Do outdoor spa baths need external heaters? | Hot Tub FAQs
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Creating the perfectly warm environment in your outdoor spa bath

Ambient water temperatures in Australia fluctuate rapidly throughout the year with the seasons. Heating your spa ensures that you always have a regular temperature, without having to constantly fiddle with heating elements.

An ideal temperature for an outdoor spa bath is between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius — the same temperature as your body. Maintaining this temperature should be relatively easy for most units in most climates. However, there are several instances when an external hot tub heater may be required to assist in regulating the temperature.

Oasis Spas stock a superior range of the best spas, ready to keep you warm and relaxed all year long. View our range, or visit one of our spa store Australia based showrooms to try them out for yourself.

Here are several things to consider when weighing up whether to buy a conventional model, or one with an external heating element.

Heating vs non-heating

Most heated spas are now designed to be permanently heated using a relatively small electric heater element. You leave the power on and set your required temperature, and your spa is ready to use at any time. This is an ideal energy efficient solution for most spa owners.

Non-heated spas will require the use of an external heating element. You can read more about these in the section below.

Heating elements

There are several ways to heat a hot tub, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to heating yours, you will want to choose an option that is efficient, fast, and energy-conscious.

  • Heat pumps add thermal energy to the body of water via electricity, gases, and conductive metals.
  • Electric heaters are another popular element, but may not be as energy efficient as other options.
  • Many domestic home spa baths use gas heating as a easily accessible and affordable primary heating system.
  • Solar heating is usually relegated for use in pools and larger spas, but can be used for smaller spas as well.

Choosing the right heating element for your spa is an imperative step in creating an efficient heating system. If you aren’t sure of what will work best in your backyard, it’s best to talk to a an outdoor spa expert, like a member of the team at Oasis Spas Australia.

How long it takes

spa heaterTurning your hot tub heater off after each use means it will take up to 12 hours to heat your spa before using it again. This will usually cost you even more to run than heating it permanently.

However, you might not want to keep it running around the clock. If this is the case, quick heat-up times might be important to your lifestyle for many reasons, including:

  • If you use it infrequently
  • If it is at a holiday home
  • If it needs to be off around children
  • If you like hosting impromptu parties

If this sounds like you, a spa bath gas heater is the best choice. For a holiday home, a heat pump could still be an adequate choice as long as your hot tub has a wireless module fitted that allows you to control and heat your spa in advance using a phone app.

Size of spa bath

If you buy a very large luxury hot tub, a heat pump is the best option. It can heat a large body of water for up to 70 per cent less than an electric heater and is both cheaper to buy and run than gas.

Climate and location

It’s worth getting an external heater if you are in a very cold climate. Extremely cold outdoor temperatures, like those experienced throughout Melbourne’s winter, may require frequent use of an external heater to remain comfortable.

Design of spa bath (insulation)

For outdoor spas with good insulation, it is not viable to use a heat pump or gas heater. The installation cost of the heater will not be covered by the savings in heating costs.

These heaters also take up space, but they are worth considering if your spa has minimal insulation, or no other features to reduce running costs.

Visit an Oasis spa store near you

When looking to buy a spa, search for one that is fully heat pump compatible. This will allow you to:

  • Run your heat pump from your spa touchpad
  • Use both heat pump and electric heater for extra fast heating
  • Use your heat pump to cool the water in summer

If you’re unsure about how to keep your hot tub comfortably warm or cool all year round, talk to Oasis Spas. Our team have unparalleled expertise recommending top-of-the-line spa models and external heaters to our valued customers, and we’d love to help you out.

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