Running An Infrared Sauna Is Cheaper Than You Think - and you can save up to GBP 500 per year in comparison to a traditional sauna.
One of the most common questions people have about an infrared sauna is how much energy it takes to operate in comparison to a traditional sauna.
So, today I'll be talking about that topic and giving you a rough estimate on what your home's electricity bill might look like if operating an infrared sauna on a regular basis.
Stay with me because now this article becomes a bit technical - I promise you'll make it very easy later on. I'll start by breaking down the physics of watts.
Energy costs for home are always calculated in "kiloWatt-hours" (kWh). The word "kilo" is derived from the ancient Greek word for "thousand" and defines the quantity of energy.
To simplify those statements a bit, 1 kWh equals 1,000 Watts power used during an hour of time. And that’s all you need to know in order to understand this article.
So here's another example:
Let's say you've got a 2,000 W (2 kW) device running for 2 hours. The energy consumption in kWh will be 2 kW * 2 hours = 4 kWh. Next up, I'll show you how you can use kWh to calculate your energy costs:
The current price cap cost per kWh of electricity in the UK in 2022 is 52p per kWh (September 2022).
The energy consumption of our infrared saunas range from 1.41 kWh (our smallest 1 person sauna) to 3.22 kWh (our largest 4 person sauna) - which works out as approximately £0.73 - £1.68 an hour, for using an infrared sauna for one hour.
How Much Electricity Does An Infrared Sauna Use
Of course, I'll use our Clearlight Infrared Saunas® units as an example.
The "1-Person Essential" has an electrical power of 1,410 Watts. In comparison, the 3-4 Person Clearlight Sanctuary Yoga Sauna has an electrical power of 3,610 Watts.
Let´s look at the costs for these two models:
Running this 1-person sauna for an hour requires electricity of 1.41 kWh. The 4-person model requires 3.36 kWh.
This equates to the following costs per hour:
1-Person Model: 1.41 kWh * £0.52 = £0.773
3-4 Person 3.36 kWh * £0.52 = £1.74
In most cases, people don't run their infrared sauna for an entire hour. After a 15-20 min warm up period, the sauna runs for about 30 minutes on average and is somewhat shorter for beginners.
Let's assume you're running the sauna for 40 minutes per day. In that case, the smallest unit sets you back £0.773 * 66% (2/3rd of an hour) = £0.48.
For the biggest unit, that's £1.88 * 66% = £1.24
Yearly Costs of Running an Infrared Sauna
I'll put these numbers into some more perspective: imagine that you're a passionate infrared sauna user and use your sauna 5 days a week. In that case, the smallest sauna costs less than £2.50 to run each week, and the biggest sauna costs £6.20 per week.
On a yearly basis, with 52 weeks, that's £322.40 per year to run the biggest sauna we're offering. For a 1-person much smaller model, the price is £124.80.
And remember: That is only if you’re never leaving for holidays and use your sauna five days a week.
In reality, the number is probably half of the above due to holidays, summer activities and so on.
So, even with very heavy use, infrared saunas are very energy efficient and won't cost you too much on your electric bill.
How Much Does It Cost To Run An Electric Sauna
Now here's the surprise:
Traditional saunas, like a Finnish Sauna, generally use much more electricity than an infrared sauna alternative.
A 4 or 5-person traditional sauna usually runs at a whopping 8-10 kW total power. For smaller units, obviously, you would be using less energy.
Nevertheless, these numbers do add up. A rough estimate is that a bigger model takes approx. one hour to preheat, and then one hour of using it. That equals approx 2 hours of using it, with the electricity consumption of 9kWh per hour. This then equals the following electricity consumption:
2 hours * 9kWh = 18 kWh electricity consumption
The costs per session will be £9.50. If you would use the sauna 5x per week, this would equate to yearly costs of £5,700.
Considering the the electricity consumption of large infrared sauna - £322 - an infrared sauna uses 17.7x LESS energy. That’s a stunning number for the same benefits!
Additionally, there's another issue with traditional saunas and the electricity grid: many conventional power outlets don't support wattage beyond a 13A household socket.
Hence, you need to install a dedicated electrical outlet that's frequently used in industry.
Installing a power outlet that handles more than 8-10 kW in total - depending on the region you live in - is very pricey because you'll need an electrician to do that job.
I won't venture into the costs of such a job right now because it's beyond the scope of the argument I'm making in this article.
The winner of this story?
Well, if you like to lower your electric bill and support green energy, infrared saunas are clearly the better option.
Infrared saunas are also easier to use from an energy grid perspective. Let's put these numbers and arguments into perspective in the conclusion though:
Infrared Saunas Are Today’s Green Option
The average Brit spends £1.500 per year on energy, at 2,900 kWh - according to British Gas (4). If the average person would buy a small, traditional sauna, those numbers increase significantly. A smaller electrical unit sets you back 1,560 kWh per year or 50% of your electric bill.
A 1-person small infrared sauna model, however, uses under 50 kWh when you're using it for 5 days a week per year. Electricity use, therefore, does not increase a whole lot with a 1-person infrared sauna… So, smaller infrared saunas are really efficient.
A 1-person sauna barely registers on the average Brits' yearly electric bill. Even if you'd spend 5 evenings a week with 3 of your friends in the biggest sauna we offer, you're spending less than 10% of the yearly average British energy budget on an infrared sauna.
For a Finnish Sauna, however, that number quickly increases.
From green energy and money-saving perspective, the infrared sauna is thus your best option by far.
If you’re ready to get relaxing in the comfort of your own home, click here to discover our full range of Infrared Saunas.