Going On Vacation: What Should Your Hot Tub Temperature Be?

When going on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is your hot tub. One thing you may be wondering is if you should lower the temperature while you are gone. Fortunately for you, I have the answer.

Lower the temperature by 5-15 degrees in your hot tub when on vacation. It is best to lower the temperature by at least 5 degrees if traveling for 1 week or less. When traveling for longer than 2 weeks lowering it by 10-15 degrees will save you additional money on heating costs.

Setting the temperature for optimal efficiency is one way to save money while not using your hot tub for a while. However, there are many other things to consider when away. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is The Best Temperature And Why?

Generally, it is best to leave your hot tub at a constant temperature. A hot tub is designed to run most efficiently at operating temperature. You will not save any money changing your hot tub temperature frequently and will probably cost yourself more.

When you are going away for an extended period of time such as going on vacation, it may be beneficial to reduce the temperature of your hot tub. The benefit is directly proportional to the duration you will not be using your hot tub.

This means the longer you are away, the lower you can set your hot tub temperature without losing all the savings when you return and raise the temperature back to your preferred setting.

So what are the optimal settings? Assuming the outside temperature is low enough that your hot tub will actually be running the heater, I have compiled a table below based on my research.

Time Duration (Days)Temperature DifferencePotential Savings
0-3Don’t change a thingNone
4-75-10 degrees$
8-1410-15 degrees$$
15-3015 degrees$$$
30+15+ degrees$$$
Table 1: Duration vs. Temperature vs. Savings ($: <$5, $$: $5-$10, $$$ >$10)

I compiled this table based on owner feedback. It is dependent on many factors such as outside air temperature and the cost of electricity in your area. Following these general guidelines should help maximize your saving potential.

Following these tips will save you money. You should consider this much like adjusting your house thermostat when you leave for an extended period of time. It takes less energy to maintain a lower temperature when heating your house and your hot tub. As long as the energy it takes to re-heat the air in your home or the water in your hot tub is less than the energy savings, then you have saved money.

Can You Turn Your Hot Tub Off Completely?

If you are going away for longer than a month, then you might consider completely turning off your hot tub. It is extremely important to consider the outside air temperature when making this decision. If the temperature is going to be below freezing, then you absolutely do not want to turn your hot tub off without first winterizing it.

If you are going to be gone for less than a month, you probably shouldn’t turn off your hot tub. In fact, turning it off may cause more problems than it is worth.

When a hot tub is unpowered, the pumps don’t run and the water will sit stagnantly. As long as the water stays chemically balanced (proper PH, alkalinity, and sanitizer level), it should remain in pretty good shape. Over time, the water chemical levels will start to drift, the sanitizer will dissipate, and the warm stagnant water will start to become a problem.

That is why instead of turning off your hot tub, it might be better to drain it completely. When you return, you can refill and have a fresh clean hot tub to soak in. You will just have to wait for it to heat back up, but you would have had to do that anyway.

How To Maintain Your Water Chemistry While You Are Gone?

When going on a vacation there are a couple of simple things to do to ensure you come back to a useable hot tub.

Test and Balance Your Water Chemistry

Perform your usual water balancing routine. Test your water using your strips or your Taylor Test Kit which you can purchase on Amazon using my affiliate link.

Clean Your Filters

Cleaning your filters will set you up for success upon your return. If you have dirty filters, you will make your sanitizer work harder and therefore use more of it. Something that you don’t want to do while you are away. You should be cleaning your filters regularly, check out my article about it, but if you are not, before vacation would be a good time to start.

Setup Your Sanitizer

If you are using a floating sanitizer system (chlorine or bromine), then all you need to do is make sure there is enough sanitizer in the floater to last the duration of your vacation. You may even consider closing the dispenser down a few notches since no one will be using the tub.

If you are not using a floating dispenser, then you will need to over sanitize your hot tub and give it a good shock before you leave. Increasing the normal sanitizer level in the water will allow it to last longer. You don’t care if it is too high because you won’t be using it. Shocking the water will make sure the sanitizer will be at its highest efficiency. You can learn why shocking is so important in another one of my articles.

Consider Draining and Refilling Your Hot Tub

Following the above steps should get you through most vacations. However, if it has been a while (a few months) or you will be gone for longer than a few weeks, you may consider draining and refilling your hot tub.

Your water is at its best right after a fresh fill, so this will only help you maintain it while you are out. As your water ages, the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) will increase. When TDS is high, it becomes very difficult to keep your water balanced. It will be even harder while you are away and cannot adjust it daily.

What If You Will Be Gone For A Really Long Time?

If you will be gone for longer than a month, then you might want to consider cleaning and draining your hot tub completely. If the outside temperatures will be below freezing then you will also want to winterize your hot tub.

Emptying your hot tub will save you the most money from an energy standpoint and won’t require any maintenance until you return.

If you don’t want to empty your hot tub, then you will need to have someone check on it at least once a week. If you have a neighbor that is knowledgeable or is willing to learn, have them stop by and check that everything is balanced and running ok. You could even reward them by letting them use your hot tub in your absence.

Without a friendly neighbor to help out, you will want to find a local hot tub service company and pay them to manage your hot tub while you are away.

What Other Things Should You Consider?


Ensure your hot tub is safe while you are away. If you have a lockable cover, make sure it is securely locked. You could also prevent access to your hot tub if you have a fence that locks as well. Safely locking out your hot tub could save someone’s life and save you from any liability issues should something happen.

Remote Monitoring

There are many great remote monitoring systems available for your hot tub. Some are provided by the manufacturer, like Jacuzzi’s SmartTub system. There are also some great 3rd party systems that will monitor the temperature and water chemistry for you.

When you are away, a system like this could help make sure you do not return to any nasty surprises.

Don’t Worry And Enjoy Your Vacation

By reading this article and following these tips, you can go on your vacation without worrying about how your hot tub is doing. You will have set the optimal temperature (saving you money) and properly prepared your hot tub’s water chemistry so you can use your hot tub when you return with minimal effort.

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