Purchasing a Sauna
Purchasing a Sauna In these modern times of the internet, our options when it comes to buying a sauna are endless. So, the question is which sauna should you choose and why? If you are a first time buyer, the answer to this question can at times be overwhelming. With literally dozens of sauna manufacturers and hundreds of dealers, all of them giving you different answers to what seem to be the same questions, where do you start? Regardless whether this is your first time or you have purchased a sauna in the past, Gaia Saunas has put together a concise, unbiased buyer’s guide to assist you in your decision-making process. When you decide to purchase a Gaia Sauna or one from our competitors, you will know that your decision is an educated one that you can feel confident will benefit you and your family for years to come. Let’s start our journey together:
Start With These Six Topics
* A Question Of Sauna Size-
When choosing a sauna size there a few things that you should take into consideration.
First, go to our PRODUCTS page and look at each of GAIA’s luxury portable home saunas. You will notice the specifications on the left, which will give you an accurate idea of the saunas measurements (remember all sizes are rounded up to the nearest inch). When looking at the specifications, please take into consideration the following:
-Measurements: All measurements are in inches and will provide accurate measurements for you to use in your designs (remember all sizes are rounded up to the nearest inch).
-Electricity: Make sure to check with a certified electrician if you are not comfortable with electrical specifications. However, most of Gaia’s saunas run on a 15amp 110volt circuit that is standard to most homes in the United States. Only the G4 will require an outlet change upgrade to a 20amp 120volt outlet, which can be purchased at most hardware or home and garden outlets.
The final calculation you should make when determining the size of your sauna, is to try to calculate how many people might be using it, how many times per week and where you want to place it. This will help you get an idea of the monthly costs, maintenance and preparation you will need. Feel free to contact our customer service representatives to ask any questions or answer any concerns you might have. They can be reached at 1.888.695.1777.
* Infrared Saunas vs. Finnish Saunas
This topic and page is one of the most viewed on our website. Most people have owned or experienced one or the other but only a few people have had the opportunity to experience both.
Infrared saunas have not been on the market as long as traditional saunas, so most people are not as familiar with Infrared as they are with traditional saunas. We would like to take this opportunity to lend understanding to this long-misunderstood subject.
A (hot rock) or traditional Finnish sauna does not heat the body. The heating element heats only the air that surrounds it, which in turn results in an extremely hot environment, with air temperatures reaching as high as 180F to 220F. The user must splash water on the heating element in order to adjust the humidity to protect the body’s (lungs, skin, eyes, etc.) mucous membranes.
An infrared sauna heats the body directly with infrared heat instead of the surrounding air, resulting in a much lower ambient temperature of typically 100F to 130F. Raising the humidity is not necessary within the sauna. An infrared sauna requires a much shorter warm-up time; this in turn saves electricity.
Because of the lower temperatures infrared saunas are much better suited for people who find extreme temperatures of the traditional sauna to be oppressively hot or claustrophobic. They are also more appropriate for people who suffer from chronic illness who may otherwise be unable to enjoy daily sauna sessions.
Due to these lower temperatures, you can stay in the sauna for longer periods of time. This gives you the benefit of being able to sweat more than you might using a traditional sauna.
Unfortunately there is too much wrong information about the release of body toxins due to infrared saunas. The claims of 15-20% of your sweat contain toxins is completely misleading; many conditions in the human body affect how toxins are released.
We subscribe to the belief that infrared saunas will release more toxins than traditional saunas, but we do not agree with these unsubstantiated numbers.
Most of our Gaia Saunas use a standard 110 volt, 15 amp power plug. Most Finnish saunas run at 240 volts and between 12 and 30 amps. Many sauna companies fail to pass this important information to the consumer so that you have to upgrade your homes wiring to accommodate Finnish saunas. Another benefit of infrared saunas is that all of our units except our 2 largest models run on standard 110 volt, 15 amp power. This is yet another advantage of infrared saunas. Our trained professionals will assist you in assuring your electrical requirements are within safety standards prior to purchasing any Gaia sauna.
Unlike Finnish saunas which usually must be built into the allotted space within your home because they come in pre-cut units, infrared saunas are modular. This means they come pre-built and ready to assemble. It is very rare to find a modular hot rock sauna which means the sauna is pre-built for you. Even if you did, it still would take 4 to 5 times as long to assemble as an infrared unit and usually needs upgrades to your home electrical wiring system. With an infrared sauna, if you move locations, because it’s modular it disassembles easily to take with you.
With Finnish saunas, they must be constructed predominately out of cedar. Cedar is a much more expensive wood but is needed because with Finnish saunas you need to splash water on the heaters. This exposes the unit to considerably more wear and tear, usually needing to be replaced between 5 to 7 years. This is not required with infrared saunas which is a great advantage because this translates into a lower price for the consumer. Also, infrared saunas do not require vapor barriers to insulate the unit.
* Types of Sauna Warranties
With literally dozens of sauna companies in the sauna market, you want to be assured tht your sauna investment is the correct one for yourself and your family. As with any purchase, two of the most important questions are: “how long is the warranty good for?” and “what does it really cover?”
What to look for in a Warranty:
The warranty which covers the control system and electronics should be for a period of three to five years. If you experience problems within this area at all it will usually happen when you first use the unit.
Without exception the warranty on your heaters should be nothing less than a lifetime warranty.
A sauna’s construction is of the utmost importance. The wood must be properly kiln-dried. If it’s of low quality it can warp or bubble in just a few weeks even if you never use it. The regular use of a sauna with improperly applied adhesives in the construction process may begin to fail. This is why it is imperative. A warranty on the cabinet (sauna compartment) should be a minimum of at least 5 years to prevent unforeseen warping or defects.
Fine Print Details-
Remember to read the small print details thoroughly. Some sauna companies make their claims of a lifetime warranty which means no water inside the sauna. Keep in mind you will sweat, so by all means keep the original packaging material along with any other documentation.
We are confident our infrared sauna warranty is one of the best in the industry.
As long as you are the owner of the sauna, we back all our saunas with a lifetime warranty.
Our saunas come with a 5-year warranty. All our electronic components are put through a rigid series of industrial-strength tests and are built to exceed standard requirements. A 5-year warranty on all controls is included with our saunas. Any defective controls will be shipped to you and are extremely easy to install in our units.
We are very proud of our craftsmanship that goes into building every sauna. These saunas are built to last a lifetime. Any problems you may encounter will usually be within the first 5 years, but we do offer a lifetime warranty on our saunas.
* Types of Sauna Heaters
Types of Infrared Sauna Heaters
Steel, aluminum or ceramic…how do you decide which one is the best for your needs?
Ceramic, Steel or Aluminum?
A ceramic surface giving off 400 degrees F worth of heat will be more efficient at giving off heat than a metallic surface giving off the exact same surface temperature of 400 degrees F. This is because the ceramic surface has a much higher emissivity (see below). An aluminum surface has an emissivity of 56 % while ceramic emissivity is 929 which brings the heat transference efficiency close to 100%. The closer the emissivity is to 100%, the more efficient the surface is to 100%–the more efficient the surface is at emitting heat to the user.
Infrared heat is given off based on the emissivity of the source and the surface temperature emissivity is the measure of the thermal emittance or heat transference of a surface, which is the efficiency of the object capacity to emit or give back the energy it absorbs.
Using the numerous laws of physics as explained by the top physics in the world, past and present, (Drs. Wien, Plack, Stefan-Bolzman) the peak wavelength of infrared energy can be calculated. We mean the highest occurrence of any single wavelength, not the highest value of any wavelength given off from the source. Only true ceramic heaters can give you the best transference of heat from an infrared sauna. Don’t be deceived by claims to the contrary.
* Buying Over The Internet or Local
Many sauna dealers make claims that purchasing over the internet is less expensive due to the inferiority of the manufacturing process by companies that sell their products over the internet.
The truth is you will find significantly lower prices due to reduced overhead so by all means take advantage of the reduced pricing.
* Electrical Considerations
All our Saunas run on standart 110 volt/15 amp home wall plugs. You will not need to change your electrical wiring to run these infrared saunas.
Before You Buy ANY Sauna…
Many sauna companies fail to explain the differences in wattages, volts and amps 15 amps equals 1650 watts. Any sauna requiring more wattage than 1650 will require you to upgrade to a 20 amp circuit.
What Is Considered Standard Household Wiring?
Some homes have 20 amp wall outlets in their kitchen and bathrooms. They have the red reset button on the faceplate. 20 amps are rarely used in household wiring. 20 amp outlets typically need special wiring. Remember this is rarely used in standard household wiring so be sure your sauna uses standard 15 amp/110 volts.
Some newer homes use 15 amp faceplates with the red reset button.
Switch Rated GFCI
Normally these will be what you will need to run a 20-amp sauna. Outlets such as these will usually be found in bathrooms, kitchens and newer homes.
All of our saunas introduced new in 2006-2007 models run on 15 amp/100 volt system.
When you are purchasing a sauna:
-always ask the # of amps the sauna runs on regardless of voltage.
-anything over 15 amps requires a 20 amp electrical outlet to meet electrical safety codes & ensure you are protected from liability.