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Finlandia FLB-80 Sauna Heater Review: How Can It Be So Good?

A Finlandia FLB-80 sauna heater displayed prominently with a modern sauna room with wooden benches in the background.

Picture this: it’s a chilly evening, and you’re stepping into your own sauna, cranking up a Finlandia FLB-80 Sauna Heater. Within minutes, the space is toasty, and you’re thawing out in the soothing embrace of steady heat.

But is the FLB-80 the right heart for your sauna? We’re rolling up our sleeves to thoroughly test and tell you if this heater is the real deal or just blowing smoke.

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Key takeaways

  • TL;DR: Jump straight to my Personal Verdict on the Finlandia FLB-80.
  • Rapid Heating: The Finlandia FLB-80 heats up saunas quickly, reaching desired temperatures in about 10 minutes for spaces up to 425 cubic feet.
  • Build Quality: Constructed with durable materials, including stainless steel, designed for longevity and performance.
  • Energy Efficiency: Despite its high 8 kW power output, the heater’s design promotes efficient use of energy.
  • Ease of Use: Features user-friendly built-in controls with a 60-minute timer and a preset option for up to 8 hours.
  • Maintenance: Simple to maintain with regular cleaning and periodic checks on stones and sensor.
  • Suitable For: Ideal for medium to large home saunas, especially for users who prefer a robust heating performance without digital controls.
  • Customer Feedback: Generally receives high marks for reliability and consistent performance from users.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brand value: Finlandia is a brand known for its superior-quality products
  • Made in Finland
  • Power: 8kW
  • Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 24 inches
  • Heater Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Stone Capacity: 45 lbs.
  • Sauna Capacity: 250-425 cubic feet
  • Max. Temperature: 194°F
  • Also available in 3 / 4.5 / 6 kW models
  • Warranty: 1 year

Overview of Finlandia FLB-80 Sauna Heater

When it comes to sauna heaters, Finlandia isn’t just another name in the crowd. Rooted in the rich sauna traditions of Finland, this brand has been warming up spaces since 1964. That’s decades of expertise poured into each heater.

Finlandia heaters are renowned for their efficient heat distribution, which means faster warm-ups and a more consistent heat that can penetrate right to your bones.

What sets the Finlandia FLB-80 sauna heater apart? It’s all about the build and the burn. Constructed with robust materials, this heater is designed for longevity and performance.

Simply put, these heaters are reliable, powerful, and built to deliver the quintessential Finnish sauna experienceintense heat complemented by a wave of soothing steam.

Finlandia FLB-80: Detailed Specifications

FeatureDetails
Power Output8 kW
Sauna Size Capacity250-425 cubic feet
Maximum TemperatureCan reach up to 194°F (90°C)
Dimensions16″ (W) x 11″ (D) x 24″ (H)
Weight40 lbs (Heater only), 90 lbs (with stones)
Stone Capacity45 lbs
Voltage240V AC
Safety FeaturesTriple-wall construction, reduced surface temp

Key Features of the Finlandia FLB-80

Recognized as the best electric sauna heater in our comprehensive review of the top sauna heaters this year, the Finlandia FLB-80 stands out for its superior performance and reliability.

Let’s look at the key features that make the Finlandia FLB-80 so special:

1. Power and Performance

The FLB-80 packs a hefty 8 kW of power, ensuring that it can handle saunas from 250 up to 425 cubic feet with ease.

Whether you’re heating a cozy personal space or a larger room for friends and family, this heater ramps up the temperature quickly, wasting no time in getting things steamy.

2. Compact and Efficient Design

With dimensions neatly contained at 16 inches wide, 11 inches deep, and 24 inches high and a wall-mount feature, the FLB-80 doesn’t demand much space. Yet, it delivers a performance that belies its compact size.

This efficient use of space makes it a perfect fit for various room sizes without compromising on heating capacity.

3. Built to Last

From its stainless steel elements and grills to the aluminum-zinc alloy body, the FLB-80 is crafted for durability.

This model features triple-wall construction, which not only enhances safety by reducing surface temperatures but also boosts efficiency by ensuring direct contact between the rocks and the heating elements.

4. Ease of Use

Equipped with user-friendly built-in controls, this heater features a straightforward 60-minute timer for regular sessions, plus a preset option that lets you schedule heating up to 8 hours in advance.

This means your sauna can be ready to welcome you exactly when you need that heat, making it super convenient for anyone with a busy schedule.

5. Even Distribution of Heat (USP)

What truly sets the FLB-80 apart is its exceptional stone capacity of 45 lbs and the meticulous design that ensures an even distribution of heat, allowing for that perfect sauna experience where heat envelops you gently and thoroughly.

Pros and Cons of the Finlandia FLB-80

Advantages

  • Quick Heating: Users report that the FLB-80 can heat a sauna up to 425 cubic feet quickly, typically achieving the desired temperature in just about 10 minutes.
  • Robust Construction: Built with high-quality materials, including stainless steel elements, ensuring durability and a longer life for the heater.
  • Energy Efficient Design: Despite its high power output, the FLB-80 is designed to efficiently use energy, thanks largely to its direct contact between the rocks and heating elements.
  • Ease of Installation: Many find the installation straightforward, especially with some basic DIY skills, though an electrician is recommended for the electrical setup.
  • Traditional Control Setup: The manual controls are simple and user-friendly, appealing to those who prefer tactile interaction over digital interfaces.
Close-up view of a sauna heater's stone compartment within a wooden sauna, emphasizing the quality and setup of the heating elements.

Drawbacks

  • Manual Controls: In an age where digital controls are becoming standard, the lack of advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity or remote control may deter some users.
  • Power Requirements: The 8 kW power output means it may not be suitable for smaller homes or those with limited electrical infrastructure without some adjustments.
  • Initial Smoke: Some users note that the heating elements can emit smoke during the first few uses as the coating burns off, which may require ventilation.

Overall Evaluation

  • The Finlandia FLB-80 offers substantial value for those looking for a reliable, powerful sauna heater that delivers a traditional sauna experience.
  • It balances performance with simplicity, though it may lack some modern conveniences expected by certain users.

If you’re looking for an alternative that provides a more traditional heating experience, explore our guide on the best wood-burning sauna heaters, ideal for those who prefer the classic method of heating their sauna.

The Finlandia FLB Series: All Models

The FLB series offers a range of models to accommodate different sauna sizes and preferences. Here’s a brief overview and a comparative chart to help you choose the right model for your needs:

Finlandia
Model
PowerSauna
Capacity
(cu ft.)
Weight
(lbs)
Size
(inches)
Stone
Capacity
(lbs)
FLB-303 kW84-1304016 x 11 x 2445
FLB-454.5 kW100-2104016 x 11 x 2445
FLB-606 kW170-3004016 x 11 x 2445
FLB-808 kW250-4254016 x 11 x 2445

Choosing the Right Model:

  • Finlandia FLB-30 is ideal for smaller, personal saunas where space and power consumption are limited.
  • Finlandia FLB-45 offers a balance for medium-sized saunas, providing a good mix of power and efficiency.
  • FinlandiaFLB-60 steps up to cater to larger saunas without going to the maximum size and power.
  • Finlandia FLB-80 is the best choice for the largest home saunas or those who prefer a more robust heating experience.

Still confused about which heater size is right for your sauna? Try our sauna heater sizing calculator to get a precise recommendation based on your space.

Installation Process of the Finlandia FLB-80

Setting up your Finlandia FLB-80 sauna heater isn’t rocket science, but it does require some careful steps to ensure everything fires up without a hitch. Here’s a straightforward guide to getting your heater up and running:

1. Preparing the Space and Tools

  • Before you dive into the installation, make sure you’ve got all the right tools on hand.
  • You’ll need both Phillips-head and flathead screwdrivers, a wire cutter, and possibly a drill if you’re starting from scratch.
  • Ensure the power supply to where you’re installing the heater is safely turned off—safety first!

2. Mounting the Heater

  • Start by determining the ideal spot for your heater.
  • Measure and mark this on your wall, and then drill holes to mount the heater securely.
  • The FLB-80 should be mounted with its base 5 to 7 inches above the floor to ensure optimal heat distribution.

3. Wiring It Up

  • Wiring can be tricky, so this might be a good time to call in a professional electrician unless you’re comfortable handling electrical setups.
  • The FLB-80 needs a 240V connection, and it’s crucial to match the wiring to the heater’s requirements.
  • Connect your wires as per the included wiring diagram, ensuring all connections are tight and secure.

4. Attaching the Temperature Sensor

  • Place the temperature sensor about 14 inches from the heater and the same distance below the ceiling.
  • This positioning helps in accurately gauging the sauna’s ambient temperature without being directly affected by the heat source.

5. Loading the Stones

  • Once your heater is mounted and wired, it’s time to add the sauna stones.
  • These should be arranged loosely to allow air and heat to circulate effectively.
  • Remember, the stones are key to a great sauna experience as they store and radiate the heat.

Common Installation Challenges

  • Hidden Sensor Trouble: Some users find it tricky to locate and install the temperature sensor since it’s tucked away at the bottom of the heater. Make sure you access it before sealing everything up.
  • Confusing Wiring Instructions: The wiring diagram can be overwhelming with its details. If the manual feels too complex, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.

By following these steps, you can ensure a safe and efficient setup of your Finlandia FLB-80, setting you up for countless relaxing sauna sessions.

Interior view of a modern sauna room showcasing an electric sauna heater, wooden benches and a window, demonstrating an ideal setup for sauna enthusiasts.

Performance Analysis of the Finlandia FLB-80 Sauna Heater

When investing in a sauna heater like the Finlandia FLB-80, understanding how it performs under various conditions is key to knowing whether it’s the right fit for your needs.

Adapting to Different Room Sizes

The FLB-80 is rated to efficiently heat spaces up to 425 cubic feet, but how does it really stack up?

  • In smaller saunas, users report rapid heating times, reaching the desired temperature in just about 10 minutes.
  • For larger spaces, close to its maximum capacity, the heater still performs robustly, although the heating time extends slightly, which is expected given the volume of air.

Energy Efficiency and Operating Costs

  • With an 8 kW power output, the FLB-80 is on the higher end of residential sauna heaters when it comes to energy consumption.
  • However, its design prioritizes efficient heat distribution, which can help mitigate running costs.
  • By directly contacting the stones, the heating elements make the most out of every kilowatt, though the actual cost will depend on your local electricity rates.
  • On average, running this model for an hour would cost you about $1.36 (As per latest data, the average cost of electricity in the US is $0.17 per kW hour).

The Finlandia FLB-80 doesn’t just heat a room; it maintains a consistent temperature that can be critical for those longer, more therapeutic sauna sessions.

User Feedback and Reviews

The Finlandia FLB-80 has garnered positive reviews across various online platforms, with many users praising its performance and build quality. Here’s a synthesis of what users are saying:

Reliability: Many reviews highlight the heater’s reliability, mentioning it as a dependable choice that consistently performs well across various conditions.

Customer Service: Feedback on customer service is generally positive, with quick responses and helpful support noted by users facing issues or needing assistance during installation.

Exceptional Stories:

  • Quick Heat-Up Times: Users like Mark Broberg appreciate the quick sauna heat-up time, emphasizing how the FLB-80 heats a six-person sauna in just 10 minutes, enhancing the sauna experience without the long wait.
  • Installation Insights: Despite its strengths, some, like Dakotah B., point out the initial confusion with the installation instructions, particularly around the wiring diagrams and sensor placement.
  • Long-Term Satisfaction: Wanda C., in a Finnish community serious about their saunas, notes the quick heating and lasting performance, making it a “fantastic investment.”

Overall, user feedback underscores a strong satisfaction with the FLB-80. These reviews paint a picture of a product that, while perhaps lacking in modern digital frills, excels in fundamental performance and reliability.

Maintenance Tips for the Finlandia FLB-80

Maintaining your FLB-80 isn’t just about prolonging its life; it’s about ensuring every sauna session is as perfect as the last. Here are some tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep your heater clean by regularly removing dust and debris. After your sauna sessions, ensure the heater and stones are free of any residues to prevent any buildup.
  • Check the Stones: Inspect your sauna stones periodically. If they appear cracked or degraded, it’s time to replace them to ensure efficient heat distribution.
  • Sensor Checks: Make sure the temperature sensor is not obstructed and clean it gently if dust has accumulated, as this can affect performance.
Spacious sauna room with a sauna heater, multiple wooden benches and a high ceiling, highlighting the design and capacity suitable for larger groups.

My Experience with the Finlandia FLB-80 and My Take

After rigorously testing the Finlandia FLB-80 in my home sauna, here’s the scoop on how it measures up in real-world conditions:

What I Liked

  • Rapid Heating: The FLB-80 really shines when it comes to warming up quickly. It brings the sauna to the ideal temperature in no time, making it perfect for those spontaneous sauna sessions.
  • Sturdy Build: The quality of construction is palpable. The stainless steel elements and overall design give it a solid, durable feel that reassures you this heater is built to last.
  • Consistent Performance: Each session has been uniformly excellent, with the FLB-80 maintaining a steady temperature throughout. It’s reliable, without the fluctuating heat levels some other heaters struggle with.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Lack of Digital Controls: As someone who appreciates modern conveniences, I missed having digital controls. The traditional dials work fine, but digital would offer more precise adjustments.
  • Initial Burn-Off: The first few uses were a bit smoky as the heater’s elements burned off their protective coating. This is common but something to be aware of if you’re sensitive to smells.

The FLB-80 is ideal for serious sauna enthusiasts who value quick heating times and reliability over digital frills. It’s especially suitable for:

  • Home sauna owners with medium to large saunas.
  • Those upgrading from a less powerful model and looking for more robust heating capabilities.
  • Traditionalists who prefer the tactile feel of manual controls and the authentic sauna experience.

My Take

  • The Finlandia FLB-80 isn’t just a heater; it’s an investment in countless hours of relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • Despite its few drawbacks, its performance is stellar.
  • It’s particularly compelling for anyone looking to replicate an authentic Finnish sauna experience at home.
  • If you’re in the market for a reliable, powerful sauna heater and don’t mind the lack of digital features, the FLB-80 is definitely worth considering.

Alternatives to the Finlandia FLB-80

While the FLB-80 packs a powerful punch, it’s always good to know your options. For those seeking alternatives with different features or price points, consider exploring these heaters:

Conclusion

The Finlandia FLB-80 stands out for its rapid heating capability, solid construction, and consistent performance.

It’s perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a quick and reliable sauna experience without the frills of digital technology.

Ideally suited for medium to large sauna rooms, this heater excels in delivering a traditional sauna experience that can be both therapeutic and invigorating.

Want to compare more options? Dive into our detailed reviews of other top sauna heaters to find the perfect one for your needs:

Got thoughts or a story to share about your own sauna experiences? Drop a comment below—I’d love to hear how it went!


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