Can You Use a Swim Spa in the Winter?
When you’re in the market for a swim spa, deciding on the right model and variety can get complicated. There are so many variables. A common question that comes up when buyers are comparing a regular hot tub with a swim spa model is whether or not both types can be used during winter months.
Using a hot tub in the winter offers unique benefits like raising the users’ core temperature, relaxing and massaging muscles that ache due to the cold, and increasing circulation. But can the same benefits be found by using a swim spa during winter?
The short answer is yes. Absolutely. As long as your swim spa has a strong heating system that keeps the water temperature above freezing, there’s no better place to relax, unwind, and even get in a little exercise while you’re there.
Benefits of a Swim Spa in the Winter
Break from the Winter Norm
Endless days and weeks of cold, sometimes snowy/icy weather can be a major downer, especially for those who are used to being outside a lot during the warm months. Utilizing a heated swim spa can offer a temporary escape from the doldrums, keep you outside in the fresh air, and creates a bit of a backyard oasis, no matter the weather.
Treatment for Sore Muscles
The swim spa models that come with jet therapy, such as the Bullfrog Spas Swim Series add the additional benefit of the same types of hydrotherapy massages offered in other Bullfrog Spas hot tub models. Reduce inflammation and chronic pain while enjoying the outdoor weather—without freezing.
Year-round Exercise Options
If you’re looking at a swim spa, it’s likely the workout options are part of the draw. Because you can control the water temperature and decide how warm to keep your water, it’s possible to workout in your swim spa during any time of year—winter included.
Cost to Heat a Swim Spa in Winter
Obviously, this question comes with variables and potential differences depending on where you live. The main thing you’re probably wondering is if keeping your swim spa heated all winter will break the bank. The short of it is this: it depends on the spa. This is one of those situations where the quality of the spa you choose makes a huge difference.
Here are a few points to consider:
What material makes up the base of the spa?
This matters because heat has a tendency to seep into the ground when it’s cold, and if you’re in an area where the ground is constantly frozen, the base of your spa could be a place where you lose a significant amount of heat. So, find out what your spa is made of and how well it helps to insulate your water.
How well is the spa insulated?
We cannot stress this point enough. Excellent insulation is the biggest difference between loss of heat—or not. The harder your heater has to work to keep the water at the correct temperature, the more energy it uses, and that just costs you more money on a regular, consistent basis. No one needs that!
Is the cover high quality? Does it seal well?
The spa cover is the most common place for hot tubs and swim spas to lose the most significant amount of heat. Make sure your cover is thick, seals well when closed, and that it’s able to keep the heat inside the hot tub without allowing a lot of steam to escape.
What type of system heats the water?
Is it energy efficient and made to also utilize the heat created by the other spa components like the motor and the pumps? How hard does it have to work when the temperature is close to or below freezing?
If you look at the Bullfrog Spas Swim Series, you’ll find a great example of swim spas that are made to be well-insulated and energy efficient.
What Temperature Should I Keep My Swim Spa in Winter?
When your spa is in swim mode and being used for that purpose often, the average winter usage temperature falls between 69-99 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re using the spa more for hydrotherapy purposes and change it to hot tub mode, it might be more comfortable to keep it somewhere between 100-104 degrees.
A Few Tips for Using a Swim Spa in the Winter
- Keep a robe and sandals nearby to keep you warm when returning inside
- Invest in a towel heater so you can have heated towels available for when you’re done.
- Shovel any accumulated snow off the cover as soon as possible.
- Keep the path from inside your home to the spa clear of snow for safe entry and exit.
- Take advantage of spa lighting to light the way on dark evenings or mornings.
- Consider adding a pergola, awning, umbrella, or a Covana cover to cut down on rain or snow accumulation
Personalize Your Swim Spa
Purchasing a swim spa isn’t just an investment; it’s a lifestyle change that will benefit your entire family. Only you can decide on the best swim spa for you. Use our online Design Studio tool to select your model, JetPaks, and accessories. Once you’re done, you’ll receive an instant price quote.