• knowl·edge n.
confident understanding of a subject, potentially with the ability to use it for a specific purpose.
• com·par·i·son n. a statement or estimate of similarities and differences.
n. a feeling of assurance
Knowledge, Comparison, Confidence: An informed consumer is our best customer!
As a leader in the infrared sauna business for over 14 years, we understand that purchasing an infrared sauna can be confusing. What are the differences? What wood is best? Does the warranty matter? How is the sauna manufactured? What are the differences between heaters? Does the heater produce potentially dangerous levels of EMF (Electromagnetic Fields)? These are just a few of the questions you might have. We put together this infrared sauna buying guide to help answer some of these questions.
The following are some straight answers to some of the more common questions we receive regarding the sauna selection process. Please feel free to give us a call at 800.798.1779 if you would like to discuss this with one of our infrared sauna specialists.
A General Overview
For many years the high quality far infrared saunas dominated the infrared sauna market. Craftsmanship, for the most part was very high. Woods used were Clear Canadian Cedar and quality white woods such as basswood. The majority of infrared heaters used were ceramic and metal, with ceramic being the preferred type because of higher efficiency and infrared output. Rigid quality control of woods and glues used, electrical safety and consistent after sale support have been the hallmarks of our industry.
In the last 7 years, the growth of the internet and cheap manufacturing has spawned numerous upstart sauna companies importing containers of infrared saunas with no understanding of the therapeutic benefits of infrared therapy. They offer low cost and low quality saunas on the web; saunas as a cheap commodity.
When this started happening, we were approached by several of these manufacturers to sell their low quality saunas. We thought if we could give our customers a high quality sauna for a better price that would be great. We set about to look at and inspect the different saunas.
We started looking and were immediately appalled at the quality in materials and construction and lack of safety down to even the basic wiring. The controls and heaters were cheap and barely functional. The aesthetics were all wrong. Some had a noxious odor from toxic glues being used. Others had horrible smells from the wood itself. The wood had not been finished sanded; rough to the touch as you passed your hand over the wood. Staples, mismatched veneers, dangling and bare wires... not acceptable.
In the last 2-3 years, some of the manufacturing quality has improved to a more passable level, but the quality is at best average and the companies both manufacturing and importing the sauna have no real knowledge and understanding of Infrared Therapy. They don't know how to place the heaters in the sauna for optimal effectiveness and they favor form over function. For example, large glass windows on the front of the sauna my look good, but the glass will not allow them to put front heaters in the sauna. This is a big mistake. The idea behind infrared therapy is to heat your body so you want to heat the front and back of your body. Without front heaters, the sauna is only running half way.
We had a short meeting and decided that we were not interested in offering this type of product to our customers, ever. The cheaper saunas were made from inferior wood, low quality and inexpensive metal rod or carbon only heaters and were manufactured with inferior quality standards. Some call it inexpensive, we call it cheap.
At Sauna Works we have a philosophy. We consider that our customers are like our friends. We hope that they will love our sauna so much that they will tell their friends and then their friends will try the sauna and eventually buy their own. This is one of the main reasons that our business has prospered for so long (over 14 years) with a large part of our business based in referrals from existing customers.
We believe your Clearlight Infrared Sauna purchase is a once in a lifetime investment in your health and your lifestyle. We have paid close attention to every detail to insure that your 100% western red Canadian cedar sauna is the highest quality sauna available and we back these words with our exclusive Lifetime Warranty on the entire sauna.
Questions and Answer
The challenge for the consumer today is that unless you can see it in person, you cannot tell the difference between a quality infrared sauna and a cheap knock-off, the pictures on the web look basically the same.
Questions we receive:
Why do so many saunas look the same from website to website?
Answer: That's because they are. Many companies are importing containers of the same saunas or saunas with only slight variations. Look at the keypad to tell which are from the same factory; it's somewhat amusing. We're flattered that they've decided to knock-off the look that Clearlight Infrared Saunas pioneered.
How does a Clearlight Infrared sauna differ?
Answer: Quality of design and construction and superior heating technology. At Clearlight Infrared Saunas we start with the finest clear Western Red Canadian Cedar. All saunas are built by hand to our strict 128 point Quality Control. No sauna leaves the factory without being fully tested and approved. With the ETL and CE certification, we are bound to provide a high quality product. We use no toxic glues. Our saunas are hand sanded, the handles and trim are hand crafted, the tongue and groove cedar is color matched to look beautiful and all Clearlight Infrared Saunas are designed to give you a lifetime of health and relaxation benefits.
Not willing to settle with industrial heaters in our saunas, we manufacture our own patented far infrared heaters; our True Wave II combination Carbon/Ceramic heaters. Almost every other infrared sauna company uses industrial heaters that have been adapted to be used in an infrared sauna.
Being innovators and trend setters in the infrared sauna industry, we have always set the trends that guide the industry. Our True Wave II far infrared heaters are the only infrared heaters on the market that combine both the high output of ceramic with the long wavelengh of carbon to produce a sauna session that is unmatched. These heaters are designed to heat the human body.
How is Sauna Works Clearlight Infrared different from other infrared sauna companies?
Answer: With over 14 years in the infrared sauna business, all we do is manufacture and sell far infrared saunas. While our sauna cabin are exceptional quality with hand sanded panels, high quality close grain wood and attention to detail, the therapeutic benefits are our main focus.
Our R&D department is always researching new and tested components for your sauna so when you buy a Clearlight Infrared Sauna, you are buying the highest quality, most theapeutic infrared sauna available.
With our full lifetime warranty, we stand behind our saunas. This warranty covers the entire sauna; the wood cabin, heaters, controls and even the AM/FM/CD player. We will be here next year and five years from now should you need replacement parts or have any questions about the proper use or your sauna.
What type of infrared heater is best?
Answer: When comparing far infrared sauna heaters you need to look at the size of the heater, the material that is producing the infrared heat, the quality of the heat and the temperature that the heater runs at.
The two most common materials used in far infrared heaters are ceramic and carbon. Ceramic is a very efficient, effective material when heated to produce infrared heat. Ceramic has a very high emissivity rating, meaning it produces a lot of infrared heat. The draw back to ceramic heaters is that they tend to produce a shorter infrared wavelength. Shorter infrared are not as easily absorbed by the human body so they are less therapeutic.
Generally speaking, Carbon infrared heaters produce a longer infrared wavelength. Carbon is very light so the heaters can be bigger and can run at a lower surface temperature. These low surface temperatures produce long wave infrared heat. Long wave far infrared heat is readily absorbed by the human body and will produce more desirable results. The drawback of carbon heaters is that, while they produce high quality infrared heat, they do not produce a lot of infrared. They are not as emissive as a ceramic heater. Most companies that use carbon heaters extend their heaters well up into the head region and almost to the ceiling in the sauna in an effort to try and get more heat into the sauna. This is wasted infrared heat as it is only heating the air over your head and not your body directly. We also believe heating the head directly is not recommened in infrared therapy.
Some companies still use old style metal rod heaters with reflectors and these are are lower quality infrared heaters for a few reasons. Metal rod heaters require reflectors to produce infrared heat and must run at a very high temperature. The primary wave of the infrared heat is reflected and changed when bounced off of the metal surface producing a secondary infrared heat which is less effective and diluted.
Our True Wave II far infrared heaters are the only infrared heaters that combine both carbon and ceramic for a truly exceptional infrared sauna experience. They are built by us and designed to heat the human body. These heaters produce the long wave infrared heat of a carbon heaters with the very high infrared output of a ceramic heater. It really is the best of both worlds and they are fantastic infrared heaters. Within seconds of sitting in a Clearlight Infrared Sauna you can feel the difference of the quality of the infrared heat. You will not find this heating technology anywhere else. It is exclusive to Clearlight Infrared Saunas.
Why is low EMF (Electromagnetic Field) levels important?
Our True Wave II infrared heater are also the only carbon based infrared heaters with virtually no EMF (Electromagnectic Fields). More and more research is being conducted into the harmful effects of EMF. That is why our R&D department spent over two years developing a patent pending method to eliminate virtually all of the EMF from our heaters. Most of our competitors have EMF levels 20 to 50 times our heaters. With an average EMF level of about 2.4mg when tested directly on the heater, it is well below the CDC's recommendation of a maximum of 3mg.
Dr. David Carpenter, Dean at the School of Public Health, State University of New York believes it is likely that up to 30% of all childhood cancers come from exposure to EMF's. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns "There is reason for concern" and advises prudent avoidance".
Martin Halper, the EPA's Director of Analysis and Support says "I have never seen a set of epidemiological studies that remotely approached the weight of evidence that we're seeing with EMFs. Clearly there is something here."
Some health effects linked with EMF are:
Loss of Energy
Inability To Concentrate
Weakened Immune System
Dr. Duncan, the founder of Clearlight Infrared Saunas, has always put the therapeutic results of our saunas as our number one priority. Seeing the research and information available on the harmful effects of EMF, we felt that if there is a chance that high levels of EMF can cause health issues, we needed to find a way to bring the levels down as low as possible. We are the only company to accomplish this with our True Wave II far infrared heaters.
Answer: The traditional sauna for thousands of years has been made predominately from close grain clear cedar for many obvious reasons:
1) Cedar wood is a soft wood that resists cracking and splitting caused by the heating up and cooling down in the sauna. No sauna wood lasts longer than cedar wood.
2) Cedar wood contains aromatic oils that are known for their healing and cleansing properties to aid detoxification during the sauna. Cedar wood can also help disperse excess fluids throughout the body.
3) Cedar wood is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial owing to the unique properties of the cedar oil. This is especially important in the sauna where bodies, moisture and heat combine to make the environment perfect for molds and bacteria.
4) Cedar wood is one of the most beautiful woods available ranging from a very light honey to a deep walnut shade.
5) Cedar wood smells good and gives you a true experience. Normally a non-aromatic cedar is used in sauna construction that is very subtle and satisfying to the senses.
6) Cedar wood can be easily sanded inside the sauna to remove any stains caused by perspiration and to bring back the fresh cedar smell.
7) At Clearlight Infrared Saunas we use Eco Certified grade "A" clear cedar. Our commitment to our customers is to provide the highest quality products. Our Eco Certified cedar meets three sustainability standards.
What does the warranty cover and how long is the warranty?
Answer: When buying an infrared sauna it is important to understand why a lifetime warranty on the entire sauna is important. Most companies selling infrared saunas only cover the heaters under their warranty and only for a limited time. A lifetime warranty on the heater is the most critical component of the warranty.
You also want to make sure that all electrical components including the controller are covered under the warranty because if the controller goes out for some reason, you want to be able to replace it or your sauna becomes a cedar closet. You want to make sure that you can call the company up on the phone in five years and speak the same language or the best warranty in the world is of no use.
It is also important to make sure the wooden sauna cabin is covered. The wood used in your sauna must be dried to be used in sauna construction. If the wood is not dried properly it may start to warp over time. We have heard of companies adding formaldehyde to the wood to help it kiln dry faster. These shortcuts are something we would never consider at Clearlight Infrared Saunas.
At Clearlight Infrared we air dry the wood for our saunas and do not kiln dry it. Air drying is a much more stable way to dry the wood and ensures it will last a lifetime. Most other sauna companies kiln dry their wood as it is less expensive. Our air drying process means we are constantly monitoring the water content in the wood while it dries naturally. When it reaches the desired water content, only then is the wood used to make your sauna. This is a natural process and ensures that your sauna wood will remain stable and crack and warp free for life. Along with a lifetime warranty on your Clearlight Infrared Sauna you can rest assured that your sauna is a truly a once in a lifetime purchase.
Price vs. Quality
We have looked at most of the infrared saunas on the market from the low end to the high end. There is the old saying that applies: You get what you pay for. Clearlight Infrared Saunas are the highest quality infrared sauna on the market today, second to none. Give us a call or send us an email and we'll tell you why our saunas are superior. Buy with confidence... buy a Clearlight Infrared Sauna.