Common Issues With Wood-Burning Sauna Heaters

Posted on 15 March 2022

wood burning sauna stoveThe traditional wood-burning saunas have the pure sauna experience at their heart. The radiant heat and the comforting crackle of wood are reinterpreted in today’s modern wood-burning sauna heaters. If you’re considering a wood-burning home sauna for your home or already own one, there are a few things you should be aware of. These heaters can be tricky to work with and often require a bit of maintenance to keep them running properly. In this help article, we’ll outline some of the most common issues people experience with sauna wood-burning stoves, with some practical advice on troubleshooting them. 

Low Heat

If your home sauna isn’t heating up to that toasty level, probably the fire in your sauna wood-burning stove is to blame. 

  • If you don’t have a roaring fire, see that the wood is chopped up into small pieces and there is proper airflow for the fire. 
  • Also, the wood should be well-seasoned and dry; green or unseasoned wood won’t generate heat. 
  • Check that the stove is well adjusted.

If you have a good fire going, but the room is still cold, the wood-heater is probably not big enough to heat the room. You can consider installing an electric space heater from SaunaFin’s eclectic range of sauna heaters.  

The 4 Main Features To Check When you Run into Problems

Inadequate Ventilation

Correct ventilation is critical for an immersive sauna experience. A wood-burning sauna heater requires plenty of air(oxygen) to keep it going. Any fire will extinguish without oxygen, so ensure that your sauna wood stove has good ventilation. If your fire is sputtering, check that the chimney is free of obstructions. Regular cleaning of the vent is a must for proper ventilation in a wood-burning sauna. 


A wood-burning sauna stove requires a good draw with a secure chimney system. Any leaks or draughts in the chimney or vacuum hose can hamper the draw. A straight stove pipe with a direct chimney will ensure a good draw. Too many twists and bends in the chimney can affect the draw and quality of your fire. 

Wood Quality

Your sauna fire is only as good as the quality of wood that you use. Make sure that you only use dry, seasoned wood in your sauna. Seasoned wood is firewood that has been cut and dried for a season. Firewood cut in spring or summer should be left to dry and used in winter or fall after leaving it for a ‘season.’ Softwoods like pine burn faster and are suitable for starting a fire. Use hardwoods like oak for actual firewood as they burn longer. Again, do not use green or wet wood as they will not burn effectively or produce good heat. 


An optimally insulated sauna with a foil vapour barrier is the key to quick heating with no extra heat emitted outside. A well-insulated sauna will retain heat and moisture for a long time, letting you soak in the dense, moist heat. 

While sauna purists treasure a sauna wood-burning stove, the modern electric sauna heaters are a convenient and hassle-free way to enjoy the benefits of your home sauna. A personal home sauna is a joy to possess, and SaunaFin makes the process easier. Contact the team at SaunaFin for customized sauna solutions that work for you! 

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