How to select quality far infrared heater

Since infrared heaters are the main functional element of an infrared sauna and they are electrical equipment with intensive power consumption (1-2 kW in a 2-person infrared sauna) it is important to choose far infrared heaters wisely. Quality of heater affects not only your comfort, but also for your health and safety. That’s why heaters are the main factor when choosing an infrared sauna model. There are different sides from which infrared heaters should be evaluated – safety, comfort, durability, health benefits, and it is helpful to have some sort of checklist when you are selecting your sauna model. The goal of this article is to compile such checklist.

I suppose that you will be checking a heater in a store or some kind of showroom, since it is hard to evaluate heater of a basis of information presented by infrared sauna companies online or in brochures – often crucial details about heater are not revealed, plus you need to try a sauna with this heater yourself to tell if it is comfortable. Evaluating infrared heaters on a basis of what infrared sauna companies tell about their heaters is evaluating their marketing efforts, not actual heaters. You don’t want to choose the best marketing instead of a best heater, do you?

Infrared sauna manufacturers focus highly on type of their heaters, but I think that for correct evaluation you must shift focus to other details, because type of heaters isn’t so important as promoters state. I’ve explained my view in the post about far infrared heater facts and described differences between heaters in infrared heater types post. Areas you should give your attention to evaluate a heater are safety, durability, comfort and health effects.

Safety

Things to check to ensure that a far infrared heater is safe include:

  • verify that the wiring is quality and properly insulated, there should be no unprotected, open wires;
  • no smell of burning wood or plastic should be in air when heater is on;
  • heaters should comply electrical safety standards and requirements;
  • no plastics of other non-ecological substances should be used in a heater;
  • there should be no damage on a heater surface and its enclosure;
  • if heater is not safe to touch it should be properly covered;
  • overall design of a quality heater should not be rough.

For example of a non-safe infrared heater, look here.

Comfort

To evaluate how comfortable are heaters and their placement, you need to take a sauna session yourself. During this, turn your attention to the following:

  • check how much time it takes for sauna to warm-up;
  • ask company representative and check how heaters maintain constant temperature set on a control panel – some heaters shut on and off, some reduce heating intensity, some give you constant heat but you need to ventilate sauna if it gets too hot; decide, if you like the way it feels in this specific sauna with these heaters;
  • decide if overall sense of heat is comfortable for you; check that all your body is evenly heated and that some parts of the body are not heated significantly more than others; you should be able to try different body positions and still get even heating.

Notice, that most important here is how heaters are placed (even heating) and how they work (how temperature is controlled).

Durability

Modern infrared heaters are quite durable, and usually you do not have to worry about it if following conditions are met:

  • manufacturer gives guarantee on heaters (usually 5 years or even lifetime);
  • heater is complaint to standards and requirements;
  • origin of the heaters do not gives you any suspicions (reputable brand);
  • the heater has quality design.

If you are curious, you can ask manufacturer what heater specifications say about estimated life of the heater (usually given minimum in hours, typically 10000 hours and more).

Health benefit

If you sweat normally, all heaters will make you sweat. Sweating is the key to far infrared sauna health benefits. You should check that infrared sauna temperature is enough to make you sweat. All claims from infrared sauna promoters about specific wavelength and “vital rays” should be taken with a grain of salt; there is no evidence that some part of infrared spectrum is more beneficial than other.

I advice you to print out this article when you go to try some infrared sauna model and to use above lists (safety, comfort and durability) to thoroughly evaluate all relevant points. This will guarantee that you won’t forget something important. Add to this list additional requirements that you have (maybe you have more specific criteria for heaters of your choice). If so, I encourage you to leave a comment, because others can find it helpful too.

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