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How hot is too hot? A guide to picking the perfect spa temperature

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Nothing is better for cold toes or frosty fingers than slipping into a bubbling spa. But when it comes to setting your water temperature, how hot is too hot? Before you touch your control panel, there are a few factors to consider: safety, budget and personal preference. Finding the perfect balance can be an art form, so to save you some time, we have formulated a guide to heating your spa.

Spas are popular due to their warming qualities and the ability to transform a small backyard space. For this reason, they’re a fantastic alternative to a pool once the winter chill sets in. These days, there’s a wide range of models on the market and the way you control the heating system varies. Some models even enable you to manage your spa temperature remotely with your smartphone!

New spa models will generally prevent you from increasing the water temperature too high as a safety precaution. Your maximum spa temperature should not exceed 38°C, and bather time in spas at this temperature should be no longer than 15 minutes. Any water temperature above this level is considered unsafe for adults to swim in and can cause harm to bathers.

Does water temperature matter?

Water temperature is a personal preference, and we recommend you do some experimentation between the safe levels of 36°C to 38°C. You need to be careful, however, about keeping the water within the safe range, so you don’t damage your body! It’s also important to know that prolonged periods in hot water can present a risk to any swimmer, especially if they have a pre-existing health condition. So, if you have a health condition, it’s a good idea first to discuss the suitability with your healthcare provider before you jump in. We also recommend having a spa thermometer on hand to double check the temperature before using your spa.

Energy efficiency

One of the main concerns of a spa owner is how to prevent an astronomical energy bill. For this reason, it may be tempting to keep your spa at a significantly lower temperature when you’re not using it. Doing this, however, could cost you more! Constantly turning your spa temperature up and down will use more power and can also wreak havoc on the heating element. Rather, turn the temperature down only slightly when your spa isn’t in use, and keep your spa cover on. This minimises energy wastage in two ways. Firstly, unnecessary energy isn’t going into keeping your spa at a higher temperature when it’s not in use. Secondly, it keeps the water warm enough so when you’re ready to heat it up again, only a small amount of energy is required to reheat the already warm water, rather than the huge power surge that would be required to heat up cold water.

 Finding the sweet spot

Finding your perfect spa temperature will require some experimentation, but we suggest starting at 37°C (the average body temperature) and then altering it from there if it’s too chilly or too hot.

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