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Inflatable Hot Tub Running Costs – How Much Will I Pay?

Once you’ve finished reading this updated guide on inflatable hot tub running costs, you’ll not only be saving pounds.

You’ll have the lowdown on the cheapest way to run an inflatable hot tub in any month of the year. Tweaking how you use your inflatable hot tub regularly can result in big savings year on year.

Let’s dive in.

featured image for portable hot tub running costs

Inflatable Hot Tub Running Costs in the UK

So how much does a hot tub cost to run? Experts predict that it may cost between £30-£60 a month to run an inflatable hot tub but that was before the recent increase in energy prices. 

Inflatable Vs Hard Hot Tub Running Costs

An inflatable will be more expensive for sure. Portable spa running costs can be as much as £15 a week, whereas hard-shelled hot tubs can easily be under £10 per week dues to their energy-efficient pumps.

Lay Z Spa Running Costs 

If you want to know specifically about Lay Z Spa running costs, we go into that here.

When you combine the factors of electricity usage, the hot tub heating unit, circulation pump and massage system are all powered by electricity (inflatable hot tubs use a lot of electricity) and ongoing costs, cleaning the spa water, heating costs and making sure the hot tubs PH level is correct, the cost of hot tub ownership can soon add up.

Like anything, there are many factors that affect the cost to run an inflatable hot tub week on week, how many people use it, do you put an insulated hot tub lid on, how you maintain the spa, does it have an energy-saving timer like Lay-Z-Spa models and where is the hot tub positioned?

These are just a handful of factors that can influence hot tub running costs in one way or another. 

How to Run a Hot Tub Economically in the UK?  

Below we will share our expert tips on how to run a hot tub economically. The market leader estimates it costs on average between £7-£10 per week to run the hot tubs in their range.

So we have put together some tips to help save on your electricity cost whilst still being able to enjoy the fun and health benefits of hot tubs. See why a spa is so popular and what benefits it could have in store for you!

The most economical way to run a hot tub is by getting the things shared below right.

1) Choose the right size

It stands to reason the bigger the inflatable hot tub the longer it takes to heat up the more electricity it uses and the more expensive it is to run.

Therefore if you are a couple, who plan on using the spa a couple of times a week, for an hour, it’s not cost-effective to purchase a super-size inflatable hot tub unless you plan on having parties and inviting your friends around every weekend.

Yes, your big hot tub may be the centrepiece of your annual barbecue, but can you really justify the day-to-day running costs and the increase in your electricity bills.

2) Keep the heater on between uses

This may surprise some people but depending on how often you use your portable spa, it can be more cost-effective to have the hot tub heater unit activated continuously. Not only does this encourage you to jump into your inflatable hot tub more often as it only takes an hour or two to heat up, it also reduces energy usage making the cost of running your spa less.

If you maintain the hot tub heat setting at a steady 36-38˚C you just need to increase the heater an hour or two before using your inflatable hot tub, this can cost much less in electricity than letting the temperature rise and fall dramatically and is much cheaper than heating the hot tub water from scratch. 

3) Use the lid

The cover of your inflatable hot tub is not just there to prevent debris from falling into the water. It can also greatly reduce running costs. Hot water in hot tubs cools rapidly, especially when exposed to the unpredictable British climate. If left off, the hot tub will be forced to continue heating the water constantly.

The most common cause of heat loss is a damaged cover. The heat from your hot tub rises and consequently disappears through any gaps, rips or holes in the cover, so it is important to keep your cover in good condition.

When fascinated securely, it should provide an airtight seal which insulates the hot tub unit and dramatically reduces energy consumption.

4) Purchase a protector

If you’ve just bought an inflatable hot tub at a total cost of hundreds of pounds, you might ask why you need an additional base but keeping the bottom of your spa insulated is a fantastic way to not only reduce running costs but also protect it from damage and costly repairs.

The lay-z-spa hot tub floor protector is just one of many regular hot tub add-ons you can buy and place on the ground area and it won’t cost the earth.

A good quality protector prevents heat from dispersing due to contact with cold surfaces and also stops stones and sharp objects from piercing the exterior surface of inflatable hot tubs. 

5) Don’t fill with cold water

Most people fill their inflatable hot tub from the garden hose and while there’s nothing wrong with this, you reduce the cost by fitting a hose attachment to the hot water tap instead.

Here is a quick guide to filling a hot tub with hot water. Be careful it’s not as simple as it sounds and it can affect your tub if you don’t follow the instructions correctly.

That way the hot tub doesn’t have to start heating the water from scratch, not only does this not cost as much it means you don’t have to wait hours before you can jump in

Just remember to add some cold water to the base first and make sure it is no hotter than 40 degrees

6) Location, Location, Location

As mentioned above the water in a portable hot tub can cool rapidly in inclement weather so it is essential to place it in a sheltered position away from wind exposure.

That being said, we would advise against placing your lazy spa on grass, under a tree or shrub is inadvisable as leaves and debris will fall into the tub causing more cleaning and expense. Buy or build a windbreak or position in a sheltered corner by a fence.

7) Look out for bargains on chemicals

Added to your heating bills, chemicals are another part of running cost factors and are essential for your inflatable hot tub to make sure the water remains safe, healthy and at the correct PH levels.

The list is long, and the cost can add up quickly

  • Shock treatments
  • Hot tub sanitisers
  • Testing kits
  • Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Oxidisers
  • Foam removers

We recommend buying these inflatable hot tub essentials when they are on offer perhaps a 2 for 1 deal or when they are on sale.

Buying in a bundle from the major manufacturers like the Chemical Starter Kit from Lay-Z-Spa makes sense and is cost-effective as you get everything you need in one convenient box and it is compatible with most of their models.

For more information and a detailed guide for the best options currently on the market in 2023, check out our top spa chemicals page.

8) Clean regularly

Regular cleaning and keeping your hot tub in good condition means you will spend less cash to fix unnecessary problems like unsanitary tub water and mould. You can buy a kit or use natural cleaners to reduce the cost even more. We have a complete guide to cleaning an inflatable hot tub here.

For even more savings, cleaning the spa filters after each use will also help reduce hot tub running costs and also prolong their life. Blocked filters in the water do not flow smoothly causing the pump to work harder which uses more energy than necessary resulting in higher fuel bills. As inflatable hot tubs use a lot of electricity anyway these little things, you do to reduce the cost really matter. 

9) The PH level of a hot tub is important!

You will be aware that the PH level of the water in an inflatable hot tub needs to be regulated but why? The optimum range is between 7.2 and 7.8 water that falls below this range is acidic and not only will it make your skin burn and itch it will also corrode the heating element.

On the other hand, water which is above this level is more alkaline and will cause the water to become cloudy and cause scale on the working parts.

Also, the chemicals you put in the water will not work properly if your inflatable hot tub’s PH level is not correct. For example chlorine disinfection works at a PH level of around 7.4 so your hot tub maintenance costs will increase as well as electricity costs if the correct balance is not maintained. 

(Top tip – Drop kits work better than strips)  

10) Lower The Main Temperature 

A typical inflatable hot tub like a Lay-Z-Spa will have a maximum water temperature of 40 degrees, and whilst that’s great for being hot, if you consider a slightly lower setting, say 38 degrees, or even lower if you want. Not only will you not feel the difference when you get in, but it will take less time to reach the desired temperature and save on your electricity costs. 

You can also use a floating thermal blanket if you don’t want to leave inflatable hot tubs on all the time. These can save up to 95% in some cases and are definitely worth investing in if you use your inflatable hot tub more than once a week. 

11) Choose a Hot Tub With Good Insulation

Always look for an inflatable hot tub with an insulated floor and cover. This is a gamechanger for inflatable hot tubs in winter months when the air temperature drops as inflatable hot tubs don’t do heat retention very well so these little significant improvements will be more energy efficient and make a big difference over the long term. 

When there is a good level of insulation, it keeps the water in the spa warm and you dont have to keep turning it up to its maximum capacity. This in turn will help reduce your hot tub energy costs.

12) Little things save money

These days inflatable hot tubs are improving all the time with the big players in the market like Lay Z Spa developing more advanced technology every year.

For example, many hot tub models now have air jets. Air makes for a fabulous massage experience but it also introduces cold air, which will make the water temperature drop.

Closing the jets when not in use will increase the efficiency of your heater.  

Another bonus on some of the newer models of hot tubs is a power-saving timer this allows you to program the duration of the heating cycle reducing electricity cost.

Whilst having these added benefits may mean the initial outlay is more you could save cash in the long run, so do your research.


When to Switch off an Inflatable Hot Tub?

How Much Electricity Does a Hot Tub Use in the Winter


As you can see, there are plenty of ways to cut inflatable hot tub running costs, both maintenance costs and electricity usage. Using an energy-saving timer, utilising the insulated cover to prevent heat loss or filling the Jacuzzi with warm water

All these factors should reduce your energy bill. However, if you find you are following these tips and still spending more than you should run an inflatable hot tub, check your electricity tariff. It could be time for a change perhaps to one with an energy tariff with off-peak hour savings.

A smart meter is also a good idea for portable hot tub owners as it will indicate just how much inflatable hot tubs cost to run on a daily basis. 

This mega guide covers hot tub maintenance for beginners and is a great place to start.

John Devlin

Hello, Welcome to my website. I’m John, and I created the InflatableHotTubGuide while researching these spas nearly a decade ago. Since its creation, the site has become the leading UK resource for many models. As a passionate hot tub user, I love to test and explore all the latest machines this industry keeps creating. I hope you find our content helpful.