gas vs electric hot tub

With three distinct types of heating systems available on the hot tub market today, finding the right one to suit your needs and situation can be quite difficult if you don’t understand the nuances of each. 

Come dive in with us as we dissect and compare these three different heating systems so that you can choose the best one and optimize your soak time.

Gas Spa Heater Pros and Cons

Gas-powered heaters use natural gas or propane gas to run. You can find gas heaters in free-standing wooden spas, portable spas, or in-ground spas.

Any gas heaters that come with portable hot tubs are installed externally on the outside of the spa cabinet.

A gas contractor will come and connect the gas line to the hot tub heater, which will supply it with fuel. To start the heater up, you will need to ignite it.

Pros of Gas Hot Tub Heaters

Lower Operating Costs

In recent years, natural gas has become far less expensive than it used to be. While propane costs a bit more, it doesn’t produce as many BTUs, which is better for the environment.

Quick Heating

When it comes to heating speed, a gas heater takes the cake over an electric heater. Gas spa heaters can easily increase the temperature by 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. Electric heaters, on the other hand, can take an hour or more to add a couple of degrees to the water temperature. With gas heat, you can keep your hot tub a cool or warm temperature, only heating it up when you need it.

Better for Colder Climates

If you live in a climate that is freezing year-round, using a gas spa heater is a great choice. Electric heating systems can generate much higher electricity costs during the winter compared to gas heating systems. Plus, when it comes to wooden hot tubs, spas that are poorly insulated, or spas that have more than 700 gallons of water, gas heater systems are a much better choice for energy-efficiency.

Cons of Gas Hot Tub Heaters

Higher Initial Cost

You will spend more money right off the bat on a gas heater. In many cases, they can cost up to $1,000. Plus, you will need to connect your gas line a tank with gas or propane. To bury a gas line, you might have to spend a considerable amount of money depending on how far you are running the line.

If you need to run it very far, it could exceed the initial cost of the gas heater.

You’re Dealing With Gas

While getting into an accident with a gas heater is a very unlikely scenario, it can happen. When it comes to any kind of appliance that deals with gas, you need to consider the risks associated with gas before deciding on the heating element that you want to use. Some of the risks associated with propane heaters or gas heaters include carbon monoxide exhaust and leaks.


Gas heaters aren’t small by any means. You won’t be able to simply hide them under your hot tub or spa. Because they use gas, you need to make sure that they sit on the outside of your spa with fresh air access and room for the exhaust to move out.

Electric Spa Heaters Pros and Cons

People will often refer to electric spa heaters as flow-thru hot tub heaters. These long, electric heating elements sit inside a tube made of stainless steel. You will have complete access to your electric heating system thanks to the fact that there are union connectors on the outside of the tube.

You will also find sensors that monitor water flow and temperature, which come in the form of high limit switches, pressure switches, and temperature sensors.

Pros of Electric Spa Heaters

Low Costs

If you live in a fairly temperate climate and have a hot tub that is well-insulated and comes with a high-quality spa cover that can protect from heat loss, then an electric heater might be your best bet. In these situations, they are far more cost-efficient than gas spa heaters.

In the case that you live in an area where utility costs are very high, on the other hand, the cost of electricity might exceed a justifiable price.

Low Purchase Cost

Compared to gas heaters, electric spa heaters cost a lot less. Typically, you will end up spending anywhere from $100-$300 for an electric hot tub heater. Plus, you won’t have to run a gas line, which means the installation process is much easier as well. Most electric hot tub heaters run on a GFCI circuit breaker and are powered by 240 volts and 60 Amps.

Of course, you will need an electrician to come to your home and install the GFCI, which can cost a fair bit of money depending on the difficulty of the job.

Low Maintenance and Repair Costs

Electric spa heaters are pretty simple compared to gas heating systems. If you need to repair your hot tub heating system, you probably won’t spend any more than $100 to do so. Gas hot tub heaters, on the other hand, can be incredibly complicated and can take a lot of work to repair, which can be costly.

Cons of Electric Spa Heaters

Heat Water Slow

With a smaller spa that is well-insulated and runs on a traditional 5 kW heater or 11 kW heater, you can probably expect a rise of 2-3 degrees for your water every hour. If it is very cold outside or there is tons of wind/rain/snow, that heat gain might drop down to as little as 1-degree per hour. Compare that to a hot tub with a propane tank or wood unit and you get really slow heating times.

Electricity Can Be Dangerous

Of course, water and electricity are not best friends. It is important that you first consider the accidents that can happen if you’re not careful. Of course, there is a reason newer hot tubs and swim spas come with GFCI protected circuits, as they can help deter any potential hazards.

Costs More To Operate

If your electricity is greater than 25 cents per kW, then it may cost you more to operate a hot tub that uses electric heat. Customers often complain about hot tubs that aren’t efficient in colder climates. While poor insulation can have a lot to do with why your water isn’t warm, a lot of the time it simply has to do with the fact that you’re running an electric heater.

Final Thoughts – How Should You Heat Your Hot Tub?

When all is said and done, we believe that hot tubs run better with electric heating systems compared to gas. They are much simpler to use and much more inexpensive in the short and long run. To run gas heat, you will need a constant supply of gas, meaning more trips to the store. Plus, with gas heat, you’ll need more external accessories to house everything.

If you live in very cold climates or places where energy prices are very high, you may consider going with gas heat instead. It truly depends on the circumstances. If you aren’t using your hot tub very often, having gas heat is great too, as you can heat your hot tub up quickly without using much energy.

Whether you’re ready to buy a hot tub, or would just like to see the lowest prices in your area, click on the button below! We’ll provide several free quotes from dealers nearby based on your ideal hot tub setup!

Photo of author

Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

Thank you for visiting

Leave a Comment

Business Finance

About Us

Business Finance News is a brand oriented to business owners and dedicated to analyzing and comparing the cost and conditions of B2B procurement of goods and services through free quotes delivered by business partners.


Address 5050 Quorum Drive, (75254) Dallas TX

telephone 844-368-6072


A personal loan is a medium term loan with a fixed interest rate that is repaid in equal monthly payments and it's usually limited to 24 months. Loan offers and eligibility depend on your individual credit profile. Our lenders can help you obtain as much as $3,000 depending on the lender, your state and your financial situation.

The owner and operator of is not a lender and is not involved into making credit decisions associated with lending or making loan offers. Instead, the website is designed only for a matching service, which enables the users contact with the lenders and third parties. The website does not charge any fees for its service, nor does it oblige any user to initiate contact with any of the lenders or third parties or accept any loan product or service offered by the lenders. All the data concerning personal loan products and the industry is presented on the website for information purposes only. does not endorse any particular lender, nor does it represent or is responsible for the actions or inactions of the lenders. does not collect, store or has access to the information regarding the fees and charges associated with the contacting lenders and/or any loan products. Online personal loans are not available in all the states. Not all the lenders in the network can provide the loans up to $3,000. cannot guarantee that the user of the website will be approved by any lender or for any loan product, will be matched with a lender, or if matched, will receive a personal loan offer on the terms requested in the online form. The lenders may need to perform credit check via one or more credit bureaus, including but not limited to major credit bureaus in order to determine credit reliability and the scopes of credit products to offer. The lenders in the network may need to perform additional verifications, including but not limited to social security number, driver license number, national ID or other identification documents. The terms and scopes of loan products vary from lender to lender and can depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the state of residence and credit standing of the applicant, as well as the terms determined by each lender individually. 


APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is the loan rate calculated for the annual term. Since is not a lender and has no information regarding the terms and other details of personal loan products offered by lenders individually, cannot provide the exact APR charged for any loan product offered by the lenders. The APRs greatly vary from lender to lender, state to state and depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the credit standing of an applicant. Additional charges associated with the loan offer, including but not limited to origination fees, late payment, non-payment charges and penalties, as well as non-financial actions, such as late payment reporting and debt collection actions, may be applied by the lenders. These financial and non-financial actions have nothing to do with, and has no information regaining whatsoever actions may be taken by the lenders. All the financial and non-financial charges and actions are to be disclosed in any particular loan agreement in a clear and transparent manner. The APR is calculated as the annual charge and is not a financial charge for a personal loan product. 

Late Payment Implications

It is highly recommended to contact the lender if late payment is expected or considered possible. In this case, late payment fees and charges may be implied. Federal and state regulations are determined for the cases of late payment and may vary from case to case. All the details concerning the procedures and costs associated with late payment are disclosed in loan agreement and should be reviewed prior to signing any related document. 

Non-payment Implications

Financial and non-financial penalties may be implied in cases of non-payment or missed payment. Fees and other financial charges for late payment are to be disclosed in loan agreement. Additional actions related to non-payment, such as renewals, may be implied upon given consent. The terms of renewal are to be disclosed in each loan agreement individually. Additional charges and fees associated with renewal may be applied. 

Debt collection practices and other related procedures may be performed. All the actions related to these practices are adjusted to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulations and other applicable federal and state laws in order to protect consumers from unfair lending and negative borrowing experience. The majority of lenders do not refer to outside collection agencies and attempt to collect the debt via in-house means. 

Non-payment and late payment may have negative impact on the borrowers’ credit standing and downgrade their credit scores, as the lenders may report delinquency to credit bureaus, including but not limited to Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. In this case the results of non-payment and late payment may be recorded and remain in credit reports for the determined amount of time.