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How To Choose A Home Sauna

Purportedly invented by the Finnish, what’s known as the modern day sauna has been around for thousands of years.  Fires were used to heat rocks and steam was produced by throwing water on the heated stones.  What’s known as the Finnish sauna still exists today with an electric heater being used to heat the rocks.  There has been a relatively recent innovation in saunas known as the infrared sauna.  This article will go over the differences between Finnish saunas and infrared saunas to help guide you in your sauna buying process.

Temperature And Toxins

Finnish saunas typically heat the air to around 80 or 90 degrees Celsius.  This high temperature is used to cause the body to sweat.  Although saunas are generally known for their ability to flush out body toxins, the sweating caused by the high temperatures of a Finnish sauna is typically composed of 3% toxins and 97% water.  Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use infrared light as their heat source but acts directly on the body as opposed to the air.  As such, the temperature in an infrared sauna usually rises to about 50 or 60 degrees Celsius.  Sweating caused by such temperatures usually causes a sweat composed of 20% toxins and 80% water.

Heating Times And Operating Costs

A Finnish sauna usually takes about a half hour to reach ideal temperature levels.  Partly due to the lower temperatures of the infrared sauna, it takes about 15 minutes to reach an optimum temperature.  The Finnish sauna uses a lot more energy to heat the air and, as such, operating costs can be up to ten times more than that of an infrared sauna.  It must be mentioned, however, that even with the energy-intensive Finnish sauna, costs in a province like Ontario would still run at less than one dollar per hour.

Sauna Sensation

Because most people are familiar with the sensation of sweating caused by a Finnish sauna, the lower temperatures of the infrared saunas may make users think they’re not hot enough.  As mentioned, however, this is because the Finnish sauna heats the air and only the surface of the skin tissue is heated.  The infrared sauna, on the other hand, emits light that heats the body directly, as opposed to the air.  Infrared light is absolutely safe (as opposed to ultraviolet light) and is even used by hospitals to heat premature babies.

The Verdict

Whether you choose to purchase a traditional Finnish sauna or an infrared sauna really depends on what you’re used to and what you’re looking for.  As mentioned, some people seem to believe that infrared saunas are downright cool in comparison with traditionally heated saunas.  Other people like the fact that infrared saunas flush out more toxins, take less time to heat and cost less to run.  These are some things to keep in mind when buying a sauna.

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