How to Choose the Best Spa for Cold Weather Climates

For many, winter hot tubbing is a lifestyle and a passion. It restores the feeling of magic into the season of ice and snow while transforming your deck into a year-round refuge.

When you’re looking for the best hot tubs for winter use, it comes down to warmth and energy efficiency. But the tradeoff doesn’t have to be paying sky-high electricity bills just to maintain the right water temperature.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know to select a hot tub that’s tough enough to withstand even the coldest winter climates.

How to Select the Best Hot Tub for Winter Use

As mentioned earlier, what makes winter hot tubbing possible is comfort, design and performance. It will need adequate protection against freezing weather without making the heater work around the clock.

Here are the three elements that make a hot tub suitable for outdoor winter use, and what to look for.

Well-designed insulation

Just like the home you live in, your hot tub needs good insulation. Insulation can’t stop the loss of heat. Still, it can slow it down significantly, and put money back into your pocket in the form of energy savings. When shopping for your hot tub, request details about the insulation, including density and materials and rating. High-quality insulation will keep your electric bills low while protecting the performance of your hot tub.

A fitted, well-insulated cover

Your hot tub cover isn’t just a shield against the snow. It’s designed to prevent the escape of heat and water vapor. The cover should be a custom fit and form a tight seal. Beneath the durable, moisture-proof vinyl cover should be a thick layer of insulation. Keeping it in place will help your hot tub maintain its temperature. It also prevents the rapid water evaporation that often accompanies those cold, dry winter days.

An energy efficient system

One thing that can increase your hot tub’s energy usage in the winter is the need to maintain an even temperature. If the water is allowed to sit throughout the day, you’ll find some areas can get very cold. To prevent the pockets of cold from turning into damage-causing ice, some winter hot tub guides will advise you to activate the jets to circulate water and maintain that optimal temperature evenly. Running the jets consumes a lot of energy. When choosing a hot tub for winter use, ask about energy-saving features. For example, a hot tub with a low wattage pump can be effective at maintaining water temperatures while reducing heater use. Over time, the savings can be substantial.

Knowing which features to look for in the right hot tub for winter use is half the battle. Make the above three components a priority, and you will gain a winter refuge that will provide years of relaxation, renewal and enjoyment.

What You Need to Know About Using Hot Tubs in the Winter

Being mindful of these simple winter guidelines will reward you with a relaxing, enjoyable new way to enjoy the snowy landscape! Here’s what you need to know about winter hot tub use.


Regardless of the time of year, an essential part of maintaining clean, well-balanced spa water is draining the tub and refilling it with fresh water once every three months. Getting this done early before the cold arrives will make your life easier. That’s where the FreshWater® Salt System comes as an advantage, because you don’t have to refill it as often. Otherwise, be sure and save the task for a good-weather day when temperatures are above freezing. Because after refilling the tub, it will take some time before the water reaches that optimal temperature.

Energy use

When your hot tub is designed for winter use and energy-efficient, you can use it just about as often as you like without concern about wasted energy. Caldera Spas have energy-efficient features that keep it warm all winter long, without letting the pipes freeze. During downtime, Caldera Spa’s EnergyPro® circulation pump periodically pumps water through the filters to maintain even water temperature, while the EnergyPro® heater ensures water stays well above freezing point. As long as you replace the cover immediately, you can use your Caldera Spas hot tub without seeing the difference in your electricity bill.


During the winter, take just a moment to check the temperature each day. This simple step can give you a valuable heads up warning that something has gone wrong. Whether the heater needs servicing or your power source has been cut off, a lower-than-expected temperature caught early can buy you and your service provider enough time to fix the problem before the pipes freeze.

Importance of a healthy cover

A damaged cover isn’t just an eyesore. When it gets torn, cracked or damaged, the cover can’t do its job of sealing in the heat and keeping water from evaporating. Over time, a lack of proper coverage can have a cascading effect on your hot tub system. If the heater and circulation pumps are working overtime to prevent freezing, that can wear out components prematurely and cause breakage. To ensure good coverage, only use covers that are specifically designed for your spa. Caldera covers are high quality with long-lasting durability, so you can look forward to years of winter enjoyment with your hot tub.

Just take time for care and preventive maintenance of your investment, and your hot tub will turn your winter into the most wonderful time of the year.

Discover what Caldera Spas has in store for you by checking out this buyer's guide.

Ready to transform your definition of winter? Schedule a test soak with your local Caldera Spas dealer.