Traditional saunas utilise a heat source to heat the air within the sauna, which in turn heats your body. Infrared saunas use infrared light to directly heat your body. Often, this heat source is an electric sauna heater, but for sauna purists or those with an outdoor sauna deep in the woods, a wood burning sauna stove is the only way to go. Nothing matches time spent in a wood heated sauna in the snow, with a crackling fire and temperatures reaching up to 200 degrees. Employing a wood-burning sauna burner to heat your sauna is not the most efficient or convenient method to enjoy it. But it’s occasionally necessary, let’s face it, it’s simply so much cooler to hang out in a wood sauna stove with a fire.
- At its essence, wood burning sauna stoves are simple to use. You put wood in the firebox, light it on fire, and wait 45 minutes to get yourself a lovely hot sauna. While the fundamentals are straightforward, there are several pro tips that can help you get your sauna up and running again and again.
- Always begin with a fresh firebox. Remove the ash tray from the firebox and empty and clean it before each usage. This will aid in keeping the wood in the firebox burning cleanly.
- Wood for the fire. Fill the firebox with wood. I like to start with 5 or 6 logs and utilise a variation of the upside down fire approach, I put the biggest logs on the bottom and the tiniest on top, with very little fire starters, paper, and kindling on top. When the kindling and paper burn, it trickles down and ignites the larger pieces.
- Wait! Once you’ve started your fire in your wood sauna stove, let it alone for 45 minutes to an hour with the damper open. This should be ample time for the wood to burn hotly and coals to develop. You can add another log to the coals at this stage if necessary, but your sauna should be approximately 150 to 175 degrees by now.
- Damper is closed. At this point, you may play with the damper on your wood-burning sauna stove, but keep in mind that your fire should be burning hot, and shutting the damper will let less oxygen into the firebox and raise the temperature.
When you’re through with your sauna and the firebox has cooled, rinse and repeat by cleaning it out for the next sauna session!