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What type of sauna heater should I choose?

Written by wpwp

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Posted on February 11 2023

Choose the right sauna heater.
There are four types of sauna heaters: gas, electric, wood-burning, and infrared. Choosing your sauna heater will highly depend on your budget and personal preferences. It's essential to know their differences, even if they are designed to do the same job.

The heater is the heart of the sauna; hence choosing the right one is such an important decision. With this in mind, we've decided to list the most important aspects of each type of heater. We hope this information helps you understand their main differences and makes it easier for you to decide which is the best option.

Gas heaters
Gas heaters can be fired with natural gas or liquid propane and take 30-60 minutes to heat a room to temperature. Gas heaters are an excellent option for people looking for a "cost-effective" and "energy-efficient" way to heat their home sauna. This type of heater is mostly utilized in large or frequently used saunas, such as gyms or spas since gas is usually a cheaper energy source. Furthermore, gas-fueled sauna heaters tend to need fewer replacements of costly elements.

Let's look at some of the science behind gas heaters and the cost of running them.

Propane or natural gas is a primary energy source, whereas electricity is secondary; that is to say, propane is used "as is," and electricity needs to be created by another energy source. Running a 40k BTU sauna heater will have an average cost of $0.58 (USD) per hour, $9.28 a month, and $111.36 a year (assuming you are using your sauna four times a week.) A 40k BTU heater can be used in rooms measuring up to 616 cubic feet.

If you plan your sauna to have lots of use or you want to get a large sauna, a gas heater might be the right option for you.

Electric heaters
Electric heaters are an excellent option for people that want to flick a switch and enjoy a relaxing sauna bath. This type of heater is considered the most practical as it has a fast heat-up time. They can be programmed to turn on at a designated time; this can be very convenient for people who just want to get home from a long day at work and hop in their sauna.

If convenience and time efficiency is what you are looking for, then an electric sauna heater might be just right for you.

Wood-burning heaters
When looking for the most traditional experience, sauna enthusiasts generally mention "wood-fueled heaters." This type of sauna is used in areas where electricity is difficult to access or simply not available, and it can take between 30 to 60 minutes to heat a room to temperature. Wood-burning stoves are mostly used in medium to large saunas due to the heat produced, and although heat can be a bit tougher to regulate, the heat tends to be warmer and more fitting for a sauna.

Many people place their saunas off-the-grid, near rivers or lakes, as they love jumping into them to cool off from their deep-sweat sauna sessions. Others love the calming crackling fire sound from a wood-burning heater and place it in their home saunas.

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