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Maintaining Hot Tubs in Ottawa during Winter

How to Enjoy Your Hot Tub All Year Long, the Right Way

hot tub winterFor some owners of hot tubs in Ottawa, the obvious and sensible choice is to drain their tub for the winter, close it, and open it again once spring rolls around. Their loss! You, on the other hand, are more adventurous, and appreciate both the benefits and the fun of being able to use your hot tub all year round. That’s why you’ve decided that this year, you’re going to keep it open. Now that you’ve decided on that, though, there’s just the matter of how to keep it open throughout the winter.

Preventing Freezing

Every expert will agree, the first and most important consideration is stopping your water—especially the water in your pipes, which is most vulnerable and most liable to do serious damage—from freezing. Fortunately, many newer models (or at the very least models with modern thermostats) will have comprehensive freeze protection systems. These work by ensuring that the water never falls below a certain temperature, only expending the necessary energy to keep it from freezing (because it is more efficient to keep it heated constantly than to turn the heat on and off). If your tub doesn’t have this feature, monitor the temperature daily, and set the thermostat timer to run for 15 minutes out of every hour.

Pre-Cleaning

If you don’t want to be stuck outside draining and cleaning your hot tub in Ottawa’s -20°C weather, then do yourself the biggest favour you can, and do an absolutely thorough cleaning before it gets to that point. Make sure all your vents and filters are clean and in good condition, flush the plumbing, and then fill it, and you should be able to go until the early spring before you have to repeat the process.

Having the Right Cover

You likely already own a hot tub cover for when the tub is not in use. But for best results, you should be supplementing this with a thermal floating blanket that goes between the cover and the water. The thermal cover will prevent heat from escaping, protecting your water and keeping your energy expenditures low. It will also protect your proper cover from moisture build-up, keeping it in good shape. When it’s covered, remember to clear ice and snow that builds up on top, weighing it down.

Don’t Run the Air Jets

Your tub’s air jets bring cold air into the water, making it harder to keep it warm during the winter, and just costing you money. For best results, keep them off all winter—however, if you do use them while in the tub, turn them off whenever you’re not in the water.

Maintain an Optimal Water Level

A low water level could lead to the heating system turning off, which in turn leads to water freezing—which you’ll remember is the biggest thing you want to avoid! Always watch the water level, especially during long periods of non-use, and you’ll be set to enjoy the winter from the comfort of your hot tub in Ottawa!