Help & FAQ's
- We would recommend never applying any varnish or stain to any internal timber in a commercial sauna. However there are some products suitable for the domestic market.
- Try to encourage users to shower before entering the sauna, especially if they have used the spa or pool, to minimise the possibility of chlorine damaging the benches.
- NOTE: Chlorinated water carried into the sauna on bathers’ bodies or swimwear will seriously affect the bench timbers and reduce the lifespan of the benches. Bathers should be advised to shower prior to using the sauna. NEVER use water from a swimming pool on the sauna stones – this will greatly reduce the lifespan of the stove and elements.
- Always encourage your members to sit on a towel when using the sauna. This will help prevent the benches deteriorating through moisture, chlorine and sweat. It will also help prevent any staining.
- The bench seats should be cleaned using a mild disinfectant solution and soft hand brush. DO NOT SOAK.
- The sauna walls may also be cleaned, particularly in area where the users’ body may have come into contact, i.e. on upper benches where users have leant against the walls. Use a mild disinfectant solution and soft hand brush.
- Under no circumstances should hose pipes or pressure washers be used in the sauna, or on its fittings or seats. The sauna should never be soaked with water.
Sauna Bather User Guide
The warmth of a sauna can help to ease everyday aches, pains and stresses. Pores also open, and this, combined with increased perspirations, allow the skin to be cleansed of impurities and toxins.
To feel the benefit, however, you must use the sauna safely and adhere to these user instructions:
DO NOT USE THE SAUNA IF YOU:
- Are pregnant.
- Are recovering from surgery.
- Have a history of heart disease, high or low blood pressure, or circulation problems.
- Are taking prescription medicine.
- Have exercised recently, and have a higher body temperature than you normally would.
- Have recently consumed an alcoholic beverage.
Always consult with your doctor if you are unsure whether you are able to use a sauna.
The elderly, and those under the age of 16, should also seek medical advice, or exercise extreme caution when using a sauna. A child’s body temperature rises much faster than that of an adult, therefore this should be taken into consideration if they are allowed to use the sauna.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU:
- Remove all jewellery and watches. With a minimum sauna operating temperature of approximately 80°C, any metal in contact with the skin, can burn. Also remove any glasses or contact lenses.
- Remove any make-up and take a shower before using the sauna.
- Take a towel to sit upon.
- Only stay in the sauna as long as you are comfortable.
HOW TO ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE
- Enter the sauna and take a seat on the lower benches until your body becomes accustomed to the heat.
- Try to breathe through your mouth where possible to prevent damage to the nose membrane.
- The sauna is always hottest on the highest level, only advance to that level if you feel comfortable.
- If you wish, where possible, add a little water to the stove to increase the humidity within the sauna.
- For initial sessions, do not stay longer than 10 minutes and cool down afterwards with a shower.
- Drink non-alcoholic liquids to restore any lost fluids to your body.
- For more experienced users, stay in the sauna for up to 30 minutes.
- If at any time you experience giddiness or nausea, leave the sauna and advise a member of staff, so that they are aware.
As long as you adhere to the recommended guidelines, saunas are beneficial in many ways. Try not to have the sauna too hot as this can remove some of the benefits if you are experiencing discomfort. Follow your sauna with a cool shower, or a plunge pool, to enhance the benefits and make the most of your experience.
Stimulating blood flow and circulation, the high temperatures within a traditional sauna cause blood vessels in the skin to dilate. The better blood flow results in lower blood pressure after the sauna experience. Regular use can improve the heart rate and help the body’s regulatory system.
Having short intervals in the sauna, followed by a cool shower, before entering the sauna again, can increase your heart rate by over 50% due to the rapid temperature change.
Saunas also assist with respiratory illness by relieving chest congestion, which can reduce symptoms of some respiratory disease. When steam is created within the sauna, the production of white blood cells can increase, and help in fighting viruses.
In the dry heat of a sauna, oxygen and nutrient supply increases to the muscles and deep tissues. This can help relieve relieve aches and pains caused by conditions such as arthritis, and can also ease pain in stiff or pulled muscles.
The natural endorphins released during a sauna session help to relax the body, and can speed up the healing process of minor cuts and bruises.
Relaxation is a main use for saunas. The enhanced oxygen and endorphin production relaxes your mind and body, reducing stress. The quiet, natural environment of a sauna leaves you feeling calm and tranquil. This feeling can also be beneficial as the de-stressing effect can then assist with a better night’s sleep.
The dry heat within the sauna helps the body to sweat out excess waste and toxins. Deep sweating in the sauna can reduce levels of lead, zinc, mercury and other chemicals, which we absorb into our systems through normal everyday life.
The release of the toxins from the skin cleans the pores, and the increase in circulation helps to leave you with a glowing, healthy complexion.
Sweating removes bacteria from the epidermal layer and the sweat ducts, which energises the skin, helping to maintain the collagen structure and even reduce the appearance of tiny wrinkles.
Whilst weight loss cannot be achieved only through sauna use, a 20 minute relax in the sauna can burn as many as 500 calories, thanks to the increased heart rate which can also increase your metabolism in the same way as actual physical exercise.
Of course, a sauna is no substitute for a healthy diet, and regular exercise, but it can aid you with your weight loss goals.
Sauna Running Costs
Please note that these are approximate costs only, for a traditional electric sauna heater.
A standard sauna takes, on average, around to an hour to get to temperature. With our saunas, we have both reflective paper, and 50mm of insulation, so to keep the sauna running is then around 75% of the initial start-up.
The costs can be identified using the kW rating of the stove.
So, say you have a standard sauna, with a 9kW stove…
The initial startup will be 1 hour, thus it will take 9kWh to initially heat the sauna. Note that even if you leave the door open, it cannot consume more than 9kW per hour!
If your sauna is running for 10 hours per day, then it would use 9kWh on startup, then between 60 and 81kWh to keep the sauna to temperature.
Taking a happy medium, that is 80kWh in a day.
At an average cost of £0.11p per kWh (as of December 2014), that is a daily running cost of £8.80 per 10 hour day.
If you have a large glazed section, allow for 25% more useage as some heat is lost through the glazed section.
Please feel free to download our useage calculator (Excel File)
With regards to maintenance costs, there is very little to go wrong on a sauna. The only item that tends to fail are the elements, dependant upon useage these may need replacing once every 3-6 years. Another item to be damaged is the temperature sensor, where some members apply cold water or hang towels on it, to try increase the sauna temperature.
New Sauna vs Refurbishment
To be frank, the only real difference is your budget! With a sauna refurbishment costing around 60% of the price of a new sauna, this option is definitely the one for the more limited budgets.
“But our sauna has scorched sections”
This is not a problem. We over-board these meaning that the sauna will look like new.
“We have just changed the layout of the Leisure Centre, and wish to move the sauna, what are my options?”
In this case, you would need a new sauna. If you wished to keep the old sauna, you could have it refurbished so that it essentially looks like two new saunas!
“Our insurance company insists on a behind bench heater. What is this?”
A behind bench heater is located behind the benches, with a dwarf wall in front. A lot of insurance companies are progressing this way as there is less chance of injury or items being left upon the stove. The heater comes with a deflector which allows any debris to fall away to a safer location. We also have under-bench heaters for those with limited space, which are underneath the top bench, with a small flue-like wall above. Both of these can be offered on either new or refurbished saunas. With new saunas we do have the ability to change the entry points of cabling, which is more difficult on a refurbishment where there can be limited access.
“What options do I have with lighting, to make our sauna look even better?”
There is very little limit on a new sauna, as we have full access to the cabin as we put the walls in. On a refurbishment, altering lights can be a little more difficult, as there is sometimes limited access into the ceiling, and following the cabling into the plant room can be difficult! Depending upon the location of your sauna (poolside saunas tend to have more wear), we would suggest that you look into replacing the benches between 3 and 5 years after installation. This includes the bench supports, which can be damaged by chlorinated water as the years pass. Between 6 and 10 years after installation, we would advise considering a full refurbishment of the sauna cabin. In summation, we would probably recommend that you refurbish your cabin once, before then replacing it the next time it becomes worn.
Other General FAQ's
What different types of wood are available?
The heat in a sauna affects the way in which different woods react. Some woods can ‘move’ a lot once heated and it is not recommended to use those, as the tongues in the panelling can come out of the grooves creating gaps which present a risk of heat loss, and even fire. The standard wood used in pine or spruce, as it is very stable. We also manufacture from cedar, obeche and hemlock. We have manufactured saunas using iroko and veneered boards, though obviously non-standard timbers can increase the build costs. Benching, as standard, is manufactured from obeche, though we have produced cedar benches. The main difference being cost, again.
I have a tiny room / loft space. Will I get a sauna to fit?
As long as there is adequate height within the room, we are able to manufacture saunas to fit in most areas. If in doubt, just contact us and we would be able to advise.
What is the best floor for a sauna?
All of our saunas are mounted onto your own floor finish. For commercial installations we recommend a tiled finish. In a domestic situation we recommend any water-resistant surface, preferably with the perimeter turned up approximately 50mm to prevent any water escaping if there is a spillage. We also advise that the flooring is easily cleanable.
Do I require a floor drain?
Whilst it is advisable to have a floor drain, to aid cleaning, and to assist should water be spilt within the sauna cabin, a drain is not always a necessity on a residential installation. On commercial installations we strongly advise that the floor falls to a drain, as the cleaning turnover is much greater, users are also more likely to enter the sauna wet (after using a pool or spa), and there is more risk of water being spilt.
Can I install a sauna outside?
Yes! We offer a number of options for external cabins. Some can be installed into existing outdoor structures, or we offer specially built cabins with pitched, felted roofs to reduce the effects of the weather. We also offer larch or cedar cladding or shingles, to further protect the cabin.
Can I paint my sauna?
On the external walls, you are welcome to use any product (if suitable for the area the sauna is installed into). With the inside of a sauna, we would not recommend using any product. There are sauna waxes and paints available (we have used them ourselves), but we could never guarantee the finish or how long the colour would last. A traditional Finnish sauna is natural wood, and we think that it should be left that way! Outdoor saunas do require a weatherproof finish. This comes as standard with our outdoor saunas, but would need re-applying every couple of years.
What is the correct temperature for a sauna?
Everybody’s taste varies, but we recommend between 70 and 85°C. Remember, that the upper benching tiers will be hotter than those at low level. Running a sauna at too high temperature can reduce it’s life.
What is the best method of heating our sauna?
As standard, we install electric stoves into the sauna cabins. Whilst free-standing stoves are still available, the industry is moving more to under bench or behind bench heaters, which reduce the contact between the user and the stove. We can also provide wood-burning saunas, complete with our briquettes to give a high heat very quickly. Infra-red is also becoming more popular, though ‘traditional’ saunas are still leading the market.
What is the correct stove size for my sauna?
Firstly, you must calculate the volume of your cabin. This is calculated using height x width x length. So, if your sauna is 2m x 2m x 2m, your volume is 8m³. Up to 10m³ we advise on allowing 1kW per m³, so this would need an 8kW stove. (allow around 1.25kW per m³ for saunas with glazed fronts). As stoves over 8kW require a 3 phase electrical supply, we would advise any domestic customers to keep the sauna size below 8m³ to allow installation to a domestic single phase supply. Some clients prefer to oversize the stove, so that the sauna heats up faster. If the sauna is to be on for long periods of time, however, it would be better to go a little lower, so that the heater is on more than off, reducing the strain on the elements (imagine a kettle being turned on and off 100 times a day!).
What electrical supply do I need?
We always advise that a dedicated isolator is provided for the sauna cabin. Always consult a qualified electrician regarding any electrical works. However, a rough guestimate can be taken using the following formula: Amps = Watts ÷ Volts So, for an 7.5kw stove, in a domestic installation Amps = 7500 ÷ 230, which is around 32A.
Who manufactures the stoves you use?
As a rule we use EOS stoves. They are a very reputable German company with many years’ experience. Our heater products are compliant with the latest European and British legal standards (BS EN 60335-2-53), and many of our models are independently approved and certified.
Are they easy to operate?
All of our saunas come with programmable thermostatic controllers which make useage very easy. For residential installation we normally set a limit within the controller so that it will turn off after 6 hours. Our commercial installations use the 24-hour 7 day built in timer. The controller is very simple to use, and we provide a user manual with each installation.
Are they easy to maintain?
If you take care of your sauna, it is very easy to maintain! Try to never leave standing water on the benches, as this can cause them to deteriorate. We provide backrests to prevent the users touching the walls and causing accelerated wear on the boards. The rocks and rock store should be checked monthly (with the sauna stove off at the isolator, and the stove cold). Any broken rocks should be discarded and replaced. Try to install larger rocks first, then top off with smaller. The large rocks help to give bigger air gaps for good air flow. The smaller rocks on top protect the elements and allows more surface area for water to steam on contact. Please see our sauna cleaning advise for more information.
Manuals & Downloads
Stove and Controller Manuals
Please click on the equipment name to download the relevant PDF file.