Get The Most Out Of Your Hot Tub This Winter

Nothing is more relaxing than enjoying a warm soak in a bubbling hot tub in the middle of a snowfall. A lot of people tend to continue using their hot tub all year round, and there is no reason why it can’t easily be done. 

Using a hot tub in winter has many benefits, especially if winter use allows you to maintain a regular health routine. During the winter, maintain the hot tub just as you would in any other season, but with extra care in checking the water levels to avoid risking the water freezing.

Using a hot tub in the winter has many benefits and some added risks, like the body’s difficulty regulating its temperature. Yet, with safety precautions, you can easily enjoy your hot tub year-round. Sometimes it’s even easier to keep it open than going through the 15 steps to winterize it.

Can I Use My Hot Tub During the Winter?

Woman bathing in hot tub at mountains

Yes! You absolutely can use your hot tub in the winter. It can be quite refreshing with the warm temperature of the water and the cold contrast of the air. There are many reasons why using a hot tub during the winter can be beneficial.

Staying Warm While Outside

Soaking in your hot tub during winter allows you to keep warm while enjoying that fresh snowfall.

Cold-Weather Hydrotherapy

When your muscles and joints get cold, which happens more often in winter, you put more strain on them and risk pulling or injuring yourself during physical activity.

Soaking in your hot tub before exercising can loosen up the muscles and joints and allow for a better workout. Likewise, soaking after your workout can help you relax and soothe those stiff joints.

Friends and Family

During winter, there are many holidays that pass through and what better time to use a hot tub during one of those social gatherings? Most people enjoy using a hot tub, and it’s a special treat when you try one in the winter.


Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you are less stressed. If anything, you have more stress with the commute to work in a blizzard. So what better time to use a hot tub than in the cold after a hard day’s work?

Will My Hot Tub Freeze in the Winter?

The only time there is the danger of your hot tub freezing over winter is if you let the water levels get too low. If you aren’t draining the hot tub for winter, you want to ensure it stays within normal water levels so it doesn’t get too low and risk freezing, which could cause damage to the hot tub.

Regardless of winter, it’s always good to make sure you regularly check the water levels and keep them within set parameters or risk needing to repair damage done to your hot tub. 

How Do You Maintain a Hot Tub During the Winter?

Wooden furaco hot tub stands on the terrace on a snowy winter day

If you plan on keeping your hot tub open during the winter, there are a few extra maintenance tasks that need to be performed in order to do so.

Purchase a Good Cover

Covers are essential all year round, especially during the winter when heat retention is vital. You will want a well-insulated and tight-fitting seal with a high-quality cover to maintain that constant high temperature in the middle of the cold season.

Monitor the Water Levels

Regularly check your water level to avoid freezing. If the water level falls too low, you risk the hot tub components freezing and causing damage that could cost quite a bit to repair.

Clean the Water

Having clean water is important all year round, but you want to check the filters and maintain the water more often during the winter months. Simple problems that are easy to deal with in the summer could become quite a hassle during the colder months.

Change Your Water Early

If your regular water changing schedule is due in the colder winter months, it might be best to move that date up. Changing the water in freezing cold temperatures can be a bit more challenging, and there is the risk of the water freezing in your hot tub.

Turn the Jets Off

When you’re not using the hot tub, it’s a good idea to turn off the jets in winter. Jets work by blowing air into the water to create bubbles. In winter, the jets constantly blow cold air into the water, lowering the temperature and raising heating costs.

How Long Should I Stay in My Hot Tub in the Winter?

The general rule is that you should not stay in a hot tub for longer than 15 minutes if the water is 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius. However, due to the cold ambient air temperature in winter, you should shorten the time you’re in the water. 

Knowing the exact time depends on a number of factors like age, pregnancy, health conditions, and how submerged you are. The danger with using a hot tub in the winter, specifically, is the fact there is such a difference between the air temperature and the water temperature.

Your body can therefore have difficulty regulating itself, so you might not feel as hot as you actually are. To try and combat this issue, you could submerge yourself more or try wearing a hat to help the body regulate its core temperature. 

You might be thinking there is no big deal about staying in a hot tub for longer than the recommended time. Yet there are, in fact, several health concerns that come into effect if you remain in a hot tub too long. Such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Overheating
  • Skin rash
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness

Not all of these symptoms are recognizable immediately; some crop up when you’ve already been in the hot tub way too long and something more serious is occurring. For instance, you might not feel dizzy until you stand up and attempt to get out of the hot tub. 

How Do I Prep My Hot Tub for the Winter?

Covered hot tub on a residential porch in a snow storm

If you’ve decided that using your hot tub in the winter isn’t for you, then the other option is to winterize the hot tub. Doing so requires a few extra steps at the end of the hot tub season since just emptying the spa isn’t good enough. Up to 6 gallons of water can remain in the pumps and pipes after draining the hot tub, which, if left there over winter, can freeze and burst the pipes.

What You’ll Need to Winterize Your Hot Tub

How to Winterize Your Hot Tub

  1. Add the Spa System Flush before draining, and thoroughly clean the plumbing to avoid bacteria or mold growth. Make sure you allow this to circulate for a few minutes, but overnight is best.
  1. Shut off the power to the spa at the service panel and disconnect it from the breaker.
  1. Fully drain the spa. At this point, you can use the Shake-A-Vac or drain pump to make it empty faster and remove any grit or debris from the foot well.
  1. Remove the filters and discard any filter that is older than a year. Clean the remaining filters using the filter cleaner and proceed to dry and store them indoors.
  1. If you have a blower, unplug the heater at the back or disconnect the heater terminals. Next, power the hot tub on, and with the cover still on, turn the blower on in 15 to 30-second intervals. Repeat this step until all water is purged from the air lines, and then turn the hot tub off again and disconnect from the breaker.
  1. Loosen unions and drain plugs to allow water to drain from the pump and heater. Retighten everything except the pump discharge unions.
  1. Close the air control knobs for your jets, and if you have adjustable jets, open them all the way. Then, using a wet-vac, blow air into each jet face twice, moving from top to bottom of the hot tub.
  1. Clean the spa shell with the non-foaming pH-balanced cleaner and rinse well.
  1. Use a wet-vac to remove any leftover water.
  1. Dry all the spa surfaces with a towel, including inside the filter area, cup holders, and ice bucket.
  1. Apply 303 Aerospace Protectant to the hot tub shell and clean the cover.
  1. Dilute the antifreeze as directed by the bottle and pour one gallon of the mixture into the filter area and one gallon into each pump discharge. Tighten the pump discharge unions.
  1. Replace cabinet panels and secure all screws and latches, including cover buckles.
  1. Use ratchet straps for extra protection against the cover blowing off.
  1. Cover the hot tub with a cover or weighted tarp to prevent water from seeping in.

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