for Homeowners and Builders
HOW IS A SAUNA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER
A Sauna is an insulated room built of softwood along with
a heater which is capable of heating the room to about 180
° F. Stones are heated to a temperature hot enough to
produce a light steam when a ladle full of water is poured
over them. A Sauna is not a steam bath since steam is 100%
humidity while a Sauna is relatively dry at about 20-25% average.
WHERE CAN A SAUNA BE INSTALLED IN A HOME?
Anywhere that space permits. Popular locations are in an exercise
area, master bathroom, near a shower, basement, garage, patio,
or by a pool.
WHAT IS THE BEST SIZE FOR A HOME SAUNA?
A Sauna can be as small as 4' x 4' however, if the space is
available, the sauna should be as long as the height of the
tallest person in the family to allow for reclining. A 4'
x 6' space or up to a 6' x 8'’ space would be ideal
for most home Saunas.
HOW HIGH SHOULD THE CEILING BE?
The ceiling height should be no higher than 7 feet, as it
is important to bring the heat down to where the bathers can
use it at a bench level. It is also more economical to heat,
and the sauna will heat faster. For every 6 inches above 7
feet, you lose 20% of the heat.
SHOULD I INSTALL A PRE-CUT OR PRE-BUILT
In new construction or a remodeling project, the owner, builder
or architect can design and allocate the space for a pre-cut
sauna package. The Sauna space can be framed and insulated,
and the hard surfaced waterproof floor can be provided. The
pre-cut package can then be ordered and the wall and ceiling
boards, assembled benches, pre-hung door and other items can
be installed by a builder, handyman, or homeowner. In an existing
home, a pre-built Sauna can be placed in any available open
area with a waterproof floor. The advantage of a pre-built
Sauna is that it is easy to assemble and install and can be
moved to another location later if necessary.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A SAUNA?
Depending on size, a pre-cut Sauna package typically takes
about 1 day to install by two people. A pre-built Sauna can
take as little as 2 hours to assemble and install.
WHAT ARE THE ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS?
Most Saunas require 220/240v power with a hard wire connection
to a separate 30 or 40 amp breaker in the electrical panel.
In some instances a small sauna can be plugged into a 110/120v
outlet, as long as there is a #12 wire behind the plug.
IS THE SAUNA EXPENSIVE TO OPERATE?
No. For example, if your electrical rates are 6 cents per
kilowatt hour, it will only cost 36 cents to operate a 6 kW
heater per hour.
DOES THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY OF THE SAUNA
CAUSE ANY PROBLEMS?
As the Sauna is not a steambath, there is no live steam to
escape from the room and cause damage to the surrounding areas.
The humidity of a Sauna is only 10% to 30% depending on if
water is added to the stones. The reason for the low humidity
is that the softwood absorbs the moisture, and the 180 °
F heat will dry out the moisture. Some of the heat will escape
when the door is opened, but the heat is dry.
ARE VENTS REQUIRED?
One upper vent and one lower vent should be used for good
air circulation. Saunas should be vented to an adjacent room
or other open area. Venting to the outside is not recommended
due to minimizing the heat up time.