5 Inflatable Hot Tub Hacks (Maximize Your Energy Efficiency!)

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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Inflatable hot tubs offer a plethora of benefits. Not only are they straightforward to install and store, but they are also easily the most affordable way to enjoy your own personal spa at home.

Unfortunately, inflatable spas also lack many of the features of 'real' acrylic hot tubs. But are there tricks you can use to maximize energy efficiency and make your inflatable spa experience more enjoyable? You bet!

In this blog post, we’ll share some inflatable hot tub hacks that you can take advantage of to get the most out of your hot tub. So let’s jump in and learn how you can seriously up your inflatable hot tub game.

1. Boost the heat with a portable heater

A portable heater is a great way to increase the heat-up speed of an inflatable spa, especially for those times when you want an extra boost on a particularly cool day.

Portable heaters are small, making them easy to store and move as needed. This one is a great choice thanks to the built-in thermostat, so you don't have to worry about the water getting too hot:

1300W Titanium Fully Submersible Portable Electric Immersion Water Heater
1300W Titanium Fully Submersible Portable Electric Immersion Water Heater
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They can also come in handy if the heater built into your spa breaks or malfunctions. This way you won't have to risk your spa freezing in winter while you wait for a repair.

Always keep the heater inside a bucket, and never let the heating element touch your spa, or you could damage the material.

No matter your reason—to just warm up the water a bit faster or make sure your spa doesn't freeze in an emergency—a portable heater is a great tool to have around.

Just note that this is not a good long-term replacement for your regular heater, and don't try to use the spa while the heater is in it, as this could be unsafe.

2. Get an insulated ground mat

Having an insulated ground mat is a no brainer! A ground mat adds insulation beneath the tub to help maintain temperature levels at all times.

CosySpa Hot Tub Flooring Protector
CosySpa Hot Tub Flooring Protector
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These mats are usually made of rubber or foam and are designed to insulate and protect your inflatable hot tub from the cold, hard ground surface. If you plan on having the hot tub outdoors in colder climates, you may want to invest in a thicker mat or even something like an EZ Pad.

When you're shopping for an insulated ground mat, make sure you measure the diameter of your hot tub first. This will ensure you buy one that fits properly, and make sure that your spa is fully insulated.

Installation is quick and easy—simply roll out the mat, place your inflatable hot tub on top and you're all set to enjoy a cozy soak.

3. Build an insulated decking surround

For an effective and stylish inflatable hot tub hack, consider building a decking surround. This will give you somewhere to add extra insulation to protect your inflatable spa from outside temperatures, and also provide an attractive focal point for your outdoor living space.

This video is an excellent step-by-step example of how to do it:

Although a little more involved than some of the other suggestions on this list, with a bit of planning and effort, this DIY hot tub hack will really take your outdoor space to the next level.

4. Upgrade your lid

Inflatable hot tubs typically come with a flimsy inflatable lid, which not only isn't very well insulated, but also has a tendency to fail and start leaking over time.

Upgrading your cover is one of the more effective hacks you can do to insulate your inflatable hot tub (heat rises, after all). A good-quality cover will help keep heat in the tub, prevent debris and insects from entering, and provide additional protection against debris, weather, and other potential hazards.

You have two options for replacement:

  • Buy a new hardcover (depending on the size of your hot tub, this may have to be a custom order)
  • Build a replacement cover yourself

This video shows an example of the DIY option, using PIR insulation board:

Either of these will give you an easily superior lid for your spa. Just bear in mind that buying a good replacement cover is not cheap, so the DIY option may be more appealing if you're looking to save money.

5. Invest in an insulation jacket

If you have an inflatable hot tub and you're looking for ways to conserve energy and lower your energy bill, one of the best hacks is to invest in an insulation jacket. These are effectively an extra outer cover that fit over your existing lid, and provide insulation to both the top and sides of your spa:

Intex PureSpa Deluxe Cover, for 4-person/77in Round PureSpa
Intex PureSpa Deluxe Cover, for 4-person/77in Round PureSpa
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Your hot tub will remain warmer for longer, meaning it won't have to work as hard to maintain the same temperature. This way, you can save a significant amount of energy and money over time.

Make sure to measure the circumference and depth of your hot tub to ensure you purchase the right size insulation jacket.

There is obviously an initial cost to one of these. However, as you will be saving money in the long-term, it is well worth the investment. Your spa will be up to 50% more energy efficient, so an insulation jacket should pay for itself in less than a year in most cases.

What's more, in addition to reducing energy costs, an insulation jacket will also protect your spa from the elements while it's not in use—increasing its lifespan overall. What's not to like?

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