Traditional Saunas have been in use by many cultures for many centuries but infrared technology was development in the 1960s. Traditional saunas can use a wide range of heaters to get the temperature up to around 200 degrees. These heaters include an electrical heater a gas heater and wood burning heaters, these traditional heaters have one thing in common they all warm the air, the warm air then heats up the sauna room and the sauna bathers. While this method has worked fine for many years the time for the sauna to heat up was inconvenient and the amount of energy needed to heat the entire room up to the 200 degrees necessary to achieve a good session was wasteful by todays standards.
Infrared saunas work on the principle of radiant heat or infrared waves. The sun produces infrared energy you can feel like on a cool day when you are in the sun it feel warm yet the air is cool this is actually infrared or radiant heat. The sunlight also carries with it some harmful radiant energy in the form of ultraviolet light fortunately infrared saunas heaters do not produce damaging ultraviolet waves. Todays infrared saunas produce infrared wave lengths very close to the same wavelengths that we ourselves produce. Dont believe it? Position your hands close to each other but not in contact palms together do you feel anything? Yes you do you feel heat where does that heat come from? Well that is radiant heat exactly like the infrared heat that an infrared sauna uses.
There are two big benefits to using infrared heat in our saunas over the traditional heating methods the first is operating temperature. A conventional sauna operates at close to 200 degrees this high heat causes problems like the drying out of our membranes in our noses and our eyes. The solution to this has been to add a small amount of moister or steam into the sauna, however this steam actually retards the perspiration of the bather very similar to what happens on a hot and humid day. The infrared sauna can operate at a much lower temperature this not only allows a longer session it does not dry out the bathers mucus membranes so no water or moister is required. The lower humidity level increases the effects of perspiring. Some claim that the increase in sweating and the particular wavelength of the infrared sauna causes the bather to sweat out toxins.
An infrared sauna operates at a lower temperature and requires less warm up this makes the infrared sauna heaters much more efficient using far less energy than a comparable size traditional sauna. The radiant or infrared waves can also be directed where you need the heat if just your back needs heat you do not need to turn on the leg heater thus saving even more in energy costs.