Sauna Guide, Sauna Design

Why Isn’t My Sauna Getting Hotter? Troubleshooting Bad Sauna Temperatures

Sauna Is Not Getting Hot Enough

A sauna that doesn’t get hot is like ignoring a problem – it won’t help!

Not only is a well-heated sauna essential for the ultimate relaxation experience, but good sauna temperatures have been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, stress reduction, and detoxification, making it all the more important to ensure your sauna is heating correctly.

What are good temperatures?

We want the sauna to reach 180°F in about one hour. If it’s reaching temps faster than 30 minutes, you likely have oversized your heater and will not experience comfortable conditions.

Keep in mind that sauna heaters with a lot of rock capacity like HUUM heaters take longer to heat. That’s the tradeoff for soft, more pleasant heat and more steam potential.

For an electric sauna with high stone capacity, we always recommend a Wi-Fi enabled controller. Heat up times aren’t so important when you can turn the sauna on from bed, work, or the gym!

Not what you wanted to hear?

When it comes to heating up your sauna, patience is key. Make sure you pre-heat your sauna for at least 45-60 minutes before stepping in. This allows the rocks and sauna wood to fully heat up and radiate heat throughout the sauna. The result is a much better, more invigorating sauna experience than trying to oversize the sauna heater, resulting in ‘harsh’ heat.

If you use a sauna 4+ times per week, then we recommend the ‘Always-Ready’ Harvia Forte heater. It stores heat in the chamber and is actually more cost effective to run than a standard heater if used regularly. The Harvia Forte can heat a sauna in just 5 minutes.

Use SaunaSizer for sizing electric sauna heaters and make sure to factor in building materials, glass, and insulation.

It’s also important to know the limitations of your sauna heater. If you have a UL-listed sauna sauna heater in the United States (all Harvia, Saunum, and Amerec heaters) then your max programmable temperature is 194°F. That does not mean your entire sauna will reach that temperature, only the sensors.

Sauna Temperatures Throughout The Space.
Why isn't my sauna getting hotter? Troubleshooting bad sauna temperatures 3

How close the rest of your sauna gets to that temperature will depend on the bench height, ventilation, and if you have an air-circulating heater like a Saunum.

One common issue that could be hindering your sauna from heating up is inaccurate thermometers. Different thermometers may give varying readings, so it’s important to know which one is the most reliable. Whether it’s a digital, manual, or app thermometer, ensure you’re making decisions based on the most accurate reading.

Find our trusted sauna thermometers here.

If your sauna is still struggling to heat up, it could be due to a malfunctioning heating element, broken thermostat, or a temperature sensor placed too high. In these cases, consider replacing the faulty components or adjusting the sensor to a lower position, ensuring it’s not higher than heart height when sitting on the bench.

When the rocks are cool, you can pull away the top layer of rocks until you can see the heating elements. Turn the sauna on for 5 minutes, or long enough to see the heating elements glow. Do they all glow evenly? This is the quickest way to determine if you have a bad heating element.

Read the heater and controller manuals to make sure the thermostat is correctly placed if your heater has an external thermostat.

Sauna Marketplace’s US-based tech support can help you determine if the internal heating element needs to be replaced. These are simple to replace and stocked in Chicago.

Next, check if there are any open gaps, daylight peeking through, or holes in your sauna that could be letting heat escape. Proper insulation is crucial for maintaining the sauna’s temperature, so make sure to cover any openings and insulate if possible. Were windows, insulation, and building materials factored in when you sized your heater?

Improperly piled stones can also affect the sauna’s heating efficiency. Reinstalling the stones correctly can help distribute heat more evenly. Additionally, ensure proper ventilation by adding vents with a sliding door or an inline mechanical fan like the AC Infinity CLOUDLINE PRO S4 for better airflow control.

If you’re still facing issues with a cold floor and bench, consider adding a mechanical fan like the AC Infinity CLOUDRAY A9 for circulation. Cold floors can be remedied with floorboards or a floor kit to trap and distribute heat effectively.

Ways to Make a Sauna Hotter

Understanding the health benefits of sauna use can underscore the importance of a properly functioning sauna. Studies have shown that regular sauna sessions can help lower blood pressure, enhance immune function, and even aid in recovery after intense physical activity by promoting muscle relaxation and reducing inflammation. Achieving the right temperature is key to unlocking these health advantages, making the effort to troubleshoot your sauna’s heating issues well worth it.

  1. Get a HUUM heater with higher max temperatures than UL-listed heaters. 230°F vs 194°F.
  2. Get a Saunum Air Circulating Sauna Heater that blends the hottest air with cooler air at floor level.
  3. Make sure you have an intake vent low on the wall next to (or under) the heater. This will keep the internal temperature sensors in the heater cool enough that it won’t cycle off as often.
  4. Use mechanical ventilation to exhaust air low on the opposite wall of the heater. This will force fresh air in near the heater, and create a convective loop that will provide better temperatures throughout the sauna.
  5. Find a way to raise the benches. The goal (rarely achieved) is to put the bathers feet above the stones.

By following these troubleshooting tips and making necessary adjustments, you can ensure your sauna reaches the desired temperature for a comfortable and relaxing experience. Remember, a little maintenance and care can go a long way in keeping your sauna hot and steamy!

By ensuring you have the right sauna heater for the job, you’re not just guaranteeing a warm and comfortable sauna experience; you’re also taking a step towards enhancing your health and well-being. Regular sauna sessions at the correct temperature can contribute to a healthier lifestyle, making it a priority to resolve any heating issues your sauna might be facing.

Next Steps:

  • Try SaunaSizer AI to make sure you have the right sauna heater for the job.
  • Make sure your heating elements are working properly
  • Contact your distributor, or manufacturers tech support. Be as specific as possible and include photos, order number, and your shipping address if replacement parts are required.