FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Q. What is a traditional sauna?
A. A traditional sauna is a room made from softwood and that incorporates a heater — either electric or wood-burning — that is capable of reaching at least 170° Fahrenheit. A Traditional sauna offers a range of benefits starting at 140-185F+, but an Infrared sauna is also beneficial at 120-150F. An average healthy individual can tolerate that kind of heat because it is a dry environment with extremely low humidity. This is called a dry sauna experience.
However, one other integral traditional sauna component is sauna stones. These are placed in or on the heater, and when they’re good and hot, you sprinkle some water on them to create a burst of steam. This is called a wet sauna experience because it generates humidity. So to summarize, a sauna is a wooden room with an exceptional heater that is capable of producing either dry or wet heat.
Q. How do you take a sauna?
A. Taking a sauna is traditionally a rotation of dry, wet, dry, wet, etc. with cool-down breaks in between. A cool-down break can be anything as basic as sitting outside the sauna until you’re ready to enter again or it can be something as crazy as jumping in an icy lake. However, sitting in the sauna for an extended period of time with no breaks is not recommended. The rest is up to you. Some say that the rule of thumb for sauna usage is whatever makes you comfortable. The moment it ceases to be comfortable, it ceases to be the proper way to take a sauna.
Q. What is the difference between a wet and a dry sauna?
A. Take water. Apply to hot rocks. Voila, wet sauna. That’s it. A wet sauna experience is simply when you pour water over the heater rocks, thus producing steam. Thus, a dry sauna is the absence of any humidity.
Q. How is a traditional sauna experience different from an infrared experience?
A. By definition, a sauna is a room where water is used to generate steam, so technically the infrared experience is not a sauna at all. Infrared does not warm the room but instead penetrates the body with infrared rays. It does so at a low temperature and is helpful in relieving sore joints and muscles. The proper definition for the infrared experience is to refer to it as an “infrared therapy room.” The wet/dry effect of a traditional sauna is a total body experience, providing joint and muscle relief as well as a host of other health benefits.
Q. Why is a traditional sauna experience considered good for your health?
A. Any health benefits attributed to sauna usage are linked to the fact that sauna rooms get hot. These benefits include improved circulation, lower blood pressure, enhanced immune system, respiratory relief, detoxification, burned calories, better skin tone, and joint and muscle pain relief. Heart Health Benefits of Sauna
Q. Can my sauna be customized?
A. If you’d like anything beyond our normal sizes and configurations, it is considered a custom sauna. We are able to do custom saunas by request only. If you are looking for a more customized sauna experience, consider the upgrade options on Respite indoor and Barrel saunas. This ranges from heater upgrades, lumber options, door design, and more.
Pricing & Warranty Questions
Q. Do you price match?
A. If you purchased your sauna, heater, or accessory directly through Almost Heaven Saunas (i.e. almostheaven.com or telesales with an Almost Heaven Saunas rep), Almost Heaven will price match the active sale price on our website if you contact us with this request within 30 days of receiving your sauna.
We do not price-match other sellers of Almost Heaven Saunas.
Q. What is the warranty?
A. Each Almost Heaven Sauna comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty* against manufacturing defects on the sauna room. We will replace any component of the sauna room that fails due to a manufacturing defect at the Shipping cost in accordance with our Limited Warranty. The Heater Warranty will cover damaged heating elements for 1 year, and the other components for 5 years.
*Note: the Limited Lifetime Warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, rot, discoloration, minor splintering in lumber, etc.
Q. Which heater should I choose for my sauna?
A. The standard heater that is included in most of our sauna kits is the KIP heater. The size of the sauna will determine the standard kilowatt size paired.
Our heater upgrade models include the KIP (dials), KIP (digital), The Wall Heater (dials), Cilindro Heater (dials or digital), Virta (digital), and Virta Combi (digital). Select outdoor saunas are also eligible for an upgrade to a wood-burning heater.
Q. What’s the difference between an electric and a wood-burning heater?
A. The overall experience is similar whether heating with electric or wood. An electric heater is standard with every sauna we sell, and we also have wood-burning options for our larger outdoor saunas. Installation should be done in accordance with the sauna and heater manufacturer's recommendations, being sure to abide by any local building codes as well
Q. How long will it take for my sauna to heat up?
A. Typically, our saunas will heat to 165°F in 30–40 minutes and to 185° in less than 60. Our heaters offer a standard heat up time of 45-60 minutes and will reach 170°-185°F+.
However, the time it takes a sauna to heat up depends on the climate in which you live; heat up time depends on the ambient temperature surrounding the sauna. For example, if you have an outdoor sauna and you live in a northern climate and it’s the middle of winter, give your sauna a little more time to heat up. Furthermore, some people like their sauna hot and some like it blazing – that’s a factor that will influence heat-up time too.
Assembly & Logistics Questions
Q. What’s included with each sauna kit?
A. Every Almost Heaven Sauna kit comes with all the pieces you need to assemble your sauna room, a heater, stones, and a light. We also have some optional accessories that you can purchase to include with your order: bucket and ladle, backrests, leg rests, rain jackets, magazine racks, wooden doors, sand timers, scented sauna oils, and more. You can inspect a full lineup of our options and accessories on the Accessories Page of our website.
Q. How difficult is assembly?
A. You’re the one in charge of assembling your new sauna, although we do a lot of pre-assembly ahead of time. All of the panel, ceiling, bench and end sections are pre-assembled at the factory, and all of the holes are pre-drilled for your convenience. Generally two or three people can put a sauna together in just a handful of hours, so grab someone you love and have fun bonding over the building of your new sauna. A complete assembly manual comes with every sauna.
Note: Our cabin-style saunas are the only exception to this rule. These are often contracted out to a contractor or carpenter and can take 2-3 full days to complete.
Q. What are the operational costs?
A. Electrical requirements of each sauna heater can be found on our website or in the provided heater manuals with the sauna shipment or on our downloads and manuals page. The standard heater options for each kit will be between 30-40 amps with a 240V hardwired connection. Some premium electric heater options require as much as 60 amps. As a result, the operational costs are negligible under normal use, much like the cost of a clothes dryer or electric oven.
Q. What sort of electrical service is required?
A. If you are not a licensed electrician who knows how to do wiring according to local electrical codes, please hire one. He or she will have to hard-wire the heater to an electrical source. Here’s what you’ll need to tell them: “It will require 240v power. The 4.5kw and 6.0kw heaters require a 30 amp breaker and 8/2 wire (for runs up to 90' from the breaker box use 10/2 wire), and anything beyond in kW's requires a 40 amp breaker and 8/2 wire. The light will require 110v, 15 amp service. It may be necessary to upgrade the wire size if the run exceeds 90' - refer to your electrician on this.
Q. What sort of ongoing maintenance is required?
A. Very little, actually. If you purchased an outdoor barrel sauna, you may need to tighten the bands or add additional filler staves after a period of time, usually within the first few months. Depending on the humidity and weather conditions in your area, the wood will either shrink or expand based on the amount of moisture absorption. The desired effect is to have the wood expand into the bands.
To keep the inside clean, you can periodically scrub the floor and benches with soap and water, rinse them thoroughly and then cycle your heater for a few cycles to your sauna out. The best way to maintain your sauna is to use it!
For outdoor saunas, it's a good idea to stain the exterior of your sauna to protect it from the aging effects of the sun and other elements.
Q. Can an outdoor barrel sauna go indoors?
A. Yes. Our barrel saunas are designed with the outdoors in mind; the barrel shape sheds water and snow, and the lumber is weather-resistant. But it works equally as well indoors as it does outdoors.
Q. Can an indoor sauna go outdoors?
A. An indoor sauna is not made to shed water or snow, it has more glass than our outdoor saunas, and it does not come with a floor. These are three factors to consider if you are entertaining the idea of placing your sauna outdoors.
First, make sure the indoor sauna is covered so that water and/or snow will not accumulate. A covered patio or pergola is ideal. Second, most indoor saunas have far more glass than outdoor saunas. Since heat is lost much faster through glass than wood, it's a good idea to upgrade your heater, particularly in northern climates. Finally, it's ideal to have an enclosed floor inside your sauna. If you are placing it on a slatted deck, we recommend building a sealed platform to build the sauna on top of to eliminate excessive draft.
Placing an indoor sauna outdoors is not the ideal scenario, but if the above criteria are followed, it's no issue!
Q. What lumber can I choose from for the construction of my sauna?
A. We give you the choice of selecting from three types of lumber for your sauna: Hemfir, Rustic Western Red Cedar, and Thermally Modified Hemlock. Select outdoor saunas will also be eligible for the Onyx upgrade, which is Stained Hemfir. You’ll be able to get the exact look that you want for your new favorite home retreat! Whichever you choose, you will find the craftsmanship to be unparalleled!
Q. How do I treat the exterior of my outdoor barrel sauna?
A. You really don’t have to treat it. Over time the lumber will weather naturally as a result of sun and rain, but this doesn’t harm the wood or impair the sauna’s performance. But if you wish to retain the natural color of the wood, you can apply a stain or sealant of your choosing to lengthen the lifespan of the raw and untreated lumber used in our fir or cedar models. Your local paint professional can help you pick the right one.
Note: never treat the interior of the room.
Q. How do I decide where to place my outdoor barrel sauna?
A. Two rules: firm and flat (a slight taper for run-off is fine). You can place your sauna on a deck, concrete, paved stones, pressed gravel, etc. Our barrel saunas come with molded cradle supports that protect the sauna from moisture when it is placed directly on the ground.
Q. How do I decide where to place my indoor sauna?
A. Your indoor sauna can go on almost any surface — concrete, tile, laminate, etc. We do not recommend placing it on carpet or hardwood flooring.
A note about pitch (often called sap):
Nordic Spruce lumber is a beautiful softwood lumber that is ideal for sauna use and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Since it is a conifer lumber it will have a very small amount of pitch (sap) in the lumber that will vary from board to board. While it is unlikely, if you see pitch seeping from any part of the wood, don’t be alarmed… it is perfectly normal and can make itself evident in the high temperature of the sauna. However, once it seeps from the wood it will not return. You can simply scrape any accumulated pitch from the wood with a razor blade and clean any residue with a rag and rubbing alcohol, which will not stain the wood.