Most 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 bath is ready to use at any time.
Turning your heater off after each use means it will take up to 12 hours to heat your hot tub before use – and will usually cost you even more to run than heating it permanently.
For outdoor spas with good insulation, it is not viable to use a heat pump or gas heater as the installed 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
- If the spa bath is very large – and this is where a heat pump is the best
option as it can heat a large body of water for up to 70% less than
an electric heater and is both cheaper to buy and run than gas.
- Your spa has minimal insulation or no other features to reduce running costs
- You are in a very cold climate (where you may otherwise want to keep it heated)
- Quick heat up times are very important i.e if you use your spa infrequently or if it is at a holiday home. In this case a gas heater is the best choice. For a holiday home a heat pump could still be the best choice as long as your spa bath has a wireless module fitted that allows you to control and heat your hot tub in advance using a phone app.
Buy a spa that is fully heat pump compatible as this will allow you to run your heat pump from your hot tub touch pad, use both heat pump AND electric heater for extra fast heating and also use your heat pump to cool the water in winter.