SHOPPERS are being warned against buying “bargain” summer essentials due to sky-high hidden costs.
When warm weather arrives, hot tubs are often in vogue. But some can cost thousands to run.
According to energy experts at Loop, buying a hot tub for under £100 is great, but running costs can run up to £1,440 over four months.
Bathtubs under £100 are inflatable but inefficient, so you can figure out that you will spend £360 a month just using it.
That’s more than ten times the cost of buying in the summer.
And even those with energy-efficient models are no exception – if your tub uses seven kWh per day, it could still add £72 per month to your energy bill.
This is up 20 per cent from last year, when it stood at £60.23, but up 90 per cent from 2020 when efficient baths cost £38.02 to operate .
“Many of us have seen offers for an inflatable hot tub lately and are considering investing in one,” said Steve Buckley, head of data science at Loop. While relaxing in a hot tub is a welcome treat on a cool summer night, these hot tubs may not be as bargain as they seem.
“Our new research finds that hot tubs are one of the worst garden culprits that add to your electric bill. Even the most energy efficient tubs will cost £72 per month to operate.
“But the biggest risk is for households buying cheap hot tubs. Due to poor insulation, these can easily cost FIVEX that to run, £360 per month.”
Obviously, the cost of your new hot tub will also depend on other factors, including the size of the tub, the type of pump, and how often you use it.
But make sure you keep these facts in mind if you’re shopping.
Aldi is currently selling a cheap hot tub for £199, which is the cheapest we’ve seen – but can cost more to operate.
The tub features 135 bubble nozzles, hot air bubbles, and two headrests, as well as a lid that can be locked in the event of a change in weather.
However, it was more expensive last year when it cost £399.99.
We also spotted inflatable tubs for £140 on Amazon and £325 from B&Q.
cut down the costs
One way to cut costs in the first place is to go small – the more water your hot tub holds, the more it will cost to run. So only choose an eight-seater, for example, if you really need it.
You also need to make sure that you always maintain and clean your bathtub.
According to trading directory Checkatrade, a clean service will set you back £225 per visit.
You will probably need to have one of these a year.
There are also chemicals, equipment and replacement parts to consider.
Also, think about your thermostat and see if you can bring it down a few notches – that could make a difference in the long run.
Most people prefer to keep their tub between 38 and 40 degrees, but each degree lower will save you about 10% of the total cost.
Do a quality check and make sure your enclosure is still in good condition.
You can buy extra insulation to keep the heat in – the same way you can to keep your home warm.
This means spending more, of course, but it could be worth it.
And keep your hot tub out of the wind as much as possible – you want it somewhere where the temperature can maintain itself rather than cool down.