Some people naturally gravitate indoors when it's cold outside. Talk of wintry mixes, snowstorms and the polar vortex can put you into winter hibernation mode if you let it. One of the reasons you probably bought your hot tub was that the idea of staying warm and toasty when it's snowing outside is a cozy thought. While some hot tub owners typically stop using them and winterize their spas, it's really not necessary to hibernate. This time of year is the best time to use your spa. You just need to take a few precautionary measures and make a few changes in your routine to get the most out of your hot tub in chilly weather.

Water Level
If you don't use your spa daily, be sure to check the water level every few days. A low water level in cold weather affects hut tub pumps, causing them to shut down and stop moving the water effectively. As a result, hot tub heaters can't run and the water in your basin and pipes could freeze.

Keep an eye on your hot tub temperature. Use a thermometer and check it daily. You may have planned ahead and bought a model with a winter weather freeze mode. During weather that stays below freezing for a few days or more, you'll need to activate it. If you don't have a special operating option for cold weather, consult your owner's manual for the best method of freeze prevention. Some models recommend using your spa timer to activate every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the outdoor temperature. If you're using your spa daily, it makes more sense to let it stay hot, rather than letting it continually cool and reheat in between uses.

Escaping the Wind
One of the least pleasant parts of hot tubbing in the winter is running barefoot outside in freezing temperatures. A cold wind can feel like it's blowing right through you when you're wet and the wind is blowing. This is where a smart spa location comes in handy. Set up a wind break to shield yourself from chilly breezes. It can be a screen, latticework or even an outbuilding. Place a towel rack near the unit for a quick dry-off with a dry towel. A heavy bathrobe and slippers with an absorbent lining are nice and easy to slip into after you get out of your spa before you go inside. 

Using your hot tub when it's chilly outside can be a fun experience. Use spa umbrellas and drink holders to enhance your outing. Warm drinks in a thermos are enjoyable, and cool drinks can be surprisingly refreshing when you're soaking in the warm water. An attached spa side table or tray are handy, preventing you from getting out of the water to get snacks and other refreshments.

Hot Tub Covers
One of the secrets to getting the most out of your hot tub in chilly weather is having a reliable cover. Waterproof hot tub covers with a snug fit make a real difference. Check your cover for split seams, cracks and a poor fit well before the next winter storm. If it's letting moisture in, replace it with the same brand as your spa if possible. Replacement Free Flow hot tub covers, for example, are the same as the original factory covers. You can order them from us at Hot Tub Spa Supplies and receive them in about two to three weeks. Other models may be available more quickly. If you're happy with your hot tub cover but you want more protection for a hard top, try Spa Slip hot tub cover protectors. They're made with a pliable knit laminate and come in a variety of colors. Wind strap models are optional.