Gone are the days when you had to be satisfied with standard electric sauna settings, now you can enjoy the warmth and humidity adjusted to your personal comfort. Helo’s BWT technology makes the sauna heater truly adjustable, while saving you energy at the same time.
When Jan Björkbom, Managing Director of Helo Oy, is asked what the current trends are in sauna bathing, he simply answers: “There aren’t any.” He adds, “Nothing new has been introduced for the sauna since the pillar heater.” But now, Helo has developed the new BWT, Bio Water Technology, giving the sauna heater range something completely new.
Jan Björkbom tells about the reasons for the innovation: “An electrically heated Finnish sauna is very traditional: wooden panels on walls and ceiling, wooden benches, temperatures over 80 degrees Celsius and dry air. Almost half of the people don’t like it!” "When building a sauna and purchasing a sauna heater, you are stuck with these elements for a couple of decades. Would it not be better if a sauna could be adjusted to perfectly suit the preferences of the bather?”
Helo began to look for solutions which enable to serve its customers with a more diverse sauna experience.
“Our intention was also to find a solution that was not costly and did not require complex electrical systems,” J. Björkbom adds.
THE WATER TANK GUARANTEES MOIST STEAM
The basic idea behind Helo’s BWT technology is simple. A water tank is placed in the centre of the sauna heater between the resistors before filling the remaining empty space with sauna stones.
Water starts to boil just ten minutes after the heater has been switched on. The tank lid has holes that release water and humidity into the sauna room. After only half an hour the sauna is ready to use.
« Temperatures only slightly exceed 50 degrees Celsius, but because humidity is at 50%, the heat corresponds to a conventional, dry warmth sauna at 75 degrees » explains Jan Björkbom.
« You can adjust the temperature to suit, but 60 degrees is usually sufficient. The heat of the sauna is no longer uncomfortable, the air is humid, breathing easy, and enjoyable. As the sauna heats up quicker, the user also saves electricity.
The whole family can now enjoy bathing in the sauna just the way they want to: the family may enjoy a 60-degree sauna experience together, following which the tank can be emptied and father can continue bathing in a drier sauna.
he sauna room can be pre-humidified by filling the water tank only one-third full. Essential oils can also be added directly into the tank, easily filling the sauna with the aromas chosen. »
The innovation developed by Helo is based on a water tank that enhances humidity in the sauna, thereby making 60 degrees feel sufficient.
BWT is Helo’s own innovation and the result of around one year of development effort.
The new sauna heaters are available for home and public saunas, such as hotels, Spas and gyms. « These public sauna heaters are often on for up to 14 hours a day. When the heater temperature is dropped by 20 degrees, it not only has a significant impact on electricity consumption, but also on durability of the wooden surfaces of the sauna”, Björkbom comments.
INVESTMENT INTO EXPORT
Helo sauna heaters with BWT technology are also exported. In fact, approximately 60 % of the company’s 30 million euro turnover is nowadays from export trade.
“ The competition is really tough back home in Finland and we want to avoid competing on price, deciding instead to focus on taking care of the customer, quality, functionality and design. We concentrate mainly on the Central European, Middle Eastern and African markets – and we are strengthening our presence and expanding our distribution networks”, tells Jan Björkbom.
The same Helo range is offered for both Finnish and international customers.
“There is a worldwide consensus – everyone wants to experience a pleasurable sauna.”
However, Jan Björkbom does emphasise that nothing comes for free and competition simply makes you run faster. “We have to work hard to ensure the sauna continues to be appealing both at home and abroad.”
Source – Finnish Sauna Magazine 2-16