Traditional Saunas Frequently Asked Questions
With a traditional sauna, the bather should allow 30 to 40 minutes for the room to heat up to achieve a desired temperature and to properly pre-heat the rocks. This heating time is dependent upon the ambient temperature from which the room begins heating, the amount of insulation in the walls, and the ventilation provided in the room.
The temperature for a traditional sauna typically ranges between 150 F and 194 F (65 – 90 Celsius ).
The process for heating the room most often involves an electric heater or wood burning stove that heats a compartment of stones, which then radiate the heat throughout the room. Once the room achieves set temperature, the heater will cycle on and off, typically operating about 50% of the time. The insulated walls and the heated rocks will keep the room hot and at stable temperatures. A traditional sauna is the only type of sauna where you control both temperature and humidity
Most traditional sauna users enjoy pouring water over the rocks to create steam to raise sauna humidity levels. The benefits of pouring water over the rocks include: making the room more comfortable, moistening the nasal passages, and allowing the use of aromatherapy by mixing essential oils with the water. There is an on-going worldwide trend with traditional sauna bathing for “lower temperatures and higher humidity” the so called “soft sauna”.
The length of recommended use for a traditional sauna is approximately 10-15 minutes per session. Often bathers take three session with relaxing breaks in-between.
You must closely monitor how you feel and adjust accordingly. Drink a lot of water during the break between sessions.
To prevent any shifting a solid base for your traditional sauna is recommended and can be made from any of the following:
Concrete pad, wooden deck, crushed gravel, patio stones, paver blocks or tiles.
A traditional electric heated sauna will not cause a substantial increase in a household electric bill. If the average Kilowatt Hour of electricity is 11 cent and you have a heater that consumes 6 kilowatts per hour you are looking at 66 cents in an hour. Keep in mind that after properly heated up the heater will only run 50% of the following hour. Once you are done with you sauna session you will turn it off. That is a huge benefit and cost saving over i.e. a hot tub that constantly needs to run to stay warm.
Yes, if you decide to go with an electrical heater you are required to have 240 Volt and a dedicated outlet. All wiring need to be installed according to the heater manufacturers instructions and by a licensed electrician.
Wood burning stove
Yes, if you decide to go with an wood burning stove it is suggested to consult with your City in regards to bylaws on distances to property lines, hedges and neighbors you may be required to follow before installation outside.
NO wood burning should be used inside.
Please also keep in mind that if you install an traditional outdoor Sauna you may require a regular electrical line for lighting inside and outside the Sauna.
As an alternative solar lights are a great option commonly used these days.
Infrared Sauna Frequently Asked Questions
For a Far-Infrared room, a person may begin bathing when the room is turned on, since the infrared energy is being emitted by the heaters; however, many bathers would prefer to wait until the room is 110 F (43 C) or hotter. Once a quality infrared sauna is turned on with an ambient room temperature of 70 F (21 C), the sauna should exceed 100 F ( 37 C) within approx. 15 minutes.
The temperature for a far-infrared sauna is usually set between 120F and 140 F ( 48 C to 60 C )
In a far-infrared sauna, the heat waves penetrate the body to effectively heat the body and raise the body core temperature. To achieve this increased temperature, Far-infrared emitters create infrared energy which is close to the same wavelength as that which the body naturally emits often referred to as the “Vital Range” of 7 to 14 microns, so the energy is well received by the body. The infrared energy deeply penetrates the skin and warms the muscles and joints. When the energy enters the body, it causes the body temperature to increase and ultimately results in perspiration.
The length of recommended use is approximately 10 to 15 minutes per session. However, due to the lower air temperatures and the ability to feel the effects of infrared heat faster than a traditional sauna, it is not uncommon for a person to spend a total of 20-30 minutes in an infrared sauna. There are many medical practitioners, especially here in Canada, who prescribe 30 minute infrared sauna sessions for their patients. Please closely monitor how you feel and act accordingly while using the Infrared Sauna. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the breaks between sessions.
Infrared Saunas are installed inside. A safe and hygienic underground like tiles, vinyl flooring or hardwood floors are suitable. Carpets and other absorbing surfaces are not suggested.
In an infrared sauna, it’s important for the emitters/heaters to remain on almost constantly. Thus, even though most of the energy is turned into efficient infrared energy, Infrared saunas are designed for almost continuous operation of the infrared emitters. The Infrared heating system is typically 1.5-1.7 kW using a 120 volt 15 amp plug-in service. Since the room can be used sooner than a traditional sauna room, we will assume the room is used for ½ to ¾ of an hour including heat up time. At 11 cent per Kilowatt per hour, a two person infrared room will cost 18 cent to run for 1 hour, but because the IR sauna most likely not on for a full hour, realistically the room will cost about 10 cent per use.
Even though most Infrared Saunas are conveniently ready to be plugged into a 110 Volt outlet some require 240 Volt and a dedicated outlet. All wiring needs to be installed according to the emitter/heater manufacturers’ instructions and by a licensed electrician.