The original hot tubs were a pretty basic technology. You’d sit in a wood barrel that was connected to a fire. Pipes connecting the barrel to the fire would heat up, but not enough to cause the wood to burn or the water to get too hot. That technology is still available today with these wood fired hot tub ideas.
The technology has evolved, but the process is still the same as it was so long ago. The tub is connected to a fire source with tubing. When the fire is active, the water in the tub begins to heat up. Most of today’s wood fire hot tubs are designed for just one person, but some can be large enough to accommodate eight people with the right installation.
Why Old-Style Hot Tubs Are Still a Great Idea
Admittedly the wood fired hot tubs are a very small niche sector of today’s spa industry. There are only a handful of products that are available on Amazon and other e-commerce sites which qualify for this type of product. Only a handful of people have purchased them. After all, when you’re living in a world of iPhones, Pokemon Go, and 4K televisions, an old-style hot tub doesn’t seem to fit the bill.
But for some homes, the old-style wood fired hot tub is the best idea possible. The water is heated with a wood-fired stove and then you just sit in the warm water. It’s rustic, without jets or any fancy gadgets, but the results are still the same. This means you have fewer ongoing costs, have less cleaning and maintenance to do, but still come out feeling a bit wobbly in the legs after a good soak.
The world’s largest manufacturer of wood fired hot tubs is based in Seattle. Since they started producing them, the total number of sales has been around 20,000. In comparison, it is estimated that there are over 6 million hot tubs owned across the United States alone.
There’s also the environmentalism factor that comes into play when owning a wood fired hot tub. Many of them are made from sustainable materials. Even those that have a traditional tub instead of a wood basin with an underwater stove are often made of recycled materials. Add that to the atmosphere these hot tubs provide, which is a slow, leisurely pace to life, and it is easy to see why this old-style form of relaxation is still a great idea.
The Economics of a Wood Fired Hot Tub
Today’s wood fired hot tub can either be a permanent installation or a portable one – though the portable units only seat one person and typically cost the same as the larger permanent models. At an average price of $4,000, you can pick up a wood fired hot tub for about the same price as a modern hot tub with all of the jets and maintenance needs you’ll have to address at least 2 times per week.
Here’s a great example of what we’re talking about.
This wood fired hot tub requires no electricity to operate. Unlike the models produced in Seattle, this option places the wood stove on the outside of the unit and uses piping to heat the water. This gives you more room within the hot tub, so this model can seat up to four with circular benches installed. The stainless steel heater produces up to 55,000 BTU and it comes with a child proof cover and safety locks. Plus it’s made from American Red Cedar, so it smells great when you’re relaxing outside.
So is a wood fired hot tub the best option for every home? Of course not. You need to have some yard space since this must be an outdoor hot tub. You also need to find a unit that meets or exceeds wood burning air quality efficiency standards for stoves like these. Some areas may ban them outright. Yet if you live off the grid or have a cabin or vacation home that’s off the grid, this could be the perfect addition to your property.
Here are two more solid options to consider when you feel like the best wood fired hot tub is the best solution for your property.
Alfi Brand Wood Fired Hot Tub: Click here to view the price on Amazon and find an awesome deal.
Gowe Group Wood Fired Hot Tub: Click here to view the price on Amazon and find an awesome deal.
How to Care for a Wood Fired Hot Tub
Caring for a wood stove can be a somewhat complicated process. You’ll want to follow the same process for your hot tub stove as homeowners would need to follow for the wood stove that heats their home. The following video from Northline Express takes you through the tools, personal protective equipment, and procedures you’ll need to follow.
There’s also the care that you’ll need to give the interior of your hot tub itself. If the tub is made from wood, then you will want to drain the tub periodically and scrub out any organics that have begun to form in the water. Try to avoid chemical treatments if you can because this may affect the integrity of the wood.
For other hot tubs, the same guide to cleaning and maintaining a modern hot tub will work for it.
One thing that must not be ignored when using a wood burning stove to heat a hot tub: do not let any water come into contact with the ash that you produce. The combination of burnt wood ash and water can create lye over time. For models that have the heater underwater, the lye can actually create burns on human skin or cause corrosion even on items that are corrosion-resistant. You’ll want to clean out any ashes produced on a regular basis.
Is a wood fired hot tub the right choice for your home? It may be a simple technology, but a wood fired hot tub can provide profound results. Better for rural settings in many instances than urban ones, this type of hot tub comes in multiple sizes, is made from top-quality materials, and offers easy maintenance and cleaning. If you love tradition and you love wood burning stoves, then this investment could be right for you today. If wood-fired isn’t for you, there are a lot of new and interesting options on the market today. Portable and plug-n-play hot tubs can be great alternatives. You can read more about powered hot tub with our reviews here.