Sauna ventilation – supply of fresh air into the sauna cabin

Ventilation is one of the most important components of a sauna. Sauna ventilation not only ensures the removal of excess moisture, but also ensures the circulation of fresh air during sauna sessions.
Sauna ventilation - supply of the sauna cabin with fresh air

Sauna ventilation – supplying the sauna cabin with fresh air

For optimal air supply, the air in a sauna cabin should be exchanged up to eight times within one hour. Ventilation in a sauna is also essential because it removes stale air saturated with carbon dioxide and reintroduces fresh air. There are several ways to establish a ventilation system in a sauna.

In the so-called natural sauna ventilation, shallow ventilation ducts open in the exhaust chimney and thus ensure passive air exchange. Advantages of this natural ventilation method are the low noise level and the fact that it does not require the use of electricity. In the so-called forced ventilation method of a sauna, air circulation is ensured by an electrically operated fan.

Optimal sauna ventilation depends on many parameters

Any ventilation system, regardless of its type, consists first of a fresh air supply to the sauna cabin and, in addition, of an exhaust air system. Which ventilation system is chosen depends, among other things, on the type of sauna heater. Installation of a ventilation system in a sauna is quite complicated and should not be done by laymen, but only by experts without advanced knowledge.

It is easily possible to install a functioning ventilation system in most saunas, even afterward. Depending on the manufacturer, ventilation slots for the required supply air are often already installed near the sauna heater or under the door of the sauna cabin. Sliders are used to regulate the exhaust air, so that fresh air can be constantly fed into the sauna interior via the floor level of the sauna cabin as needed.

Humid, heated and stale air must be discharged

Especially in large public sauna facilities, the sauna ventilation is automatically controlled. Unfortunately, when installing a sauna ventilation system, the exhaust vent is not always placed at the correct height, so this is the most common mistake to avoid. According to the laws of physics, hot air is lighter than cold and therefore rises.

If the exhaust vent was placed near the ceiling or directly on the ceiling, a lot of energy is lost, so the large temperature but also weight differences of the air inside a sauna room should be taken into account when installing a sauna vent correctly. It also makes sense to install a double vent, namely one on the ceiling and the other vent, if possible, about 30 cm below the wooden benches from the floor.

Adjusting the oxygen consumption of the sauna heater to the ventilation system

The important exhaust air function always ensures good air circulation during the stay in the sauna cabin, and also after the sauna for sufficient ventilation of the room. By closing and opening the exhaust air opening with ventilation slider, the air circulation in the sauna cabin can also be controlled manually.

However, automatic systems usually do not require ventilation slides. The sauna heater also plays an important role in sauna ventilation. Therefore, the heater should not be seen independently of a ventilation system, but always in conjunction with it. This is because the intensity of air circulation in a sauna cabin depends on the design and also on the power of the heater.

Ventilation system, depending on the operating mode of the heater

Therefore, when choosing a sauna heater, this connection with air circulation should definitely be taken into account. Even later, when a ventilation system is to be retrofitted, the stove and its design must be taken into account. The decisive factor for the optimal ventilation system is the oxygen consumption caused by the heater operation. While, for example, sauna heaters with periodic heating do not consume any oxygen at all during sauna sessions, sauna heaters of conventional design burn a lot of oxygen, and storage sauna heaters burn correspondingly less.


Purchase recommendation: ventilation slides / ventilation grids

Good sauna ventilation is an indispensable prerequisite for a pleasant sauna climate. In the sauna, cooled, stale air sinks to the floor and must be removed. Conversely, fresh air must be supplied from outside – ideally directly at the sauna heater, so that it is immediately heated there and can rise to the top. Exhaust air sliders near the floor. Provide the necessary air circulation in the sauna.

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David Brunner