Do you know what one of the most underrated parts of a sauna is?

It’s not the comfortable seating where you can lay back and enjoy the steam tingling your entire body. It’s also not the heater itself that provides the sauna room with the perfect temperature to sit back and unwind. No, the most underrated part is the sauna ventilation.

If you’re going to have the time of your life inside a sauna, you need to have a good ventilation system installed. Did you know that an average sauna needs approximately six air changes every single hour?

However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sauna ventilation. Sometimes all you need is a decent size gap under your door, and other models require a more complex sauna ventilation system.

But what is the best option for your sauna? If you’ve got questions about how sauna ventilation works, then you can find the answers to them below.

Does a Sauna Need Ventilation?

Sauna ventilation isn’t mandatory. You don’t need to install it to meet any safety regulations or requirements. The purpose of sauna ventilation is to make the experience more enjoyable. Depending on the type of heater you have, the lack of air circulation can cause problems.

How Does Air Circulate in a Sauna?

For sauna ventilation to work, there needs to be an intake valve and an exhaust. As hot air rises within the sauna, it will exit through the exhaust at the top of the structure. Meanwhile, the fresh air will come through the intake valve, which should be positioned near the floor.

Instead of installing an intake vent, designers will increase the gap at the bottom of the door to the sauna to allow for more fresh air to enter. It’s also possible to adjust the exhaust vent to manage the control of air within the sauna. However, you need to ensure the air changes regularly so that the sauna experience remains enjoyable for everyone inside.

What Size Sauna Vent Do You Need?

You can easily decide on the right sauna vent based on the type of heater that you have. For heaters that are between 2 and 8 KW, you’re going to want to include openings that are 4” by 6”. For larger size heaters that range between 8 and 16 KW, your vent size should be 6” by 8”.

Ideally, one of the vents should go below the heater, and the exhaust vent should be in the opposite corner of the room. This will help provide your sauna with the best airflow and provide the room with a universal temperature throughout the structure.

How Does Sauna Ventilation Work?

The best saunas are the ones that are designed with a natural airflow circulation. The purpose of the fresh air is to allow for oxygen to enter the sauna and circulate the heat appropriately.

However, for this to work, the sauna ventilation requires an intake valve as well as an exhaust. Fresh air is circulated into the room from the intake valve at the bottom of the sauna. As cold air rises, it helps distribute the heat around the room. It also allows for the air to rise to the exhaust vent. At this point, the hot air is sucked out of the room to avoid it getting too uncomfortable.

Where is the Sauna Vent?

Sauna vents are generally located at the top of the structure. This allows the hot air to escape the room and keep the heat circulating. This vent is what controls the airflow and can be adjusted using a louvre. Using this component allows you to control the circulation inside the room. If it begins getting too hot, you can open up the vent, and if you’re not feeling like you’re getting an authentic sauna experience, you can close it again.

It’s also vital that the room includes an inlet as well. This is what allows fresh air into the sauna. You can choose to increase the gap between the door and the floor or install a vent on the ground to allow cold air to enter the room. Both vents are vital to get the correct circulation in the room.

When Should You Open a Sauna Vent?

It’s recommended that the air in the sauna gets changed at a minimum of six times per hour. It helps provide an even temperature across the entire room and makes for a much more comfortable experience. Therefore, you should keep your sauna vent open throughout your sitting. If you keep it closed, then it is highly likely that it will get too hot, and if it’s wide open, then you may accidentally release too much heat. So it’s best to keep the vent ajar so that you’re getting the circulation you need to enjoy your sauna.

What Types of Saunas Need Ventilation?

If your sauna is located indoors, then it’s highly recommended that you have a ventilation set up. However, it’s different from the venting you would have a bathroom featuring a shower. You’re not trying to get rid of the humidity, and you’re also not letting it filtrate outdoors. Instead, it should be connected to your exhaust air system.

Outdoor saunas work a little differently. While it should still include an inlet and exhaust vent, you might need some additional parts to reduce the instance of fresh air entering the room. You’ll need to install a covering on the outdoor venting at the top of the structure to reduce any cold air blowing into the pipes and to the sauna.


Sauna ventilation can often be an afterthought. However, if you want to ensure you have the most comfortable sauna experience possible, then you should install the proper vents so that you can enjoy your time in the room. If you’ve got more questions about the right type of sauna ventilation for your needs, then make sure you come here for all your answers.