Heating a commercial building is essential for creating a comfortable environment. It can be divided into different offices or units, each with additional heating and cooling requirements.
Commercial heating systems are separate from household ones because they can spread across a much larger area. Meaning they are bigger and more complex than your traditional domestic systems.
Modern commercial heating systems have developed massively over the years. Systems such as an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) unit helps create a comfortable environment by providing cool or warm air depending on your climate needs. They can also manage indoor air quality by preventing condensation, mould growth and much more.
In this post, we will go over some of the most common Commercial Heating systems you can buy today.
Types of Heating System
There are a few choices for heating a sizeable commercial area. The following will explain the different types of systems in more detail.
Warm Air Heating Systems (Heat Exchanger)
A warm air heating system uses a fan to pull air across a heat exchanger. This air transfers heat between two or more fluids, and thus, it heats the air evenly in the space.
Warm air heating makes it ideal for constant temperature throughout the building.
The heat source for the warm air can be electric, water or a gas-fired burner.
Warm Air Heating offers a few different configurations depending on the room’s layout and the floor area available. The heaters can be wall-mounted, stood on the floor, or suspended above.
Floor-standing models are flexible due to the arrangeable configurations.
- They can use vents to direct the heat within the immediate area.
- They can be connected to ductwork to distribute the air across a larger size.
Destratification heating systems are designed to stir up the airflow in a space. It uses the process of thermal destratification to mix all the air within the building.
In any area, heat will rise. So ceiling temperature layers or ‘strata’ are different from ground level, where conventional thermostats are usually placed. The results of this are wasted energy, with cold and uncomfortable settings.
The solution is to use destratification fans, forcing the warmer air back down to ground level and breaking up the temperature strata. The fans are usually mixed with warm air heating to ensure that warm air doesn’t sit in the ceiling. Because of this, it produces a more constant temperature throughout.
Air Rotation Heating
Air rotation heating is ideal for large distribution centres and warehouses. It excels at frost protection or constant background temperatures.
Cooler air is steadily pulled through the unit, causing destratification and even temperatures. As a result, destratification fans are not needed as the air is already circulated.
The installation cost is low because there is no need for a duct system. They are also efficient due to the fuel saved by using heat trapped in the ceiling.
Radiant heat transfer is the distribution of heat directly via infrared radiation. This is delivered via Radiant tubes or radiant plaque heaters suspended from a roof or ceiling in a commercial environment.
Infrared radiation warms people and objects without directly heating the air. The people and objects act as secondary heaters to raise the temperature further.
Although the air temperature is lower than in a warm air heated space, people will feel warm as long as they are directly in line with the heat source.
If people are shielded from the heat source by equipment, or walls, they will no longer feel the benefit of the heat. This forces limitations on the layout as it can’t be changed later.
The main advantage of radiant heating is the reduced heat loss in areas where doors are opened regularly, such as loading bays. This is because objects heated by radiant heating stay warm even after opening a door.
A heat pump uses a small amount of electricity and refrigerant to move heat from one location to another.
The heat pump takes air from outside your home and moves it to a refrigeration coolant. The coolant is then compressed, which increases the temperature significantly. It is moved to the heat pump’s indoor unit, passing the air over the hot coolant. As a result, the air’s temperature rises to provide the thermostatic call for heat inside the home.
There are three principal heat pumps:
- Air-To-Air – Generates heat from using air.
- Water Source – Generates heat from the water
- Geothermal – Generates heat from the ground outside
You can read more about heat pumps on in our blog post “What are heat pumps“.
Boilers are generally more common in older buildings, but they are still present in many types of commercial heating systems.
Steam boilers use a heating mechanism to evaporate water into high-pressure steam. The steam rises and is tightly concentrated. It is then delivered through the building pipe network, warming each room.
A critical difference between boilers is how they heat the water. Fire Tube and Water tube boilers create steam but are virtually opposite in operation.
Fire Tube and Water Tube
A fire-tube boiler is where fire/hot gases pass through multiple tubes running within a sealed water container. The heat of the tubes is transferred through the walls by thermal conduction, which in turn heats the water and creates steam.
A water tube boiler is where water travels in tubes that are heated externally by a fire inside the furnace. The fire creates hot gas and boils the water in the steam-generating tubes.
Both of these systems have their pros and cons list. Their decision is essentially up to personal preference rather than quality or cost.
Commercial Heating Engineers
There isn’t a heating system that will be best suited for every environment. Each type of building will benefit from a different setup.
Whether you’re looking at heating solutions for an office, school, restaurant, shop, gym or leisure centre, Varlowe Industrial Services can provide you with the support to make the right choice.
Give us a call on 01902 861042 or email Lee@varlowe.co.uk for more information.