Steam baths or sauna sessions are popular among the human society since a very long period of time it has a numerous health benefits including cleaning, refreshing the body and releasing mental stress. Gaining popularity from public and natural hot steam baths, private saunas are now being installed by a lot of people at their homes. Among the wide variety of sauna options available today, the most preferred are the outdoor saunas. These are constructed separately (a few yards away) from the main residence so as to enjoy the nature and perceive a heavenly bathing experience. In some cases outdoor saunas may develop in out skits of farm house etc. The idea of building outdoor saunas for a newbie can be quite intimidating but reality suggests that anyone with an elementary construction experience can easily undertake the task. However, there are certain do’s and don’ts one has to follow in order to design unique and efficient outdoor saunas.
1) Do not purchase an outdoor infra-red: Most of the people go for outdoor infra-red saunas which is a great initial mistake. Although they work very well in summers and spring seasons but fails when the air temperature drops 8-9 degrees below room temperature.
2) Avoid including wood-fired sauna floors in the design: Wood has a low ignition temperature. Installing wood-burning heater on the top of wooden base heats up the floor below and ignites it within 9-10 hours of usage. In cold regions this may not be a matter of major concern but in the areas with moderate or warm atmospheric conditions this design can cause fire accidents. It is better to use concrete or laminated flooring instead.
3) Consider the bench length before raising the walls: Most of the designing failures occur when bench lengths are decided after raising the walls of the sauna. It is better to select the bench length initially as one may wish to lie down or stretch the body. So, plan the two walls being between 6.5 to 7.5 feet for greater comfort.
4) Use certified light fixture: Light fixtures enhance the beauty of sauna up to a great level. Special care must be taken while buying light fixture at a local hardware store. It must be vapour proof and certified to be used within a sauna environment. If it does not meet the required criteria, do not use it as it may cause electric shock related accidents. Moreover, use insulator coated quality wires for wiring purpose.
5) Use simple and reliable heaters instead of the colourful ones: Colourful heaters are made using pre-painted steel or aluminium sheets. Undoubtedly these materials appear to be attractive and nice but do not stand efficiently at sauna temperatures. Most of the times, the paint flows with moisture to the floor and ruptures the internal beauty of the sauna.
6) Carefully insulate the walls and ceiling: While designing outdoor saunas, one must make sure that all the walls and ceiling are insulated properly as it takes about 15 minutes for the room to achieve the operating temperature and improper insulation may expand this time up to 1 hour or more It is necessary to seal the vents and door during warm up session.