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    Benefits of a home sauna

    Detox and relax in the comfort of your own home

    Alex | Oneflare

    If you’re looking for ways to make your home environment warmer and inviting, how about installing a sauna? It may seem like a splurge, but you’ll find that the relaxation and enjoyment you get from your own home sauna is well worth the expense involved. If you’re tempted to start sauna shopping, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

    The benefits of a sauna

    Few things are more relaxing than a sauna. It can help you to steam off stress and tension so that you’ll emerge feeling lighter, healthier and ready to deal with life again. Saunas also improve circulation and skin tone and are an important tool in detoxing your body. They’re also a great sleep aid, as they relax the mind and body in preparation for a good nights rest.

    In addition to these health benefits, saunas will go a long way toward keeping you warm during the cold weather months. There’s a reason why saunas are so popular in areas with long, harsh winters, such as Scandinavia. Saunas warm you up from head to toe, with deep, penetrating heat that seems to radiate all the way down into your bones.

    Types of saunas

    There are four main types of saunas available for purchase.

    • Dry saunas work through heating up the air (although there is no steam produced).
    • Steam saunas work thanks to water dropped onto superheated volcanic rocks, producing steam.
    • Herbal saunas work the same way as steam saunas, just with the addition of essential oils added to aid in the therapeutic process.
    • Infrared saunas heat the body instead of the air through the use of a special infrared device. Infrared saunas are also clearly the more energy-efficient types of sauna; they’ll also allow for much more time to be spent in them.

    How infrared sauna technology works

    An infrared sauna uses special heaters that warm only objects in its direct path. These special heaters emit infrared heat, which gently goes into the skin and raises the body temperature, causing profuse sweating. Infrared technology uses the same energy as natural sunlight, but with none of the bad ultraviolet waves.

    The air inside a home sauna does not get steamy like those experienced at the gym. Instead, the air temperature retains its comfortable zone.

    A sauna with two panels of infrared lights to generate heat
    An infrared sauna / Source: Shutterstock

    Permanent vs. portable

    Infrared heaters can be either permanently installed or portable. Permanent heaters can be installed in a room of your home or in a specially built sauna outside. They need to be installed by an electrician who can handle the wiring. 

    Portable infrared heaters can be relocated with you if you move. Portable heaters are also easier to install since they just need to be plugged into a standard outlet. They can range from incredibly simple with just a special heated bag that you sit in and zip up around you to small rooms that are still large enough to comfortably fit you and several friends.

    Electric sauna heaters

    Electric saunas have different types of heaters. The simplest saunas are the plug and play kind that simply plugs into a power point. Many saunas, however, require the services of a certified electrician. This is especially true of wet saunas, which have more intricate, complex engineering. Since a wet sauna is constantly exposed to moisture, the electric elements have to be housed in such a way that protects them from coming into contact with water. The risk of electrical shock is yet another reason why it’s crucial to hire a licensed electrician to instal a wet sauna rather than attempting to do it yourself.

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    Planning the sauna installation

    Finding the right location for a sauna is the first step. Extremely versatile, saunas can go indoors or out, can be covered by a structure or free-standing and can even go inside an already available room in your house. Besides the location, you should consider the heat source. There are many choices, including electrical heater, wood-burning stoves, infrared heaters or gas heaters. Each one has its advantages, but the usability will ultimately determine the right one for you.

    Consider also how many people will use the sauna in order to pick the right size. Is it just for home use? A smaller, two or three-person tub is perfect. Larger-capacity saunas suit individuals serving guests.

    Home saunas are customisable to suit your available space / Source: Shutterstock

    Sauna cost

    In most cases, a sauna will cost several thousands of dollars. The cost will depend on the size since some larger models can cost up to $10,000 or so. Realise, however, that these will be yours to take with you should you decide to move, and most will last for many years. The benefits they offer for your health and mental state are often worth the cost.

    Once you have it in place, you still have to maintain it. That can cost you some money over time. The cost of maintaining it is generally very inexpensive, but you’ll also need it serviced each year to keep it in good working order. Only you can determine if these costs are worthwhile.

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