How to Choose Between Indoor and Outdoor Hot Tubs


Private hot tubs and spas have become one of the most popular home improvements over the last decade. Many first time home owners decide to install new units to increase the enjoyment of their home and to raise their home’s resale value. However, there are several factors to consider when installing a hot tub, the most important of which is whether to install an indoor or outdoor spa.


If you live in a fairly temperate climate, you may have already considered the benefits of sitting in an outside spa on a cool summer or fall evening and watching the fading sunset or counting the stars. However, outdoor tubs are more popular in colder climates than you might think. The water actually keeps you warmer than you expect and your body retains a lot of hot for that quick run back into the house. Most users say that even snow or rain does not prevent them from enjoying their outdoor tub. Other than the risk of frozen pipes with some models, there is no reason to avoid outdoor spas for temperature reasons. Outdoor hot tubs are much easier to install than indoor models. In most cases, you don’t even have to dig a hole in your yard. There is also no need for ventilation like with an indoor spa.

However, this doesn’t mean that outdoor spas don’t have their problems. Often keeping an outdoor spa clean is much tougher than an indoor model thanks to falling leaves and blowing dirt. In some locales, the nuisance of biting insects like mosquitoes can often make it difficult to enjoy an outdoor spa. Of course, there is also far less privacy outdoors than inside your own home. This might put a stop to your full use of the hot tub or allow neighbors to overhear everything you say.


The primary advantages of indoor models is that you can use them year round without regard for weather and privacy is assured in your own home. However, you may not have considered that hot tubs can also help with your utility bills by retaining heat in the tub that gradually radiates to the rest of the house. In dry climates, a hot tub can also double as a humidifier for an entire house.

The disadvantage of indoor tubs is a question of space. Often an entire room will need to be dedicated to a hot tub, and in many cases a room will need to be added to a home just for the tub. Even if space is not a concern, a typical spa filled with water can weigh over two tons, which means that some houses require structural reinforcement to handle that weight. Additional ventilation or windows may also be required to disperse the extra humidity. The moisture and heat generated by a spa tends to encourage the growth of molds and mildew, therefore wood floors may need to be replaced with tile or concrete. Water resistant drywall or other moisture resistant material will need to be used on the walls as well. A typical person carries a gallon of water with them when they get up out of a tub, so a drainage system of some sort is also beneficial.


Generally speaking, if you plan to use a hot tub daily or semi-daily, an indoor tub is more convenient and is not dependent on weather. Indoor pools are more expensive to install because of the various structural adjustments, but they are cheaper to maintain. A final consideration is children. An indoor tub is easier to secure by simply locking a door, whereas an outdoor tub must be covered to prevent small children from falling in.

Before selecting an indoor or outdoor spa, be sure to evaluate all the costs and benefits of each model to ensure that you get the most enjoyment possible out of your investment.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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