Scan Magazine, Issue 119, December 2018

Page 69

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Sauna and Wellness in Finland

The Rakka stove is known for its long-lasting and soft heat. Photo: Veli Lesell.

Photo: Petri Hulkkonen.

Photo: iStock.

The soul of the sauna The weather is usually a common small-talk subject, but the Finns also have another topic that can light up a conversation: the secrets of a good sauna stove. Juha Männistö, managing director of Mondex, a Finnish company making woodfired and electric stoves and stone radiators, shares his knowledge on just that.

A heart of stone Also, different stones create different types of heat. Mostly, Mondex uses soap stones for their stoves, because they provide a softer heat and have proved very

The sauna is ready when the temperature is 60 to 70 degrees. For the stove, use warm (to touch) water.

By Anne Koski-Wood

The world around us is changing, but the sauna experience stays the same. People go there to relax and to escape their busy lives and bad weather. The stove, arguably, is the most important element of a sauna. When choosing the right stove, one should take into account the size of the sauna and the wall-surface insulation properties. Then it is a question of taste, how hot, and what kind of heat one prefers. When asked about the difference between a wood-fired and electric stove, Männistö says that the heat is pretty similar, but saunas with wood-fired stoves seem to be more ‘airy’, because the wood burning process makes the air circulate. Despite common misconception, woodfired stoves are not slower to heat up, but quite the opposite.

Tips for heating up a perfect sauna

popular. The other option is to choose sauna stones, which create a sharper, hotter heat. The stones should be changed every now and then, because they tend to become brittle over time or move inside the stove, blocking the heating elements.

Stoves to fit any sauna The Mondex collection contains 13 different free-standing or wall-fitted models. In one of the free-standing stoves, Rakka, the stones are sitting on top of each other, reminding us of ancient times, when people used to gather around a fire. The mechanism whereby an iron rod has been drilled through the stones to secure them in place, has been patented. Männistö is proud of the fact that all the stoves are built by local people using Finnish materials, ensuring a very high standard of quality. In 2016, Mondex became part of Premec, a company specialising in sheet metal mechanics. Operating together, the stoves have a bright future ahead.

You can alternate the heat and quality of steam by throwing water on different spots on the stove. The top of the stove gives the hottest steam, while the bottom offers more gentle heat. Use a lot of water. Pour half a litre of water slowly on top of the stove. This way, you create a long-lasting heat. Afterwards, air the sauna by opening an air vent. Save energy by switching off the stove. The stones have enough stored heat to dry the space. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated by enjoying a glass (or two!) of your favourite drink afterwards.

Web: Facebook: Mondex Instagram: @mondexfinland Main image: In a land of thousands of lakes, there are approximately three million saunas. Photo: iStock. Bottom left: Mondex is the only company in Finland making stone radiators. The temperature is comfortable and lower than in ordinary radiators. Stone radiators are also quiet and safe, while adding a beautiful touch to your home.

Issue 119  |  December 2018  |  69

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