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How to Keep Some Summer in Your Winter – Part 4: Spas

Spas. The very word evokes a break from the ordinary. And a transition to the extraordinary activity of relaxation. Fortunately, this is a pursuit more eagerly embraced by people today. We’ve realized we need to offset negativities. Indulging in spa treatments and setting aside time to regroup from the stresses of the day fall under the self-care umbrella. That’s a good canopy to be seated beneath.

If you’ve gotten better at taking those all-important moments, then you don’t want the winter weather to slow you down.

Spas vs Hot Tubs

These words are often used interchangeably, but the most apparent difference between the two is their location. Although a hot tub can certainly boast spa qualities like heat elements and jets, a spa can either be standalone or an in-ground structure incorporated into a pool’s design.

The hot tub on the other hand is portable with its own separate electrical controls and plumbing feeds.

Whichever you own or are considering installing, know that either one is a multi-purpose amenity you may enjoy year-round.

Bringing the Summer Heat

Just as a warm blanket feels cozy on a cool night, you can enjoy the bubbling beauty of your spa despite the frigid temps of the winter months.

Depending on where you live, the snowfalls can be legendary, forcing you to remain indoors. Since we’ve all been confined a lot of late, it’s great to take occasion to break out and drink in all that glorious heat while gazing up at the beautiful night sky. (Or watching the sun rise or set while sipping hot tea or wine.)

Don’t feel secluded inside. If you take some steps to keep that spa winterized, there’s no reason not to enjoy it every day. Even if you have to shovel a path through the snow to get to it! So, enjoy the fresh air and take in all that glorious hydrotherapy to treat those sore muscles or just simply to unwind in a cozy cocoon.

Using Your Spa in the Winter

You’re already accustomed to maintaining your pool during its prime season to get the optimum use of it and to ward off issues with preventative upkeep. If you just apply best practices to your spa, then you’re in!

Drain and Refill

Get ahead of the curve on this one. You want your spa to have a fresh water change every 3 or so months. So, you needn’t deal with that in the dead of winter, get it done before the season switches over. You’ll also want to make certain you are doing this on a day when the local temps are above freezing to avoid damage.

Have Supplies on Hand

Get you and your spa ready for the off-season with a nice pantry of whatever chemicals or test strips you need. If you use a filter cartridge, keep a spare on hand. You won’t need to replenish your stock of sunscreen necessarily – although winter rays can be strong – but having every supply will keep you ready to soak at any time.

Keep Your Spa Covered

Don’t skimp here. You want a well-insulated blanket that forms a snug seal to avoid heat loss and to maintain those optimum temperatures. Just like your pool cover, this custom wrap will keep any foreign materials from gumming up the works. It is also good practice to sweep any accumulations of snow off the cover so as not to add undue weight and compromise the seal.

Keep Those Pipes Flowing

Like you do in your own home when you maintain at least a minimum level of heat to keep your pipes from freezing, so too do you want heated water keeping those pipes flowing — with all valves open to full capacity. Check with your manufacturer or spa installer to confirm how often to run the heater, but it should average 15 to 20 minutes per hour. (And because there’s an app for everything, you can use an automation system to allow monitoring and remote control too!)

Maintain the Water Level and Keep it Clean

It’s worth every minute to check in on those levels so no components freeze. You don’t want to wind up with no spa and a repair bill. Instead, experts recommend you keep your garden hose indoors, so it doesn’t freeze up and then just connect it to the outdoor spigot when you need to increase the water level.

Don’t forget cleaning and changing those filters, testing the water, and attending to the circulation pump either. Again, these simple tasks will yield hours of Zen.

Lower the Jets a Bit

It’s totally worth it to sacrifice a few bubbles to maintain the heat. Because the jets actually blow cooler air into the water, you’ll wind up losing some of that sweet, precious heat. So just dial them down a bit and turn them off, of course, after your soak so your spa can take a little break too.

Set the Stage

If you have an insulated, weatherproof trunk, you can keep some supplies like towels and slippers close at hand. Some recommend you even don a thick, knit cap to keep heat from escaping through your head. A little towel warmer will go a long way also as will some music to set the stage.

You may also consider a decorative thermal screen to provide privacy and a little respite from the weather. A jug of hot toddies is a nice touch, but you’ll also want to remain hydrated. It’s a good idea to drink water before you get into the spa and when you return indoors as well.

You’ll always want to act responsibly when it comes to alcohol and water activities. It’s advisable to limit your soak times to 20 or so minutes so you don’t overheat. Make sure someone knows where you are in case of emergency.

At the End of the Day

When it comes down to it, there’s nothing like taking pause. Whether or not your day was a stressful one, reconnecting with yourself in an environment that focuses on relaxation is good for the soul.

And ICYMI, here’s Part One of our Summer in Winter series on hot tubs, Part Two on fire pits, and Part Three on fireplaces.

Providing pool and home improvement loan solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves bubbling spas. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about creating your ideal backyard oasis.