How to Find the Best Far Infrared Heaters

Deciding to build your own infrared sauna is a great step toward proactively managing and promoting your own good health. However, careful research is still necessary. There are lots of options when it comes to buying a far infrared heater for your sauna, and not all types are created equal.

To choose the best far infrared heating element, you need to first take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum. All types of light (both visible and invisible) are organized by wavelength on what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. As we move from visible light to longer wavelengths of light, we see infrared radiation.

Not many people know that infrared is actually divided into three different types: near infrared, mid infrared, and far infrared. The boundaries between each are a little fuzzy and really depend on the method used to measure wavelength. However, the divisions are there. In regard to saunas, far infrared radiation produces the strongest infrared benefits because its wavelength is the shortest of the three.

Traditional saunas rely on processes of convection and conduction to work. That means that they heat up the air (convection) which in turn heats our skin (conduction) as we sit inside the sauna. But infrared doesn’t rely on hot air at all. Its direct warming action allows infrared rays to directly work on our bodies without going through the medium of hot air. Infrared rays are similar to sunlight (but without the harmful action of UV rays).

This means that infrared sauna heaters can work at a lower surface temperature than traditional sauna heaters. In addition, they are more energy efficient and cheaper to operate. Most far infrared heaters are able to plug into a standard outlet. However, some larger models will require a special dedicated 15 to 20 amp plug, which must be installed by an electrician. So if you are looking to buy heaters for your infrared sauna, make sure of the hardware you will need to operate it before making a decision.

Infrared heaters look quite different from the traditional heating elements we’ve come to expect to see in saunas. They look more like sheets or plates than anything else. They are very thin and flat. Infrared radiation requires a large surface area in order to work effectively, so the bigger the better with infrared sauna heaters. Some heaters comes in the form of incoloy rods instead of plates, but they are not a good choice as their small surface area will compromise their ability to radiate infrared properly.

Most infrared heating elements are constructed with carbon fibers or ceramic materials. Finding tables of emissivity (an object’s ability to produce infrared radiation) is helpful in evaluating the different materials available. Ceramic heaters have the highest emissivity value. Not incidentally, they are the only heaters that are able to emit a truly far infrared radiation, instead of just near or mid infrared radiation. For users who want the best infrared sauna experience, ceramic would be the wisest choice.

Doing your homework is absolutely necessary when choosing a far infrared heater for your sauna. In general, ceramic heaters will be the best, but you always want to inquire about the emissivity of the specific model you are considering buying. Also remember that you want to cover a large surface area with your heaters and know what type of electrical outlet you’ll need for successful operation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, the quality of the heater you purchase will determine the quality of infrared sauna experience you’ll have in the future. So you have the right to make an informed choice!