Sauna Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best temperature for a sauna?
The appropriate temperature for a sauna depends on your preference! Most people prefer to enjoy their sauna at temperatures between 150-175 degrees Fahrenheit for traditional saunas and 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit for infrared saunas.
How long should I stay inside a sauna?
While this, too, varies between individuals - one can usually stay in the sauna until they begin to feel uncomfortable. Typically, remain in the sauna for about 10-15 minutes and then take a break to cool off for several minutes. Then you can feel free to return to the sauna for another "inning." A Finnleo sauna experience can be truly relaxing and rewarding, but don't stay in the sauna for extended periods of time. Set the temperature and humidity level (if you are using a traditional sauna) to your ideal level. If you begin to feel dizzy or uncomfortable, simply leave the sauna and cool off.
What should I do after sauna heat bathing?
After your sauna, cleanse your skin via shower or bath to remove any residues or salts left behind. A quick rinse will close your pores once again and is the perfect way to end your sauna experience. It is recommended that you moisturize your skin with a high quality moisturizing lotion. It's also ideal to shampoo your hair afterward. Don't forget to drink an adequate amount of water, fruit or vegetable juice to replace fluids that were lost during your heat bathing.
Is it okay to pour water on the rocks of Finnleo traditional heaters?
Pouring water on the rocks of Finnleo traditional sauna heaters is perfectly fine and is an essential aspect of the overall experience! For infrared saunas, however, the humidity will be ambient.
Are there any health problems that I should be concerned about?
Be sure to consult your personal physician if you have any history of heart problems, high blood pressure or any other health problems before enjoying any kind of sauna.
What are some of the most notable benefits of using a sauna?
Relaxation is by far the most cited benefit from regular sauna bathers, followed closely by the positive effects seen from detoxification.
Materials and Installation
Does my sauna need to have a drain installed?
No, not necessarily. That said, it may be more convenient for cleaning purposes - especially with our traditional saunas.
What kind of floor is best for a sauna?
For traditional saunas, the best kind of floor for a sauna is cement, tile or anything that doesn't absorb water. For infrared saunas, wood or tile is perfect. Carpet, however, should never be used - as it absorbs sweat and odors.
What heater size is appropriate for my sauna?
To find out the appropriate heater size for your sauna, measure Length x Width x Height to find the cubic footage. Next, find the correct heater on the Finnleo or Helo heater sizing chart. On the infrared saunas, the ideal amount of emitters and wattage has already been calculated for each room.
What type of circuit breaker should be used for my sauna?
Standard Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Breakers should be used. They should be sized for the heater used and to correspond with the National Electric Code. Standard Infrared saunas, however, can be easily plugged in to normal household 120 volt outlets (15 and 20 amp). Your Prefered Master Electrician will know how to install the breakers and wiring for your new sauna. Never attempt to wire your sauna or install breakers yourself without proper electrical experience.
Why are so many different wood choices recommended?
There are many variables to consider when choosing the appropriate wood choice for performance in a given sauna. All the woods used in our saunas have been used for hundreds of years and have long proven their viability for sauna use. Wood choice is also largely contingent upon user preference and style. We hand select clear softwoods such as Western Red Cedar and vertical grain Canadian Hemlock and fine-grained European woods such as European Alder and Nordic White Spruce. We then complement these choices by matching bench materials which enhance the sauna user's comfort levels. We determine the most ideal profiles, thickness specifications, framing materials, hardware - and give you a product that is built to perform and to last. Our warranties and decades of experience will give you further piece of mind when considering purchasing a new Finnleo Sauna.
Sauna Construction Questions
Where should I focus my attention when I start designing a sauna?
Of course, the "heart" of the sauna is the heater. The intelligent selection of a heater model and its corresponding heater control options will significantly impact your overall sauna experience. Sauna temperature ranges and high-quality sauna heater stones are also important variables to consider when beginning to design your sauna.
What about sauna sizes?
Your sauna should be insulated to a minimum of "R12" on the walls and "R16" on the ceiling. Additionally, your sauna needs an equally effective heater to maximize size according to UL, CSA or ETL guidelines. Contact us for sizing charts.
What is the optimal inside height for saunas?
The minimum permitted ceiling height of any given sauna is 77 inches. Most often, however, an average sauna ceiling height is 84 inches. Don't forget to check the minimum sauna height in the heater brochure or installation instructions for your particular application. A maximum safe ceiling height, however, is 96 inches.
How should benches be arranged?
Maximizing bench space and minimizing wasted floor space adds to the efficiency of your sauna and maximizes the number of people who can enjoy your sauna simultaneously. Typically, a sauna plan should include space for both a lower bench and an upper bench. An upper bench area can be used as the main calculation in terms of how many users you’d like to accommodate. Factor in about 2’ of bench space per individual sauna bather.
What woods are appropriate for the benches and the walls?
Usually, the seating boards are built from either Abachi or Cedar woods. Walls are most often covered with Nordic White Spruce, Hemlock, or Cedar wood types.
What is an ideal sauna door solution?
An all glass door has become the standard, given its stylish and durable characteristics. The glass is resistant to high heat levels as well as wet and dry steam fluctuations.
Where should my heater be located?
Ideal positions include along the front or side wall (to maximize your main wall and additional side wall bench placement and sizing options). Newer sauna heaters, such as the Tonttu series, allow for unique bench designs - and even designs that allow benches to wrap conveniently around the heater. Your local Finnleo dealer will be more than happy to sketch out potential heater and bench layout options with you and will provide professional two or three dimensional CAD drawings.
How should saunas be ventilated properly?
It is important to note that colder air mass will always try to move downwards. Room temperature air in the sauna sinks down to the floor level unless it can be circulated properly with the air mass inside the sauna. To achieve the "natural draw effect" and to pull fresh air through the sauna room, it is imperative to position your in-vent directly under the heater so that the heat of the rocks, accompanied with Finnleo’s open air heater design, can properly pull new air into the sauna room. Place the exhaust vent opposite your heater in-vent (as closely as possible) to your maximize air exchange and to optimize the level of the out-vent (which is most often positioned 2 feet above the floor). The goal is to avoid heat loss, while still keeping it high enough to achieve adequate air exchange. If mechanical venting is desired, please contact our technical staff or your local dealer for more information relating to venting your sauna properly.
Some Important Notes About Finnleo’s Vulkanite Heater Stones
Good heater stones for an electrical heater must exhibit the following characteristics:
They must be able to withstand high temperatures and significant heat fluctuations.
They cannot create dust or discharge any odors.
They must sufficiently deliver the heat, grab water and prevent the dripping of water. In other words, an uneven surface is preferable as opposed to an even one.
Stones must be large enough so that the air can circulate well between the stones and so that the elements to operate efficiently.
Heater stones must hold heat well. Once the room reaches temperature, a rock that holds the heat well will use less energy to stay hot, yet produce wonderful steam.
All sauna heater stones should be recommended and tested by the heater manufacturer. The Finnleo Vulkanite stones are fully tested heater stones that contain no harmful VOC’s.
Other Sauna Questions
How much can I expect to pay monthly for my sauna?
If you use your sauna 3 times per week, a 6 kW heater will use approximately $4 to $6 per month. A 2.1 kW heater, on the other hand, would use about $2/month. Far-infrared saunas typically use $3 to $5 per month. Steam baths usually average $3 to $5 per month.
How long, on average, does it take for a sauna to fully heat up?
A traditional sauna generally takes between 30 and 45 minutes to fully heat up. During this time, the rocks will be heated to the perfect temperature for soft heat and soft steam. With the addition of a Saunatonttu heater, the sauna heat up time is halved. It takes about 10 minutes for an infrared sauna to heat up. After 10 minutes, the air has warmed up a little and the emitters are running at full power.
Finnleo Sauna Maintenance Tips
The following is a general guide. For more specific questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
STEP 1: Refrain from paint, varnishing or staining the interior parts of the sauna with any normal paint or varnish. The wood needs to be able breathe adequately. Artificial finishes on the wood can create a much hotter surface - resulting in the possibility of fumes from the wood treatment, and take away some of the “softness” of the heat and steam penetrating the wood.
STEP 2: The simplest method of sauna maintenance is to keep a hand brush near the sauna door. The last person out dips the brush in the water bucket, and does a quick scrubbing on the benches, walls, backrests, etc. This 30-second ritual will keep your sauna looking great indefinitely. This will prevent the need to use anything stronger than clean water on the wood portions.
NOTE! : If you do not follow STEP 2 closely, consider using our sauna wood cleaning, Bacterinol, or paraffin oil treatment kits.
STEP 3: Once your sauna is clean, prop the duckboards off the floor. Ensure that you leave the sauna door open so that it can be aired out completely. The heat that is left in the rocks and in the wood will dry the sauna completely after some time.
STEP 4: If dirt or sweat stains develop (if STEP 2 is not performed often enough), use a hand brush with warm water and with a mild detergent. To make your benches look new again, you can lightly sand your benches approximately once a year. Doing so will whiten them back to their “like new” condition. If mold develops anywhere (i.e. on the duckboards), you can clean with bleach or our Bacterinol sauna cleaner.
STEP 5: Depending on how often you use your sauna, it may be beneficial to occasionally wet mop the floor using a liquid deodorizing cleaner.