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How much does it cost to run a bouncy castle?

Not very much is the answer! If you consider the fantastic healthy fun that can be had with all the different inflatables on offer to hire, from Bouncy castles to inflatable slides, obstacle courses, Combie castles, bungee runs and a whole range of inflatable games.

The IIHF (Irish Inflatable Hirers Federation) are regularly asked how much does it cost to run the inflatable for a day or indeed for a whole week or more.

We took a close look at this and decided it will be best to focus on the hourly rate.

Hourly Cost to run a bouncy castle

The average motor used to inflate a bouncy castle is a 1,5 HP (horse power) this is almost always a 1 kW motor, that is, it will use 1 kW of power to run the fan for 1 hour.  

In Ireland considering and taking into account the recent dramatic increase in energy costs on the 10-09-2022.  The cost of I kW of power averages out at 43.27 cent. This does not include your standing charge, but you are paying that anyway. So all you have to do is multiply the amount of hours you are using the inflatable by the cost of 1 unit of electricity, which is 43.27 cent. 

Size Matters

This cost will be doubled if you are using a 2-part inflatable or if the one part inflatable you hired has more than 1 fan the cost will multiply with each one. 

Also if your inflatable uses an unusual 2 HP fan the cost will increase to just below 60 cent per hour.

Why use two fans? 

The IIHF are also asked why does an inflatable need more than 1 fan? Well there are a few reasons:

  1. The inflatable is old and cannot retain the air pressure sufficiently to give a sound and reliable footing with a normal fan. 
  2. The inflatable is very large and needs a larger than normal or extra fan because of its large size. 
  3. The inflatable is manufactured badly usually with loose stitching or the stitch length is too long.

Legal Requirements for Bouncy Castle hirers in Ireland

It is a requirement under the European Safety Standard EN14960-2019 that an inflatable has a sound and reliable footing. This relates to the inflatable’s ability to retain air. 

This should be tested in the daily checks the operator will carry out every time before making the inflatable ready for use. This will also be checked in the annual safety check that is carried out by a competent person and the pressure will be noted on the safety test report sheet.

It is a requirement of the European safety standard and the IIHF that all inflatables to be hired out be submitted for an annual safety check. This safety test is similar to your NCT for your car or DOE for your van. Any inflatable that does not pass a safety test is not fit for purpose. 

Remember inflatables are the best and healthiest fun to be had. If you care enough about safety for your children and your guests then ALWAYS hire from operators who are members of the IIHF. You can find a directory of registered members here

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