Wood Burning Or Electric Heat?

Wood Burning Barrel Sauna Heater vs. Electric

The decision to invest in a barrel or outdoor sauna for your home isn't a difficult one to make. The benefits that come with a sauna are amazing: a reduction in joint and muscle pain, relaxes the muscles, boosts your immune system, stimulates circulation to your blood system, raises metabolism, detoxifies and improves the skin, and much more!

Even with all the benefits, you'll find yourself facing a more challenging problem. An electric heater or a wood-burning heater? Both are very popular choices and offer an overall similar sauna experience. What's the best option? That is not an easy question to answer. Like with most things in life, there are pros and cons when it comes to each. Your choice will come down to a matter of preference. You can't make a choice without the proper information, that's why you're here, right? Let's take an in-depth look at each type and help you out.

Electric Outdoor / Barrel Saunas

Electric heaters are known for convenience, cleanliness, and they're quick! UL code in the U.S. has set the maximum temperature of an electric sauna at 194℉, there are many electric sauna models that can reach that temperature in less than 10 minutes. A few models allow pre-programming, which means you can have your sauna ready whenever you want. You may find yourself using an electric sauna more regularly because it's so quick and convenient. It's worth knowing about the safety feature that comes with an electric sauna. For example, most saunas that are for residential use won't run for more than an hour without resetting.

The main disadvantage of the electric barrel sauna - it's electric. There are a variety of electric heaters for you to buy with a range of price points for different sized budgets, it will still raise your utility bill. Also, for the readers who live in the countryside, or have a place at the lake, or other rural areas may have difficulty finding a source of electricity that is stable.

Wood Burning Outdoor / Barrel Saunas

Because of its authentic sauna experience, many prefer the wood-burning stove. Typically, they cost less and there is a nostalgic feeling associated with the wood sauna. The added benefit of a soul-warming feeling is why many prefer the oldest type of saunas.

There's no need to have an electrician wire your sauna space for 220 volts because wood-burning stoves don't use electricity, but there is a trade-off: you'll need to install a chimney or other form of a vent. There are other disadvantages that need to be considered as well. There is more of a challenge to control the temperature. It takes more time to heat the room from a cold start. Although they are less expensive, to begin with, in some neighborhoods wood is not cheap. If there's no forest nearby because you're living in a big city, wood can cost anywhere between $300 to $600 or more!

Sauna Maintenance

To help extend the life of your electric or wood-burning sauna, regular maintenance is essential. You can use a soft cloth with a mild cleanser that is non-abrasive to clean the steel or ceramic casing of a heater. Keep in mind, most sauna rooms are made from wood. You should never use chlorine (bleach) or ammonia-based cleaners, this is because the color of the wood will be ruined this way. Water with a small amount of baking soda will be the best choice for cleaning wood surfaces.

Hard water stains can be a problem in some regions: hard water contains high levels of dissolved lime, calcium, magnesium sulfates, chalk, and other minerals. A limescale residue will build up over time, pipes will clog and disrupt your plumbing. It can also leave an ugly discoloration on any surface - this includes the wood on your sauna! The good news is, these stains can be dealt with. The common remedy to clean them in other areas of a home is by using vinegar. Unfortunately, vinegar isn't good for wood, so you have to use another method. A slightly stronger solution of baking soda can do the trick, if that doesn't work there's another little-known way that is proven to be very effective for wood that is covered with hard water stains: mayonnaise.

You can cover hard water stains will a layer of full-fat mayonnaise and leave it for 8 hours, after you wipe it all up the stain will be less noticeable - it may even be completely gone. But of course, the best way of preventing hard water stains is by stopping them from happening in the first place. A regular cleaning schedule with a mixture of baking soda and water will keep the stains away.

In The End…

The right choice of sauna is yours to make. Would you prefer to have a quick and convenient electric sauna or do you like the idea of a traditional experience that you can get with a wood-burning sauna? No matter your decision, at the end of a long day, you'll have a sauna that will help you find peace and relaxation.

Still have questions? Give us a quick call at 1-877-446-3565 or send us an email  info@backcountryrecreation.com