How Much Does It Cost to Own and Maintain a Hot Tub?

by Feb 9, 2017


What’s the Reason People Buy a Hot Tub? Hint: It’s More Than One Reason.

Just a few generations ago, hot tubs and spas were considered a true luxury item, something only to be enjoyed on vacation, at a heath retreat or other exclusive locations. Now, thanks to manufacturers like Arctic Spas, hot tubs and spas are now widely available for personal use.

The reasons why hot tubs are purchased are as varied as the people who buy them. Here are the most commonly cited factors that are used to justify a hot tub purchase:

  • Relaxation. With 24/7 schedules, ever-increasing work hours and stress levels higher than ever before, many people desire a personal retreat to unplug, unwind and rejuvenate. With in-home hot tubs, there’s no need to travel elsewhere to enjoy the relaxing benefits of a portable hot tub. This added “no travel required” convenience simply adds another reason to consider purchasing a hot tub!
  • Health. Hydrotherapy is quickly gaining acceptance as a mainstream therapeutic treatment, and there are many other studies that show how hot tubs and spas can help with diseases and ailments like diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia and many more. Beyond the intriguing health aspects, the simple act of sitting in a hot tub is one of the best ways to forget about daily stresses. The road to better health often starts with just letting go of worries and concerns. Few in-home accessories, if any, can top the health and stress management benefits of a hot tub or spa.
  • Entertainment. A place for family members to gather. A go-to spot for birthday celebrations, small reunions and other gatherings. A relaxing, well-appointed place to simply chat with friends. Regardless of the mode, entertainment plays an important role for many people who own hot tubs. Some people rank entertainment value as the single-most critical factor that solidified their hot tub purchase.
  • Family, friends & fun. Closely related to entertainment (above), this reason illustrates the human connection and emotional bond that surround a hot tub or spa. With a gathering headquarters firmly in place, many families can start to re-discover the joys of spending time together. Few places can forge family bonds like a hot tub or spa!

Friends chatting in a hot tub

The reasons people purchase hot tubs are strongly correlated with the benefits of owning a hot tub; and for most purchases, those benefits outweigh all other factors, including the ownership costs and maintenance involved.

The Cost of Owning and Operating a Hot Tub

Similar to the usage habits of hot tubs, the cost of owning and operating a hot tub have changed drastically throughout the past few years. When hot tubs were initially distributed for home use, their overall design and energy efficiency had major flaws; manufacturers concentrated more on their practical use than operating costs.

However, recent advancements by hot tub & spa companies like Arctic Spas have made great improvements in engineering and technology, thus reducing the initial costs and operating expenses that go along with owning a portable hot tub. One such innovation with Arctic Spas is FreeHeat technology, where the ambient heat generated by interior pumps and motors is used to keep the water temperature at optimum levels. Other improvements in hot tub accessories and components have also reduced overall usage costs, including:

  • Insulated covers. The ability to capture and contain rising heat in a hot tub is crucial to reducing heating expenses. With hot tub tops, such as the Mylovac cover from Arctic Spas, the heat stays inside, thus eliminating the need for constant heat and pump operation.
  • Superior filtration systems. Keeping a hot tub’s water clean is essential for minimal maintenance and operating costs. With today’s super-efficient filters, there’s no longer a need to constantly buy expensive chemicals and other harsh cleaning agents.
  • Better chemicals. With products like Arctic Spas Arctic Pure chemicals, owners can enjoy cleaner water with less time required to clean and maintain sterility.

Construction certainly counts, too. Consider the drastic differences between an inflatable spa and an all-weather Arctic Spas portable hot tub. Designed to withstand the most severe climate on the planet, Arctic Spas products provide year after year of dependable, enjoyable use. Plus, ultra-rugged construction allows associated components (pumps, motors, etc.) to perform at their full capacity. Flimsy inflatable spas, meanwhile, are unable to operate in inclement weather. The expense to keep an inflatable or plastic hot tub properly heated quickly offsets any perceived benefit gained by purchasing a less expensive spa.

A hot tub is a major investment, and ownership costs are often lost in the shuffle when figuring out total yearly expenses. The initial purchase, a new pump, a cover upgrade and other costs are more obvious than the day-to-day expenses. So how much does it cost to run a hot tub? If you purchase a high-quality hot tub and have an economical operating system – Arctic Spas provides customers a comprehensive low-cost means for running a hot tub year-round – expect total costs at about $1 per day.


Couple looking at the sunset in the swim spa


An extensive study performed by Arctic Spas further illustrated the effectiveness of a sturdy design and smart heat-retention properties. A foam-filled spa set to “economy mode” was compared against an Arctic Spas hot tub running at “normal mode.” This study, conducted in Colorado during early January, utilized standard 8-hour filter cycle operation. The Arctic Spas hot tub showed a daily operating cost of less than 60 cents, while the foam-filled spa was over 75 cents per day. The study’s average outside temperature was 7⁰ F and showed that Arctic Spas hot tubs are more than 25% more efficient than typical foam-filled hot tubs. What’s more, the Arctic Spas hot tub had a 450-gallon capacity, while the foam-filled tub was only 400 gallons; even with more water to heat, Arctic Spas still came out on top!

Thermal performance is another key factor in determining how cost-effective a hot tub or spa is. Solid thermal insulation characteristics shows how well a hot tub or spa can maintain internal water temperature. A different study, conducted by Advanced Materials of the Alberta Research Council, Inc., compared three Arctic Spas hot tubs against other models in a Steady State Power Demand test. Essentially, researchers wanted to determine the energy-efficient attributes of different hot tub models. All three Arctic Spas models ranked in the top-5 for lowest energy usage, including the top two spots. In a final evaluation of overall energy efficiency, Arctic Spas again finished first and second, with the Kodiak SS-1 and Kodiak SS-2 models, respectively. This thermal evaluation test accounted for:

  • Steady state power consumption
  • Cooling time characteristics
  • Specific steady state power demand
  • Ambient water temperature
  • Pump power consumption
  • Heater power consumption

One of the more astounding results from Advanced Materials’ thermal evaluation was steady state ambient temperature power demand. The Arctic Spas Kodiak SS-2 required only 149 watts of electricity over a 128-hour period, while the Cal Spas Atlantic used 503 watts over 130 hours. The Kodiak SS-2’s superior thermal insulation and outdoor-friendly design helps explain the drastic difference in power requirements, and hence operating costs.

The bottom line about hot tub operating costs is that they’re agreeable to most people’s financial bottom line. Forget the myth that hot tubs can only be afforded by the affluent; present-day operating costs prove otherwise. Most people can afford to own a hot tub.

Hot Tub Maintenance Costs: Separating Myth from Reality

Keeping a hot tub running is one part of ownership; another much-discussed yet often misunderstood factor is hot tub maintenance. The gap between hot tub maintenance myth and reality is wider than ever, but it shouldn’t be.

Potential maintenance cost and time – both real and imagined – prevents many would-be owners from purchasing hot tubs. Part of the reason is due to outdated thinking on common hot tub maintenance tasks. “Timetabling” a hot tub – adjusting pump and motor operation to optimize energy efficiency – used to require a hot tub owner to remain on-site, or have a friend turn components on and off on a regular basis. Even routine tasks like temperature and salt water adjustments required constant attention and personal attention. But recent hot tub maintenance trends are changing everything consumers think about regular hot tub care.

Hot tubs aren’t often regarded as cutting-edge technological products, like smartphones or automobiles. However, reputable and highly-regarded hot tub manufacturers offer a stunning variety of maintenance tools and resources to keep maintenance costs low.

Well-informed consumers realize that time spent performing maintenance tasks is another “cost” of owning a hot tub. Time is money, and most people prefer to spend as little time as possible maintaining their hot tub. That’s why technology is such an important factor with hot tub maintenance; with advanced interconnectivity, a wealth of information is instantly available, providing a decided maintenance advantage for today’s hot tub owners.

With advanced monitoring technology, today’s spa owners know exactly how much energy is required to run their favorite accessory. For example, shows up-to-date energy usage statistics for different time periods (24 hours, 7 days and 30 days), and also allows users to adjust sanitizer levels, all with the touch of a button.

What’s more, Arctic Spas also offers a power consumption monitor, with actual dollars and cents expense information, so owners always know exactly how much their portable hot tub costs to maintain and operate.

Spa Boy®: Next-Generation Spa Maintenance Technologydisplays of a Spa boy application on the smartphone

The maintenance costs of owning a portable hot tub involve real money and real time. But Arctic Spas’ exclusive Spa Boy® technology allows hot tub owners to seamlessly streamline their spa’s maintenance activity with little or no effort whatsoever.

The world’s most advanced spa maintenance system available on the marketplace today, Spa Boy® is the culmination of powerful, proprietary maintenance functionality and the convenience of control-anywhere connectivity.

Spa Boy® uses medical grade sensing technology to reduce operating costs. Water monitored by Spa Boy® is clean, safe and effective, because the sanitizer and pH water levels are constantly monitored. Intuitive controls enable Spa Boy® to activate the salt water sanitizer generator when sanitizer levels fall below acceptable levels. As these processes are going on, the hot tub owner is notified with 3-tier communications (spa topside control panel, the Arctic Spas mobile app and in case further adjustments are necessary.

Fully automated spa maintenance technology from Spa Boy® replaces the formerly time-consuming tasks that defined yesteryear’s maintenance activity. Aside from the time-saving aspects of Spa Boy®, owners also save money on less chemical and maintenance supply purchases. Other than occasional water and filter changes, all the heavy lifting is performed by Spa Boy®. Add it all up, and Spa Boy® is the most economical, cost-effective means to maintain your spa’s water quality.

Customers who’ve utilized the powerful Spa Boy® features all agree: for real-time, hassle-free spa care, there’s simply no better product on the market today.

Why a Hot Tub Warranty Matters

A good warranty will save money over the long term. Because a hot tub is a major investment, having a comprehensive warranty can eventually save thousands of dollars in potential repair and maintenance costs.

Arctic Spas has a well-earned reputation as one of the sturdiest, most weather-resistant hot tubs and spas available anywhere. To add extra value for customers, Arctic Spas also extends outstanding warranty conditions, which provide additional incentive to buy a hot tub.

Entertainment value, health benefits and simple relaxation have already been analyzed as some of the most common reasons customers eventually purchase hot tubs. Arctic Spas takes a 360-degree approach to satisfying customer concerns about purchasing a spa. Our up-front design, maintenance innovations, robust technological features and ultra-low daily operating expenses help reassure potential hot tub owners that they’re purchasing the best possible hot tub – and making a worthwhile investment.

Plus, the standard Arctic Spas warranty ranks as one of the industry’s most complete, value-added features. For the exterior shell, Arctic Spas provides a lifetime structural warranty – for as long as the customer owns the spa. Interior equipment and plumping components (such as pumps and air systems) are warranted for a full five years from the original date or purchase. Other components (for example, Wi-Fi, lighting components, etc.) also fall under a five-year Arctic Spas warranty.

Onzen System, Spa Boy® and other optional systems are warranted for two years against any malfunction or defects. Please review the complete Arctic Spas warranty page for more information.

Since Arctic Spas hot tubs feature a Total Access design, maintenance and repairs are less expensive and time-consuming than other brands, even after the warranty period has expired. Forward compatibility of electronic controls is another reason that repair costs are minimized. While other hot tubs become too expensive to maintain after warranty expiration, Arctic Spas products are almost indefinitely repairable, as evidenced by high resale values compared to other brands.

In conclusion, the maintenance and operating costs associated with an Arctic Spas hot tub or spa are minimized, thanks to a thoughtful design, weather-resistant durability, advanced technology, standard & optional features and a rock-solid warranty.

Since everyone can afford a hot tub, which brand is preferable? Arctic Spas features top-quality design and low overall operating costs making any Arctic Spa product a worthwhile investment. Many Arctic Spas hot tubs and spas are sold after years of use, and the brand enjoys a resell value rivaled by few other manufacturers. Long after other brands have been discarded, Arctic Spas hot tubs are enjoyed by their second (or even third) owners. And once an Arctic Spas comprehensive warranty is factored in, it makes the buying decision easier. To learn more about Arctic Spas hot tubs and spas, please call 800-309-1744 or visit your nearest Arctic Spas retailer.

Download the PDF version here!