Infrared saunas are popular in gyms and other fitness businesses, but they’re also a hot choice for homeowners. If you want to relax after working out, then a sauna should be at the top of your shopping list. However, the cost of electricity might be enough to scare away many potential buyers.
An infrared sauna uses 1600 to 3000 watts of electricity. The wattage depends on how big the sauna is, what the temperature is set to, how many people are inside, and a few other minor variables. You can use the wattage with your local electricity costs to find out how much you’ll have to spend.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about infrared sauna electrical consumption:
- Different factors that contribute to the wattage of an IR sauna
- How you can cut back of the energy consumption
- How much you can expect to spend on your monthly bill
Calculating the Electrical Usage of an Infrared Sauna
Electrical consumption has all sorts of different factors. Knowing what contributes to your bill will allow you to reduce it, as you’ll see in the next section.
If you want to calculate your IR sauna’s wattage, then you’ll want to consider the following traits:
- Square footage. According to Celebration Saunas, the square footage of the sauna is one of the biggest factors that determine energy use. Bigger saunas require more energy to heat, which means you’ll have to spend more money. Two-person saunas are often the most energy-efficient, at 1,600 watts. On the other hand, six-person saunas can cost as much as 3,000 watts per hour.
- The temperature of your sauna will play a huge role. If you’re setting the sauna too high, you’ll end up spending more money than needed. However, low settings will allow you to keep your bill low while enjoying the sauna. Almost all saunas sit well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celcius).
- How many people are in your sauna will also affect the wattage. Every person inside of the sauna will cause the structure to work harder. Since we’re naturally 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), our core temperature brings down that of the sauna. More people in the sauna mean more bodies reducing the temperature.
- Is your sauna insulated? If you don’t have good insulation, it’ll be fighting to maintain a good temperature. That being said, well-insulated saunas retain heat much better. You might have to spend a bit more money to get proper insulation, but you’ll save quite a bit in the long run.
- How long are you operating the sauna? Longer operation leads to more watts used. The aforementioned estimates of 1,600 to 3,000 watts is based on hourly usage. If you only run the sauna half of the time, you’ll use half of the watts.
As you can see, there aren’t too many things that influence the electrical consumption of your sauna. Nonetheless, you can tackle high prices by following some of the helpful tips in the following section.
How to Reduce Energy Consumption
Planet Sauna mentions that most small saunas cost a little over $10 per day to run if you only use them for one hour. While that might not sound like a lot, many saunas are twice the size. Imagine spending $20/hour, which caps at about $600 per month just to run your sauna. The good news is that you don’t have to spend that much if you know how to save wattage.
Here’s a step-by-step process to cut back on your energy consumption with a sauna:
- Start by insulating your sauna. As mentioned above, insulation can reduce the energy used from a sauna by quite a bit. You can use rock wool sheets, foam insulation, or spray foam. There are many other solutions, but you’ll likely need the help of a professional to get them installed.
- Get a better heater. Depending on the size of your sauna, you may have to get a bigger or smaller heater. If your heater is too big, then you’ll end up spending more money than necessary to heat it. On the other hand, a small heater will take longer and require more energy to get it heated.
- Consider the differences between carbon and ceramic heaters. Carbon heaters evenly distribute the heat throughout the sauna, allowing the occupants to stay warm wherever they sit. On the other hand, ceramic heaters typically only have the heat focused near the heater, which tends to be by the walls.
- Use the sauna according to your electrical provider’s recommendations. Some companies will reduce your payment if you use your sauna (and other high-wattage appliances) during off-times. Peak times usually include anything between 2 pm to 7 pm, but the times may vary based on your location.
- Position your sauna inside rather than out in the elements. Rain, lightning, and snow can wreak havoc on the electrical system of an infrared sauna, not to mention the fact that the roofs are usually flat. A flat roof will cave in, causing the structure to break. You won’t have any insulation outside, either.
These tips will help you save money on your IR sauna, especially during high energy consumption times. You shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg every time you want to use the sauna. By following these suggestions, you’ll be good to go.
To learn about the expenses of running an infrared sauna, read on.
Are Infrared Saunas Expensive to Operate?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be rich to own a sauna. Most people think that they have to go to a gym or a luxurious hotel to find a nice sauna. The truth is that you can have one in your house if you’re able to control energy consumption.
Sunlighten shows us that many solo or compact saunas cost as little as 30 cents per hour to run. If you want to save money, then there’s no denying that small is the way to go. Don’t reach for a six-person sauna if you don’t want to spend several hundred dollars on electricity and maintenance each month.
If you’re able to keep your sauna maintained with annual checkups and minor repairs, then you won’t have to spend too much at all. The compact models don’t cost more than $6,000, but a large IR sauna can run upwards to $12,000 or more. The initial expense is always going to be the biggest.
The installation price usually rests around $2,000 to $5,000. Note that some companies include the installation cost with the total price, so you probably won’t have to spend $8,000 to $17,000. Always ask about one-time fees, including delivery charges, trip expenses, services, labor, and so on.
It’s safe to say that an infrared sauna is a bit less expensive than traditional saunas. If you’re chasing a budget-friendly sauna that you can run for 30 to 45 minutes without spending much money at all, then you’ll love these machines.
IR saunas use less electricity because they don’t need too much energy to operate. They’re able to be operated at a lower temperature without reducing the feeling of being in a sauna. It’s one of the best ways to save money while enjoying a sauna.
Here’s a quick recap of the post:
- IR saunas typically use between 1600 to 3000 watts per hour.
- You can reduce the cost of running a sauna by using it with insulation.
- The bigger the square footage, the higher the operating costs will be.