3 Costs to Figure In When Buying a Hot Tub

It’s so exciting when you decide to take the plunge and buy a hot tub! We know you’re mostly looking forward to unwinding in the warm water after a long day, easing sore muscles with a hydromassage, and inviting friends and family over for hot tub parties. But, you’re probably also wondering, “what are all the costs I should account for?” Here’s what to expect. 

The Hot Tub

When you’re hot tub shopping, you’ll see a range of price options. From entry-level to high-end spas, we can help you pinpoint the best hot tub model for your needs. As you compare models and brands, one thing to remember is that the cost of your hot tub involves more than just the price on the tag. Once you get your new spa home, the month-to-month operating costs are what will matter most. And energy-efficient high-end spas cost less to operate each month. So, with an entry-level hot tub, you’ll see upfront savings but more expensive ongoing costs. With a high-end spa, you can expect to save money on operation, maintenance, and upkeep. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Energy Efficiency – Two of the biggest features that impact energy efficiency are insulation and whether or not the hot tub has a dedicated circulation pump. When it comes to insulation, high-end spas use more and/or heavier insulation. This keeps your hot tub water warm so you don’t have to consume unnecessary energy heating it. For the highest energy efficiency, look for a hot tub with a dedicated circulation pump. It uses little energy to circulate the water 24/7. Without a circulation pump, the larger pumps will consume more energy to turn on periodically and circulate the water. 
  • Materials – There’s quite a difference between high-end and entry-level hot tubs when it comes to materials. And not just in the interior components. A high-end spa is usually crafted with an expensive acrylic shell. An entry-level hot tub has a durable plastic shell that simply doesn’t last as long. This means you can expect an entry-level hot tub to need to be replaced in as little as 5 years, while a high-end hot tub should last for 20 years or more. 

Site Preparation

When it’s filled, your hot tub will weigh more than two tons. So, making sure your site is prepared and structurally-sound is essential. Generally, we recommend a 4” thick concrete slab. You could also go with 4 to 6 inches of compacted gravel. If you want your spa installed on your deck, gazebo, or in your 3-season room, you’ll need to figure in a contractor to make any upgrades that might be needed to bear the weight. 

Unless you go with a Plug-N-Play Freeflow Spa that can work with your existing electrical, also plan on hiring an electrician to handle the electrical requirements of a 220V spa. 

Ongoing Operating Costs

When you pick a great hot tub, the operating costs are minimal. Here’s what you can expect when it comes to regular expenses:

  • Electricity – As we mentioned above, not all hot tubs are the same and some make a bigger impact on your utility bill than others. High-end, energy-efficient hot tubs can cost as little as $10-20 per month. For a more specific estimate on each individual Hot Spring® Spas model, try out this energy calculator.
  • Hot Tub Chemicals and Filter – When you start using your new hot tub, you’ll notice that the more often you use it and the more bathers you invite to soak with you, the more frequently you need to adjust the water balance. So, when it comes to water care, it depends on what chemicals you’re using and how often you need to use them. But, for traditional water care, you can expect to spend about $20 per month.  

The great thing about shopping local is that we’re here to answer every question that comes up, from showing you all the differences between entry-level and high-end hot tubs in person, to helping you pick the right site for your hot tub, to always answering your water care and maintenance questions, long after the sale. If you’re ready to shop for your ideal spa, or you’ve got other questions about what to expect as a hot tub owner, visit us! We’d love to be your spa dealer.