Electrical heating systems that are commonly used in saunas

Gone are the days when wood used to be the main fuel for sauna heaters.  With a spate in setting up sauna rooms at homes, the traditional fuel has now been replaced by electrical and gas fired heaters. Regardless of the type of fuel that is used in a sauna heater, the principle of heating is the same. However there is a variant of the electrical heater, the infra red heating system that operates differently. This article will explore the heating methods that are adopted in the electrical heating system.

Sauna heater

Electrical heaters

The principle of converting electrical energy into heat energy by allowing electricity to pass through resistant elements is utilized in any electrical sauna heater. There are heating elements in the heater that gets heated in the process and the heat is transferred to the stack of coal by the method of conduction.

Since the coal is directly in contact with the heating elements, the rate of transfer of heat is quite high. The heated coal transfers the heat to the air of the room by convection and the room gets heated in the process. In order to increase the humidity of the room so as to get a steamy sauna environment, steam is generated by spraying water to the heated coal.

Power of electrical heaters

The capacity of heating or the power of electrical heaters is denoted by kilowatts and it is directly proportional to the volume of air in the room, which can be considered to be equivalent to the volume of the room which is a product of the length, breadth and height of the room.  By thumb rule, a heater of 2 Kilowatt (KW) can adequately heat a room of volume 100 cubic feet. This relation can be used to work out the right capacity of the heater that would be suitable for your room size.

Infra red heaters

Unlike the conventional electrical heaters the far infra red sauna heater uses only convection to spread the heat across the sauna room and there is no direct heating involved in the process. An infra red radiant heater is used for heating the room that in turn heats the body of the sauna user by sending heat waves that are generated by the heaters. The power of infra red heaters depends on its emissive capacity and the ideal one should be between 95 to 99 percent.  The traditional idea that greater is the surface temperature of heaters the better will be the heating is completely defied by the principle used in infra red heaters that  emphasizes on lower surface temperature that is required to give rise to more consistent and precise wavelength throughout the sauna sessions.

The comfort index of the sauna experience depends on precise temperature control. The thermostat has to respond promptly to the changes desired by the user. For traditional electrical heaters the response time of thermostats is much higher as it takes longer time to respond to changes whereas for Infra red heaters the response is much more prompt and accurate.