Good ventilation is a key way to separate lame saunas from good saunas. Installing sauna vents is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Good sauna is about good ventilation.
Let’s look at installing sauna vents to breathe fresh life into your sauna. And if you install sauna vents and your sauna experience doesn’t go up at least 30%, email me for a full refund for the 15 minutes it’ll take you to do this:
1. Purchase a 4″ Hinged-Louvered-Vent-Hood
These are sold at every “big box” and come in different colors. We want the louvers to be locked in the fixed open position. (Dryers have enough “oomph” to kick open the louvers. The passive air flow in our saunas do not).
2. Purchase or borrow a 4″ hole saw
These are expensive. But if you loan or borrow one of these, keep in mind that you only need to use it for 2 minutes, as using this tool is easy and it goes fast. And if the person you loaned it to forgets he has it, he is relegated to the penalty box.
3. Purchase this cedar vent cover/chute
The vent cover shown here is awesome, or make your own. Sauna vent covers are key as that they allow you infinite possibilities in terms of air flow. With sauna venting, everyone has an opinion. Yet, as you listen to the soul of your sauna, if you are quiet and conscious enough, your sauna will tell you when, where, and how much it wants to breathe. This “empiricism in the atomic and nuclear age” is better than trying to digest the myriad of know it alls who will tell you where your vents need to go.
The general rule is – intake down low, and another vent up high, opposite wall. Good ventilation is like knowing how far to hike up a mountain. It is up to us to listen and feel.
Step by step directions for installing sauna vents:
- Locate your vent location. I like a vent about ear level when sitting on the upper bench.
- Find and mark your studs. Be sure to be clear of studs and safely between joist cavities.
- Make sure there’s no wires. Let’s not drill into where there’s any wiring.
- Use hole saw to drill through sauna paneling.
- Continue drilling into exterior sheathing and paneling until center drill goes through to the outside.
- Pull out and go outside to find the hole saw drill hole.
- Drill out the outside with hole saw, creating a clear channel from hot room to outside.
- Dry fit 4″ Hinged Louvered Vent Hood.
- Cut back metal duct length on vent hood so that it is flush to paneling, or recessed 1/8″ ish.
- Silicone the back of louvre vent and install from the outside.
- Install vent cover chute. Two screws or 3-4 finish nails should do it.
Then take 5 Wim Hof breaths
and welcome to one of the most important, if not the most important attribute to good sauna.
Video of a sauna vent install here (MN Wild hat sold separately… Thanks Darby!) :