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Sauna Ventilation – Basic Steps

How important is to ventilate your sauna correctly

When building a sauna, ventilation is an essential but frequently overlooked component. In a sauna, having enough oxygen is just as important as having the right number of stones on the stove or benches that are the right height. You might feel uneasy and faint if you don’t get enough airflow. The air may layer so that the lower levels of the steam room are significantly colder than the upper levels if the ventilation system is constructed improperly.

One of the most common mistakes in sauna construction is layering of air as a result of poorly planned ventilation.

The type of stove you have determines the ventilation system’s design and construction. Therefore, when choosing a stove for your sauna, consider ventilation. There are typically three parts (sometimes two) to a typical ventilation system:

supply air pipe, exhaust air pipe, and drying pipe Your choice of ventilation method depends on whether the room has mechanical or gravity-based ventilation. In general, the supply air pipe should be at the right height and close to the stove so that the colder air coming in can warm up, circulate the room, and reach the stove’s heat.

There are some fundamental rules to follow when designing a sauna that lasts and produces good steam.

The temperatures at various levels in a sauna that is poorly constructed vary too much. At head height, it may be too hot and too cold on the floor.

Insufficient ventilation in the sauna room is frequently the cause of poor sauna experiences. The electric heater’s air circulation and the wood-burning stove receive oxygen thanks to ventilation. This removes sweaty exhaust air from the sauna and provides sufficient oxygen-rich air for breathing.

The sauna’s air should be changed at least three to five times an hour. Saunas with poor ventilation are more likely to produce too much carbon dioxide, which can quickly wear you out. A good level of carbon dioxide in the air is thought to be less than 600 parts per million, or 0.06 percent.



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outdoor sauna black alder ireland

Depending on the heater, room design, and location, ventilation can be mechanical or gravity. Mechanical ventilation is usually used in saunas inside or in unusual places like basements, where expert planning is often needed.

This article focuses on gravity ventilation, which is simple to set up and works best for Finnish-style outdoor saunas.


Ventilating a Finnish sauna with wood burning stove


The principle of gravity ventilation is that warm air rises upward. Fresh air is drawn in close to the floor and the heater, and heated air rises and exits through the outlet vent in the ceiling. The most common way to get fresh air is through a door cap about 10cm high under the door.

The heater should be opposite the outlet vent, which should be adjustable so that you can control the flow of air and be in the ceiling or about 15 cm above the ceiling level.

While this approach is effective for saunas that burn wood, it is inefficient and generally not recommended for electric heaters.

Electric sauna ventilation

Ventilation electric heater

In a sauna with an electric heater, the admission vent ought to be over the warmer, around 20 crawls from the upper stones or as determined in the establishment manual. The outlet vent should be located under the sauna bench, just below the sauna bather’s feet, as far away from the heater as possible.

The purpose of the second outlet vent is to remove warm and damp air following a sauna room. It should be in the ceiling or about  15 cm above the ceiling level. During sessions of steam, you can shut off this vent.

Find Our Sauna Ventilation here


Check to see that the intake vent is not within its range if your electric heater has a separate temperature sensor that is mounted on the wall or ceiling. The sensor is cooled by the supply air, which misleads the heater about the sauna’s temperature and could put you in danger.

To ensure that the heater functions correctly and safely, place the sensor in the location indicated in the installation instructions.

                                                                          IDEAL SAUNA TEMPERATURE

The humidity and oxygen content of the air are influenced by temperature in a sauna. According to Finnish sauna experts, it is beneficial to breathe in the sauna and enjoy the steam when the humidity is about 40% and the temperature is below 70 degrees Celsius.



You can find full range of our thermometers/hygrometers here 

I hope you liked this little article. If you need any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us 🙂 

Enjoy the sauna!



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