Sauna Heater Information
The sauna heater is the heart of the traditional Finnish steam sauna, providing comforting heat and ample steam when pouring water on the sauna rocks. All of our sauna heaters can be used dry or for traditional steam sauna, just pour a ladle of water every 3 to 5 minutes to produce steam and bring the humidity level to your preference. Eucalyptus sauna oil can be diluted in sauna water bucket for a refreshing vaporized scent to help relieve cold / illness symptoms. Some of the best benefits of sauna use are: flush toxins through sweating, increased blood flow to skin surface for healthy skin and circulation, and a soothing feeling of well-being afterward with more restful sleep. Be sure to match the correct sized sauna heater for your application, by knowing the cubic foot total of your sauna room (width x depth x height in feet). Shopping by the cubic foot total works for most sauna heater applications, except for outdoor saunas in cold climates may want to upgrade to the next KiloWatt size up heater to compensate for the lower starting temperature.
Electric Sauna Heaters: most convenient, fast warm up time, accurate temperature control
Electric sauna heaters are the most popular type for durability and convenience in constant use commercial facilities such as gym's, athletic clubs, hotels, hospitals, military bases and more. For the best traditional sauna experience, we recommend Polar or Finnleo brand heaters that have an ample rock capacity for plenty of steam when you scoop water onto the hot rocks. Small residential saunas around 4' x 4' would use a small electric sauna heater, around 3 KiloWatts (3,000 Watts). Large commercial saunas are best heated by floor standing 3-phase electric heaters. Most residential locations use 240v single phase power. Commercial facilities many times have 208v 3-phase power supplied. If not sure what your electrical power voltage/phase type is, contact your power company or a licensed electrician before ordering a sauna heater.
Electric Sauna Heater Controls are usually one of two types: built-in controls in the heater body OR a separate wall mounted control panel usually mounted on the outside wall of the sauna near the sauna entrance door. Typical standard sauna controls have 2 dials, one is a timer and the other is temperature thermostat control. The timer control options are usually: 60 minute countdown timer OR 9 hour pre-set timer that can count down from up to 9 hours and then switch on for the last 60 minutes. For example, the 9 hour timer can be set to automatically turn on an hour before you wake up or get home from a day of skiing. Saunas in commercial facilities like Gyms often utilize a CLUB control with a simple On/Off switch for all day use, that requires a club attendant on duty. OR the 24 hour timer can be setup to automatically turn on the sauna heater for set operating hours every day. Many sauna control panels also include a toggle switch for turning on a sauna room light fixture. The thermostat dial on sauna controls can be set down to maintain a lower heat for certain applications, such as for Hot Yoga Sauna. This type of sauna is just like any other, however it has a special versatile bench layout where the top level seats are moved to the bottom bench rail to make a large platform for Yoga posing and stretching in the warm comfort of the heated room.
Digital sauna heater controls are becoming more popular now as reliability and pricing is more comparative to standard controls. Digital sauna controls are more accurate at controlling temperature and many units display actual temperature on the display. Many digital controls can be programmed pre-set to turn on at a certain time of day. The SaunaLogic digital sauna heater control has buttons for add-on sauna lighting kits (with recessed white halogen bulbs and LED color therapy bulbs) that simply plug into control panel.
It is recommended to study the sauna heater install manuals for your heater model ahead of time, to plan proper electrical wiring and heater mounting location with wall supports behind sauna paneling. Sauna heater control panel installation with thermocouple and wiring are also explained. See our Sauna Room Design Example drawing for ideas on how to plan proper fastener support inside wall for wall mounted heaters and benches. Most sauna heaters are wall mounted, while large residential or commercial saunas require the use of a larger floor standing heater with a much larger rock capacity. A licensed electrician should do the main power wire hookup to fuse panel. Be sure to let us know your supplied voltage, 208v (typical for commercial) or 240v (typical for residential) when ordering your sauna heater. Many sauna control panels have a built-in light switch that typically need a separate 110v supply wire.
Wood Fired Sauna Stoves: more traditional, can achieve higher temperatures, more maintenance & cleaning
Traditional woodburning saunas really go to the heart of the pure sauna experience. The incomparably soft heat, lush hiss of steam and relaxing crackle of a wood fueled fire... even the ritual of tending the fire. It is a heritage that many cultures worldwide have treasured for hundreds of years. Captured and reinterpreted for modern living in today's wood burning sauna heaters. The quality of heat from a wood fired sauna stove cannot be matched by any other type of sauna heater. Efficient design and convection vents allows this line of sauna stoves to heat up quickly. Standard included items are easy wood loading door, slide out ash pan, six inch chimney adapter and quality sauna rocks for holding heat and producing steam when scooping water on them. The heavy duty steel fire box and cast iron grate will endure many years of traditional sauna enjoyment.
Wood burning sauna heaters are great for remote locations or any location that allows wood burning stoves according to local building codes. Electric lights are not necessary when utilizing the glass loading door option which provides light directly from the burning wood. Another wood fired sauna stove option is a water tank. A convenient built-in water tap will provide heated water for bathing or other use. Most sauna wood stoves can route the chimney pipe straight up through the ceiling OR out the back of stove through outside wall of sauna. Bricks or cement board heat shield may be needed to surround the stove in tight clearances, see installation manuals for details. A slide-out ash pan and quality cast-iron stove grate are standard on all models of wood burning sauna stoves.
Sauna heaters are easy to turn on with just a twist of a dial, but the day when it doesn't work we see how convenient they truly are. Usually just one damaged heating element needs replaced to get back up and running. Just from many years of regular use heating up/cooling down with water sprinkled on elements & rocks will cause wear and may eventually crack element casing. We have sauna heater replacement parts in stock for many brands like Finnleo, Polar, Helo, Tylo and more. Common replacement parts are heating elements, timers, thermostats, control face plates, high limit switches and rocks. Sauna rocks will eventually deteriorate which will cause other parts to fail. Read more about Sauna Heater Maintenance and be sure inspect sauna rock condition when troubleshooting your sauna heater. Also see Sauna Rock Info and Reset Diagram
Buyer beware of cheap imitation brand sauna heaters and infrared saunas. The sauna market is being flooded with cheap imported sauna heaters that look similar to quality time-tested brand units. Before you consider buying a cheap sauna heater, be sure to know warranty info and that they will be able to offer you replacement parts (like elements, timer, etc.) when the heater eventually breaks down. Keep in mind if a cheap imitation brand sauna heater breaks a month after warranty runs out, that parts are typically not available from the distributor. The brands of sauna heaters that Superior Sauna offers have been in business for decades and replacement parts are available beyond the reasonable lifetime of the sauna heater, usually 20 to 30 years.