What is the difference between a wet sauna and a dry sauna?
They are one and the same. When you enter the hot sauna, and before any water is sprinkled on the rocks, it is considered a dry sauna due to the dry heat and absence of humidity. The minute you generate steam by sprinkling water on the rocks, it is considered a wet sauna. Essentially it is a sauna room, and the wet or dry terminology relates to the level of humidity in the room.
Why is a sauna considered good for your health?
An authentic sauna is designed to get hot, and the health benefits are generated due to the hot temperature in the sauna. As your body heats, your heart rate accelerates, leading to all the benefits of aerobic activity. Some of the many benefits include weight loss due to increased calorie burn, improved circulation, relief to sore muscles and joints, respiratory enhancement due to the moist steam, and detoxification due to intense perspiration. Additionally, it is a very relaxing and therapeutic experience that helps many people reduce stress and sleep better.
Will use of a sauna help me lose weight?
According to The North American Sauna Society, sauna use can burn up to 300 calories in a single session. Weight loss is due both to calorie burn from an elevated heart rate and water loss due to sweating. The addition of regular sauna use is a great compliment to a weight-loss program.
Can my Traditional Sauna go outdoors?
Unlike most saunas, Almost Heaven Barrel Saunas are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Red Cedar is naturally resistant to decay, and the ball and socket design of the staves makes for a robust seal and solid structure for outdoor use. Additionally, the thick softwood staves are excellent at retaining the heat of the sauna and the circular barrel shape provides excellent distribution of heat.
Why is Red Cedar such a good wood for sauna construction?
Red Cedar is the preferred lumber for saunas for several reasons. First, it is one of the few woods naturally resistant to rot, decay and mildew, and as such can readily be used for indoor or outdoor construction. Also, because it is a very soft wood, Red Cedar allows your body to be in comfortable contact with the wood even though the air in the sauna room is very hot. Unlike some cedar wood, Western Canadian Red Cedar carries no harmful toxins or respiratory discomfort. Finally, nothing compares to the sweet, fresh scent of Western Canadian Red Cedar.
How do I treat the exterior of the sauna?
The great thing about Western Canadian Red Cedar is that you don’t need to treat it. Left natural, the wood will turn a silver color over time due to the effects of sun and rain with no detrimental effect on the wood itself. If you wish to retain the rich, natural color, you should treat the exterior of the sauna with a UV inhibited stain that will resist the weathering effects of sunlight and rain. Your local paint professional can assist with a suitable product.
Note: Never treat the interior of the sauna room.
What sort of site preparation is required?
Almost Heaven Saunas can be used in any environment, but in all cases it is important that the surface supporting the sauna is firm and level (a slight taper for rain run-off is fine.) Suitable surfaces include wood decks, concrete patios, paver stones, pressed gravel, etc. The Traditional Saunas can be placed directly on the ground due to the synthetic plastic cradle supports which create a barrier between the red cedar and the ground.
How difficult is assembly?
Traditional Saunas are very easy to assemble and can typically be put together by two people in only a few hours. The saunas come partially assembled and the sections simply need to be fitted in place. The Traditional Sauna comes with pre-assembled front and back ends and requires the staves to be placed around the ends and then tightened with the stainless bands. Bench sections are pre-built and simply need to be installed after the room is assembled. Easy to follow instruction manuals are included with the sauna or can be viewed in the manuals section of our web site.
What are the operational costs of a sauna?
The costs of operating a wet/dry sauna are minimal for a couple of reasons. First, the unit operates on efficient 220 volt electric and draws less than 30 amps of power. Second, unlike a spa or other household appliance, it only runs when you want to use it. You heat up the sauna no more than an hour or so before you want to use it and then shut it off when you’re finished, usually twenty to thirty minutes later. The costs of operation are negligible under normal use, much like the cost of a clothes dryer or electric oven.
How long will the sauna take to heat up?
Heat-up time is based on ambient temperature, so the sauna will heat faster when the outside air is 50F when compared to, say, 20F. Also, the optimal sauna temperature varies by individual; some people like their sauna at 165F while others like it at 190F. However, as a rule of thumb, the sauna will heat to 165F in 30-40 minutes, and to 190F in less than 60 minutes.
What sort of electrical service is required?
The sauna heater will require 220v power and must be hard-wired to the electrical source. A 4.5kw and 6.0kw heater will require a 30 amp breaker and 10/2 wire and an 8.0kw heater will require a 40 amp breaker and 8/2 wire. The light will require 110v, 15 amp service with an in-line on/off switch. Alternatively you can order our upgraded light with a switch on the light itself. You should always have a licensed electrician do your wiring according to local electrical codes.
What sort of ongoing maintenance is required?
From an operational standpoint, very little maintenance is required. Depending on the humidity and weather conditions in your area, you may need to tighten the bands or place additional filler staves in the sauna after a period of time, usually in the first few months. This is because any swelling and contraction of the wood will occur due to moisture absorption, and the desired effect is to have the wood “swell” or expand into the bands. You may want to periodically scrub the floor or benches of the sauna with a mild solution of water and baking soda, but other than that, simply enjoy your sauna!
What makes our Traditional Saunas so exceptional?
Our Traditional Saunas are hand crafted in the U.S. by experienced professionals. Almost Heaven has been building saunas for nearly forty years, and their longevity underscores our commitment to quality and service. By using only high quality materials throughout, Almost Heaven is able to produce a sauna that will last a lifetime. Over the course of nearly four decades they have built literally thousands of saunas, which have been purchased by sauna enthusiasts throughout the world. With our Traditional Saunas you can be confident of an authentic sauna experience in a sauna built by a recognized leader in quality and craftsmanship.