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Hot Tub Maintenance Tips for Earth Day

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earth day savings hot tub tipsWhen it comes to protecting our environment, the benefits are often two-fold. Not only do you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing your part to help conserve and protect our planet’s finite natural resources, but in the case of hot tubs, there are some financial savings to be had, as well! Here are three easy ways to make your hot tub more eco-friendly this Earth Day – April 22! Save energy with improved insulation, reduce chemical use by using alternative sanitizers, and conserve water by improving your spa filtration and maintenance practices. Let’s explore how to make your spa or hot tub more environmentally friendly.

Save Energy: Improve Insulation

Hot tubs and hot tub covers are made to withstand mild, moderate and/or severe winter climates. Hot tubs that are not as well insulated as they could be, particularly around the sides and on top, take more energy to maintain hot water temperatures and overcome radiant heat loss. This becomes more pronounced during very low temperatures and high wind conditions. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to add more R-value to a poorly insulated spa. Pink brand insulation (Owens Corning) has lots of boards and thin bats that can be retrofitted into a spa cabinet to increase spa insulation.

On the topside, look at our Ultra or Works spa covers, for the best thermal performance in a spa cover. Replacing a thin, ill-fitting or waterlogged cover with a heavier weight 1.5 lb. or 2 lb. foam, in a 6-4″ taper, will really improve your hot tub’s insulation and save you money on heat loss around the cover. For high winds, which can seep in under the cover and cool your hot tub, our high wind straps keep your spa from lifting up slightly during heavy winds. Finally, adding a floating spa blanket traps heat in the water where it belongs, and the added heat barrier helps reduce heat loss even further.

Reduce Chemical Use: Alternative Sanitizers

When you reduce your use of chlorine and bromine, the Earth wins, because when you reduce your demand for chlorine or bromine, the supply (and production, and transport) slows down to compensate, as supply always adjusts to meet demand. Adding alternative or secondary sanitizers to your spa can cut your usage of chlorine or bromine by as much as half. Adding minerals or ozone purifiers to your spa helps remove the majority of the contaminants in the water, which in turn allows you to use a much lower level of bromine or chlorine in the spa. Some people use minerals and ozone together in conjunction with regular applications of non-chlorine MPS shock. The result is a completely chlorine free hot tub.

Mineral sanitizers for spas are so easy to use! Just drop the Nature2 Spa Stick or other brand mineral stick into the hole in your filter cartridge. Water passing by is instantly purified as it picks up the minerals. There are also floating mineral systems that will automatically add a supplemental level of bromine or chlorine to the water for you.

Connecting a spa ozonator is a piece of cake on any ozone-ready spa or hot tub. For tubs without a Mazzei injector manifold or other port to connect the ozone hose, you can install your own Mazzei injector into 3/4″ or 1″ water hose leading to a low-water ozone jet. It’s best to push ozone out of a dedicated ozone jet near the floor of the tub, but ozone can also be introduced through certain low wall jets.

Conserve Water: Adjust Maintenance Routines

anti-microbial-filter-spasYour spa filter is the most important part of maintaining healthy water. In fact, a good spa filter can be the difference between changing the water every 3-4 months, or even waiting longer if you have a really good spa filter. You’ll also need fewer chemicals to maintain water quality. There are some simple things you can do to improve water filtration for longer lasting water.

First, many spa filter cartridges are available in the standard square footage size (25 sq. ft. for example), but you can often find the same size filter cartridge with more square footage (37.5 sq. ft. for example). It’s the same dimensional size spa filter cartridge, but it has more pleats for more square footage, which translates to a greater filter surface area. Second, many spa filter cartridges are also available as a blue Microban cartridge, which kills bacteria on contact. The Microban never wears off, although the cartridge itself will not last any longer than normal. Another thing you can do to really improve your spa filtration is to add a second spa filter. We have a blog about that process in more detail. Having two spa filters can drastically extend the time between water changes, and with a large spa filter, a spa could conceivably go an entire year between water changes! Finally, remember that filter cartridges should replaced every 12-24 months, depending on how big your filter is and how often the spa is used. Regularly replacing your filter cartridge is the first step to maintaining water quality and preventing excessive water changes.

When you do change the water, it doesn’t have to go to waste. There are many ways you can recycle the water and decrease your demand. You’ll want the chlorine or bromine level to be as low as possible when you drain the spa (around 1 ppm or less), so try to avoid adding sanitizer in the days leading up to draining. Balanced water with little to no sanitizer is safe to use for watering grass, trees, bushes or other plants around your property. Just move the end of the hose coming from your drain, siphon or pump around the yard every few minutes to prevent water pooling or runoff. You can also pump clean water into a nearby swimming pool (if you have one). If you live in dry or drought-stricken areas, another option is to water your home’s foundation or concrete walkways and driveways to prevent dry cracks. If you are using a small submersible pump to drain the spa, you can also use this water to wash your vehicle or other large equipment.

 

Happy Earth Day from your friends at Hot Tub Works!

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