Wood-fired hot tub heater vs. electric – which one is right for you?

Jan 29, 2020

So you got confused about what type of heating to choose for the hot tub you want to bring into your garden? Good – it means we’re never going to run out of options for everybody’s different tastes.

Wood-fired vs. electric, external vs. integrated.

Yes… You can easily get your head spinning while selecting the best option to help you enjoy the sensation of immersing in hot water to relax from any worries in life or physical tension.

Hopefully, this article on wood-fired vs. electric heaters for hot tubs will ease the strain, and you’ll be able to make an informed and confident decision.

What are the key elements to consider when choosing a type of heater for a hot tub?

While any type of heater will eventually do its job – heat the water in your garden spa – the key parameters that may differ wildly are those:

  1. Heating time
  2. Cost per use
  3. Sustainability
  4. Convenience

So let’s compare the two options to bring the water in your tub to the desired temperature.

1. How quickly will the water heat up?

Heating time will depend on the temperature outside as well as on the size of the tub which contains 350 gallons (1600 litres) on average. A wood-fired heater is more powerful in this aspect compared to an electric one.

In summer, it will usually take 1-2 hours to heat up the water, and 3-4 hours in the cold season. To ensure the best heating result, however, you may want to follow the tips on how to heat a wood-fired hot tub.

An electric heater might need even 12-24 hours to make the water steam in your garden. The exact heating time will depend on its power, the starting water temperature, the weather temperature, and the size of the tub.

Considering the heating time only, a wood-fired heater may be at least 6 times more efficient than an electric one.

2. How much will it cost to use different types of hot tub heaters?

A wood-fired heater requires nothing but firewood and a box of matches.

There’s no way to make precise estimates of how much the logs would cost to heat your hot tub since someone might collect the wood for free while tidying up a nearby forest, and others will buy it for under £5.00 from a garden store in town and use it on several occasions.

In the case of an electric heater, the costs are a bit more predictable, although they will also vary. A standard 6kW electric heater will use 6kWh in every operating hour.

You’ll have to multiply that by the actual number of hours of heating (12-24), and then multiply it by the cost per kWh from your power supplier.

A single use should not get awfully expensive (reaching around £10 given the average electricity price in the UK of 13 pence per kWh), but you have to keep in mind that you’ll incur an upfront cost of setting up the correct power outlet for an electric heater.

3. Which type of heating is more eco-friendly?

Around 30 percent of the electric power consumed in the UK is generated from renewable supplies, and the number keeps increasing. That is nice and positive.

However, the controlled amount of wood that you’ll use in a wood-fired heater is an entirely renewable source of energy.

One thing we must mention, though, is that you must check the local regulations if burning wood is allowed at all where you live.

There are certain restrictions on producing smoke in residential areas, and you might want to be sure about that before choosing a wood-fired heater.

4. Which heater is more convenient to use?

We’re basically discussing a press of a button vs. the ritual of building up a fire and the flexibility of placing the hot tub anywhere you want.

A hot tub with a wood-fired heater can be placed anywhere in the garden or at your camper side, while an electric option will require access to a power outlet and a qualified electrician to do his part of work setting up your garden spa.

On the other hand, operating an electric heater offers the simplicity of a press of a button which might be a factor for some of us. A wood-fired heater will make you do some prep-work, and you’ll have to take care of the ashes every now and then.

But many people actually love the ritual and the fun they can have with the children in their family when picking, chopping, sorting, and burning firewood. Or the uninterrupted stillness when they do it alone…

An electric heater, on the other hand, is the choice of those who value the simplicity offered by a press of a button. If you’re that type of person, and if you can wait longer to prepare your spa, then an electric heater might bring more benefits to you.

The Verdict

The comparison in four key areas showed us more advantages of a wood-fired heater.

While an electric option offers a convenient operation, a wood-fired heater offers better operating costs, considerably quicker heating, and it’s a more sustainable option today that can be placed just anywhere – in your garden, at the side of your camper, or next to a woodland cabin holiday let.

Plus, the romance of the whole process from collecting firewood to striking a match and stoking the burning logs.

Weighing all the possible options and considering our clients’ feedback and preferences, we chose to use wood-fired integrated heaters in Gardenvity hot tubs to ensure you have your sensual experiences up, and to help keep your utility bills down.

Forgive the bias, but the wood-fired heater is our bottom-line recommendation.

Happy hot tubbing!

Classic Wood Burning Hot Tub, No Electricity Needed

Enjoy moments of stillness in a non-jetted hot tub. This model does not require electricity because it has no electrical parts. A classic wood fired hot tub comes fully assembled with all the necessary accessories. With its unique traditional look, it is the perfect addition to a back garden of any house or a holiday cottage.

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For 6-8 people
From £3550

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From £3850

Whirlpool + LED Wood Burning Hot Tub Package

Experience the mesmerizing, soothing sensation of hot water in our wooden hot tub with 12 air jets and LED lighting. The whirlpool brings true relaxation on a physical and emotional level, while the soft LED glow sets a romantic vibe, giving the traditional looking hot tub a touch of uniqueness.

Customize your Hot tub:

For 6-8 people
From £3800

For 8-10 people
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