Bathing in a sauna every day is definitely not bad. On the contrary, many studies have vouched for the benefits of frequent sauna bathing. It not only relieves your body of tensions and pains. It also strengthens your mind’s well-being. A sauna is a memory boost and a preventive medicine to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Because sauna bathing has found its way into more homes and the daily regimen, a lot more people are looking into getting an electric-powered sauna. They are convenient, quick, and seemingly low maintenance. But is a wood-fired sauna stove totally lost in this emerging sauna culture?
Let’s break down the characteristics of these two types of saunas. The goal here is not to create a dilemma but to help resolve an impending one.
Electric Bills vs. Wood
One of the conveniences of wood-fired saunas is that it does not add costs to your electric bills. Bathing in a traditional steam sauna will not give you relaxation for an hour and then electricity-related worries the next. Also because this type of sauna does not rely on electricity, no electrician is necessary. You do not have to hire someone to wire your sauna space, that is, if you are not setting up a portable outdoor sauna.
Electric-powered saunas, on the other hand, do not have a trump card on the electric bills. Although a variety of heaters exist that can match different budget brackets, utility bills are going to take a bump.
However, running a steam sauna is not without costs, too. Wood may not come cheap in some places. In cities where a forested backyard is nowhere near, the price of wood can be steep.
Both wood-burning and electric-powered saunas require maintenance. Generally, wood-fired saunas will take as long a time before use, as well as afterward. A typical electric sauna can be heated up to its maximum for half an hour. A wood-burning sauna stove may take longer than an hour.
When it comes to cleaning up after use, heaters that use wood need a little bit more work. On top of cleaning the benches and the floor drain, you need to remove the ashes and sweep the flue clean.
You also have to remember, though, that electric saunas would need yearly replacements of bulbs. Other than that, there is not much to think about its upkeep.
Confusion may be starting to brew. However, the sauna experience may just spell out the difference for you.
For some people, there is an old-school and rustic feel to bathing in a wood-fired sauna. It is a great way to end an afternoon of strolling around nature or skiing. For them, the heat is better and the steam is superior.
A wood-burning sauna, they said, envelopes you with a warmth that cannot be achieved with an electric or infrared sauna. Sticklers for a wood-fired sauna have their ways, and they want to keep it that way. They have fallen for that “enveloping” warmth, and they like it.
With infrared saunas, the temperatures are lower, but they do penetrate the body. Electric stoves, on the other hand, produce “spicy” steam; it burns. But this does not mean the heat cannot be controlled.
Deciding which type of home sauna to set-up depends on various factors. The cost of “fuel”— wood or electricity— in a certain location is one. Your lifestyle also has a stake in the decision. Both have advantages and drawbacks in certain aspects. Ultimately, the decision lies in the factor that carries the more weight for you. Is it the experience? Does convenience matter more for you?
It is true that electric-powered and wood-fired saunas deliver different bathing experiences. Whether one experience is better than the other is totally up to you.