Cheap infrared saunas *can* turn out bad

Looking for cheap infrared saunas?

Before you buy your infrared sauna, there are some issues you may want to consider and some important questions to ask about safety, construction, and reliability. Unfortunately, many consumers are finding out the hard way that not all infrared saunas are created equal.

A Little History

During most of the history of sauna sales, most of the units being sold were constructed in the United States and Canada. Although saunas were often more expensive then, part of the reason involved the high quality products which were used for their construction. Ceramic heaters were generally used because of their efficiency but that added to the expense, as did the choice of sturdy woods and the attention to the methods used in putting everything together.

Manufacturing in the U. S. and Canada is always a little more expensive because of the extra attention that must be paid to quality assurance. Strict safety guidelines are in place to ensure consumers are not purchasing dangerous products.

A few years back, things began to change in the sauna industry. Many of the sauna distributors had begun selling almost identical models through their online sites and at prices that were considerably lower than they had been in the past. The cause of this dramatic change was the growth of sauna manufacturing in China.

Many companies in China had begun building sauna units. In an effort to break into the North American market with their products, they had started contacting distributors and arranging for them to sell the saunas for them. Because of the reduced price, the distributors could pass on lower prices to consumers while still making a decent profit for themselves. It seemed like a win-win situation for everyone, including the consumers who were more capable of purchasing their own sauna than ever.

Unfortunately, it's the consumers who are in the losing end of this partnership.

Make an Informed Decision

Although the price on these Chinese-made units is hard to beat, there are sometimes problems with some of them. One of the best examples was the June 2008 announcement that more than 200 infrared saunas made in China and sold online were being voluntarily recalled. Malfunctioning equipment in the saunas directly caused four fires which caused property damage.

While these fires did not lead to any personal injuries, there are those risks as well. The Electrical Safety Authority in Ontario, Canada found that many of the infrared saunas being sold posed safety risks, including the risk of fires and electric shocks.

Saving money may be important but it can also turn out to be more costly in the future. Instead, take the time to make an informed buying decision when you are shopping for infrared saunas.

Choosing the Best Infrared Sauna

Before you buy, do some research on the units you are interested in purchasing. Pay attention to the components that are used in its construction.

For example, you should always pay attention to the type of heating system used. Many of the Chinese-made units had poorly functioning heaters. You want to look for ceramic heaters because these emit the highest quality heat. Carbon heaters may also be fine. Try to avoid metal rod heaters because the heat is generated through reflection which is not as thorough. Plus, metal rod heaters must work at very high temperatures meaning they are less efficient.

You also want to pay attention to the chosen wood. Many of the Chinese models use low quality wood. Some models even give off a noxious odor while the unit is running. That's not going to make your sauna experience very pleasant. Instead, look for saunas constructed from cedar wood.

Cedar wood has a number of excellent benefits. Not only is it one of the most beautiful woods available but the non-aromatic version of the wood has a lovely smell which is not overpowering but has a calm aroma that helps for relaxation and enjoyment of the sauna experience.

Cedar also has another special quality that makes it ideal for sauna construction. The wood is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which means mold and bacteria aren't going to grow in the dark environment within the sauna. If you purchase saunas made from low quality wood that claims to be hypoallergenic, those effects are not permanent and will not prevent these problems for the entire life of the sauna.

The Bottom Line

While low prices may make Chinese-made saunas tempting, the low quality components and the potential risks of these units won't always deliver happy results.

 


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