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minimum temperature for hot tub in summer

What is the minimum comfortable temperature for use?

Most manufacturers recommend setting your hot tub to maintain a balmy 100°F the majority of the time. This strikes a balance between usable temperature and energy efficiency.

However, the majority of hot tub users prefer water temperature in the 100°F-102°F range, so you might have to crank it up a degree or two when you want to use the spa.

What you consider a comfortable minimum temperature will also depend on your climate, of course. So on a hot summer’s day in Texas, you’ll want much cooler water than if you were hot tubbing in the snow in the middle of winter in Toronto.

If you’re not sure what’s comfortable for you, experiment by setting your spa at body temperature (98.6°F or 37°C) initially. Then if that feels too cold, increase the heat in gradual increments until you find your comfort zone.

It’s also worth noting that the CDC recommends a maximum of 104°F. You shouldn’t need to leave your tub this warm all the time, but it’s useful to know to help you avoid potential health risks.

Hot tub temperature for children

Kids have a lower tolerance for hot temperatures. In fact, children under age 5 should not be in hot tubs over 95°F, and should only remain in hot tubs for 5-10 minutes at a time.

So, if you have kids or grandkids, know that the comfortable minimum for them may be significantly cooler than what it would be for you.

What temperature should I set my hot tub when on vacation?

When you’re away from home, you can set your spa to maintain a lower temperature, which can save energy and money.

If you’re just going away for a few weeks, most hot tubs have a setting designed for exactly this. It will maintain the temperature at around 15 degrees lower than normal, and is often called something like or ‘economy’ or ‘sleep’ mode—so look out for this in your manual.

When you get back from your trip, simply set the spa back to standard mode, and it’ll heat back up to your regular temperature.

How cold is too cold for a hot tub?

If you live in a colder climate and experience freezing winter temperatures, you’ll need to decide whether you want to use your hot tub throughout the winter months.

If you don’t plan to use it over this extended period—or at least not enough for it to be worth the elevated electricity costs—consider winterizing it.

You should never let your hot tub freeze, as this can burst pipes and damage equipment. Instead, winterize it properly by draining and cleaning the spa, then remove all water from the pipes before leaving it off over winter.

Can you use a hot tub with cold water?

Most hot tubs will typically go as low as 80 degrees, which essentially turns the heater off. So if you live in tropical or desert climate, it’s totally okay to turn the temperature down as low as it will go.

But what if you want even colder water?

Temporary ways to cool down your spa

If 80°F isn’t cold enough, you can always top up the spa with cold water from the hose, or even add some ice for an instant fix on a very hot day.

Just be sure to check and adjust your water balance after though, as introducing new water could change your pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness.

Maintaining cold water in hot tubs

The above solutions work as temporary ways to cool the water, but there are also more consistent ways to keep the water cool.

Some spa brands like Caldera and Hot Spring offer integrated CoolZone™ hot tub cooling systems as an add-on.

Another manufacturer to check out is Atera Spas. Their spas are built with patented cold-to-hot technology, and they also offer dual-zone swim spas if you want a warm hot tub and cool swim spa in one.

With some of these systems, you can get your spa as low as 60 degrees.

How do you balance energy consumption and spa temperature?

Energy usage is a concern for many hot tub owners, both for ecological and financial reasons.

You might think you should lower the temperature of your spa when it’s not in use. Less heating means less energy used, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t as wise as a decision as you might think.

Turning down the temperature between uses—especially if you take a dip several times a week—can actually increase energy costs.

Did you know? Heating a spa from cold to hot actually puts more strain on the heating system and and consumes more energy than it takes to simply maintain the temperature at a consistent warm level.

That’s why 100°F is a perfectly reasonable temperature to leave your spa, whenever it’s in relatively frequent use.

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I love our hot tub. But with Texas summers often being over 100°, jumping into a hot tub at 104° isn’t very appealing. So we’ve wondered can you use a hot tub in the summer?

I did a little research, and here’s what I found out:

As a general rule, hot tubs can be used in summer, and throughout the entire year. But a hot tub will be more enjoyable by lowering the temperature to 95 degrees. And in extremely hot climates, switch the hot tub’s mode to economy or sleep which drops the temperature below the set point.

Having a way to enjoy your hot tub at any time of the year, including the summer, can help you to remain relaxed and refreshed no matter what the temperature is outside.

In this article, we are going to show you how, even in the middle of summer, you can still have fun with your hot tub.

Ready to Spend Less Time On Maintenance and More Time Enjoying Your Hot Tub?

Let’s face it. Balancing the water, cleaning filters, dealing with rashes, and trying to figure out which chemicals to buy and add can make you feel more like a chemist than someone who just wants to relax after a long hard day!

That’s exactly why The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course is so valuable!

This is from Matt over at Swim University and he developed it for people looking to save money, time, and frustration. His tips on chemicals can save you $100/year just by making sure you buy only what you need.

So if you’re ready to stop being confused or frustrated with your hot tub and start spending more time in it, check out The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course.

Just click that link to learn more on their website.

my hot tub temperature is going up to 35°C today 🔥

I keep it at 33°C in the summer, just below body temperature (37°), so it’s more refreshing

current outside temperature is 8°C in Winnipeg pic.twitter.com/fPjHBhbVLz

— Lenny (@N0ideawhyimhere) September 15, 2021

What temperature should a hot tub be set at in the summer?

Generally speaking, many people set their hot tubs to 95° F (5°C) during the summer months in warmer climates. While it can be set lower than that, if outside temperatures are over 90° F, the water is unlikely to drop below 95° F.

That’s why I like switching the mode on mine to economy or sleep.

Those modes only kick the heater on during the filter cycles instead of kicking on every time a temperature drop is detected. While it won’t keep the water at 75 when it’s 100 outside, you could set yours to 90 and have the actual water temp in the low 90s even if it’s 100 during the day.

Personally, with 3 daughters who love to soak, I set mine to 98° F (36.6°C). That way we can soak longer and there’s less risk involved.

But in the heat of a Texas summer (we live outside of Austin), even setting it to 98°, the actual water temp will still be well over 100°.

Now you may like it hot, even in summer. But the water temp also affects how long you can soak. Obviously, the higher the temperature, the shorter the soak time needs to be.

So to start with, as the summer months are getting close, I would bump the temperature on your control panel down to at least 98°, if not cooler.

After all, as the sun beats down on your lid all day, it will heat the water like it’s under a giant magnifying glass. So getting a jump on the temperature before temps soar up high will help it stay cooler.

Below I get into a few cool tricks that can allow your hot tub to actually run much cooler in summer. But to check out recommended soak times by temp, check out a recent article where I break it all down.

I cover maximum safe soak times and concerns by age as well as the most common health concerns. Just click the link to read that on my site.

Who says you can’t use your hot tub during the warmer months? Lower the temperature of your Jacuzzi® Hot Tub and use it as a ‘Cool Down’ tub! pic.twitter.com/GGtiu6eFU2

— Jacuzzi Ontario (@JacuzziOntario) May 25, 2018

How do I cool down my hot tub?

A lot of people normal decide to cover up their hot tub once those sweltering summer months start to come around.

I used to do that, but there’s a better way.

While you could just cut the power and let the water temperature drop, that’s not very safe. The reason is the same as when you see a pond or lake that looks stagnant. With no power, there’s no circulation, jets, or pumps.

The water just sits still. Then if you add dead skin flakes and body oils and you have the ideal recipe for bacteria growth. Even if you keep adding chemicals, without the pump to circulate it, you run the risk of not all the water being treated.

But all is not lost! You can cool down a hot tub and there are several ways to do that.

The best way is to switch your mode on your control panel. My hot tub (a Master Spa Twilight series) has both an “economy mode” and a “sleep mode”. Yours might also have a summer mode (more on that below).

But switching to economy mode (what I did this past summer) actually kept the temperature about 15 degrees cooler than what it was set to. The reason is it’s designed to save on electricity costs, so the heater doesn’t run 24/7 as it might otherwise do.

With the heater on only occasionally, it just doesn’t heat up as much as it would otherwise. Bad in winter, but great in summer!

Check out all the ways to cool down a hot tub, including 1 really cool (pun intended) ninja trick, in a recent article. Just click the link to read that on my site.

4:30 pm Hot Tub! #dayinthelife #photoanhour #hottub #summertime #cookout #poolparty https://t.co/tuDj1o8qnM pic.twitter.com/Qfhc3TKHAS

— Jessica Brogan (@actorjess) July 1, 2017

What is summer mode on a hot tub?

Summer mode is available on some brands of hot tubs, and this mode uses a timer that shuts off your pump for 8 hours which allows the hot tub to cool down significantly.

Having those 8 hours at night is ideal for this since the lid isn’t baking in the summer sun and preventing much of a temp drop.

Not every hot tub has this mode (mine doesn’t).

But it is becoming more common. I believe this was pioneered by Spring Dance Hot Tubs. They simply have a feature on their Hot Spring and Caldera models that allows you to run your hot tub more like a pool.

It doesn’t get cold, per se, but then neither does a pool in the heat of the summer.

Don’t have a Spring Dance Hot Tub?

No problem. The economy or sleep mode many other brands uses (like mine) works very similarly.

No matter which of those modes you use, you’ll likely be able to get your temperatures down into the 80s. While that may not sound cool, when it’s 100° outside, that will feel great!

Summer mode or not, you also need to know how long it’s safe to stay in a hot tub.

Staying too long at too high of temperature has some real safety concerns. So make sure to check out a recent article where I break down the best time and temperature strategies to avoid the most common issues.

I also break down those health concerns and the symptoms you might see. Just click the link to read that now on my site.

How Long is it Safe to Stay in a Hot Tub? https://t.co/wm936UvMCb

— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) November 12, 2019

What is the best time of day to use a hot tub in the summer?

The best times to use a hot tub during warm summer months are first thing in the morning and again in the evening once the sun has gone down. The water temperature will not be significantly different, but the experience will be more enjoyable without the sun’s rays beating down.

Even during the summer, there can be some days that are cooler than others.

Especially in the early mornings and late evenings. With that being said, there are still some opportunities for your hot tub to actually be a hot tub!

The best way for you to use your hot tub and avoid being cooked alive is to remember those early mornings are typically very cool in summer. This allows you to get a good, relaxing, hot soak in before you begin your day.

The same applies to the late evenings as well when the sun was gone down and is no longer beaming down on your house.

Take advantage of these cooler nights to be able to relax and decompress after a long day at work.

Remember too that when using a hot tub in summer, even in the morning or evening, it’s still easy to get dehydrated!

Didn’t know a hot tub could make you dehydrated?

In a recent article, I break down how a hot tub can make you dehydrated and what the symptoms are to look out for. But I also break down how long you can soak at different water temps to stay safe.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

A hot tub will soothe sore muscles and ease tension. #pools #shuffleboard #hottubs #sauna https://t.co/ZYLAbFUz0y pic.twitter.com/J0E74FD2wo

— Recreation Wholesale (@rwllc) January 11, 2016

Is a hot tub good for aching muscles in summer?

In the heat of summer, there’s nothing better for sore muscles than the warm water from a hot tub. So after mowing the lawn, gardening, or other strenuous activity, soaking can soothe aching muscles.

Turn on the jets for a complete massage hydrotherapy experience!

While hydrotherapy is particularly beneficial for the elderly, as shown in studies, it is also a great way to relax after a workout or doing yard work.

It is important, however, to not soak longer than the recommended soak times, and to make sure and drink plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated.

Here’s a handy chart for recommended soak times at different temperatures:

Hot Tub Temperature Max Soak Time
98° F (36.6°C) 30 Minutes
99° F (37.2°C) 28 Minutes
100° F (37.7°C) 25 Minutes
102° F (38.8°C) 20 Minutes
104° F (40°C) 15 minutes

Just remember that this is a guide.

What is water circuit therapy and how does that work in a hot tub?

Simply alternate between 10 minutes of hot water and 10 minutes of cold water. Starting in your hot tub and then moving to a cold shower is perfect for this activity.

Water circuit therapy is also a great way for those who are looking to improve upon their self-care habits and take care of their bodies. It provides these benefits:

  • It is great for reducing muscle soreness, especially if you are extremely active or have a very laborious career.
  • Excellent for reducing fatigue and the effects of burnout, giving you the physical and mental capabilities to power through your day
  • It provides remarkable pain relief, which is great for those who deal with chronic conditions like arthritis or are recovering from injuries or medical procedures.
  • It is capable of improving your range of motion, which is a great benefit for those looking to increase flexibility, going through physical therapy, or are managing musculoskeletal issues.

The cool thing about this is that even though you don’t reduce the temperature of the hot tub, you don’t put yourself at risk of overheating.

This is due to taking a cold shower after getting out of the water to regulate your body temperature.

Here is a great schedule you should adhere to when getting started with water circuit therapy:

  • Take 10 minutes within the hot tub to move around and loosen joints and tight muscles.
  • Upon getting out of the hot tub, take ten minutes in a cold shower to bring your body temperature back down to normal levels.

Water Circuit Therapy Quick Note!

The 10 minutes in the cold shower, provides another purpose aside from bringing your body temperature back down to normal levels.

It also assists with reducing inflammation and provides stimulation to your body’s nervous system.

How to Cool Down a Hot Tub https://t.co/y66UTrzxIk

— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) November 12, 2019

Does a hot tub help with summer allergies?

In a controlled study conducted by the Journal of Integrative Medicine, they found that steam from a hot tub is effective in controlling and reducing the effects of allergens, and can reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itching, and congestion.

(source)

What does this mean?

Hot tubs produce steam! Starting to succumb to the effects of your summer allergies?

A quick dip in your hot tub can quickly get that under control. And get you back to enjoying your summer with friends and family. That’s better than hiding out in your house.

Summer is supposed to be one of the best times of the year for most people. But that is not always the case, especially if you’re an allergy-prone individual.

If you have a hot tub, however, you can change all that and enjoy what the summer has to offer!

62F may be cold for Floridians but not when it’s 32F back home (also a heated pool and hot tub helps) pic.twitter.com/S5fs5IeC9i

— Ilya Epshteyn (@IlyaEpshteyn) January 24, 2022

Can you use a hot tub as a cold tub in the summer?

As a general rule, most brands of hot tubs cannot switch to a cool mode in summer, and most hot tub chillers are built into specific brands. However, switching the mode to economy or sleep will allow the heater to come on less frequently and can drop the water temperature by as much as 20 degrees.

Just don’t be tempted to turn the power off to lower the temp.

Without power, there will be no circulation and no filtration. It won’t take long for the water to build up with bacteria or become stagnant. Even if you still add chemicals, there will be no way for it to circulate.

What brands of hot tubs come with the option for a chiller?

Most don’t, but Hot Springs Spa, Caldera Spas, and Watkins Wellness are the best-known brands that feature what is called the COOLZoneTM System that can lower your hot tub water to as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final thoughts

Just because it has gotten a little warm outside doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your hot tub anymore.

In fact, it can provide you with opportunities to better enjoy your life and manage things such as pain, muscle soreness, allergies, and stress.

With the knowledge that you are now armed with, you can go forth and conquer the summer!… Er… I mean enjoy the summer!

Thanks for reading and happy tubbing!

Ready to Spend Less Time On Maintenance and More Time Enjoying Your Hot Tub?

Let’s face it. Balancing the water, cleaning filters, dealing with rashes, and trying to figure out which chemicals to buy and add can make you feel more like a chemist than someone who just wants to relax after a long hard day!

That’s exactly why The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course is so valuable!

This is from Matt over at Swim University and he developed it for people looking to save money, time, and frustration. His tips on chemicals can save you $100/year just by making sure you buy only what you need.

So if you’re ready to stop being confused or frustrated with your hot tub and start spending more time in it, check out The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course.