You can find outdoor saunas in many shapes and sizes, but some of the best models are barrel-shaped. An outdoor barrel sauna features a unique appearance, but it's about more than making something stand out. Your outdoor barrel sauna will also be more effective in producing heat and keeping it flowing than a traditional model.
The General Layout
An outdoor barrel sauna features wood staves and two circular walls in its body. The staves are trimmed with a notch that ensures all panels connect and create a sealed environment. Everything must bend well to produce a perfectly cylindrical body. All pieces are strapped together during construction to create a secure build that prevents air from entering the inside.
Heat Spreads Well
The most prominent feature of a barrel sauna is that it allows the heat inside the move about. The hot air from the wood or electric stove will rise to the top through convection. The air at the top will move back down through circulation, allowing that air to become hot again. The hottest parts of the air will remain in motion thanks to the circular layout. It is easier for the air to move when there is a circular bend inside instead of a triangular or square-shaped body.
The heat can also move well because the wood will expand when it becomes warm. The expansion produces a seal that keeps the heat inside to spread, preventing that air from leaving the wood staves. The sauna uses one layer of wood as an insulator, so having the heat continue to circulate well on the inside is necessary for overcoming any potential insulation-related issues from whatever air might develop.
Less Space Necessary
You will not require as much space when using an outdoor barrel sauna as you would with a traditional model. The curved body allows the air to stay intact, plus there is less dead space at the top. By reducing the available space to heat, you produce a more efficient sauna that reuses the warm air, keeping it comfortable while also using less energy.
Works With Many Items
You can add many things to your outdoor barrel sauna, including a nice window for when you want to see what's outside while you relax. A few bench spaces and even some racks may also work on the inside to keep everyone comfortable and to organize your towels and other items.
One useful idea is to have a changing room attached to the sauna room. The changing room lets you change your clothes before entering the warm area. The design provides an additional insulation barrier that prevents cold air from entering the heated space when you open the door.
Should You Get One Of These Saunas?
An outdoor barrel sauna is a quality sauna style that is efficient and has an appealing look. Be sure when planning your sauna that you have enough room and that you're producing something that can fit all the people who plan on entering. Don't forget to look at how well the air moves on the inside.