Technical and Sauna Related Frequently Asked Questions
- Sauna FAQs
- Technical Questions
IS AN INFRARED OR FAR INFRARED CABIN A SAUNA?
HOW SHOULD A SAUNA BE CLEANED?
Damp mop the floor as needed. The benches can be cleaned with a mild soap applied with a wet cloth. To remove perspiration stains on the wall boards light sanding with 120 grit sandpaper may be required periodically. To keep your room looking at its best always lay or sit on towels. Apply sauna wood oil periodically as needed to refurbish the wood, especially in commercial applications.
IS A SAUNA EXPENSIVE TO OPERATE?
Heat up time is fast-about 30 minutes-and the Sauna is only on when being used, unlike spas. The average home Sauna costs as little as $3 per month to operate, when used for an hour 3 times a week.
WHICH TYPES OF WOOD ARE THE BEST FOR SAUNA CONSTRUCTION?
Western Red Cedar is the preferred wood for sauna. Nordic spruce and Aspen are also excellent choices, but not as practical for commercial applications, as the light colored wood makes it more difficult to keep it clean.
WHAT IS A PORTABLE SAUNA?
A true portable sauna allows for quick assembly/disassembly to move from place to place and also has the ability to be plugged into a 15 amp and or 20 amp 120v outlet. Portable saunas are small, light-weight and not intended for commercial applications. They are mostly intended for light use, residential applications.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN SIT IN A TRADITIONAL PORTABLE SAUNA?
Saunas will normally be listed with a certain number of people capacity. If a sauna is listed as a two person sauna then two average sized people would sit side by side.
WHERE CAN A SAUNA BE INSTALLED?
HOW HIGH SHOULD MY SAUNA CEILING BE?
The ceiling height should be no higher than 7 ft, as it is important to bring the heat down to where the bathers can use it at bench level. It is also more economical to heat, and the Sauna will heat faster. Some commercial saunas require an 8 ft ceiling, 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.
SHOULD A SAUNA HAVE VENTS?
We recommend one lower vent, starting at about 4″ off the floor, somewhere near the Sauna heater, and a second vent on any other wall, preferably on the opposite wall of the intake vent, approx 24” off the floor between the upper and lower bench level. We do not recommend a vent at the upper bench level or higher, or in the ceiling. Venting is not a safety issue; vents only make it more comfortable for the bather. Vents are merely a cutout in the wall or a passageway from the Sauna to an existing room adjoining the Sauna. No duct work is required.
We recommend venting from the Sauna to an area inside the house. The minimal heat that escapes into the house from the vents will not damage your drywall, wallpaper, paint, etc. You may vent to outside air if your desire, but keep in mind that cold air from outside may increase your Sauna heat-up time.
DO I NEED A DRAIN IN MY SAUNA ROOM FLOOR?
No, a drain is actually not recommended as hosing down the sauna for cleaning will damage the interior wood. (In rare cases a drain might be required by code). There is actually very little water drainage in a dry sauna. You should however, make sure to have a waterproof floor such as tile or concrete to allow for easy clean up.
CAN I USE METAL STUDS FOR FRAMING?
Yes, but you will need to secure plywood onto your metal frame. Wood on the inside of your framing is needed to provide a surface for the wall boards to be nailed to. Another option would be to apply wood nailers across/in-between the metal studs to provide locations to secure/nail the wall boards to. This method would require a vertical installation of wall boards.
WILL MY SAUNA KIT COME IN MY EXACT MEASUREMENTS?
Yes. When we take the order, we go through a pre-cut worksheet whichasks for the stud to stud measurements. Some angles may need to be cutonsite.
WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF SCANDIA’S 1X6 T&G PATTERN VS STANDARD 1X4 MATERIAL?
It is faster to install 1×6 material VS 1×4. Your time is reduced by an approximate half. 1×6 materials has a 5 “ face VS the industry standard 1×4”. 1×6 material has a robust look and it more appealing than thinner boards like the 1×4, which as a 3-1/2” face.
SHOULD THE T&G BE APPLIED HORIZONTALLY OR VERTICALLY ON THE WALLS?
It depends on the room size. Most Scandia sauna kits larger than a 7×7 room are prepared standard for vertical install, but that can vary. Please verify with Scandia at time of order as certain sauna room sizes may come with horizontal install as well. Horizontal install T&G are available upon special request at an additional cost.
DO SCANDIA SAUNA KITS COME WITH VENT KITS?
No, in many instances where the heater is placed by the door, a vent is typically not necessary. If the heater is located in an area in the room away from fresh air, we recommend that venting is planned.
WHY MUST A SAUNA BE BUILT OF SOFTWOOD?
The humidity must be absorbed into the wood to keep the atmosphere relatively dry. Softwoods have this property and are cool to the touch. Hardwoods absorb heat and become too hot to sit or lean against. The wood must be kiln dried to within 9-11% moisture content to prevent shrinkage and warping.
HOW HOT WILL A SAUNA GET?
All of our electric sauna heaters carry either a UL listing which mandates that the high limit for electric sauna heaters in a 7′ high room be 194° F at the ceiling level.
SHOULD A SAUNA BE INSULATED?
Yes, insulation prevents heat loss. We recommend R-11 or R-13 fiberglass insulation. The insulation may be standard paper faced. All the walls and the ceiling should be insulated.
SHOULD A SAUNA HAVE A WATERPROOF FLOOR?
A Sauna must have a waterproof floor so that it can be easily washed and kept clean and sanitary, and free of odor. We recommend washable floors such as tile, sealed cement/concrete, or heavy duty vinyl. Wooden flooring is not hygienic in a sauna as it absorbs perspiration, facilitates odor causing bacteria, and it cannot be thoroughly cleaned.
IS A FLOOR DRAIN NECESSARY?
Commercial Saunas should have a floor drain to remove excess water by bathers and for cleaning purposes. Most residential Saunas do not need a floor drain, unless a water hose is used for cleaning.
HOW SHOULD A SAUNA BE CLEANED?
Damp mop the floor as needed. The benches can be cleaned with a mild soap applied with a wet cloth. To remove perspiration stains on the wall boards light sanding with 120 grit sandpaper may be required periodically. To keep your room looking its best, always lay or sit on towels. Apply sauna wood oil periodically as needed to refurbish the wood, especially in commercial applications.
DO I NEED TO HAVE A ROOF KIT WITH AN OUTDOOR UNIT?
Yes you need to provide some type of roof protection for an outdoor sauna. We offer roof kits for all models as an option, but could design your own roof for the sauna. It is important that there is some sort of roof to protect the sauna from the elements.
IS THERE ANY VALUE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 3/8″ AND 11/16″ T&G MATERIAL?
No. the difference is so minimum that it cannot be noticed. The ¾” (Actual Thickness 11/16″) will provide a little better R Value, it has less chance of cupping and warping over time, and you have a wider shoulder & tongue to shoot the nail through.
If the pilot goes out (or gets blown out), on the Scandia Gas Sauna Heater does it turn off the flow of gas?
Yes, if for any reason the pilot lite goes out, it will automatically turn off the gas at the gas valve. This is a standard feature for the Scandia standing pilot version gas heaters. The Scandia piezo-controlled sauna heaters light the pilot electronically on-demand, which makes them impervious to wind conditions.
Can excessive wind affect the standing pilot on the Scandia Gas Sauna Heater?
Yes, in rare occasions strong wind can blow out the pilot light. This condition can be resolved easily by placing a small piece of screen on the inside of the intake cover. This screen will break the excessive wind but will not negatively affect the airflow of the heater.