How many hours have you spent enjoying yourself chilling out between sauna rounds in your cool down room?
For many of us, if we were to put a pencil to it, I think the number could be greater than many other things in our lives. Could anything be better than our time spent cooling down? For many of us, the cool down is as important as the heat up. A good cool down space is valued and important for equalizing our body temperature and enjoying the benefits from the rubber band theory without jackrabbiting our sauna rounds.
In English, the cool down room is also often called the changing room or poorly translated from German: the anti-chamber. With saunas built along masculine lines, this room may also be referred to as the man cave, dog house, or party room.
Walker recognizes the importance of Sauna ventilation and finding good pure air. And this effort extends also to our cool down rooms (more below).
Cool down room climate control
For many, we are able to “infinitely control” the temperature in our cool down rooms by simply cracking open the door to the outside and / or cracking open the door to our hot rooms. Yet this action, generally, only controls our cool down room temperatures. Humidity, on the other hand, tends to linger. Especially when it’s very cold outside. On cold sauna nights, we can see a massive amount of steam leaving our cool down rooms, but as our cool down room temperature goes down, moisture collects on surfaces (glass, metal, towels, beer cans). Many love the climate of cool and moisture. It’s akin to a hike in a rainforest. Magical. However, excessive, lingering moisture is not great for our sauna buildings.
Back to mechanical ventilation
Is your sauna cool down room begging for mechanical ventilation? If yes, where is the best place to locate a cool down room vent? Up high makes some sense, as bathroom mechanical vents are on the ceiling, but as warm air cools, it releases moisture as water. Maybe a mechanical vent is best lower on the wall in the cool down room? Here are a couple recommendations from folks who have sat in their cool down rooms longer than many other things in their lives:
Just as in our homes, offices and saunas, there’s a need for ventilation to remove CO2 and other effluent in the vestibule/changing room and shower area. In some this may happen naturally with windows, doors and natural convection, others and perhaps most need mechanical ventilation.
Best is to have separate ventilation for this area and not shared with the sauna. This makes it easier to maintain the best desired environment in each and fortunately the cost for this isn’t too high.
For humidity removal a ceiling mounted exhaust is best (hot air rises, hot air holds more moisture than cooler air…). Combined with a fresh air supply near the floor should work well for both CO2 and humidity removal.
Temp is another consideration. If the sauna has a lot of people coming and going then a higher temp in the vestibule will keep bathers more comfortable each time the door is opened. This especially with saunas that have lower benches or are lacking a significant heat cavity above the door. Otherwise cooler temps might be desirable.
In most a ceiling mounted bath exhaust fan with a fresh air supply near the floor as far away from the ceiling fan as practicable is probably sufficient. The ceiling fan should be mounted near the shower area.
For a quiet solution, consider an inline duct fan, such as from Fantech. And for total silence, you can Install a duct silencer between the ceiling vent and the fan. The fan, silencer, and nearby duct should all be mounted with strap and not have contact with any part of the structure. This should ideally be controlled with something like a Lutron Casetta or TP-Link so that the speed can be controlled and turned off remotely or with a timer.– Walker Angel, the best name in the Sauna aficionado business
Where I have seen the biggest challenge is in the mobile saunas or small saunas that get fit into existing spaces…In mine, the control is operable doors and windows together with a ceiling fan. The structure itself is both massive and leaky, which I have come to believe is ideal…When it is too cool, I open the hot room door for a few minutes and the fan does a nice job of mixing the air. If it is too warm, we open windows and use the fan to mix the air. Happily, I lucked out. I wish I could say that I planned it all.– John Breitinger, link to his Wisconsin sauna here.