Embrace the Slow Burn: The Art of Heating a Wood-Fired Hot Tub

How to heat a wood fired hot tub

How to Heat a Wood-Fired Hot Tub

AlumiTubs crafts artisan aluminum and Canadian Western Red cedar wood-fired hot tubs. These 100% Canadian-made wood-fired hot tubs offer a unique, immersive experience that combines the natural warmth of wood and the soothing comfort of hot water. Closer to nature, it's ready to set up anywhere for unbound, off-grid hot tubbing near or far - beyond the windows of home or at a cabin in the woods. Heated from a submerged firebox, it offers a connected outdoor experience like roasting marshmallows on a campfire, where heating it stills time and fosters a deeper connection with nature and to those we share it with. In this guide, we explore the art of heating a wood-fired hot tub with AlumiTubs, covering everything from the experience of heating the tub to what to do while you wait for it to heat, wood choice, heating time, and lighting techniques.

The Experience of Heating a Wood-Fired Hot Tub

The ritual of heating a wood-fired hot tub can be as relaxing as the actual act of getting into your perfectly heated AlumiTub. Envision yourself in the heart of a lush green wilderness entwined with nature. The air is crisp and invigorating, carrying with it the earthy scent of cedar mingled with the sweet aroma of burning wood. The sounds of nature envelop you—the gentle rustle of leaves, the distant call of a bird, the sound of the water lapping the shore of the lake or the ocean, and the crackling of the fire as it flickers beneath the stove.

Surrounded by towering trees and the soft glow of twilight, you feel a sense of tranquility—a moment of stillness amidst the world's chaos. The steam rises from the water, shrouding you in a veil of warmth and comfort. As you gaze up at the star-studded sky above, a sense of serenity arrives, grounding you in the calmness of the natural world.

Heating a wood-fired hot tub is not just a task but an experience. The chopping of the wood, the warmth of the fire, the scent of cedar, the sounds of nature, and the sight of steam rising—all combine to create moments of relaxation that linger long after the fire has burned out. In your tranquil oasis, time slows down, and you find yourself fully immersed in the magic of a wood-fired hot tub. Unlike the instant gratification of an electric hot tub, the gradual warmth of our luxury wooden hot tubs invites you to slow down, unwind, and savor the moment. 

How do I light my wood fire hot tub?

Do you know how to build a fire? Then you know how to light an cedar hot tub. First, ensure that your hot tub is filled with water to the desired level before you start the heating process. To light the stove, start by placing kindling at the bottom, followed by larger pieces of wood crisscrossed on top. Use matches or a lighter to ignite the kindling, and carefully tend to the fire as needed to maintain a steady burn. Continue to add wood every 20 minutes or so, then once you are getting close to the desired temperature, stop adding wood and close the air supply. Want to learn more about how wood-burning hot tubs work? Click here.

How long does it take to heat my wood-fired hot tub?

The time it takes to heat a wood-fired hot tub can vary depending on factors such as the size of the tub (we have three different sizes of AlumiTubs: two-person, five-person, and eight-person), the ambient temperature, and the type of wood used. The Small AlumiTub takes 90 minutes to heat, and about an hour more for both the Standard and Large. We like to heat it to 102-104 degrees Celsius. AlumiTubs wood-fired hot tubs will also retain heat with just an armful of wood a day, so the challenge isn't achieving a hot soak—but rather, keeping it from getting too hot. 

Cedar hot tub temperature

Pass Times for When Heating the Tub

While your wood-fired hot tub slowly heats up, it presents the perfect opportunity to force yourself to disconnect and put your screens away. If you're lighting it up in the morning, grab your French press filled with coffee and sip while you enjoy a book, listen to your favourite music, meditate, and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. In the evening, sip on a warm drink or a glass of your favourite wine and stargaze while you wait for the water to reach your ideal temperature. 

The process of heating a wood-fired hot tub is not just about getting it hot as quickly as possible (although, when it's really cold outside, we might want that time to come sooner rather than later, so if you're looking for ways to heat your wood hot tub fast, check out this handy guide). At the end of the day, if you choose to have a wood fire heated hot tub rather than a traditional electric hot tub, you're likely interested in slowing down and getting back to the basics in life—now is the perfect opportunity to do so. Our wood fire hot tubs are designed for the purists.

Why an Instant Hot Tub Isn't Always Better

While instant hot tubs offer convenience, they often lack the charm and authenticity of a wood-fired hot tub. Although it requires a little more work, the slow, deliberate process of heating a wood-fired tub allows you to connect with nature, appreciate the art of traditional craftsmanship, and experience a deeper sense of relaxation. Additionally, wood-fired heating is more sustainable and eco-friendly, making it a conscious choice for those who value environmental responsibility.

How do I know which wood to use for my wood-fired hot tub?

When it comes to heating a wood-fired hot tub, the type of wood you choose can significantly impact your experience. We recommend using seasoned hardwoods for optimal performance and efficiency. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, or birch are ideal as they burn longer and produce consistent heat. Avoid softwoods like pine or cedar, which burn quickly and may create excessive smoke. Also, the drier the wood, the better.

How to heat a hot tub with wood

Think of heating your wood-fired hot tub as an experience rather than a task. Beyond relaxation, owning and heating a wood fire hot tub is a way to slow down and embrace the simpler things in life—like sipping a hot coffee in nature as the fire crackles next to you—from the joy of your own home.

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