news – June 2020
Relaxing Stay-at-Home Time
Infrared saunas enhance well-being while using less energy.
By Steve Panosian
STAY-AT-HOME AND SOCIAL DISTANCING are re-defining a “new norm” that is arguably reshaping our lifestyles. What we do, and where, will change everyday life including the place we call home. The benefits in designing a healthier home environment aimed at accommodating other pleasures in life are more important than ever. After all, if we are going to be spending more time at home, this paradigm shift should also mean enjoying it more, too.
comfort and health are the primary objectives
In earlier articles we discussed the importance of air quality as a key element in a home’s overall design for comfort and health. A home designed with the various premium amenities like super kitchens, built-in bath SPAs and pools, dedicated laundry rooms, and workout rooms bring on many engineering challenges. Lots of heat, lots of power consumption, and lots of humidity create the hot spots in a home, but we love all the amenities. Adding a sauna to a home adds to its value but more importantly, it adds to the list of amenities that aid health and overall well-being. TD Magazine also finds that infrared saunas lessen the impact on a home’s sustainable energy design.
infrared sauna health benefits
People have been using saunas for centuries for all sorts of health conditions. According to Health Line, the benefits of using an infrared sauna are like those experienced with a traditional sauna. These include:
• better sleep
• weight loss
• relief from sore muscles
• relief from joint pain such as arthritis
• clear and tighter skin
• improved circulation
• help for people with chronic fatigue syndrome
traditional and infrared sauna comparisons
Dry saunas and steam saunas generate significant amounts of heat and humidity during use. Factor in the required warmup time adds to the cost of operation and the additional expense of containing hot humid air properly. These types of saunas require a HVAC ventilation system designed specifically for cooling and dehumidifying the rooms around the sauna.
In contrast, infrared saunas do not require a lengthy warmup time which is a compelling difference. In dealing with sustainable energy design and energy usage that is a more compelling argument, Infrared Saunas use only 20 percent of its energy to heat the air, leaving the rest of its energy to heat the body. Considering the total time powering the infrared sauna, more time can be spent enjoying an IR sauna because the warmup time is greatly reduced vs. both dry and steam saunas.
Operationally, infrared sauna temperatures run lower (usually between 120˚F and 140˚F) than a traditional sauna, which is typically between 150˚F and 180˚F. This translates to a lower cost of operation and has less impact on a home’s air quality. It is the heat and humidity levels found from the traditional dry and wet saunas that differentiate the operational benefits of the IR Sauna and also having to deal with refreshing the air in adjacent rooms while these saunas are in operation.
how do Infrared Saunas work?
Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas do not heat the air around you but rather they use infrared lamps (that use electromagnetic radiation) to warm your body directly. “These saunas use infrared panels instead of conventional heat to easily penetrate human tissue, heating up your body before heating up the air,” explains physical therapist, Vivian Eisenstadt, MAPT, CPT, MASP. Eisenstadt goes on to say the environment is more tolerable, which allows you to stay in the sauna longer while increasing your core body temperature by two to three degrees. Supporters of infrared saunas say the heat penetrates more deeply than warmed air. Allowing the user to experience a more intense sweat at a lower temperature so more time can be spent in the sauna. This supports mental relaxation too, especially in a world where we rush through most everything we do.
Infrared saunas generate the energy that is found in natural sunlight which consists of a combination of visible and invisible light. Out of all the invisible rays that emanate from the sun, it is the far infrared wavelength that is well known to our bodies because we also produce far infrared. As far infrared comes from the sun it penetrates deeply into the skin to help dissolve unwanted substances that have accumulated in the body and these infrared rays have the power to revitalize the body’s cells and metabolism.
Infrared saunas designed to deliver all three wavelengths provide the following benefits by a range of penetration beneath the skin layer:
infrared sauna product review links
More info can be found at the following links:
There are several studies and research on traditional saunas, but there are not as many studies that look specifically at infrared saunas. There are also reports on safety that are not much different than traditional saunas as it relates to safety.
Study summaries below can be found through this link:
IR Sauna Study