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- Infrared Installation Documents
- Infrared Material Kit
- Traditional vs. IR Sauna
- Carbon Vs. Ceramic
Infrared Sauna Material Kit
link to: Infrared Sauna Brochure
What's the Difference Between
Infrared And Traditional Saunas?
Traditional saunas Elevated heat and little humidity is the typical environment of a traditional sauna. Within a traditional sauna, the temperature can go from 185 to 195 degrees fahrenheit and water is splashed over the heater rocks to create a blast of hypersteam and intensify the feeling of heat. For those who enjoy this experience, there is nothing in the world quite like it.
NOTE: There is an exception for the Tylo Combi sauna heater. The Combi produces its own steam and so operates at a lower temperature. The Combi is the "soft-heat" traditional sauna.
Infrared saunas Infrared saunas offer a more gentle atmosphere. Infrared rays warm up a body first and then the air around second. For individuals who appreciate a heat bath feeling, yet don’t prefer traditional saunas, infrared is a great substitute.
It is important to keep in mind that the experience is not the same. Numerous individuals who have gone through the experience and previously liked traditional saunas often ask about our infrared saunas thinking they’ll be identical.
Infrared saunas provide a very enjoyable experience, but are different from a traditional sauna. If you know and love traditional saunas, you should seek out information beyond the claims of infrared vendors.
Many infrared manufacturers and distributors make comparisons to traditional saunas that are misleading and untrue. As a distributor of both types of saunas, Saunafin would like dispel some of these misstatements:
The chart below lists some of the claims often made and explains them in more detail:
Element (Emitter) Type & Approvals
Most elements are either Carbon or Ceramic (Solid Ceramic or Incoloy). Built properly, both types can work effectively. The basic difference is the size of the heater and the intensity of the heat.
Incoloy: It is a tubular element usually coated in ceramic in order for it to pass as an infrared element. Of the three types, we would strongly discourage these. Firstly, it is not true ceramic. Secondly, they are the lowest quality.
Solid Ceramic: It is a heating filament cast into solid convex shaped ceramic heater. These are industrial elements generally used for zone or patio heating. They are being used in saunas with no real alteration to their design or construction.
On the plus side, this is a real infrared emitter and can be effective. It is popular among smaller local manufacturers because the emitters are readily available in small quantities.
The issue with all ceramic emitters is their small size and the intensity of surface and localized temperature. These emitters can get up to 400oC (750oF). It is necessary to have a backrest at least to 3” to 4” away from the heater in order for it to be used at all. Many complain that it is too hot on their skin and that they must shift their body frequently or lean forward to avoid discomfort.
Ceramic emitters work well for those who are building their own sauna. Such saunas are often non-standard in size and the smaller ceramic emitters offer more flexibility in placement. Also, custom infrared saunas are often larger, so require more emitters. Ceramic are available in 240 volt, so that the load remains manageable. And since these are being hard-wired in the field, 240 volt is not an issue. With Carbon, it would be necessary to run several 120 volt circuits.
Carbon: Organic Carbon emitters have a very large surface area. The result is a much cooler surface temperature, more even heating and full body coverage. It is possible to touch the heater during use without getting burned. The heating surface area is typically 30-50 times greater ceramic tube heaters. The larger surface area envelopes and reduces any hot or cold spots in the sauna.
Depending on the motivation behind selecting an infrared sauna, carbon may be the preferred choice. If the major consideration is heat therapy for sore muscles, arthritis or fibromyalgia, carbon is likely the better selection. Carbon heaters spread the heat evenly throughout the sauna. Virtually all the wall space is covered. And as is the case with our Tylo saunas, there are heaters in the bench and floor as well – This can not be done with ceramic. Ceramic aims at your body core and it will work to make you perspire. But carbon will heat the whole body more evenly.
Having said that, our Carbon emitters operate from 8.4 to 9.4 microns for maximum infrared penetration and benefit.
Virtually all the infrared heater kits are not approved by the commonly recognized Certificiation Authorities (UL, ETL, CSA).
Most of the pre-fab "plug n play" are approved. The problem arises when these companies sell the infrared sauna heaters for customers to build their own custom built in infrared sauna. They may carry a component approval. That only means they can be used in used in another product that seeks to gain approval (i.e warehouse heating, pre-fab infrared sauna). However, these Infrared heater components are not approved to be sold on their own.
We only carry the infrared heaters sold by TyloHelo Inc. To our knowledge, TyloHelo is the only company that has an infrared package that is approved. The TyloHelo IS-IR heater kits are ETL approved for field installation. That is the reason why we can not and do sell individual emitters (heaters). We have four infrared kits that are approved. Each kit comes with a specified number of emitters, a relay box, control and explicit instruction for field installation.