How to run a cold spa pool for warmer weather (Benefits, tips and advice)

If you are looking for a way to cool down this summer, then a cold spa pool might be just what you need. Find out how to cool down a spa pool, the benefits of cold water immersion, and more in this article.

How to run a cold spa pool hero

We all know how hot summer can get, particularly with temperatures rising every year. So if you’re like us, you may be wondering, ‘Can I have a cold spa pool?’ The answer? Yes!

This article will help you learn how to keep your spa pool cold for warmer weather, why cold water is good for you, and more.

Top points in this article:

Can you have a cold spa pool?

As mentioned above, yes! You can have a cold spa pool. While spas are typically designed to be heated, you can also run them cold.

This is a great option in warmer climates or if you want to use your spa or hot tub for cold water therapy or immersion. More on this below.

What are the benefits of keeping your spa pool cold?

Contrary to what many people may think, you don’t always have to heat up your spa pool. While it is definitely fun and relaxing to soak in warm or hot water, there are also advantages to running your spa pool cold.

Here are the benefits of have a cold spa pool:

  • Quick cool down. After a hot day or a round of workouts, it can be incredibly satisfying to soak in cold water. It’s relaxing, fun, and way nicer to use than an inflatable spa or pool. It’s also more convenient, private and accessible than going to a public pool or the beach.
  • Save money on heating costs. When you run a cold spa pool, you can reduce your power utility bills. Cooling down your spa pool requires less energy than heating, so if you keep your spa pool in colder temperatures you’re not only beating the heat, but you’re also saving money!
  • Cold water therapy. Hydrotherapy isn’t something that’s exclusive to hot water – cold water can be highly beneficial to your health too! If you follow safety precautions and don’t stay in the icy water for too long, you can enjoy the health benefits of cold water therapy which we explain below.

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What are the benefits of cold water therapy?

Did you know that cold water can be quite good for you? Cold water therapy is when you immerse yourself in water that’s less than 15°C.

You can also do cold water therapy by simply taking an ice bath, a cold shower, or having an outdoor swim when the water is cold.

What is the point of cold water therapy? It’s primarily used to promote health and wellness and manage disease. Many report these possible health benefits:

  • Speed healing after an injury
  • Relieving sore muscles and joint pain
  • Quick recovery from exercise
  • Boosting metabolic rate
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Easing symptoms of depression
  • Improve sleep
  • Sharpen mental focus
  • Improved mental health and wellbeing
Cold water improves sleep

Please note that immersing in cold water affects your heart rate, blood pressure, and circulation and may can cause serious cardiac stress. Take safety precautions and discuss risks with your doctor before you try it.

Safety tips:

  • Talk to your doctor first before attempting cold water therapy to ensure that you are safe.
  • Have someone watch over you to avoid any untoward accidents.
  • Warm up once you’re done to avoid the risk of hypothermia.
  • Keep cold water immersions brief – staying in cold water for longer than a few minutes is not recommended.

Please note, we are not medical professionals. We always recommend you seek a professional opinion before trying to treat pain or any health condition at home.

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How do I keep my spa pool cool in summer?

Depending on where you live, keeping your spa pool cold could be as simple as lowering the temperature on the control panel to the lowest setting.

You can also simply shut the power off however, we do not recommend doing this as it will also turn off the filtration and water care systems which can compromise your water quality. To ensure your spa water remains clean and safe to use, you’re better to simply turn the set temperature down as suggested above.

If you live in a hot climate, then it’s worth noting most spa pools are not able to lower their water temperature below the ambient temperature of the outside air. For example, if the ambient air temperature outside is 30°C, your spa water will likely not fall below that even if you set the temperature to 20°C.

How do I lower my spa pool temperature?

If you find your spa is not as cold as you’d like, then there are some things you can do to lower the temperature further – as we explain below.

1. Set the temperature on your spa controller

First thing you need to do to cool down your spa pool is to set the temperature. Most modern spas’ water temperature can easily be adjusted using the controller. All it takes is to press down the arrow keys.

If you own a Vortex™ or Fisher™ spa that uses the SpaNet™ Control System, you can go to the link below for an in-depth guide on how to set the temperature on your controller.

Spanet controller

Do note that it takes a while for your spa water to adjust the temperature. You may need to wait a day or so for it to cool down. If the weather is hot, the outside air temperature will likely prevent your spa from cooling down. In this case, try our spa pool cooling tips below.

2. Use a heat pump

A heat pump works just like the heat pump/HVAC unit in your home. Most people use spa heat pumps to heat their water but did you know you can also use them to cool your water down, much like a cooling air conditioning unit.

heat pump video thumbnail

Spa heat pumps are a lot more efficient than your spa’s in-built electric heater. In fact, they’re the most energy-efficient and cost effective way to heat your spa – up to 75 percent more efficient than electricity and 55 percent more than gas. Find out more about heat pumps below:

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3. Add cold water to your spa

Another way to cool down your spa pool is to partially drain the water and add fresh cold water using your hose. We recommend that you run the hose for a few minutes before placing it in your spa. This way you’ll give the water time to cool and flush out any water sitting in your hose.

Remember to follow the recommended guidelines for filling your spa, regardless of how little water you’re adding. For example, Vortex Spas recommend inserting the hose into the filter lines to avoid any air bubbles forming in the spa pump.

Learn more about filling your spa below.

It is important to note that even if you are only partially refilling your spa with fresh water, you will still need to check and adjust your water balance. Whichever water source you’re using, there will always be some adjustments to make to ensure your spa water balanced and sanitised.

Learn more about spa pool water care below.

4. Add ice to your spa

You may be wondering, “Can I put ice in my spa to cool it down?”. And the answer is…yes!

Adding ice to your spa pool is another great way to lower the water temperature.

Do note that even if you don’t add too much ice in your spa pool, this could still affect your water balance. Check and rebalance your water after adding ice.

Top tip: A quick and easy way to cool your spa is to fill up milk cartons or similar containers with water and freeze them. Once frozen, you can add them to your spa water without having to rebalance it.When the ice melts, you can simply remove them, refreeze, and use them again!

5. Use shading solutions

Using shading solutions like gazebos, umbrellas and pergolas can protect your spa from sun exposure.

Portable gazebos can provide great sun protection and are very versatile, allowing you to adjust the height and change the positioning as necessary.

Outdoor umbrellas come in a range of sizes. In this case, umbrellas with an offset upright support and tilting canopy are great options because they can be repositioned throughout the day to block the sun as it moves.

outdoor umbrella

Pergolas are not the cheapest option, but they provide great sun protection and can look really stylish. They do need to be bolted to the ground so you can’t move them around, but most pergolas have the option of shade blinds for added shade.

pergola over spa

Find out more about these great shading options below.

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6. Run the jets

Another trick that may help cool down your spa water is to run the jets to circulate the water and cool it down through motion. Most quality spas have control systems that allow you to set the jets to run automatically. Open up any air controllers to bring more air into the water.

Jacuzzi Hot Tub jets

Are there cold water spas?

Spa pools can either be hot and cold - you’re not stuck with either option when you buy one. Using your spa pool’s temperature controls, you can set it to be as hot or as cold as the control panel and your climate allows. Learn more about this below.

Does a spa pool need to be heated?

No, not at all! While heating is certainly one of the most popular features of a spa pool, you can lower the temperature as needed or turn off the heating altogether.

How low can the temperature on a spa pool be?

As explained above, it’s not usually possible to lower a spa’s water temperature below the ambient air temperature. When the ambient temperature outside is 30°C, your spa water is unlikely to fall below that even when the temperature is set to 20°C. You can, however, add ice or cold water, use shading solutions, and remove the spa cover for some time to help reduce the water temperature further.

How do you treat the water in a cold spa pool?

Once you cool down your spa or swim spa water, you’ll also need to continue to maintain the quality of the water by treating it with chemicals. . The truth is, it’s not that different to treating a hot or warm spa.

However, the temperature does have an effect on how chemicals dissolve in water. Hotter temperatures will make your spa chemicals (with the exception of sodium bicarbonate) dissolve faster.

This means your chemicals will dissolve slower in cold water. Often, cold water leads to less sanitiser demand. Always make sure that you follow the package instructions on your spa chemicals to keep your spa water balanced and sanitised. To ensure the sanitiser dissolves properly in your cold spa, we recommend adding it to a bucket of warm water first, stir until fully dissolved and then add that mixture to your spa water.

For a more in-depth guide on how to use water chemicals, check the link below.

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In Summary

Spa pools are known for their heating, but in warm weather, it’s not always advisable or even enjoyable to soak in hot water. Luckily, there are ways you can enjoy your spa pool even in the summer.

You can keep your spa pool cold by trying the following:

  1. Set the temperature to low
  2. Add cold water
  3. Add ice
  4. Use shading solutions
  5. Run the jets
  6. Install a spa heat pump

Using your spa pool with cold water can also have a lot of benefits. You can use it to quickly cool down, save money on electricity, and even use it for cold water therapy.

We do recommend that you speak with a medical professional first before trying cold water therapy to make sure it’s safe for you.

All in all, we hope this article has helped you answer your questions about running a cold spa pool in warmer weather.

If you need more information on how to use your spa pool, you can get in touch with our customer care team. You can also visit your local Spa World Showroom and talk to one of our friendly salespeople.

DISCLAIMER: The health information contained in this article is not intended to prescribe a particular diagnosis or course of action. We are not medical professionals. If you have any concerns about your current health or well-being, please contact your GP or other medical professionals for advice.

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