It goes without saying that without steam and steam shower is just a shower. But where does all that steam come from? The steam is generated but what we are here to talk about is how this steam is generated.
Steam generators for residential use are electrical units that can be installed almost anywhere. They do not have to be close to the steam unit -- they can be situated up to 40 feet away. With all our showers the generator is located on the back of the main control panel connected to a steam outlet inside the unit. Their basic requirements are an electrical connection and a water supply, some steam generators also require a drain.
The steam generator unit consists of a generator box for holding the water, a connection for the incoming water, and an outlet for the steam. There is a electrical element at the bottom of the generator for heating the water, and the size of the electrical rating of the element is an factor in determining how much steam the unit can product.
When it comes to the actually functions of the generator and how it is producing the steam just think about a standard kettle that when it has boiled the water steam will be produced. The generator does almost the same thing but releases the steam into the unit.
Now I bet your just thinking. Oh well i could just get a shower enclosure and put my kettle in there. You would be wrong because the steam generator is a bit more sophisticated than that.
All of our units will have a control panel of some sort that wires to a control box and the generator. When you press the steam button to start the steam it will send a signal to a inlet value connect to the water input of the generator. This value is designed to only allow water to pass though when power is added so it allows the control of the water flow into the generator. Once this value is open the generator will fill with water, inside the generator there is a water level sensor that detects the water level inside the generator. When the water level gets to the ideal level it will send a signal to the inlet value telling it to close.
The water will boil and as it boils it will produce the steam into the unit. When the level of water in the generator reaches a low level it will tell the inlet value to allow more water to enter. By using this method it allows the generator to continue producing steam into the unit at a very quick rate.
When you finish your steam and press the steam button again to stop the steam the control box will power a outlet value on the generator which will allow the remaining water in the generator to leave into a drain.
When it comes to the power of the generator we provide 3 different options:
3KW - Standard Generator, perfect for average steam users, fills a standard sized unit in 5 mins and to max temperature in around 15mins.
4.5KW - Power Generator, for more common users that steam once a day or more, fills a standard sized unit in around 3-4 mins and to max temperature in around 10 mins.
6KW - Advanced Generator, for the very advanced steamers who steam more than once a day, fills a standard sized unit in around 2-3 mins and to max temperature in 5 mins. (WARNING THIS GENERATOR GETS VERY HOT VERY QUICKLY NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU ARE NOT A COMMON STEAMER)
Most of our customers will choose the standard generator and have no problems with it as all the generators have the same reliability and can reach the same max temperature.
In 460 BC, Hippocrates, named ‘the father of modern medicine’ was to have said: ‘Give me the power to create fever and I shall cure any disease.’
Fever is not in itself a sign of illness, but a sign that the body’s immune system is working to rid itself (make the temperature intolerable) of the invading disease. The health nurturing properties of steam have been widely known for thousands of years. Steam is used to elevate the temperature of the body to boost the immune system, causing our body to perspire. Perspiration removes as much as 30% of waste elements through the skin and steam is an excellent method of stimulating the skin to perspire to remove toxins.
Modern living; the use of anti-perspirants, synthetic clothing, pollution found in modern towns and cities and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to blocking the skin’s pores to inhibit the flow of perspiration that cleanses our bodies of toxins and assists in maintaining good health.
The steam shower or bath excels in creating an ‘artificial fever’ to stimulate the immune system and creates levels of body heat that are intolerable to bacteria and viruses. Steam also detoxifies the lymphatic system.
Steam stimulates our body’s internal temperature regulator, causing the production of perspiration. Steam is also a well known alleviator of stress, muscular pain and sinus pressure. Regular use of steam has wide beneficial effects on a wide range of ailments.
The high moisture content of steam is beneficial to our respiratory health; GP’s today still prescribe steam inhalation to relieve respiratory symptoms. As steam rooms have a high concentration of steam, they are much better and faster at reliving symptoms than a vaporiser. Steam dilates the tissues of the respiratory system which increases the air intake capacity; it also dislodges blockages by increasing moisture content. Steam also relaxes the body and mind which helps in alleviating symptoms of respiratory distress.
Heat increases the flow of blood around the body and has a remarkable effect on the vascular system. White ‘disease fighting’ blood cells are produced, and the increased blood flow excretes toxins through the skin, enhancing oxygen levels, essential nutrients, and lymph exchange at cellular level.
Muscular and Joint Health
Steam has a restorative effect on joint and muscular aches, spasm and pains. By increasing the extensibility of muscles through heat, it also reduces painful rigidity and swelling in joints. Ice should be used on any muscular injury initially, but after 48 hours heat can be applied to an injury or ache to cause the blood vessels to dilate, which bring more oxygen rich blood to the area. This has a direct soothing effect on the painful area and helps to relieve pain and spasm.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body; it is the first line defence from harmful virus and bacteria. Steam is widely known to stimulate blood flow which pushes toxins through the skin through the effect of perspiration. Steam opens the pores of the skin to allow the cleansing out flow of toxins. This process reduces spot causing blockages and creates a healthy, youthful, beautiful, moisture rich complexion.
Steam also has an affect on cellulite, 10 minutes in a steam shower is thought to be more beneficial in reducing cellulite than a one hour body-wrap. A cool shower should be taken straight after a steam bath to flush the toxins from the skin and close the pores to ensure that the skin is not open to further toxin exposure.
Dermatologists have long recognised the health benefits of steam to the skin. Not just to bring a healthy glow to the complexion, but as the steam causes an increase in oxygen and nutrient rich blood circulation to the surface of the skin to boost a healthy, nourished and glowing appearance.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Steam has a relaxing affect on our mind. The effects of steam ease muscle tension and release toxins from our blood, increasing oxygen levels, providing us with an all round sense of wellbeing.
Many sufferers of a wide range of ailments including; rheumatism, sciatica, back pain, arthritis and menstrual cramps have reported alleviated symptoms through the use of steam bathing.
Boosting the Benefits of Steam
Aromatherapy has been used in a wide range of cultures and civilisations throughout the centuries to relieve, relax, calm and inspire, these oils have a well documented affect on our mind and body. From the use of eucalyptus oil in a steam bath or shower to relieve the symptoms of sinus infections and a blocked nose to lemon oil to invigorate and lavender to relax and soothe. Fresh or dried aromatic plants can also be added to steam to give beneficial effect.
Let's talk about...
- the difference between a sauna vs. steam room, and
- which one is better
Even though they’re both basically hot baths, a sauna uses dry heat and a steam room uses moist heat.
Saunas have very low humidity, which means they can be much hotter than steam rooms. They're usually between 80°C and 100°C, which is perfectly safe because they use dry heat.
A steam room is usually about 40°C. If the steam room was any hotter than that it would scald your skin!
Sauna vs. Steam Room Heat and Construction
Saunas and steam rooms are constructed with different materials because of their heating methods.
Traditional saunas are heated with stones placed on a heater - usually an electric or wood-burning heater. Steam is produced by pouring water over the stones. This raises the temperature in the sauna by several degrees, but the steam quickly dissipates. Far infrared saunas use infrared heaters. Saunas are usually made of wood and include wooden benches to sit on (small portable "saunas" are an exception).
Steam rooms are heated with a steam generator. Steam is fed into an almost airtight room where it builds up to create a humidity level around 100%. Steam rooms are designed to contain the moisture created by the steam. Materials like ceramic tile are often used. Steam rooms should be built with a slanted ceiling to prevent the steam build-up from dripping onto the bathers.
Sauna vs. Steam Room Comparison - Which one is better?
This one is really a matter of personal preference; although some experts do favour one over the other. Sauna and steam baths both have therapeutic benefits. Both are good for:
- improving blood circulation
- cleaning and rejuvenating the skin
- easing muscle tension
- promoting feelings of relaxation and well-being
- enhancing detoxification processes
Additional Benefits of a steam room
- Steam rooms feel hotter because perspiration doesn't evaporate and carry away heat.
- If you have respiratory problems like sinus congestion or asthma, you might prefer the moist heat of a steam bath to bring relief of symptoms. Steam inhalation is very effective against bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies.
- A possible downside to a steam room is that it may be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria because of the warm, moist conditions. This isn't much of a concern if the steam room is regularly cleaned and disinfected.
Food for thought...
Steam rooms, hot-air saunas and hot tubs heat your body from the outside.
Infrared saunas emit far infrared rays which heat your body from the inside.
Many sauna researchers believe that this inside-out heating action provides additional benefits.
Sauna vs. Steam Room Maintenance
Both saunas and steam rooms are relatively easy to maintain.
A steam room can be washed with a ceramic tile cleaner, and the steam generator will require periodic draining.
The floor of a wood sauna should be cleaned regularly to prevent rotting. Oxiclean is good for removing bacteria and mould. The walls and ceiling don't need to be cleaned as often.
The issue of using steam rooms and saunas during pregnancy has been widely debated. Is this practice safe?
Many people enjoy the experience of visiting a sauna, hot tub, or Jacuzzi for relaxation and rejuvenation. The warm temperatures and heat helps to relax their body and calm their spirit. Although some people claim that these experiences have documented health benefits, there’s very little literature to suggest that these treatments are more than another form of relaxation. In fact, the heat from a sauna, steam room, or hot tub may have negative health effects in certain situations, particularly if you’re pregnant. Should you completely avoid all of these hot treatments during pregnancy?