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Infrared Heater vs Traditional Heater

Infrared Heater vs Traditional Heater

IR Sauna Heater

In the past 10 years there has been a lot of marketing hype on infrared sauna heaters. While infrared heaters are not new, their use in sauna rooms is relatively new. As with any new product there tends to be lots of marketing hype surrounding the use of IR saunas compared to Traditional Saunas. Medical reports, doctor testimonials etc….  All simply embellished marketing hype to promote product sales without accurately describing the product.

So, what is the health benefit of an IR sauna compared to a traditional sauna heater? The answer is “they are the same” 100% identical, they both cause the body to heat up and thus perspire. This is the benefit of any sauna room regardless of the heater type, and that also includes steam rooms. There is no truth to the claims that IR heaters magically release toxins and heal inner ailments such as torn muscles, arthritis etc….

IR heaters work differently than the traditional heaters in that the heat the object through penetration of the IR light waves. This is the same light wave that heats your body in direct sunlight or heats objects such as pavement or buildings. A traditional sauna heats the air through convection similar to how a stove heats a turkey, the surrounding air is heated by contact with a heater element and the hot air then heats objects it surrounds.

Traditional Sauna Heater

Ultimately both types of heaters heat up the object. In a sauna, an IR heater can be thought of more as a light bulb that heats through a natural form of light radiation. In both cases the ultimate result is the body’s temperature rises and this causes the heart to increase as it attempts cool off the skin. Also, the skins pores open in order to release body fluid (perspiration) to help cool the body. Ultimately this is the health benefit of any sauna. Sweating does contain some toxins, and these can be released by perspiration. However, the type of heater has no effect on the amount of toxins that are released. This is simply determined by the body and amount of overall toxins found in each person.

IR sauna cost less to operate. This is again a myth that needs to be addressed. Heat energy is heat energy and they both cost the same to produce. However, because IR sauna is like a light bulb, the closer you are to the source the better. Therefore, IR sauna rooms are generally much smaller than a traditional sauna room. Because they are smaller in size the bodies are closer to the heaters and as such, they don’t require the same amount of power to heat the smaller room. If you put a traditional sauna heater in a small IR sauna room you could significantly reduce the heater power to heat the room. So ultimately it is the smaller size of the room that requires less energy to heat.

So why an IR sauna heater? IR heaters have become popular for sauna bathers that prefer a lower temperature sauna. Just like the sun light, you tend to feel hotter in direct sunlight than in the shade, even if the air temperature is identical. So IR heaters have become popular to bathers that previously did not like the high temperature of a sauna room. Generally, a IR sauna room operates at 120-140 F where a traditional sauna room operates at 140-170 F. or more.

Try before you buy. If you like saunas chances are you will not like an IR sauna. The heat level is less and there is no moisture created by adding water to the rocks, and the rooms are generally very small. However, if you have always wanted to enjoy the health benefits of a sauna but found the heat too uncomfortable then maybe an IR sauna room might be right for you. Many health clubs are now offering both IR and Traditional sauna heaters which is a perfect place to determine what type of sauna room is right for you? Remember what you read on the web is not always 100% accurate. Keep an open mind do your research and talk to people who use both to determine what is right for you. If you are undecided then consider buying a hybrid sauna heater which is one that uses both IR and Traditional heaters at the same time to provide one of the world’s most effective and beneficial sauna heating systems.


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