What is the difference between a wet and a dry Sauna?

Both are essentially the same thing. A Sauna can be used wet or dry. When someone says ‘wet’ they mean that water can be poured over the stones in the heater. If water cannot be poured over hot stones it is not a Sauna. The Sauna bather controls the humidity in the room by the amount of water used. Water can create a more relaxing atmosphere and it aids in perspiration and deep cleansing of the pores. Although use of water is most common, some like to use the Sauna without any water at all for a very dry climate (humidity level 10-15%). Sauna heat and humidity are flexible so it is up to the bather to decide how (s)he wants to use the Sauna to suit their needs. It is important to note that a wet sauna is not the same as a steam room. 

How is a Sauna different from other baths?

A Sauna must have a special, insulated room built of softwood, a heater which is capable of heating the room to about 180° F, and stones which get hot enough to produce a good steam when water is poured over them. Anything else is not a Sauna. Also, a Sauna is not a steam bath. Steam is 100% humidity while a Sauna is relatively dry at about 20-25% average humidity (when water is used).

 How high should the ceiling be?

The ceiling height should not be higher than 7 ft., as it is important to bring the heat down to where the bathers can use it at bench level. This size is also more economical to heat as the sauna will heat faster. Some commercial saunas require an 8 ft. ceiling, and in this case, attention must be paid when sizing the heater. Saunas beyond 8 ft. in height can cause the heater to work too hard and malfunction. 

Why is ceiling height so important in a traditional sauna?

Because heat rises, to keep the temperature optimal in your room the ceiling height in your room should not exceed 84".

What is the difference between Infrared & Traditional Saunas?

Traditional saunas provide a high heat, low humidity environment. Temperatures range between 80° C to 90°C (185° F to 195° F). Water can be splashed over the heater rocks to create a blast of hyper steam and intensify the feeling of heat. For those who enjoy this experience, there is nothing in the world quite like it.

Infrared saunas provide a milder environment than the traditional saunas. Infrared rays primarily heat the body directly and the air secondarily. For those who enjoy the "heat bath" experience, but cannot take or do not enjoy traditional saunas, infrared is an excellent alternative.

How should you care for your Sauna?

Sauna Benches and Flooring

  • Replacement schedule 3-5 years.
  • Check frequently for broken or loose slats and fasteners. Remove stains with sandpaper and a flat block sander.
  • Clean benches, walls and floor with mild soap (Ex. Ivory liquid or equivalent) DO NOT use a cleanser any stronger than soap. Sponge on the soapy water and sponge it off. Do not use a water hose in the sauna. Clean a minimum of every other day.

Sauna Heater

  • Retain a licensed and insured electrician to check frequently for electrical shorts, loose or frayed wires, faulty heating elements, properly functioning hi-limit switch or thermostat, etc. Usage and maintenance are the biggest factors in longevity.
  • Clean the sauna rocks frequently and check the rock container for loose debris. Immediately remove any broken rocks so they do not form a grit and damage the pan. The heater's safety guard fence should be kept in good and sturdy repair according to U.L. installation instructions.

Sauna Room

  • Replacement Schedule 10-15 years.
  • Commercial saunas that are subject to high usage should be replaced or completely refurbished every 10-15 years. A sound maintenance program and periodic replacement of benches and flooring can lengthen this interval.

Repair and replacements needs are easy to assess. Most of the work can be accomplished by your maintenance staff, reputable carpenters, and electricians. Guidance is always available through Am-Finn Sauna and Steam. We are here to help.

What should you do to ensure operation safety of your sauna?

Note: Discourage members from entering the sauna directly from a swimming pool or hot tub. The chlorine and other chemicals will reduce the longevity of the sauna wood as well as lead to its discoloration.

Daily: Enter the sauna each morning or evening (when sauna cools down), as appropriate, to conduct an operations and safety inspection. If conditions do not meet your requirements or standards, then make immediate changes to ensure availability of a clean and safe environment for your members.

Daily: Inspect bench and floor surfaces. Check for broken or loose slats and fasteners, splinters, rough spots. Repair immediately as these can injure the users.

Daily: Inspect wood slats. Wood slats may pull apart with time. A certain amount of expansion/contraction is normal, but they should not expose gaps in the walls.

Daily: Inspect the heater and controls. Check for broken rocks, loose knobs, properly operating thermostat and high limit cut-off switch and timer.

Daily: Inspect the heater's safety guard fence. Maintain the heater's safety guard fence in good and sturdy condition. Repair according to the installation instructions.

Annually: Retain a licensed and insured electrician to check for electrical shorts, loose or frayed wires, burnt out heating elements, properly functioning high limit switch or thermostat, etc. Am-Finn’s Sauna heaters are stainless steel and carry a 10-year warranty on the shell. We expect the heater to function well past 10 years. Usage and maintenance are the biggest factors in longevity.

If your members enjoy a high or constant usage, then the frequency of periodic inspection will increase. Commercial saunas that are subject to high usage should be replaced or completely refurbished every 10-15 years.