When designing and building an authentic sauna, the question of inside feed or outside feed comes up a lot.
I recommend feeding wood burning sauna from inside the hot room.
Reason #1: heat loss
There will be 25% heat loss from feeding a wood stove from the outside. This is not my figure, but confirmed by Daryl Lamppa, 3rd generation Finnish sauna stove maker. The front of the stove is thee hottest.
Reason #2: cost
If building a sauna with feed through a wall, it costs $500-$1,000 more in materials, as code requires metal framing and clearances to non combustibles. Plus there is the intangible cost of concern to frame a stove inside a wall.
Reason #3: ambiance
A glass window helps create a warm glow vibe, gently dancing off the cedar walls. Ahhhhhh. What about the mess from feeding wood from inside the hot room? No big deal. Get a hand broom and sweep it out once and awhile.
I discovered your site and appreciate all the information you have here–I discovered that we have a great sauna stove mfg. right here in Minnesota–so that was good to learn.
I’m dreaming of building a wood burning sauna, so I’m looking at floor plans. I see one plan you recommend is to have the stove at the rear wall, centered in the sauna. Does this mean feeding the stove from the outside?
I was in a sauna this fall that had a changing room, and you fed the stove from that room. That seemed like a good idea to me, because the stove was inside…any particular reason for not feeding the stove from the changing room? Maybe it’s better from outside, so you have more room and less mess in the changing area?
Just curious about your thoughts on this as I start my research.
St Cloud, MN