Updated January 15th, 2023
Inflatable hot tubs are a great affordable way to enjoy a hot tub at home or anywhere else you can set one up. Inflatable hot tubs cost much less than a regular hot tub to buy and install. They do use power and need chemicals, cleaning, and of course water. None of these are free. How much does it cost to run an inflatable hot tub? The quick answer is that it will cost between $50 and $160 per month to run but it depends on a lot of things. Let’s take a look below at what an inflatable hot tub costs to run.
How much does it cost to run an inflatable hot tub
The costs of an inflatable hot tub can vary a lot depending on where you live and how often you use it. Power consumption depends on how hot you keep the hot tub and how cold it is outside. The colder it is, the more the heater needs to run. The hotter you keep it, the more the heater needs to run to keep it hot. The more you use a hot tub, the faster the filters will wear out and the more chemicals will be needed.
The cost of the hot tub
The first big expense of an inflatable hot tub is the hot tub itself. The most common inflatable hot tub is the Bestway/Coleman SaluSpa. They run anywhere from $400 to $600 depending on where you buy it.
The next biggest cost after buying the hot tub is the electricity to heat it. A typical inflatable hot tub has a 1300 watt heater and an 80 watt circulation pump. The circulation pump will run always run while the hot tub is set up. The heater runs as needed to keep the water at your set temperature.
An inflatable hot tub only has enough power to heat the water 1 to 2 degrees per hour. If your water is 60 degrees and you set the temperature at 100F it will need 20 to 40 hours to heat up. The colder it is outside and the higher you set the temperature, the more the heater will run. To improve cold weather performance and reduce the heating bills, consider adding extra insulation to your hot tub. See our article on insulating an inflatable hot tub to learn more.
The cost of electricity averages $0.13/kWh in the US. An inflatable hot tub that needs 1380 watts or 1.38kWh to heat will cost $4.31/day or $129/month. If your heater only runs 50% of the time, it reduces to about $60/month. If it only runs 25% of the time it will cost $32/month.
Monthly Maintenance costs
Inflatable hot tubs need ongoing maintenance. Most inflatable hot tubs have a 6 week maintenance schedule. See our article on cleaning inflatable hot tubs for more information on cleaning.
Filters – The filters need to be replaced about every 6 weeks. Most inflatable hot tubs use 2 filters that cost on average $5 each.
Chemicals – Hot tub water needs ongoing chemical conditioning to stay clean and safe. You will need bromine tablets, shock treatments, and anti-foaming treatments. You could need more depending on how much you use your hot tub. Chemicals will run you about $10 every 6 weeks.
Cleaners – You will also need to clean the hot tub. Cleaning products will cost you about $15 every 6 weeks.
Test strips – You need to test the water in your hot tub every other day while you are using it. That means 15 tests a month if you are using it continuously. Test strips will cost about $8 every 6 weeks.
A 4 person Inflatable hot tub will need a little over 250 gallons of water to fill. Water needs to be changed every 6 weeks. The cost of water where I live is $12/gallon which is about average for much of the United States. Filling the hot tub with 250 gallons of water will cost $3.12.
Total Cost Per month
If we add these up, out cost every 6 weeks is $46.50. That works out to $33.58 per month for hot tub maintenance including filters, chemicals, cleaners and water.
Total Cost Per Month For An Inflatable Hot Tub
If your heater runs non-stop your electricity cost is $129 per month. Hot tub maintenance costs $33.58 per month. Your total cost of ownership each month is $129 + $33.58 = $162.58.
Tips for saving money on an inflatable hot tub costs
The biggest area where you can save money on your inflatable hot tub is the electricity usage. This is the biggest part of the monthly cost. Here are a few things you can do.
- Turn the hot tub temperature down if you won’t be using it for a few days. Remember it turn it back on in time to heat up for your next use.
- Don’t turn the hot tub all the way up to 104F. Only set it to 100F. The higher the setting, the more power is needed.
- Locate the hot tub in a sheltered location out of the wind. Wind blowing across the top will make it cool down faster and take longer to heat up.
- Make an insulating pad to set the hot tub on. Construction foam makes a good insulator.
- Minimize the use of water jets. Water jets make the hot tub water cool down much faster. It will stay warm longer while using it if they aren’t on. The colder your hot tub gets during use, the more heat is required to reheat it.
- Drain your hot tub during the months when you won’t be using it. You won’t pay any maintenance and power costs while the hot tub is empty and put away.
The below video gives some good information on how to save money on hot tub heating costs.
How much does it cost to run an inflatable hot tub FAQ
Q: Do inflatable hot tubs use a lot of electricity?
An inflatable hot tub will use up to 1.5kWh of electricity while the heater is running. The average cost of electricity in the US is $0.13/kWh. That works out to about $0.20 an hour or $4.70 per day. Your hot tub heater won’t need to run non-stop unless it’s cold outside.
Q: How expensive is it to run an inflatable hot tub?
Running an inflatable hot tub will cost between $50 and $162 per month. The electricity to run the heater to keep the water warm is the biggest cost. The colder it is outside or where you keep the hot tub, the more the heater needs to run and the more expensive it gets.
Q: Are inflatable hot tubs worth it?
You can get an inflatable hot tub, pool chemicals and a cleaner for $500 to $600. You can’t touch an above ground non-inflatable hot tub for under a few thousand dollars. You can buy several inflatable hot tubs and still be money ahead. For winter usage, you will be limited to days that are in the mid 30’s and higher with an inflatable tub. You will be saving a lot of money by losing those days.
Q: Do inflatable hot tubs pop easily?
No. Inflatable hot tubs do not pop or puncture easily. They are made from a PVC laminate similar to the construction of inflatable boats. They are thick and sturdy. You do not want to set one up on rough ground on top of a bunch of sharp rocks or sticks. You won’t puncture it sitting around in it or during normal use. You want to be careful using glass bottles in it. Broken glass can cut an inflatable hot tub and the people in it.
Q: Do you leave inflatable hot tubs on all the time?
Yes, you should leave the inflatable hot tub on all the time if it is setup and full of water. If you turn off the heat and pump, the water won’t circulate and filter and will get dirty quickly. Inflatable hot tubs don’t heat up water very quickly. If you don’t maintain the temperature it won’t be hot when you want to use it. It can take 30 to 48 hours to heat up the water to usable temperature when it’s cold.
Q: Can you leave inflatable hot tub out in rain?
Yes, you can leave an inflatable hot tub out in the rain. Most inflatable hot tubs come with a cover that will keep the heat in and the rain out. If it didn’t come with a cover you should get one. It can take a couple of days to heat up an inflatable hot tub after fitting it. The hot tub has to be built to be outside during sunny or rainy weather.
Q: How often do you have to change the water in an inflatable hot tub?
You should change your hot tub water at least every 6 weeks. If you are good at keeping it clean and chemicals in balance it will last that long. If you aren’t and people are getting in the hot tub dirty, the water will last much less. If the water is cloudy or visibly dirty you should change it.
Q: Can you leave inflatable hot tub up in winter?
You can leave an inflatable hot tub outside in the winter if it doesn’t get too cold. If you live somewhere that doesn’t get much colder than 40F you are fine. SaluSpas by Bestway have a feature where they will turn on the pump and heater if it gets below 40F. They can heat the water enough to keep it from freezing below that. They won’t have enough heat strength to get it up to 104F in below 40F air temperatures. You probably won’t damage your inflatable hot tub leaving it out in 30F to 40F temperatures. It won’t be able to heat the water enough to use it either.
If your inflatable hot tub is indoors, you can keep it running as long as the temperature in that room is 40F or higher.
You might also like:
- The Best Inflatable Hot Tub For Winter Helpful Guide
- How To Clean Mold From Inflatable Hot Tubs In 7 Easy Steps
- 7 Tips For How To Set Up Inflatable Hot Tubs
- Can You Put An Inflatable Hot Tub Indoors? 7 Helpful Indoor Hot Tub Tips
About the author
My name is Doug Ryan. I am a homeowner and love having get togethers and finding the best things to make spending time at home easier and more fun. We spend a lot of time at home so why shouldn’t we have a great time there? I decided to start Great Home Gear as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things home living with everyone.