7 easy ways to keep your hot tub cool in the summer
Hot tub too hot in the summer?
Alright… Summer’s here and there’s no end to the sweltering heat. Stepping in the shade doesn’t make much difference, does it; sweat still pours out of you as if you are a colander and there’s very little you can do to stop it.
It’s just a case of keep replacing that lost moisture with plenty of cooling liquids of your choice. Trouble is, the colder the liquid, the hotter you feel.
Your hot tub’s been sitting there, out in full sun most of the day and you can’t wait for the evening air to cool down, so you can maybe get in your hot tub and relax.
Problem is, as the day gets hotter you lose interest in more heat. If only you could cool it down so you can have a dip in the middle of the day when you need it most, and it’s been like that from early summer with this heatwave.
Have you considered draining your hot tub for the summer?
Almost a waste of hard-earned money, you say to yourself?
Fine, you bought the hot tub when the weather was cooler, when overheating wasn’t an issue and it was a real pleasure to just sink into that hot water and relax all those cares away, but now the air temperature’s getting over the 100F mark and it’s getting unbearable so that’s a long and distant memory, never to be repeated until everything cools down again after the fall.
But, there are a number of ways you can keep your hot tub cooler in the summertime although none of them allow you to cool your hot tub fast.
Fill Hot Tub Only To Lower Level
To reduce that hot tub temperature you first need to consider the amount of water you have in your tub.
When you filled it to the top level it took longer to heat up when you first set it up, so conversely, it would take longer to cool down.
By keeping the water level to just above the lower level when no-one is inside, that gives the pumps and vents enough water for them to operate properly and at the same time makes it easier to lower the temperature of your hot tub.
Use As Much Shade As Possible
By drawing cooler air into the jet stream you amplify the cooling effect of your jets as they enter the over-hot water.
If you are struggling for shade, how about a hot tub enclosure like the Sunjoy 10 x 12 Chatham Steel Hardtop Gazebo?
Keep The Lid On
In the same way, the walls insulate your hot tub to keep the water hotter, the lid works just the same to trap the heat inside, but the opposite is true if the outside temperature is greater than what you want your hot tub to be.
The insulating effect will keep the water cooler in the summertime if the lid is kept on rather than letting the sunshine directly into your hot tub, as water is a great attractor of heat if exposed to sunlight.
It takes time, but being exposed to direct sunlight over a full day may well raise the hot tub water temperature by 10 degrees, even if the pump is not on.
Adding Ice to Your Hot Tub
Adding ice to a hot tub is fine providing there’s no heating on, which should be set as low as it will go, but the ice should be in a sealed container rather than simply thrown in as it will dilute any chemicals in the tub and make them less effective.
People have used plastic milk cartons filled almost to the top with water to great effect directly from their freezer. The general recommendation is to use 1-gallon containers, maybe five or six of them and to add them a few minutes before you plan to get in.
This concept is fine, but, to cool down the water in your hot tub, there needs to be a large contact area between the water and the cooling milk bottles, so this means using 1-gallon bottles is not very effective, especially in the short term.
Better to use smaller containers, but more of them, preferably to match the same volume mentioned as this allows easier placement in your freezer and easier transport to your hot tub.
PLUS, adding the cooling bottles just prior to getting in is almost pointless in reducing the water temperature. They need to be in place at least two hours or slightly less beforehand so your pool water heat is reduced properly, and the pump can be switched on roughly 15 minutes before you enter to circulate the different temperatures evenly.
More than likely the water will have melted in the bottles within one hour, but the contained water is still cold and in effect gives around an hour and a half of cooling. It’s just a case of hoisting them out and pop them in your freezer for next time you fancy a dip.
Regarding freezing the water first, do leave a small air space in the bottle and squeeze out that air before adding the cap. Water expands when it freezes, so to stop bottle bursting in your freezer, best use this safe method.
Keep air jets on if air is cooler than 100
Another option, providing the outside air temperature is below the 100F mark, is to leave the air jets running as these do cool the water in a hot tub, as many have complained about when they’ve been trying to keep the water hotter during cooler weather.
If this is done, especially overnight when temperatures fall, you will find the water is much cooler for a lovely morning dip.
If the air temperature exceeds this, then try to avoid having the jets running during the day.
Turn Thermostat Down
Obviously, you’ve perhaps already tried this, but do make sure the thermostatic control is set to a lower level than you want, as sometimes these thermostats can be a little imprecise.
Try turning your thermostat down to 93F degrees or maybe a little lower. By keeping the water below body temperature at 98.6F you will feel far more relaxed in the heat of the day.
If, on the other hand, you want a cooling tub, drop it to 83F or thereabouts, which is still quite warm and suits family gatherings in any hot tub.
Many owners simply enjoy their hot tub once the sun has gone down as that way they need no sun protection oils to gum up the filters or form a scum on top of the water itself.
Prop Up Cover to Aid Ventilation
Here’s one I’ll bet you never even thought of…
If you take four or more tennis balls or something of similar size and place them under the corners of your hot tub cover while it is in place, you will find the jets and bubblers work better by not pressurizing the air below the cover when it is in situ.
At the same time the cover offers some protection from direct sunlight and also air can pass below the cover itself, causing some cooling of the water surface owing to differing air pressures, much like water evaporates from the ocean, but on a much smaller scale.
Incorporating some, if not all of these suggestions will extend the usability of your hot tub throughout the year so you can appreciate the real value, rather than set it on one side in the summer and pull your face and moan endlessly because it is too hot to use.
We’ve done most of these things and they have worked well for us when we’ve had heatwaves, but those are few and far between in ND, but further south it gets a lot hotter than here.
Our problems are generally keeping the heat in, here in Dokota.