Arizona for example. The purpose of this is to stop putting extra heat into the system.

Should I Leave My Inflatable Hot Tub on All the Time?

Inflatable hot tubs are known to have superb isolation because their walls are filled with air which is a great isolator.

Inflatable how tubs are not meant to sit in a storage and if you are buying one, then make sure to use it. Here is why.

Sometimes if you just use it from time to time, it is not uncommoner for the heater to not come on. What it usually happens is that the heater sensor corrodes. This usually costs around $50 to replace the parts yourself.

And this happens significantly more if you keep your inflatable hot tub sit in your storage rather than leaving it on all the time.

There are many people who would leave it on for a few months. The pump that circulates the water does not draw too much power so your costs should be pretty low.

And then when you want to use it, just turn up the heat.

I have a whole article dedicated to how inflatable hot tubs work and what you should pay attention to. You can click here if you want to get more information.

There are people who would rather choose standard hot tubs vs inflatable ones. The main advantage of the inflatable hot tub is the portability.

I spent some time researching these pros and cons between inflatable hot tubs and regular hot tubs. If that’s something that you would like to know more about then you can click here.

Can You Leave A Hot Tub Empty?

If you are asking if you can leave your hot tub empty during summer time, then yes.

You can leave your hot tub empty during summer. A lot of hot tubs have “Summer mode” that will prevent the heater to heat if your water temperature is above a specific temperature, such as 80 degrees.

So it is safe to leave the hot tub empty. However, if you know that you will be away for a couple of months, then the best thing to do would be to drain your hot tub before you leave.

If you are asking if you should leave your hot tub empty during winter, then the short answer is definitely no. But I have a separate article on how to winterize your hot tub where I write about potential issues that you might have in case you leave your hot tub empty. Check it out here.

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Emily Williams

Emily is a passionate Hot Tubs researcher who loves writing about all things Hot Tubs! She has years of experience and a knack for simplifying complex concepts, these articles are here to answer all your burning questions in a simple and easy to read style.
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