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Installing sauna vents is as easy as 1, 2, 3

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.

Infinite Cedar sauna vent / chute cover slider

Step by step directions for installing sauna vents:

  1. Locate your vent location. I like a vent about ear level when sitting on the upper bench.
  2. Find and mark your studs. Be sure to be clear of studs and safely between joist cavities.
  3. Make sure there’s no wires. Let’s not drill into where there’s any wiring.
  4. Use hole saw to drill through sauna paneling.
  5. Continue drilling into exterior sheathing and paneling until center drill goes through to the outside.
  6. Pull out and go outside to find the hole saw drill hole.
  7. Drill out the outside with hole saw, creating a clear channel from hot room to outside.
  8. Dry fit 4″ Hinged Louvered Vent Hood.
  9. Cut back metal duct length on vent hood so that it is flush to paneling, or recessed 1/8″ ish.
  10. Silicone the back of louvre vent and install from the outside.
  11. 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!) :

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5 thoughts on “Installing sauna vents is as easy as 1, 2, 3”

  1. Hi, I live in on small homestead here in Norway. I am planning to build a bath room with shower and sauna in the basement of the existing house. The distance from concrete floor to wooden ceiling is 190 centimeters. Is this sufficient to build a sauna? I am planning to use a Tylo electric oven for heat. I have made some drawings and estimate that 20 centimeters will go away to sauna ceiling, and 20 centimeters to sauna floor. So that means the actual sauna room will be only 150 centimeters from floor to ceiling. Is this ok and sufficient? Is your book for this type of sauna or only for separate sauna house with wood stove?

  2. Peder:
    Every Norwegian I’ve every known has been tall and thin, like a string bean. No wonder you guys kick ass in cross country skiing! (built for speed).

    If you’re building up your ceiling and floor 40 cm total, leaving you with 150 cm, per my calculations, that’s 5′ (60″) about the height of an Italian, like Danny DeVito, so non benne, my opinion.

    What I would be thinking of doing is firing out your ceiling and floor with 2×2 pressure treated lumber, 16″ on center (or cm equivalent) glued and screwed to your stone/cement, and fill the joist cavities with rigid insulation.Then over that, apply rigid poly-iso, or similar, with foil vapor barrier attached and then panel. Maybe with a bit of an air gap. This configuration would be about 3″, or no more than 8 cm. and give you a good thermal envelope to kick into gear.

    My ebook is mainly geared to backyard free standing saunas, but there’s a lot in there, like drain, window concepts, door building, etc. etc. If you purchase the book and it doesn’t work out, shoot me an email, I’ll come visit you in Norway and pay you back (I so want to get over there again! hashtag: corona travel deprived).

  3. Great video, Glenn!

    I’m about to wrap my interior in foil. Was considering venting now, but I guess it’s just as easy to do it later.

    What are your thoughts?

  4. Those are some easy steps to follow! Although sauna vents are not required for safety reasons, they do make the whole experience more comfortable. It is always advisable to install two vents, a lower vent meant for air intake and an upper vent for exhaust.

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