How spa covers reduce spa running costs

The number one area where heat can escape from your spa is through the cover. In this article you'll learn how to ensure your spa cover keeps the heat in to save you money!

Man lifting a Jacuzzi spa cover

Spa covers are not only essential for keeping your spa clean and safe, but they also have a significant impact on your energy bills. By reducing heat loss and keeping your spa insulated, spa covers can help you save money on running costs. In this aticle, we'll explore the benefits of spa covers and how they can make your spa investment more cost-effective.

Main topics of this article:

Is my spa cover costing me money?

Best estimates are that up to 70% of heat can escape through a poor quality, damaged or old spa cover. Not to mention that a good sealing cover keeps out dust and debris which will help keep your water clear and reduce chemical usage.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about spa covers and how to choose the best one for your spa.

How do I know if I need a new spa cover?

Until recent times the foam cores which make up the rigid internal structure of spa covers and provide the insulation were wrapped in plastic and the joins were taped but not sealed.

Over time the steam would condense and form droplets and then slowly saturate the insulating foam cores. We all know water is a poor insulator and once your spa cover becomes water logged it became a great conductor of heat - meaning that the warmth in your spa can escape easily.

"If your spa cover has gained weight like a sumo wrestler since it was new and you struggle to lift it then you can be fairly certain that it is waterlogged and it is time for a new cover."

More modern spa covers have sealed foam cores, reducing the chance of water getting into the core.

How can my spa cover get damaged?

Here are some of the common ways we hear of spa covers being damaged!

  • The Spa cover is not secured correctly with all spa cover clips locked down. In this case, a gust of wind can get under the spa cover and apply too much pressure to the spa cover straps securing the spa cover to the cabinet and cause a tear of the stitching or broken clips.
  • The spa cover has been lifted without the locks being unlocked. This will cause the stitching to tear at either the handle, or the securing strap.
  • The spa cover is being lifted off the spa using the side flaps on the cover. You must only lift the cover using the handles provided.
  • Spa covers are dragged on the ground, rubbing and ripping the vinyl or waterproof core seal, allowing water to get inside the cover more easily
  • Damage by pets. For some reason pets like to sit or jump on top of spa covers, but this can lead to rips and general wear and tear which will mean your cover will deteriorate more quickly than it should. We recommend that you don't allow pets to chill out of your spa cover!

Back to top

spa pool in backyard

Where can I buy a spa cover?

First it is best to source your spa cover from a reputable company that has a wide selection of spa covers. You can be assured that they sell enough covers that they will use materials that will last. What looks like a really great deal now may look more expensive in twelve months time.

Spa cover prices: Good quality spa covers under 2.4m will cost you between $500 and $850 and you should be cautious of anything below that because sub standard materials are most likely being used. Swim Spa covers will cost more.

What to look for in a new spa cover

Below is a list of the important characteristics you should look for in a good quality spa cover.

  • U.V. resistant marine grade vinyl outer
  • Rugged U.V. resistant stitching
  • Chlorine resistant p.e. plastic on the underside to eliminate bleaching
  • High strength polystyrene foam sheets sealed in heavy duty heat sealed plastic to stop water logging.
  • Internal foam centre reinforced with aluminium channel for added strength.
  • 90mm to 60mm internal foam core taper to prevent surface ponding
  • Reinforced central hinge for years of service
  • Heat lock hinge block the full length of the hinge to stop heat loss at hinge
  • Internally reinforced handles
  • Reinforced adjustable tie downs
  • New locking latches and buckles

Back to top

parts of spa cover

How do I make sure I get the correct spa cover replacement?

Spa manufactures often change their models between years and at times during years. This can be subtle changes to complete design changes which impact the size and shape of the spa.

Because of this it is always good to measure your spa and send those measurements to whomever you order your cover from.

You can download our handy free spa cover measurement and instruction guide as well as read the instructions below:

Step 1: Measure the length of each side of your spa cover

spa cover measurement and instruction guide - measuring each side

Step 2: Measure the radius of each corner

spa cover measurement and instruction guide

Step 3: Measure the Spa Cover Lip

spa cover measurement and instruction guide

Step 4: Measure spa cover latch location

spa cover measurement and instruction guide

How much does a spa cost to run?

This is a question we hear all the time and is similar to the age-old question: "How long is a piece of string?"

There are so many variables in every spa pool that it is different for each of us.

That being said, all spas and swim spas have one thing in common. They heat water which requires energy. The number one area where heat can escape from your spa is through the cover. In this article we'll describe the three main ways your spa cover may be costing you money.

How quickly do spas lose heat? (Heat loss in your spa through Convection)

Convection is caused by the transfer of heat by the circulation of a liquid or gas.

In a spa pool, this is most critical in the warm air between the water and the spa cover. A spa cover acts similarly to the lid on a saucepan by helping to keep the heat sealed in.

Convection cannot be eliminated so it is very important that your spa cover fits tight around the shell of your spa and is equipped with straps to keep the cover sealed against the rim of the spa to lock in the heat.

The most energy-efficient spa covers feature full-length hinge heat blocks. Without this, the un-insulated air gap between the spa cover sections will allow heat to escape. Some spa covers only have heat blocks on the outside edges of the hinges and this is less efficient.

In older or damaged spa covers, heat is transferred by the warm air into the water-logged cover. The water in the cover then transfers heat to the outside ambient temperature air. A waterlogged cover, which you can identify by its weight, is the number one cause of heat loss through a spa cover.

Make sure your spa cover has insulation cores that are heat-sealed in tough polybags.

Back to top

Jacuzzi spa cover lifter

Where do spas and hot tubs lose the most heat? (Evaporation)

Spas and hot tubs lose the most heat through the top of the spa cover - through a process called evaporation.

Evaporation is the changing of matter from a liquid or solid to gas.

When a liquid such as water evaporates, the very act of changing state causes cooling. We experience this when we sweat and when we use air conditioning or our refrigerator.

A spa cover prevents heat loss due to evaporation by locking out the ambient outside air. Once again a tight seal on your spa is critical in reducing heat loss by evaporation.

Why do spa covers get waterlogged?

Over time, the foam in older spa covers will deteriorate and absorb water. As the vinyl outer cover ages and with general wear and tear, it will lose some of it's waterproof qualities, allowing more moisture to get into the foam interior. If you invest in a quality spa cover, the outer cover and the foam interior will last longer.

Conduction is the transfer of heat between two parts caused by a temperature difference. Heat is always conducted from warm to cold via the shortest route, which in the case of the spa pool, is upward.

This is where the density of the foam core comes into play. The foam thickness is not the best way to measure the insulation value of spa cover as a thicker foam may take up more space but not have the same dense insulation properties

To save money, treat your spa cover well and replace it if it becomes damaged or waterlogged.

One tip is to invest in a spa cover lifter so that your spa cover is not dropped on the ground which can break the seal on the core bags and increase the likely hood of your spa cover becoming waterlogged.

Lastly, a tight-fitting spa cover not only locks in the heat you have paid for but it will also lock out organic debris such as dirt and dust which will reduce your spa chemical consumption.

When to replace your spa cover?

If your spa cover becomes worn, water-logged or broken, then it's time to replace your spa cover with a new one. As your old spa cover wears out, it can absorb water making it heavy and hard to lift on and off your spa.

If your spa cover is broken, it won't protect your spa as effectively, keeping children or intruders out. Finally, an old or worn spa cover won't seal as effectively, therefore allowing heat to escape and costing you more to keep your spa warm.

Back to top

Do I need to cover my hot tub?

Yes! Keeping your hot tub or spa covered is important. A cover keeps rainwater out which can upset the chemical balance in your spa. It also helps retain heat in your spa, making it more efficient and saving you power! A spa cover also protects the components from deteriorating in the sunlight and weather.

twim vortex spa cover lifters

How long does a spa cover last?

A good quality spa cover should last for 10 years or more as long as you treat it with care! If you want to extend the life of your spa cover, use a spa cover lifter to reduce the handling stress when opening and closing your cover.

Can you sit on a spa cover / hot tub cover?

We don't recommend sitting on your hot tub cover or spa cover. Even though our covers are rated up to 85kg - sitting, standing or jumping on the cover can weaken them and shorten their life.

Back to top

Do swim spas have covers?

Yes, swim spas can have covers. We have a range of swim spa covers in stock or we can custom make one to order for you.

How much do spa covers / hot tub covers cost?

Our Hot tub covers and spa covers cost anywhere from $399 upwards. The price will depend on the size of your spa or hot tub. Contact us for a quotation or browse our extensive range online.

Here at Spa Store we offer a full range of spa covers and provide delivery Australia wide. All our covers are of superior quality, guaranteed to last for years to come.

Our spa covers are suitable for all popular spa and hot tub brands including Vortex, Jacuzzi, Monarch, Fisher, Sapphire, Hotspring and more. Our spa and hot tub covers suit most shapes of spa pools - square, rectangular and round.

Whether you're looking for a replacement spa cover for your existing spa, or a cover to protect your new spa, we can help.

If you have any questions about our spa covers, or you are struggling to locate the perfect spa cover for your model or brand, then please contact us today.

Need help measuring your spa cover?

Watch our video below and download our helpful measurement sheet:

Watch: How to measure a spa cover

Back to top

How can I make my spa cover last longer?

Rinse your spa cover regularly with cool water using a garden hose. Spray with a gentle cover cleaner and wipe clean. Never use laundry detergent, abrasives, bleach, alcohols, dish soaps or harsh cleaners. These products can actually remove some of the topcoat and cause premature vinyl failure. Tree sap can be removed by rubbing with a little vegetable oil or margarine. For stubborn dirt, use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth Rinse again thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

Applying UV Protectant: (303 Protectant)

  • After cleaning cover, spray a light coating of UV Protectant on top and cover apron.
  • Spread evenly with a damp cloth.
  • Repeat procedure on underside of your cover. This will help prevent the formation of mildew.
  • Repeat monthly in summer, every 3 to 4 months the rest of the year.
  • Repeat monthly, or as needed.

For more tips on looking after your spa cover read our detailed guide below.

Got more questions?

Talk to us or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

Five Star Trust Pilot Rating

We are proud that Spa World customers have given us a Five Star Trustpilot rating.