What are the differences in all the infrared saunas that are out in the market today?
I wish there was an easy answer but there is not.
There are many differences between all the infrared saunas that are produced today. I will attempt to explain some of them here.
Infrared VS Far-Infrared
There are saunas that generate Infrared heat and there are saunas that generate far-infrared heat. The differences are in the wave-length of the infrared itself. Infrared generates heat in the wavelengths of .7 to 1000 microns whereas far-infrared generates heat in the wavelengths of 4.0 to 1000. As the wavelengths rise, they tend to generate more heat therefore as you can see, the far-infrared heat waves are more effective. Furthermore, it has been identified that the “vital range” for better performance is in the range of 7 to 14 microns. Also, it is known that our bodies actually produce Far-infrared wavelengths in the range of 6 to 20 microns with optimum again being in the 7-14 range. Therefore, it is important when choosing an infrared sauna that you choose a FIR (far infrared) over an infrared sauna because you are insuring a more effective wavelength of heat for your body to absorb.
Ceramic versus carbon heating panels
The cermic heating panels have been around for many years. They produce a “hotter” surface and subsequently create a hazerd with respect to burning the occupants of the sauna. With ceramic heaters, guards are actually built around the heaters to help prevent this from occuring. Also because of their high temperatures, they must be spaced from each other to prevent overheating of the wood. This spacing causes cold spots within the sauna. Conversely, carbon heaters produce a constant heat source that is lower in actual temperature and produces the heat in the wavelengsth of 8.4 to 9.4 which is the range many feel that the human body produces. Therefore, it is absorbed more efficiently by the body. Also because of the “cooler” temepratures, the carbon heaters can, and do cover the entire surface of the walls providing a more level heat. Once again in choosing your infrared product, insure that it operates using carbon technology.
Wood Types and construction
There are many woods that are used in constructing saunas. There are white woods (Nordic Spruce, hemlock, aspen) and there are cedars (western red cedar, white cedar). Our recommendation is normally along the lines of white woods and we like woods imported from countrys that support the “green” concept. Nordic spruce comes from Finland, whereas our hemlock and western red cedar both come from Canada. Both countries have a very aggresive tree replacement program. Many of the “lesser” brands get their woods from the rain forests of South America where they are literally stripping the forest bare. The wood is also of a lesser quality with numerous knots and tear-drops (a vertical knot in the wood). The construction should also support easy installation and tear-down.
I don’t think enough can be said about local support and service for your product. We HIGHLY recommend that your sauna should come with local service and support. Many of the infrared companies that are selling saunas via the internet or other remote means provide little if any lcoal support and service. It is always nice to know, that you can get help if and when you need it.
All of the items listed above ultimately effect the price of a sauna. Just remember this, “The effects of poor quality and support lingers long after the sweetness of a low price.” Compare the value received for the price paid and you will normally make a good decision.