How to Heat a Hot Tub Quickly and Efficiently

How to Heat a Hot Tub Quickly and Efficiently

Besides how to monitor temperature and chemicals, one of the questions we hear quite a lot about hot tubs is how long it will take to heat the water so it is ready to be used. 

That’s pretty understandable when you think about it. After all, when you get the urge to have a soak in a hot tub, you don’t want to have to wait for the water to heat up. 

Today, let’s take a look at how long it takes to properly heat a hot tub and what you can do to make it heat more efficiently and quickly. Remember, every hot tub is different and how efficiently you can heat and maintain your hot tub temperature can vary depending on where you live. 

How Long Does It Take to Heat?

Typically, a hot tub or spa will heat the water somewhere between 3 and 6 degrees per hour. How quickly it will heat depends largely on a few factors:

1. The ambient temperature outside

2. Hot tub cover on or off

3. Condition of your hot tub components

First, let’s examine the ambient temperatures. Basically, that is the temperature where your hot tub is located. The warmer it is outside, the less time it will take to heat. For example, if it is 76 degrees outside and you want your hot tub to be 100 degrees, it will take your hot tub approximately 4 hours to reach its temperature. 

You can decrease that time if you keep your hot tub cover on while it heats. Just like in your home, most of the heat is lost from your hot tub from the top. So, keeping the cover in place will allow it to heat much more efficiently. 

Lastly, we need to talk about the components of your hot tub. These include the condition of your cover and even the heater, pump, jets, etc. If these components are all in tip top shape, your hot tub will be able to heat the water much faster, but if one of these components is damaged or wearing out, it will take it much longer to reach its optimal temperature for use. 

How to Improve Efficiency

There are several ways you can improve the efficiency of your hot tub to reduce the time it takes to warm it up as well as save a little money on your energy costs while it runs. 

1. Check Your Cover

The sides of hot tubs are very well insulated to keep the heat inside the hot tub at all times. However, the top is completely open. That is why you have a trusty hot tub cover. 

This cover not only keeps your hot tub secure but also helps trap the heat inside your hot tub. If your hot tub cover is cracked or has holes, the heat has a place to escape. Keep your hot tub cover cleaned and replace it when it begins to show signs of aging so keep as much heat inside your hot tub as possible. 

2. Service Your Hot Tub

Over time your hot tub’s parts will begin to wear out. This includes your hot tub heater as well as the filtration system and even your jets.

When all of these components are in good shape, the water and heat will be able to flow freely increasing the efficiency of your hot tub. However, if they are beginning to wear out, you could find yourself waiting even longer before your hot tub is warm enough to enjoy. 

3. Consider Your Landscaping

One thing that many hot tub owners fail to consider when setting up their hot tubs is the landscaping. There are many things you can use to help reduce the pull of heat from your hot tub. You can use tree cover to block the area or even decorative wind shields to prevent airflow from cooling your hot tub too quickly.

Should I Leave it Running?

Finally, one of the most commonly asked questions is in regards to hot tub operation. Should you leave it running or turn it on and off when you plan on using it? The answer is…it depends. I know that isn’t the answer you were hoping for. 

Consider this, you live in a place where the temperatures are on the cold side and you like to use your hot tub a few times a week. In this scenario it makes more sense for you to leave the hot tub running. 

On the other hand, if you only use your hot tub occasionally and it is rather mild where you live, then you can turn the hot tub on before you want to use it. 

Of course, if you live in a place where it gets below freezing during the winter and your hot tub is outside, you will either need to winterize the hot tub and close it for the winter or keep it running all winter long to prevent the water from freezing and damaging your hot tub in the process. 


Unfortunately, there is no magical solution to make your hot tub heat incredibly fast. But, there are many things you as a hot tub owner can do to increase its efficiency so it will heat the water as quickly as possible. Just remember that even the best hot tub will take time to heat, especially if the water isn’t already warm. So start it up several hours before you plan on using it so you can make sure it is ready when you are ready for that nice warm soak. 

The post How to Heat a Hot Tub Quick and Efficiently first appeared on Swim University.

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