Want to build your own infrared sauna? If you are researching infrared sauna kits, chances are that you already know about the health benefits of an infrared sauna and about how it compares to a traditional sauna.
There are two reasons that you might want to build your own infrared sauna instead of getting a prefabricated infrared sauna. Either the overall cost is an issue and the kits are cheaper or the sauna itself is within budget and the shipping is way too high. Either way, a kit is a great way to get an infrared sauna.
You have the choice to build your own infrared sauna. You can get the parts individually or buy a kit. Custom building the sauna allows you to make a unique size that a kit would not cover, so that you may seat more or fewer people at a time then a kit would offer. On the other side, infrared sauna kits usually have all the parts you need to complete the project from the wood for the walls (or pre-constructed walls themselves), to the heaters and controls needed to operate the sauna. Accessories can include towel racks, headrests, and a music system of some sort.
Since you have the choice of buying individual parts or a kit if you are going to build your own infrared sauna, keep in mind that detailed instructions for calculating the total number of heaters your sauna will need is covered in another article.
When choosing a kit you need to pay attention to several factors. First off, does the kit come with doors or do you need to buy them separately? Like building a custom sauna, you can find prehung doors fitted with tempered thermopane glass. If you need to order these, make sure you tell the supplier which side the door needs to open on (both left and right side models are available, so select the one that fits your preferences and space the best). You can also get tempered thermopane windows for your sauna which would make the small space less confining for those who dislike being in such tight quarters for long periods. Also pay attention to the materials used in the prefabricated walls. The wrong materials in the heat of the sauna will release unhealthy toxins into the air defeating the purpose of using a sauna in the first place.
Wood for an infrared sauna should be dried, non-treated, and solid. Avoid wood treated with chemical fungicides. Stay away from medium density fiberboard (MDF) as the glues (and often formaldehyde) used in the creation of it will release unhealthy fumes when heated. Both considerations need to be kept in mind regardless of if you buy a kit, use a plan and buy lumber, or hire a contractor. The wooden walls need to be as toxin free as possible. Choose woods known to be free from added chemicals that react well to being heated. The best woods to use are hemlock, cedar, aspen, birch, or poplar. Hemlock is considered the low end, as it can split if it dries too much. Hemlock should be used where it will not be exposed to the elements. Cedar is considered the best general wood to use, so keep in mind that unless you have allergies to it that cedar is an excellent choice.
Kits can make the process of installing an infrared heater very easy. The premade walls and pre-hung doors fit together like a puzzle. If you have the proper tools, you can get a kit made in a few hours to a couple of days. Making one from plans is not that hard, as the most difficult thing to do is hanging the door, and you can order these pre-hung individually.
Keep in mind that you will need an electronic control system for the heaters. These usually have a (LED) display. They operate silently as needed and can usually be preprogrammed to start heating at a specific time. If you have children, consider a model that offers a lockout system to avoid hazards caused by little fingers turning on things they should not be.
If you build your own infrared sauna, you may also want to look for a music system if your kit does not have one. These can range from CD players to MP3/iPod hookups. These can add a lot to the ambiance of your infrared sauna, allowing you to relax completely in soothing meditation or simple enjoyment of your favorite music while you experience a rejuvenation though a totally detoxifying deep sweat. The benefits of an infrared sauna are enhanced by the knowledge that you will have built it yourself.
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