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How to Install a Sauna Ventilation System

An efficient sauna ventilation system is an important component of a properly working home sauna. Whether you operate your sauna as a wet steam room or you use dry, infrared heat, you should ventilate the area with a system that allows several complete air changes every hour. All wet and dry home saunas require some sort of ventilation to bring fresh air into the sauna. A simple but efficient system is to leave an open space at the bottom of the entrance door. Since hot air rises and cold air stays near the floor, you won’t feel the draft as you sit on one of the benches. A crack of anywhere from ¼” to several inches will provide sufficient ventilation to recycle the air for a comfortable sauna session.

A better system to ventilate wet and dry saunas is to provide an opening in the wall just behind the sauna room heater. This intake vent should be located several inches above the floor to provide the fresh air supply. The outlet should be located on the opposite wall close to the ceiling. This opening will remove the used air from the home sauna, thus ensuring several complete air changes and efficient ventilation. Proper ventilation is also an important safety consideration.

The extreme heat found in both wet and dry home saunas can result in hot floors, walls, ceiling and benches without an air exchange system. Builders say to avoid mechanical air exchange methods as the forced air tends to dry out the wall panels and turns them into a potential fire hazard. Another important aspect of a properly installed ventilation system is to discharge the spent air into the same room from which it was taken. In other words, do not discharge the used air to the outside. This obviously only applies to indoor wet and dry saunas. If you decide to build your home sauna from a precut sauna kit, the manufacturer will provide instructions on how to build the sauna and the ventilating system.


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