HQ Architecture + [winter]

Hot Tubs: Making the Most from the Ultimate Garden Luxury in Winter
Garden furniture

The thought of tip-toeing out into your garden half-naked in the middle of winter might be enough to send shivers down your spine in itself. However, some people are more than happy to do it and with the UK temperatures being surprisingly high for this type of year, it would be fair to say that more and more hot owners are taking to winter use.

Of course, if you don't have any plans for jumping in until the summer periods, it's probably better to completely power it down for a few months. However, if you're in the other boat, here is a selection of tips that will ensure that your hot tub is going to withstand the perils of winter...

Conduct a stock check

First and foremost, it's important to get your stock in order. What we're referring to here is all of the hot tub water cleaning chemicals that you tap into throughout the year. Most people order these online now and if you are part of this group, you won't have a problem. However, a lot of high-street outlets are immediately under the impression that winter signals the end to hot tub usage, so don't think that you'll be able to pop to your local store when supplies run low.

Preventing contamination at this period of the year is even more important than ever, but don't immediately think you’ll be able to obtain the chemicals at the drop of a hat.

Guard against the big freeze

The beauty of modern hot tubs is that most contain a freeze protection system. This does exactly as it says on the tin; it prevents any serious damage to your system if the temperature drops considerably and threatens your hot tub mechanics.

Many years ago, before advanced features were installed in these devices, low temperatures could result in the pipes freezing over. Suffice to say, this usually spelled disaster, but with the aid of freeze protection systems it means that the tub water is always regulated and guards against the pipes becoming susceptible to the elements.

Assess your cover

Take a look at the gardens featured on this site and you'll notice one thing, all of the hot tubs are top of the range. However, this will count for absolutely nothing if the owner decides to opt for a budget cover.

It might sound like a meaningless accessory at first, but one could argue that the cover is almost as important as the tub itself. A decent one will insulate the water and keep the heat in — which is essential to prevent any dangerous freezing to parts.

Therefore, make sure yours is up to scratch. If in doubt, either buy a new one or treat the surface to at least give it extra protection from the wintery conditions.

Turn off the jets

If you're not the most energy-savvy hot tub owner out there, there's every chance you leave the air jets running for long periods of time. When it gets to winter, it's time to snap out of this bad habit — it will cost you an arm and a leg.

In summer, the difference won't really be noticeable, but allow your water to become consumed with freezing cold air and the system will have to work extra hard to regulate the temperature.

Monitor the levels

You can have the best cover, the best freeze protection systems and the best storage in your back yard — but there will be substantial changes in temperature to your water throughout winter. This can unfortunately affect the water levels considerably.

This is probably the biggest winter-related problem with hot tubs, and also one that few people realise even exists. If your water levels do get too low, the heater pump runs the risk of not being able to reach the water that is in there. This can cause the whole pool to freeze over and needless to say, this is a time-consuming and costly issue to rectify. Running into the garden, whipping off the cover and finding a block of ice in there is hardly the most enticing way to use a hot tub in the middle of January, after all...

Keep the temperature steady

And finally, if you haven't got the message already, make sure that the water temperature remains at a decent level throughout the season. Rather than simply heat the water up when you jump in, it actually works out cheaper to mildly heat it indefinitely. Additionally, in a bid to reiterate what has also been touched on throughout the post, it again minimises the risk of a big freeze and a big repair job to your whole tub.