sauna heater recommendations

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Ravvy
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sauna heater recommendations

Post by Ravvy » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:28 pm

Hi all,
I'm starting plans to add a sauna to my home. A key component is the stove/ heater. What are your experiences with different units, and which might be the best one to buy?

So far I have found three different electric heaters available through distributors in the USA:
1. Finnleo, and I believe the manufacturer is Saunatec in Finland.
2. Finlandia Saunas sells a heater made by Harvia Oy in Finland.
3. Tylö, I think made in Sweden.

I will attach the website links so you can see them, as the names might not connect to product in Finland.

http://www.finnleo.com/Products/Sauna_H ... onal_Sauna
http://www.finlandiasauna.com/sauna-heaters.html
http://www.tylo.se/sauna/sauna-heaters-at-home.aspx

I'd like to hear your thoughts and experiences.


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sauna heater recommendations

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Pursuivant
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Pursuivant » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:50 pm

Electric? The basic models are more or less the same; basically you calculate your size ratio... and then you need to remember that electric ones are dryer and you need to fix the ventilation differently than of a wood-burning one as theres no natural draft through the chimney... I guess Tylö is making a good sales job, my sis got one into her sauna in France.
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onkko
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by onkko » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:58 pm

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Caution! Do not open a cage!

If cage is opened stones will attact i presume :shock: Good we have tame rocks in finland.
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EP
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by EP » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:13 pm

I think electric stoves are more or less the same. I have lived with Harvias all through my electric life. How good or bad the sauna is depends more of ventilation, moisture, and so on. Just check that the size of the stove (how much rocks fit in) is compatible with the size of the steam room. And remember to get new stones every now and then.


Jukka Aho
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Jukka Aho » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:24 pm

onkko wrote:If cage is opened stones will attact i presume :shock:

Yeah, what’s with the weird cage/grillwork thingy? Is it some local safety regulation?
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Ravvy
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Ravvy » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:47 am

Yeah, these electric units are a bit of an unknown to me. The first couple trips to Finland we rented places which had wood-burners which are well known to me. The last couple places had these electric stoves with rocks that look like they came from a volcanic eruption or some sort of lava flow. One had a grill over the top, one did not. (I didn't pay any attention to the brand names.) I must admit it was convenient as heck to just turn the knobs to set the sauna to warm. Felt like I was cheating at first, but I quickly got used to it. :wink: 8)
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Ravvy
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Ravvy » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:51 am

Pursuivant wrote:... I guess Tylö is making a good sales job, my sis got one into her sauna in France.

Their main pitch here in the states is energy efficiency; claiming faster sauna warm-up while using less electricity.
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Jukka Aho
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Jukka Aho » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:25 am

Ravvy wrote:Yeah, these electric units are a bit of an unknown to me.

Some websites with basic information:


Ravvy wrote:The first couple trips to Finland we rented places which had wood-burners which are well known to me. The last couple places had these electric stoves with rocks that look like they came from a volcanic eruption or some sort of lava flow.

The basic no-frills electric kiuas type used in Finland looks like this – available in different sizes and heating power according to the size of the sauna, of course – but there’s lots of variation and fancier novelty designs on the market these days. I’ve never seen that basic type with a protective grill on the top, though, so that’s why I (and Onkko) found those images you posted a bit weird and semi-hilarious... ;)

There’s another type of electric stove which features a lid on the top. The idea is that you can keep the stove warmed up in “standby” mode for long periods of time, with relatively small energy consumption. Once you decide to have a bath, you simply open the lid and turn the heating elements to full power and it’ll be ready to go in 10 minutes or so. This type of stove is often said to release smoother löyly than the “normal” electric stove. Could be a bit wasteful if it’s always on, though...

You might want to check out this older sauna thread as well.
 
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tuulen
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by tuulen » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:09 am

Ravvy wrote:...I'm starting plans to add a sauna to my home...

To your home? Apparently in Finland a traditional sauna is a building separate from a home, for reasons having to do with fire prevention.


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Mölkky-Fan
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Mölkky-Fan » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:31 am

tuulen wrote:
Ravvy wrote:...I'm starting plans to add a sauna to my home...

To your home? Apparently in Finland a traditional sauna is a building separate from a home, for reasons having to do with fire prevention.


:? Most houses/ apartment blocks/ even apartments have a sauna in, and electric stoves are probably the safest.

We have wood burning in our house and at the cottage, and it does feel good compared to others but is a bit of a bother to get warm. Smoke saunas are obviously the most dangerous and seem to burn down every decade or so, so they are always (is that true?) built away from the main home.

Maybe in the US you will need lots of safety signs: 'do not touch the stove', 'do not eat the stove', 'saunas might be hot inside', 'might contain exposed nuts' and 'whipping each other relentlessly with branches can be addictive'
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Jukka Aho
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Jukka Aho » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:50 am

tuulen wrote:
Ravvy wrote:...I'm starting plans to add a sauna to my home...

To your home? Apparently in Finland a traditional sauna is a building separate from a home, for reasons having to do with fire prevention.

The original smoke saunas were separate buildings and had a habit of burning down every now and then... mostly because they don’t have chimneys and there’s a danger of overheating the massive stove or getting sparks flying around and igniting the walls. (You need to heat quite a big pile of rocks in order to get the heat reserve you need for bathing as you don’t bath in a smoke sauna until after the fire has died out and the sauna has been properly ventilated... which is different from how modern saunas with continuously heated wood-burning stoves work.)

These days, saunas are most commonly found indoors, including apartments in apartment buildings. But those indoor saunas are not smoke saunas, of course.
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tuulen
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by tuulen » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:01 am

Jukka Aho wrote:
tuulen wrote:
Ravvy wrote:...I'm starting plans to add a sauna to my home...

To your home? Apparently in Finland a traditional sauna is a building separate from a home, for reasons having to do with fire prevention.

The original smoke saunas were separate buildings and had a habit of burning down every now and then...

This is why a traditional Finnish sauna is a separate building, away from a house.
Last edited by tuulen on Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.


biscayne
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by biscayne » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:25 am

IKI KIUAS, it's fantastic. Keeps the temperature to about 65c, so you get a really steamy sauna which I love, the Finns desribe it a "soft" sauna, meaning not that it's for wimps, but that the steam from it is really good. I love it.


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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by Upphew » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:40 am

Ravvy wrote:Their main pitch here in the states is energy efficiency; claiming faster sauna warm-up while using less electricity.

Energy efficiency... faster warm-up means less stones or more power. Less stones means bad löyly. You want as much stones as possible, to a point.
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maxxfi
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Re: sauna heater recommendations

Post by maxxfi » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:09 pm

Jukka Aho wrote:
onkko wrote:If cage is opened stones will attact i presume :shock:

Yeah, what’s with the weird cage/grillwork thingy? Is it some local safety regulation?

Maybe it's to give to the unusual thingy a friendly BBQ look :lol:
Maxxfi


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