Narvi Softy Wood Burning and Electric Sauna Heater
Sauna News

How Much Does it Cost to Run an Electric Sauna Heater?

Dec 21, 2022

The rising energy costs have lately become a concern for many. The expenses of gas and electricity raise questions about home saunas. What exactly are the costs of a home sauna and how much should you expect to spend on running an electric sauna heater? We have outlined a few tips on what factors affect the charges of your sauna and how you can make your bathing routine more energy-efficient.  

Electric Sauna Heater Running Cost One of our Bespoke Installations featuring a Narvi Style Electric Sauna Heater

The running costs of your sauna heater will depend on:

  • The size of the sauna 
  • How well the space is insulated 
  • The power of the sauna heater (kW) 
  • How long you use the sauna for 
  • The temperature of the sauna 

The monthly figure will naturally depend on how much your electricity provider charges per single kW hour. Most domestic home saunas that sit 4-6 people run on an electric heater between 6kW-9kW.  

Assuming an average £0.34 per kW hour and a 9kW heater, the heater will use 9kW x £0.34 during the first hour and roughly around half of that thereafter. 

As a ballpark figure based on £0.34 per kW hour and based on a 1.5-hour sauna session, you can calculate the approximate monthly running cost of your sauna heater with the help of the following formula:

Heater kW x Price per kWh x Duration of Sauna Session x Number of Bathing Sessions per Month

We have created a graphic below which illustrates an estimated running cost for a 9kW heater for one sauna session (lasting about ~1.5 hours):

How to calculate the cost of an average sauna session

 

How to save on the running costs of your sauna?

There are a few easy ways to make your sauna sessions more energy efficient and save on the running costs.  

 

1. Choose the correct heater for the size of your sauna 

The size of your sauna will largely determine which electric sauna heater will be best for the space. You can read more about how to choose an electric sauna heater here.  

Our Sauna Heating Calculator is a useful tool for checking which models and power ratings will work best for your needs.  

 

 2. Keep the sauna at slightly lower temperatures 

Keeping the sauna temperatures at 70-80 degrees Celsius can help lower the running costs. These temperatures will provide a pleasant “löyly” experience and can save up to 30% when compared to bathing an hour in a 100 degrees Celsius heat. 

 

 3. Check your heater and the sauna stones at least once a year 

Old and degraded sauna stones waste energy, as they can damage the heating elements and prevent them from working efficiently. When piling the sauna stones to the heater, make sure you leave small gaps between them to allow sufficient air flow inside the heater. If the stones are piled too tightly, airflow will be restricted. This in turn requires the heater to use more energy to get up to temperature. Proper maintenance and piling the stones correctly will save on the monthly bill.  

  

4. Go to the sauna as soon as it has reached temperature 

It is also good practice to switch the heater off as soon as you are done with bathing to make sure you’re not wasting energy. 

 

5. Choose a wood burning sauna stove 

If you are located in a smoke-free zone and have access to a sufficient supply of firewood, it is worth considering a wood burning sauna stove. This may be an investment at the start but will cut down on your utility costs and can save a lot in the long run.  

You can read more about wood burning sauna heaters and which model to choose by clicking on the link below: 

How to Choose the Best Wood Burning Sauna Heater for your Sauna 

Wood Burning Sauna StoveWood Burning Sauna Stoves bring natural light into the sauna room.

Wood Burning or Electric Sauna Heater?

For many sauna enthusiasts a wood burning sauna heater is the real deal. Most often wood burning stoves have a larger stone capacity in comparison to electric heaters. This allows a softer and more humid sauna session. The soothing crackling sound from the heater adds to the relaxing and stress-reducing health benefits that sauna has shown to have.   

The popularity of electric sauna heaters has raised in the modern world where time and space in domestic settings are limited, and it is not always easy to source suitable firewood to heat a wood burning stove with. 

We have seen an increased interest towards wood burning sauna stoves more recently. There are a few things to consider when thinking about installing a wood burning sauna heater.  

  • The area you live in: If your home is in a smoke-free zone, you may not be able to have a wood burning sauna heater. It is always best to get in touch with the local authority if unsure. 
  • Safety distances to combustible materials: Wood burning sauna stoves require larger safety distances in comparison to electric heater.  
  • The installation of a flue kit: It is important to consider the flue outlet and safety distances.

We would always recommend consulting a HETAS engineer when it comes to the installation of a wood burning sauna heater and the flue.  

There are more blog posts coming up on the topic of wood burning sauna stoves specifically, so keep your eyes peeled. 

If you have any questions about electric or wood burning heater, please don’t hesitate to contact us on info@finnmarksauna.com or call 02080502895.