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FAQs on Traditional Saunas

Sauna FAQs On This Page ...

  1. FAQs - Sauna Plans - Sauna Designs - on Traditional Saunas
  2. FAQs - Sauna Health - Sauna Benefits
  3. FAQs - Sauna Building - How to Build Your Own Sauna
  4. FAQs - How to Use the Traditional Finnish Sauna
  5. FAQs - Other Interesting Sauna Information
  6. Good Reading - A blog Coming Soon
  7. Sauna-Guru's Credentials - His Bio
SKIP INTRO - Skip Intro - Go To FAQs

Important Sauna Terminology - What is the Finnish Sauna?

  1. This is the sauna that became popular throughout the world and is described by all the terms below.
  2. There are over 3 million saunas in Finland (as of the 2010 census) for a population of 5.4 million. Most Finns use their saunas regularly (almost religiously).
  3. This is the sauna that has a heater with rocks to moderate the heat, an air temperature that is adjustable for comfort, variable humidity regulated by the user so you can enjoy your sauna dry or with some humidity and multi-level seating to let you choose the heat you are most comfortable with.
  4. The word "sauna" is a true Finnish word, the only Finnish word adopted by all the languages of the world.

Other Sauna Terms ...

Finnish Sauna - has a higher temperature, dry heat with a heater and rocks to moderate the heat. Water is normally thrown on the rocks to create humidity.
Hot Sauna - a traditional Finnish sauna with a temperature range of 170-200 F degrees.
Traditional Sauna - the popular name for the Finnish style of sauna where heat makes the bathers sweat profusely.
Dry Sauna - a Finnish sauna where the air is very dry to the beginning. Throwing water onto the rocks later creates humidity if/as desired.
Rock Sauna - a term used for the traditional Finnish sauna which uses heated rocks to moderate the effects of the heat from the sauna heater.
Wet Sauna - (1) a term sometimes used to describe a Finnish sauna as some water is normally used to create humidity
Wet Sauna - (2) a steam-bath type of sauna, more like the "Hamman".
Steam Sauna - has visible steam, a low temperature of 110-130 F degrees and ceramic tiled walls, ceiling and benches for the extreme humidity.

The "Sauna-Guru" at Home Sauna Kits - Since 1974 , was born in Finland and is passionate about correcting the misinformation about saunas that is found on the internet. He has answers to FAQs and tips on all traditional hot sauna subjects: sauna building, sauna buying, sauna plans, sauna designs, how to use the sauna, how to get the most benefit from your sauna, etc. We welcome your emailed questions on any sauna topic and will consider it for the next FAQ update.

Our "Sauna-Guru", Pertti Olavi Jalasjaa - a true sauna aficionado, will answer any question.

With 32,000 saunas behind him, he is very qualified. His bio is posted at the end of this page.

His blog is very interesting at: Pertti's Sauna Blog online at: blog to come soon.

1. FAQs - Sauna Plans, Sauna Design ...

Sauna Plan FAQ: Does a home sauna need a lot of insulation to be energy efficient?
Hot Sauna Plan: NO. For indoor saunas, 2x4 studding with R13 insulation is quite adequate for the walls. Use R26 in the ceiling. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Plan FAQ: Do I have to vent the sauna to the outside?
Hot Sauna Plan Answer: NO. A vent to the outside is not needed for a residential sauna. The air inside the sauna will be refreshed by allowing new air from the home come into the sauna room in order to maintain a high oxygen level in the sauna. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: Is my 5'x5' area big enough for a sauna room?
Hot Sauna Plan Answer: YES. A traditional sauna can be built into any unused room, big or small. A 5'x7' size is ideal for a small home sauna as it is big enough for the entire family. Materials are then custom planned to fit your space. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: Do I need a sauna floor drain?
Hot Sauna Plan Answer: NO. The majority of home saunas today do not have a floor drain. Very little water is actually used in the mostly dry sauna heat. A drain is convenient for cleaning if the sauna is being built as new construction. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: What kind of floor is appropriate for a traditional sauna?
Hot Sauna Plan Answer: Cement, tile, some vinyls - anything that will not absorb water. Never use carpet. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: How do I determine the size of the heater?
Hot Sauna Plan Answer: Take L x W x H to calculate the cubic footage of your heat sauna, and then divide by 45. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: What type of circuit breaker should I use?
Hot Sauna Plan Answer: Standard 240 volt breakers, properly sized for the heater according to the National Electrical Code. Never a GFCI breaker ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: Why do you recommend Cedar?
Hot Sauna Plan Answer: The cedar wood makes your sauna a beautiful, low-maintenance haven. Western Red Cedar creates a clean, spacious, contemporary look. When heated it emits a subtle forest scent. It resists staining, discoloration, odor absorption, mold and mildew. Cedar, a light-weight wood remains comfortable to the touch at high temperatures, and resists splintering. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: Should I insulate the concrete floor in the traditional hot sauna?
Hot Sauna Plan ; NO. There is no significant heat loss through the floor as the floor temperature in a hot sauna is normally about 80F (27C). A framed floor with insulation will eventually trap moisture & smell musty. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Plan FAQ: Should I close in the area under the sauna benches to make the sauna easier to heat?
Hot Sauna Planning: NO. Closing in the benches will change the natural air flow and heat distribution within the sauna as air must be free to circulate through the benches. The saving in heating cost is too nominal. Why bother? ... Answers Pertti

Plan FAQ: My sauna will be very small. Can I use a hinged bench above the heater to give me more bench length?
Hot Sauna Planning: NO. Any benches above the heater would not only be unusable (the heat would be intolerable) but a major fire hazard would be created. ... Answers Pertti

Plan FAQ: Do I need to install water lines into the sauna?
Hot Sauna Planning Answer: NO. Water lines are not necessary in the sauna. They are needed, however, for the nearby shower. The sauna bucket can be filled occasionally from the shower or laundry room taps. ... Answers Pertti

Plan FAQ: I want to put a small window into my traditional hot sauna. Should I use a thermal glass unit to prevent heat loss?
Hot Sauna Planning: NO. Small glass windows are usually made of heavy plate or tempered glass. The actual "heat loss" is quite insignificant when compared to the expense of a thermally-sealed unit. ... Answers Pertti

Plan FAQ: What is the average cost to operate?
Hot Sauna Planning Information:: A 6 kW heater will, if used 3 times/week, cost about 65 per session for electricity or, your monthly cost is $8.00 per month. A 2.1 kW heater would use about $2.50/month. ... Answers Pertti

Plan FAQ: What is the average heat-up time for a sauna?
Hot Sauna Planning: A sauna typically heats up in 20-30 minutes. Then the rocks will be properly heated providing soft heat and soft steam - and the wood interior will no longer be cold. ... Answers Pertti

  • To See All the FAQs and Nothing But the FAQs ...

    1. FAQs - Sauna Plans - Sauna Designs - on Traditional Saunas
    2. FAQs - Sauna Health - Sauna Benefits
    3. FAQs - Sauna Building - How to Build Your Own Sauna
    4. FAQs - How to Use the Traditional Finnish Sauna
    5. FAQs - Other Interesting Sauna Information
    6. Good Reading - Coming Soon in a Blog

2. FAQs - Sauna Health and Sauna Benefits ...

Sauna Health FAQ: Is it safe to stay in the traditional hot sauna longer than 10 minutes?
Hot Sauna Health ; YES. A person should stay in the heat as long as they are comfortable. Some people stay in 20 to 30 minutes at a sitting. A maximum period of 10 minutes is often publicized as the maximum time that anyone should stay. ... Answers Pertti

Sauna Health FAQ: What about health problems?
Hot Sauna Health ; Consult your physician if you have a history of heart problems, high blood pressure or other health problems. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Health FAQ: What are the top two most common benefit mentioned by sauna users?
Hot Sauna Health ; Relaxation and detoxing. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Health FAQ: Can I use the sauna if I have heart problems or high blood pressure?
Hot Sauna Health ; YES. But only on your doctors advice. People with major heart ailments are often advised not to use the sauna. Using the sauna regularly does not increase one's blood pressure nor does it solve the cause of the problem. People who are accustomed to regular saunas are usually encouraged to continue their lifestyle in moderation. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Health FAQ: Will the sauna help clear my oily skin and complexion?
Hot Sauna Health ; YES. Perspiring and cleansing the pores allows body oils, skin pollutants, and dead skin cells to be easily released and washed away. Skin care specialists agree that maintaining a clean skin is a very important part of skin health. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Health FAQ: Is it dangerous to use the traditional heat sauna more than three times a week?
Hot Sauna Health ; NO. If you have the time to enjoy the sauna every day, you should do so. Daily saunas cannot harm your health as shown by the many Finns and healthy sauna-converts that make the time to use their saunas everyday. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Health FAQ: Can asthma sufferers use the sauna?
Hot Sauna Health ; YES. (Qualified). Some asthma sufferers do not enjoy the effects from the heat and should not use the sauna when bothered by asthma.
Sinuses may run as a result of the heat. Many people, even with severe asthma, report that the sauna helps clear up congestion and that the effect lasts for days. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Building Question: I've been told that you cannot use any preservative in the heat sauna, as the wood should be left natural. Is that true?
Hot Sauna Building ; NO. Many heat saunas are left natural as a matter of choice. With the Interior Anti-stain Preservative "Sauna Guard" available from Home Sauna Kits to protect the new look of your sauna, we strongly recommend it as it does not make the wood become hotter to the touch (It's from Finland). ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Building Question: Should the inside corners of the heat sauna be caulked for a good seal?
Hot Sauna Building ; NO. The use of a caulking is quite irrelevant as it will melt in the sauna heat. Only the cool bottom of the walls should be sealed with caulk to prevent water leakage under the wall framing. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Building FAQ: Is a sauna heater that brings the sauna up to a high temperature in less than 15 minutes a good heater?
Hot Sauna Building ; NO. The effectiveness of a heater should not be measured in how fast it heats the air in the sauna but how well it performs considering the rock capacity of the heater. A traditional sauna room should warm up in about 20-25 minutes. Enough time is needed so that the rocks can become hot enough and that the wood in the room has a chance to absorb some of the heat. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Building FAQ: I can't find the special aluminum foil vapor barrier. Why can't I use polyethylene?
Hot Sauna Building ; The polyethylene has no resistance to high temperature. It will literally "evaporate" over a period of time when used in the ceiling and the upper part of the walls. See Sauna Aluminium Foil. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Building FAQ: Can you explain the need for ventilation in greater detail?
Hot Sauna Building ; It's a long information. See Ventilation. ... Answers Pertti.

Build Your Own Sauna FAQ: A sauna web site is adamant about placing the air intake above the stove and the exhaust as low as possible (ie: space below the door.) Please comment. Thomas W., Cambridge, NY
Build Hot Sauna ; It's a long answer. See Ventilation. ... Answers Pertti.

Build Your Own Sauna FAQ: Everyone talks about aluminium foil. Is it the kind of foil you would use in a kitchen? Thomas W., Cambridge, NY
Build Hot Sauna ; It's a long answer. See Aluminium Foil. ... Answers Pertti.

Build Your Own Sauna FAQ: I am planning to build my own door. Can foil-coated "High R" type foam panel insulation be used between two layers of cedar? Thomas W., Cambridge, NY
Build Hot Sauna ; It's a long answer. See Doors (Home-made). ... Answers Pertti.

Build Your Own Sauna FAQ: How good a seal should you have around the door edge? Thomas W., Cambridge, NY
Build Hot Sauna ; It's a long answer. See Door Sealing. ... Answers Pertti.

More Sauna FAQs coming every day.
Your Sauna FAQ: could be here! Please email us!

Sauna Use Question: Can I use the traditional hot sauna and throw lots of water onto the rocks?
Hot Sauna Use: YES. Most sauna heaters are built for wet operation anyway. It is a matter of personal preference. Be sure to have a floor drain. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Use Question: What is the appropriate temperature for a hot sauna?
Hot Sauna Use: Temperature range depends on user's preference, but in North America is typically between 170 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Use Question: How long should I stay in the sauna?
Hot Sauna Use: Use common sense as to what feels comfortable. Typically, stay in the sauna for 10-15 minutes, step out and cool off, then return to the sauna for another session. Repeat as often as desired. Don't overdo it. Set the temperature and humidity level to your comfort level. If you begin to feel uncomfortable, leave the sauna and cool off. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Use Question: Can I pour water on the rocks on Saunacore sauna heaters?
Hot Sauna Use: Yes, absolutely. Not only is it okay, it is an essential part of the sauna experience. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Use Question: What should I do after my sauna?
Hot Sauna Use: Take a shower or bath to cleanse your skin of salts and residues left behind. A cool rinse will close your pores and leave you feeling refreshed. Don't forget to moisturize your hair and skin with a quick shampoo and a lotion rubdown. Drink water, mineral water, fruit or vegetable juice to replace lost fluids. ... Answers Pertti.

Sauna Use Question: The Finns beat themselves and each other with leafy twigs. Do they like pain?
Hot Sauna Use: NO. There is no pain. Any of the birch whisks that become rough or "twiggy" are discarded. The brisking action of the birch leaves against the body increases the blood circulation in the skin and is actually a form of skin massage. Finns also enjoy the natural woody smell from the birch leaves. ... Answers Pertti.

Use FAQ: After throwing some water onto the hot sauna rocks, I always get wet with perspiration. Does increasing the sauna humidity make you perspire more?
Hot Use: NO. You actually perspire more in dry heat. Any surface moisture on the skin quickly evaporates. Increasing the humidity merely slows down the rate of evaporation and allows your skin to become wet. ... Answers Pertti.

Use FAQ: Do experienced sauna bathers find it easier to breathe in the sauna than novices?
Hot Sauna Use: YES. But it is mostly a matter of knowledge. An experienced sauna user knows that slow inhaling and exhaling and a very relaxed breathing cycle is very comfortable for the lungs. Nervous energy may create breathing problems for novice sauna users. While the lungs want "new air", they also protect themselves from the heat if inhaled too quickly. ... Answers Pertti.

This section will be coming soon

Pertti Olavi Jalasjaa, born in Finland and raised in Canada, is considered a sauna industry founder by his peers in Canada and the U.S.A. His sauna companies, including Home Sauna Kits - Since 1974, have been manufacturing and selling high-quality saunas to sauna enthusiasts around the world. At last count, over 32,000 saunas have been shipped and his products can be found in 28 countries in the world, including Finland.

Often writing as the "Sauna-Guru", Pertti (Bert) is on a personal quest to counteract mediocre data on the internet by using his sauna knowledge to tell the truth about saunas in general and especially the Finnish sauna. A writer of numerous sauna articles in the past, he is adding new ones weekly. He is passionate about the priority that Finnish saunas should have in our lifestyles and its health benefits as we need to counter the toxic substances we constantly ingest. You can read more of his topics at Pertti's Sauna Blog online - coming soon.

He is the author of the best-seller book, "The Art of Sauna Building", now an acclaimed guide used by an estimated 65,000 sauna builders. As a craftsman himself, he promotes good sauna building techniques. The new edition of his sauna book is available online at:

To See All the FAQs and Nothing But the FAQs ...

    1. FAQs - Sauna Plans - Sauna Designs - on Traditional Saunas
    2. FAQs - Sauna Health - Sauna Benefits
    3. FAQs - Sauna Building - How to Build Your Own Sauna
    4. FAQs - How to Use the Traditional Finnish Sauna
    5. FAQs - Other Interesting Sauna Information
    6. Good Reading - Coming Soon in a Blog


The Sauna-Guru at Home Saunas Since 1974 has answers to sauna FAQs. Pertti Jalasjaa has answers to questions about sauna benefits, sauna health, sauna building, sauna use.

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