If you've already planned your next vacation, you're probably dreaming of relaxation and comfort. A common question among hot tub owners is what to do with your hot tub while you're on vacation.

Turning down the heat in your hot tub makes sense. You don't need to keep it hot it if you're not going to be in it for a week or two. The challenge comes in deciding how much to turn down the heat. You want to save energy without having to spend time and more energy reheating the spa. On the other hand, you don't want to keep it hot if there's no need.

Depending on how warm the weather is, you might not need to do a whole lot during the spring and summer months. You can even turn it off if it's warm outside. Your first order of business should be to make sure that the water is warm and won't freeze.

Turn it down if you don't plan to use it for a few days. When you return, you'll need to give it at least several hours after you turn the thermostat back up to its normal level of 102 to 1047 degrees to get the full effect.   

Lower the water temperature before you head out of town:

•    By 10 degrees for one to three weeks
•    By 5 degrees for two to six days

If you have someone watching your house while you're out of town, ask them to do a visual check on the back yard, including your hot tub, to make sure everything is in order. Take a few extra precautions if you're concerned about unwanted visitors in your absence.

•    When you're setting timers for other lights in the home to come on or turn off, do the same with the backyard security lights. You don't want to encourage the neighbor's teenagers to have a hot tub party while you're gone.
•    Install a lock on your hot tub control panel box.
•    If your hot tub cover has a lock, don't forget to secure it.

Remove all spa accessories from your hot tub. Put away your spa pillows, trays and rubber ducks when you'll be away for more than a few days.

Consult your hot tub's owner's manual for any other vacation-time tips and recommendations from the manufacturer.