Indulge in a digital-free, open air ritual.
For centuries, "wood fired" or wood burning hot tubs have been used for relaxation, socializing, and rejuvenation centered in nature. Historically, indigenous peoples of North America, Scandinavia, and Japan used them, heating with wood or charcoal. In recent years, wood fired hot tubs have become a hot item to buy as a private backyard retreat or as a luxury amenity for Vrbo and Airbnb rental properties.
In this guide, we will look at how they work, how to maintain them, common materials and configurations, how long they last, and ultimately whether one might be a worthy investment for you. Plus, we’ll take a look at a few brands and models from top wood burning hot tub builders.
What are modern wood-fired hot tubs made from?
Today, wood-fired hot tubs come in a variety of sizes and configurations to suit different outdoor living spaces and individual needs. Cedar is the most popular and commonly used wood in the construction of wood fired hot tubs. Cedar woods are well-known for their durability, rot and decay resistance, and attractive appearance.
Western Red Cedar is the most popular wood used by hot tub builders.
Western Red Cedar: Because of its high insulation properties, this species of wood is an excellent choice for hot tubs located in harsh weather conditions. It is also naturally resistant to rot and decay, and its earthy reddish-brown color gives the hot tub a natural aesthetic.
Alaskan Yellow Cedar: This wood is known for its exceptional durability and rot resistance. It has a light yellow color and is widely available in North America's Pacific Northwest region. Does particularly well under wet conditions, but is more expensive than Western Red Cedar.
Teak: This hardwood is well-known for its exceptional durability, rot resistance, and natural weather resistance. Its beautiful golden-brown color and unique grain patterns make it a popular choice for outdoor furniture and hot tubs. Teak, on the other hand, can be more expensive than other types of wood, making it a less affordable option for some.
Submersible or external stove for your tub?
A submersible stove is one that is intended to be installed inside the hot tub, typically in a corner. The stove is linked to a flue pipe that rises above the hot tub and allows smoke and fumes to escape. Submersible stoves are compact and space-saving, making them an excellent choice for smaller hot tubs.
One of the primary benefits of a submersible stove is that it provides more efficient heating and can typically heat to temperature in half the time it takes an external stove. Because the stove is built into the hot tub, the heat it generates is directly transferred to the water, resulting in a faster heating time and a more consistent temperature. Furthermore, because they do not require the same level of clearance and ventilation as external stoves, submersible stoves are often easier to install.
Submersible stoves, on the other hand, can be more difficult to access and maintain because they are located inside the hot tub. This can make cleaning and repairing the stove more difficult, as well as adding wood to the stove while the hot tub is in use.
An external stove is intended to be installed outside of the hot tub, in close proximity to it. A series of pipes connects the stove to the hot tub, carrying hot water from the stove to the hot tub. External stoves are designed to be more visible and accessible, typically making maintenance and repair easier.
A primary benefits of using an external stove is that it can be a more visually appealing look depending on your personal taste. Because the stove is outside the hot tub, it can be designed in a distinctive manner, making it an excellent choice for those who want a hot tub that looks as good as it functions. That being said, there are some very attractive submersible models on the market, such as Goodland.
How long does a wood fired hot tub take to warm up?
The time it takes for a wood-fired hot tub to warm up is determined by several factors, including the size of the hot tub, the type of stove used, and the desired temperature. It takes about 1 to 2 hours to heat up a wood-fired hot tub to the desired temperature.
When using a submersible stove, the hot tub can heat up faster due to the direct transfer of heat from the stove to the water. The heating time can be reduced even further by using an insulated hot tub cover, which traps heat inside the hot tub.
The heating time may be slightly longer when using an external stove because the heat must travel through pipes before reaching the hot tub. External stoves, on the other hand, frequently provide more precise temperature control, which can result in a more consistent temperature throughout the hot tub. Furthermore, the external stove can be positioned to maximize heating efficiency, reducing heating time even further.