Infrared Sauna Review
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In your search for an infrared sauna have you come up with any of the following questions?
Why does every single sauna company claim to have the best sauna?
What kinds of heaters are best - Ceramic or Carbon-Based?
Do I need Mid, Near, and FAR Infrared Heaters?
Why is there such a large range in pricing?
How much glass should it have?
What is all the talk about EMF's?
What options are available?
What kind of wood is best?
How do they go together?
What am I missing?
Why did we write this article? To give you the FACTS on what you are buying.
With so many "polished" web sites and clever online marketing of infrared saunas, without years of experience the average consumer would never know what they were actually buying. Someone just starting their search for an infrared sauna soon learns it's easier to buy a car.
To make it even easier we have developed a companion checklist available for you. CLICK HERE - This checklist not only gives you the top questions to ask a manufacturer, but an area to write down the facts as well. This will ensure you make an educated decision and know how you got there. After taking these simple steps, you can go forward with your sauna purchase from a position of knowledge. This is a significant investment…please take five minutes of your time to let us further educate you.
INFRARED HEATING PANELS - Different types of heaters explained
INFERIOR saunas will have heaters with:
1) High EMF ratings with unsafe limits (anything over 5mg)
2) 6 -14 Micron Ratings
3) 80-90% Emissivity Rating
4) No front/calve and/or floor heaters (very important)
5) Max Temp - 140 degrees
QUALITY saunas will have heaters with:
1) Zero EMF ratings
2) 8-10 Micron Ratings
3) 99% Emissivity Rating
4) Front Heaters as well as, Back, Side, Floor and Calve Heaters
5) Max Temp - 160 degrees
6) Backed up by 3rd party testing
...and this is why
Ceramic 2001 - 2003: The first technology devised to deliver infrared heat in saunas was the ceramic rod. This was an incredible breakthrough for the sauna industry and every infrared sauna had them. I personally owned one and used it every night, however ceramic heaters weren't without their pitfalls. Ceramic heaters are composed of glass rods, which can heat an entire sauna, but have to work so hard to get there they become extremely hot. Since the user has to sit directly against the infrared heaters during their sessions this can become extremely uncomfortable. The second downfall was their limited surface area. These heaters were so small, they may treat your spine, but what about your shoulders and the rest of your body? To aid in this lack of surface area, manufacturers would have to ad reflector trays to the backs of their heaters to try to increase it. These were quick fixes to an inferior/outdated system.
Q - "I have read a few articles online saying how Ceramic heaters are better than Carbon Heaters for XYZ reasons"
A - This is true when comparing the first generation Carbon Heaters that were developed in 2004. 13 years later, in 2017 this would be like saying a "dial up" internet connections is better than High Speed DSL. Once an article is posted online, it's there forever, so make sure what your reading is updated frequently and backed up by clinical studies.
Standard Carbon Heaters 2004 - 2009 : Out of demand for a more effective way of delivering infrared therapy, came the technology of Carbon-Based heating panels. These new carbon heaters solved both of the downfalls of ceramic heaters; surface area and hot spots. This new carbon technology enabled the heat to be delivered evenly through a large flat panel instead of a small rod. Since this new technology has a 10x larger surface area than it predecessor, it is able to deliver over 10x the healing rays into your body. To visualize this, on a much smaller scale, try the following: Put a pencil besides a napkin (get the picture), the pencil represents the older ceramic heaters and the napkin represents the new carbon heaters. As you can visualize, the carbon heaters have a much larger surface area, which equates to more infrared rays into your body. What was once only for the elite, now most infrared saunas come with flexible carbon panels. Although these heaters were a vast improvement from Ceramic they left plenty of room for improvement...
Organic Clinically Tested Carbon Heaters in the 8 -10 micron range- 2010-2016
These cutting edge heaters were formed out of 20 organic elements to keep toxins out of the sauna. They are clinically tested to distribute heat measured at 8-10 microns. Why is this 8-10 micron range so important? We will go into more detail below. The micron range is THE most important factor when choosing a sauna.
Nano Carbon - ZERO EMF Heaters + All of the above - 2017
Tested to produce the most infrared energy within the desired spectrum for maximum absorption by your body. Large, thick Carbon Panels blanket the walls, front bench and floor areas giving you more surface area exposure than any other manufacturer. Which means MORE RESULTS in LESS TIME!!
Why we don't like EMF's (Electro-magnetic-frequencies)
Exposure to consistent external frequency for more than a few minutes can cause our body's electrical functionality to be disrupted. This is true even with exposures to very weak EMFs.
You may have seen lots of "scare tactics" online about how harmful EMF's are to you, and if exposed, you are doomed to live out a miserable existence. Although we haven't seen and scientific data on any long term studies PROVING EMF's to be harmful, we have heard from customers who are sensitive to EMF's. We believe that an infrared sauna is used to promote healing, and if we won't use toxic glues in our sauna, then we shouldn't have toxic EMF's either.
For these reasons all of our saunas now ship with zero EMF panels. With ZERO filler woods, ZERO toxic glues, and ZERO EMF, we believe we have the cleanest sauna on the market today.
Ask the sauna manufacture what the EMF rate is coming out of their heaters - You may be surprised at the answer.
HOW INFRARED SAUNAS WORK 101
1) Infrared heat is measured in microns.
2) Our bodies emit infrared heat naturally at 9.4 microns.
3) The closer your infrared heaters are to 9.4 microns the more your body will absorb as it strikes a balance resulting in a faster deeper sweat.
Did you know our bodies naturally emit infrared heat? Have you ever seen a night vision picture or video clip (like on the COPS show)? This is the camera picking up infrared heat coming from our bodies at 9.4 microns.
The best infrared heaters in the industry today distribute heat in the 8-10 micron range and are EMF free. Most are in the inferior 5-16 micron range which equates to half the horsepower and half the healing/benefits.
Always ask the manufacturer your considering what the micron range is of the heaters they sell - This is THE most important variable in the long-term benefits you will receive from your infrared sauna. If they don't know, RUN!
The Chart below was produced from our clinical studies and shows the correlation between the infrared heat being put out by the human body at 9.4 microns, and of that being produced using our exclusive Carbon Wave 360 Technology.
Looking at the chart you will see that the two curves are easily within 95% of each other. When the heaters and our bodies are in sync, we are able to absorb much more heat into our core and therefore sweat at a much lower temperature and in a quicker amount of time.
Many saunas look good online and will deliver heat, however if they do not produce infrared heat in this range the results are usually minimal to none.
This next diagram represents how superior an infrared heater is with clinically tested heaters in the 8-10 micron range.
As you can see, your body accepts much more infrared heat into it's core within an 8-10 micron range. The row on the left
represents the typical infrared heater used in a typical infrared sauna today and on the right a subject in a heater in the 8-10 micron range.
Within this thermal imaging clinical study, you can easily see the deeper penetration of heat
between the two types of heaters.
(Tests taken of subject after 30 minutes of use)
Note: It's not that the row on the left won't provide any benefits, it will just take twice the time.
Most users have found that their sauna session went from an hour long to 30 minutes with the 8-10 micron heaters.
NEAR, MID AND FAR INFRARED HEATERS
Occasionally we see a company marketing their saunas as carrying all the wavelengths of infrared heat - mid, near and far. We are willing to ship your sauna built with these heaters, as we can certainly order them. We would prefer not to, and this is why:
1) Near Infrared Heat - Produce heat in the wavelengths of 0.7 - 1.3 microns
2) Mid Infrared Heat - Produce heat in the wavelengths of 1.3 - 3 microns
3) Far Infrared Heat - Produce heat in the wavelengths of 3 - 30 microns
To recap as you just read in the last section(proof your becoming and educated buyer), the name of the game of infrared heat is to match what your body is producing naturally. When this happens, your body accepts up to 80% of the infrared coming out of the heaters, and even more if your heaters are tuned to 9.4 microns.
It's not that near and mid wavelengths are bad for you. It is rather all the clinical tests year after year that have shown only one type of spectrum providing all the benefits you have read about - That is the FAR Infrared spectrum which passes through your skin and all other spectrums.
If we included heaters within the full spectrum of infrared, it would be taking away from the proven benefits of Far Infrared. This would equate to paying more for less benefits.
SIZE AND QUALITY OF INFRARED HEAT PANELS
The next item you will need in your arsenal to become an educated sauna buyer is an understanding of the correct size and proper placement of these heaters.
Infrared saunas have anywhere from 1-14 carbon heating panels to deliver infrared heat. When you are comparing saunas count how many infrared panels the sauna has, the size of the panels, and where they are placed. You want large panels and lots of them. You also want the panels to surround you including; behind, in front, on the sides, on the calves and under the feet will give you the best coverage. The first item a manufacturer does to cut the cost of the sauna besides cheap wood is to make the heaters smaller and less of them.
GLASS: Glass looks good and helps claustrophobia, but make sure you still have plenty of heating panels directly in front of you, as you want the front of your body to get the infrared benefits as well. Ask the manufacturer how many square inches of surface area heat the heating panels have. If they don't know....move on, if they do...compare.
A question we are often asked is, "Why don't you carry any one person saunas?"
There is simply no room to put front heaters in it with the door. Front heaters are extremely important to heal your front extremities - your infrared sauna would not be complete without them. This also goes for floor and calve heaters; not only are they necessary to heal your feet, but they cut down on any "cold spots" created by the glass door as well. To test this theory out, I participated in my own experiment and unplugged the front heaters, and floor heaters. Guess what?....it took me 20 minutes longer to break a sweat.
This could be an article in and of itself (I may write one shortly!), but I will do my best to summarize. There are two predominant woods used in today's home sauna kits; Hemlock or (Bass wood) and Cedar woods. The reason for this is not only the beauty of the wood, but its ability to resist mold, mildew, cracking and bacteria. Mother Nature took care of growing them but it is up to the manufacturer to ensure the wood is properly cured. If not Kiln Dried, wood can experience future cracking and warping. Curing these woods is a scientific and timely process dealing with temperature variables, humidity values, wood density/acidity, and much more. It is the sauna manufacturer's responsibility to over see this process and make sure it is done to all specifications and within the appropriate time frame to avoid any warranty issues down the road.
Ask the company you are considering where the wood comes from. Many lower-end saunas get their wood "second hand" and may not even know where it came from. The highest quality saunas built today only use Canadian woods:
1) Canadian Hemlock or Basswood: This strong non-allergenic, non-toxic wood comes standard in all higher end saunas. This is due to its longevity, no-out gassing, as well as it's resistance to cracking or warping.
2) Canadian Cedar: Cedar has been used for centuries in homes and furnishings due to its elegance and resistance to mold, mildew and pests. Its oils have been historically utilized for aroma therapy treatments, perfumes and soaps to name a few. From closets and drawers to dog beds and hamster cages, its ability to resist odors is unsurpassed. I am often asked if it is bad for you or toxic. If you are extra sensitive to the smells in shampoos, soaps, perfumes and candles, the same would apply with cedar and you may opt for the Hemlock wood. Aside from individuals with such sensitivities, cedar is completely safe when cured correctly. I personally love the aroma therapy of the cedar sauna as it fills up my home. That being said, it of course comes down to your individual taste.
Both Hemlock and Cedar will naturally darken over time, adding to its timeless beauty. The Cedar wood is a reddish brown color and the Hemlock is lighter in color such as Maple or Pine. You may want to consider this if you are trying to match any other furnishings or decor.
If you are putting your sauna in a a humid environment or outside, I would strongly recommend Cedar due to it's ability to resist moisture. If you are placing it inside, both saunas will perform equally and have the same longevity.
****Addition 3/11/13: Caution - We have discovered that many companies are using filler woods underneath the benches. This filler wood, doesn't look like the wood on top at all, but rather a paper thin wood made up of toxic scrap wood. These filler woods can be made up of a mixture of "waste pulp wood" and can be VERY toxic. If you order a sauna in Hemlock or Cedar wood it will have slats on top of the bench and should be EXACTLY the same on the bottom of the bench where you don't see it. If not, the filler wood can out gas and cause skin and/or respiratory irritation.
Question from a customer: "But xyz sauna company told me that their wood was the only wood to be 100% pure and without toxins."
Answer: That is false - Most white pure woods such as Hemlock, Basswood, Aspen and others are all excellent pure "clean"woods. It is important to equally focus on how the manufacturer cures and detoxifies the wood. If not cleansed, KILN dried and cured correctly, even the most pure wood can out gas and cause skin irritation. Always ask the manufacturer what process they use to cure the wood.
A sauna filled with filler woods and thinner weighs less. Our 2 person sauna weighs nearly 450lbs. Compare that with a lower grade sauna which weighs under 350lbs.
If the sauna your looking at weighs less, then they are cutting costs by giving you thinner walls and filler woods.
CONSTRUCTION (How the walls go together once you get your sauna)
The better manufacturers will pre-assemble the sauna in their factory and then ship the walls to you. This way the hard work is already done for you, such as hanging the door, running the electrical wires, installing the stereo, and more. This makes it incredible easy for the buyer as all they have to do when they get it is put the walls together. There are currently 3 ways in the industry to put the walls of your sauna together - magnets, clips, and bolts.
Clips/Buckles: These are installed on almost all of the lower-end saunas. Why? It's a lot easier and cheaper to put a buckle on the outside of the sauna, than installing a permanent attachment system within the walls.
Cons: Not a clean look - Very noticeable, over torques corners and can lead to warping, no finishing wood on corners. We love children and children love buckles...undoing them at least. For these reasons, just say no to clips/buckles.
Magnets: I for one thought this was a great idea...and then we tried it. What could be easier than just slapping four walls together and having them stick like ...well...magnets! Great idea, yes, but here's the problem: It takes more than the standard 3 months to fully cure the wood of a sauna. Did you know your sauna actually keeps curing while it's in the shipping box? Now let's take that shipping box through a Buffalo ice storm at 0 degrees, a Florida monsoon at 90 degrees, and on to California. During this journey your slightly uncured sauna experiences a large range of different temperature and humidity values. These changes often lead to a slight warping of the panels. No, not the "return your sauna kind of warping" just an annoying 1/2" warp towards the bottom of a wall. A magnet does not have enough torque to bring that wall flat and make it true again. Another problem we had when we tried to move the sauna out from the wall after it was assembled was that the walls would come apart. We chose to do away with this "house-of-cards" system.
Bolts: Our favorite. Since they're hidden in the wood they aren't noticeable, and with a Phillips head they can be screwed right in with a standard Phillips screwdriver. The bolts don't go into raw wood but rather a nut hidden within the frame. When secured, you will not find a more solid secure sauna. Since you can adjust how much pressure you put on them, they do the best job of getting the walls of your sauna nice and tight. This not only keeps the heat in but gets rid of any minor warping from the panels sitting in the boxes.
1) Take 2 magnets and put them together - Can you pull them apart? Convenient/Yes - Strong/No
2) Now screw a bolt into a nut - Can you pull them apart?
We have designed this system to allow for the expansion and flexing of walls. During the eight years of using it, we have had a ZERO failure rate, cracking, or warping of the wood.
This is the wood that separates you from the heaters. The lower end and past technology used horizontal boards to keep your skin from touching the heater. Many manufacturers still use this design due to lower manufacturing costs. Some of our first designs used these covers but from a users standpoint we never liked them and this is why:
The flaws with the past technology:
1) When we leaned against the heaters with the horizontal slats it would cause discomfort to the spine and were very uncomfortable. We tested many prototypes and concluded the best heater covers would be ones which would align with your spine and be vertical vs. horizontal.
2) To have this past technology ETL approved the manufacturer is required to install a piece of fabric between you and the heater. This fabric not only equates to longer heat up times but has a tendency to disintegrate after a couple years as well.
3) The "safety" fabric used in every one of the horizontal backrest is exposed toxic sweat on a daily basis, which can not be taken out to be cleaned becoming a breading ground for bacteria. Five years down the road = Five years of built up toxins on the heaters.
Solution: After a year of research and testing we hand crafted individual vertical dowels for each heater enabling the user to lean directly against any heating panel in comfort without actually touching it.
1) Much more comfortable on your spine
2) User can lean up against any backrest, or rest their feet or any part of there body directly against the heaters in comfort
3) Faster Heat up times
4) ETL Approved
5) Does not block infrared heat. Since infrared heat coming from flexible carbon heaters is distributed in the shape of a cone, no infrared heat is blocked by the wood dowels but is rather directed around it.
6) When the dowels heat up they give the user the secondary benefit of gentle heat directly on the skin (much light a heating pad).
7) Safer and more sanitary as the dowels block your sweat from getting directly on the heaters.
8) Eliminates the need for separate backrests, saving valuable real estate on the benches for your comfort.
9) ZERO fabric is used which creates a more sanitary environment.
CAUTION: It has come to our attention that many of our competitors are giving false information about this style of heater cover. They continue to tell our customers that the wood will block the heat. This couldn't be further from the truth. The heaters are set back behind the dowels roughly 2" allowing for the infrared heat to radiate through the slats. To help explain this, visualize the following: Take a pencil at a 45 degree angle and set the erasure on the heater right behind the vertical dowel. This is the angle that the infrared heat is reflecting with zero blockage.
Question: Then why doesn't everyone use this type of heater cover?
Answer: The answer is cost. Not only do these covers cost much more to build, but the packaging/shipping cost to keep them safe in transit, are quite a bit more as well. We would never go through the trouble and extra cost to built them if they weren't superior.
Still want the horizontal slat type covers? – No Problem, We can build your sauna with those.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER (The design)
Besides our 3rd party testing, Doctor endorsements, and multiple awards, it comes down to one simple factor - WILL YOU SWEAT? This is where the design comes in to play. When we design any sauna we start with Thermography. This is basically measuring the interaction of the infrared heat with the users body.
Definition: Infrared thermography (IRT), thermal imaging, and thermal video are examples of infrared imaging science. Thermographic cameras usually detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm) and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms.
We start our sauna designs by studying the human bodies reaction to heat.
During this study we experiement with multiple variations including; the size of the heaters, ceramic vs carbon heaters, placement of the heaters, wattage of the heaters, micron ranges of the heaters, EMF levels of the heaters, amps coming into the sauna, the total inside diminsions of the sauna, horizontal vs vertical wood over heaters, as well as fabric vs. no fabric over the heaters.
To simplify, we choose the combination above that heats up your body's core the fastest. This scientific study results in not just a sauna that looks good, but one that outperforms every sauna in it's class.
Yes, that's right, OPTIONS. I know you are not buying a car, but we like options, right? And, of course, we like them all the better if we don't have to pay for them. If you do have to pay, you'd better know why. This is where I come in. Here is the run down on most of the options out there and why you might care.
Chromo Therapy Lighting: From reducing inflammation to lowering blood pressure, various studies have shown that LED light therapy aids in healing. This system is usually located in the ceiling and has an average of 5-7 different color lights. The nicer units have them inset into the ceiling.
Pop-up Removable Floor: A MUST HAVE - It's a sauna...you will sweat on the floor heater and you don't want to have to unscrew the wood screws every time just to clean it. Our heater covers pop right out for easy cleaning.
Stereo: Many sauna manufacturers use automotive stereos in their units and we used to be one of them...not anymore. Here's what we didn't like:
1) Failure rate due to overheating.
2) Hard to see and adjust from where you are sitting. Most of these units come down from a flimsy trap door making the stereo very hard to see. The user has to stand up just to turn the station.
Replacement - Have you ever installed a stereo in your car?
Bottom Line: Automotive stereo equipment belongs in your car not a sauna. All of our saunas have Pioneer Stereos integrated into the control panel. Not only control it from eye level, but you can plug in your smart phone, blue tooth adapter, CD, or any device you wish. Pair that with high quality 6" Pioneer Speakers and your in music heaven.
Oxygen Ionizer: This is a small device which introduces Ions to purify the air. With all the toxins you'll be releasing, this is a great bonus! Think of it as an air freshener on steroids and a MUST HAVE in any sauna (unless it's Cedar). You will want to look for 2 options on this:
1) Ozone Button: Used to kill any toxins in your sauna
2) Negative Ion Button: Used as an air freshener during your session
All Glass Tempered Doors: If you have any claustrophobia issues (like my wife), this is a must have! All glass doors really give you an open feeling while sitting in the sauna. Of course tempered doors are a MUST HAVE – especially with children. Since regular glass has a green tint to it, a light bronze tint on the door is a nice touch while adding a little privacy.
Commercial Hinges: Take a look at the pictures of your future sauna's hinges. If they use the small chrome hinge, plan on resetting the sauna door every six months. You want to look for a commercial grade hinge to keep that door set and from rubbing on the sauna's frame.
Inside/Outside Soft Touch Controls: This enables the user to set the temperature, and adjust the lighting and operating the stereo controls without opening up the door, or adjust it from the inside without letting the valuable heat out on a cold day.
Lighting: Proper lighting throughout the sauna is not only helpful for reading but gives an elegant feeling as well. The higher quality saunas may also have outside lights under crown molding adding to the beauty of its overall appearance and making it a nice focal point in your room of choice. You want to look for LED bulbs for decorative lighting, however make sure you have Halogen bulbs for reading lights.
Cup Holders/Magazine Racks: Cars have them, why not saunas? Sure you could set your drink on the bench, but don't blame me the 5th time you knock it over. The magazine rack does keep the sauna nice and tidy.
Positive Ventilation Systems: A properly designed sauna will naturally pull fresh air through part of the door while ventilating it through a vent in the ceiling.
DVD / MP3 / LCD: Don't feel like reading? Love movies? Have a good motivational DVD to play? Not necessary, but a nice option. Don't want to spend the extra? Put your sauna in front of your TV, or easier yet, you're TV in front of your sauna.
Other: You may run into these and other options along your journey for an infrared sauna. Options are great, but remember the main purpose of infrared sauna therapy is the healing benefits of the heat it produces. If you are on a tight budget, we recommend focusing on the heaters themselves first and the options second.
This is a BIG one. There are a lot of knock off products out there sneaking their way into the country. What am I referring to? Saunas with faulty and unsafe electrical wiring! No ifs ands or buts about this one. For you and your family's safety, you MUST purchase a sauna that is ETL approved to meet America's highest safety and performance standards. It takes a lot of time and money to get these approvals which is why many manufacturers bypass it. How do you know what to get? That's my job, below are the safety seals available and the definitions for each.
INTERTEK'S ETL SEMKO STANDARDS FOR THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL) was founded in 1896 by Thomas Edison, and is one of the oldest product safety testing laboratories in the world. Certification by ETL and ETL-C assures you that all Signature models have been tested to meet both US and Canadian safety and performance standards.
The ETL seal of approval is an internationally-recognized seal of quality, safety, and professional manufacturing:
In order to keep the ETL seal of approval, comprehensive surprise inspections of the manufacturing facility take place once a quarter. If the manufacturing facility does not pass, the ETL seal of approval is revoked.
- It is only given to companies after rigorous inspections and testing of the product.
- The product is taken from the company and completely disassembled. All components and the way that they have been assembled (right down to the wires) are inspected and compared to Canadian and US regulations.
- If the product passes, the manufacturing facility is then inspected for professionalism and to ensure that quality controls are in place. These quality controls in the manufacturing facility ensure that every single instrument is the same high quality as the last one that was produced.
Our ETL seal of approval means that you are purchasing a professionally-built, high-quality, and safe product. If you
are considering purchasing another sauna that doesn't have ETL, CE, Rohs, or ISO approval , then you should consider what that means:
Why take that chance?
- The sauna has no quality or safety approval and there are no ongoing inspections of the sauna and the manufacturing facility
- There is no guarantee of quality or durability of the sauna you are buying
- There is no guarantee that the sauna has been manufactured in accordance with industry and/or certification board standards
The only way to ensure you are buying a quality product is to purchase only quality and safety-approved products.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION
Our manufacturing facility has implemented a quality management system in order to maintain the highest standards in product development and quality assurance
CE CERTIFIED EUROPEAN SAFETY STANDARDS
The CE Mark is a requirement for products sold to the European Market. The CE Mark identifies a product as complying with the health and safety requirements spelled out in European legislation and is mandatory for equipment operating in the European Union (EU).
The RoHS Directive stands for "the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment". This Directive bans the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.
Besides these approvals, all of our sauna's electrical wiring is encased in metal fireproof conduit. Why is this important? You DO NOT want faulty electrical wires touching dry wood!
Also, remember to ask the sauna manufacturer you're considering if they have ever had any safety recalls...this is very good to know.
Another nice safety option making its way in the industry is individual thermostats behind each heating panel. These are invisible to the user but this is why we like them: If there was a malfunction in the electrical system and one of your heaters decided to not turn off, that heater could actually melt! Not with this safety feature - it's going to cut power to that heating panel and save your sauna in the process.
So you found a sauna that has; Zero EMF heaters, KILN dried 8-10mm woods, NO filler woods used(what's under the bench), heaters clinically tested at 8-10 microns, lifetime warranty, and all the features you like...now what?
Time to ask the questions that companies carrying lower grade units do not like to answer - "Is your sauna commercially rated?"
What is a commercial rating and what does it mean?
This term typically is a measurement of the heat being generated throughout all of the electrical components.
As a broader example, lets look at treadmills. If you were to go to your local superstore to purchase a treadmill for home use, you would most likely get around 3 years out of it, before the motor would start making noises and/or breaking down. Now take this same treadmill and put it into 24hr fitness. I would give it a month before it was in the dumpster.
Reason: Electricity creates resistance, resistance creates heat. Any electrical machines that are manufactured with thinner, smaller gauge wiring and components will run HOT, as more heat is being built up during use. Over time, this can cause a break down of the insulation in the wiring, which in turn creates more heat causing components start failing. Think of taking a fire hose and connecting a garden hose on the end of it. The same goes for the thickness of wires used in an infrared sauna. Restriction = Failure.
THIN WIRING = MORE HEAT = LOWER LIFESPAN/HIGHER FAILURE RATE
This is why the lower end saunas need a mandatory "cool-down" period between sessions. What happens if you go to pre-heat your sauna for a session with the hopes of getting in it in 15 minutes. Next you get a phone call, your dog leaves a present in the kitchen, and your children are in need of some assistance. You just had your sauna running for an hour and now you have to let it cool down before you even get in. Sure, you could fire it back up, but at the expense of over heating the unit.
All of our saunas are built up to, or exceeding commercial specifications, and can be run hours per day without voiding the warranty. We have hundreds of our saunas in wellness centers operating with efficiency and longevity all day long.
So you've done your research, found a sauna and are ready to buy. Consider however, what is the company's policy if one of your expensive panels goes out. Do they come with a lifetime warranty? Are they easy to replace? Does your manufacturer stock them? Make sure you fully understand the terms of your saunas warranty BEFORE you purchase your infrared sauna.
Used saunas are a little bit like purchasing a used mattress. You may be lucky enough to find one that was in a guest room where it was only used a few times per year, however more times than not when you drive out to check it out, you wouldn't even put it in your fireplace. If you did end up with it and a heater goes out a year later....then what?
Did you know the sauna you just purchased only warranties it's original owners?
Countless customer's have called us asking if we could fix their sauna, or sell them a new heater or control panel that went out. They had tried and tried to call the manufacturer, but the phone number is dead. You may be fortunate enough to find that "guest room" sauna, who's company is still in business and you can still get parts for, however use caution when doing so and research the manufacture your buying.
****Note: If during your research you find a "brand new sauna" but have to drive to a warehouse to pick it up, beware. Most likely you are picking up an infrared sauna that just came off the boat from China. This is usually the case of an owner that just wants to make a quick profit and doesn't even have a website up! Usually these deals come with little to zero technical knowledge, support or warranty. Ask yourself - Will this sauna still be working perfectly six months from now, and will this phone number work when I need support?
This area should probably be listed first. The sauna you buy is only as good as the company behind it. If you call or email the company, do they respond the same day? Next day? If not, BEWARE! What about future problems after your purchase? Our belief is that the customer is #1. Not just before the sale, but years down the road.
A NOTE FROM THE OWNER
As a reward for making it through this Buyer's Guide, I would personally like to offer you an extra $100 off today's sale price! Coupon Code: COUP200. This coupon code is good through today. Simply give it to the sales associate when calling in your order.
Thank you for spending time reading our ever changing Buyer's Guide. In the past 15 years, I have watched this industry grow from just 3 Infrared Sauna companies to over 40. Part of me is happy that the Infrared Sauna has gone "mainstream", however it has come with a cost.
15 years ago, a business had to spend thousands of dollars, and months to build a dynamic website. Today a professionally looking website can be built in a few hours for $500. The result is dozens of fly-by-night websites with bad information and inferior products. Unfortunately, the customer who is really NEEDING their sauna for immediate healing, often ends up putting it off for another day. We feel that by giving you a better understanding of the IR Sauna, you will be able to make an educated decision and be confident about your purchase.
The Infrared Sauna's purpose is to improve your health and well being. Our purpose is to offer you a sauna that will accomplish this.
Our company's promise to you:
1) We will answer any of your questions and if we don't know, we will tell you...we don't know.
2) We are always available to educate you on how an Infrared Sauna is built, and what is happening "behind the scenes".
3) We will never speak badly about any competitor.
Instead, we will help educate you on the 100's of saunas now on the market (this includes any used sauna you are considering purchasing).
4) We will never ask for your personal information unless you voluntarily offer it.
5) We will focus on YOUR reasons to invest in an Infrared Sauna, not OUR reasons to sell you one.
6) Our sauna will make you sweat.
Thank you and Happy Healing,
THANKS FOR READING!
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