Three basic types of heaters are convection,
radiant, and forced air. The following descriptions aid in determining
the heating method that will provide the best solution for any given
Convection heat is the transfer of heat from the heater to the surrounding
air by the natural circulation of air through the heater. This air
motion is a result of gravitational forces where the heated air
is lighter than the cooler air. Heated air rises from the top of
the heater and is replaced by cooler air that enters from the bottom.
Individual convection heaters are a common heat source for smaller
enclosed areas and multiple units can be combined to heat larger
Radiant (Infrared) Heaters
Similar to the sun, radiant (or infrared) heaters heat people and
objects rather than air or space. Radiant heat is less affected
by drafts and large air movements—it passes through the air
to heat floors, walls, machinery and people. This makes radiant
heaters ideal for outdoor and high ceiling heating applications.
They are also ideal for spot heating cold areas like shipping docks;
for protecting valves, pumps, and machinery from freezing; and thawing
frozen pipes. Radiant heaters generate no noise, fumes or flames.
Forced Air Heaters
Adding a fan or blower to a convection heater creates artificial
air movement, which quickly removes heat from the heater surface.
Forced air heaters can circulate heated air over very long distances
and are usually the choice for heating larger areas.
Heaters are ideal for applications where lots
of heat is required in non-enclosed areas such as general construction,
ventilated warehouses, and parking garages. They are highly
efficient since all the heat is transferred to the heated airflow.
Direct-Fired heaters are also both compact and economical due
to their simple design.
Heaters utilize a heat exchanger that keeps
fumes and exhaust products out of the airflow providing clean,
dry, odorless heat. A flue vents excess moisture, carbon monoxide,
and other products of combustion. Indirect-Fired heaters can
also accommodate ductwork, which allows distribution of clean
heated air to specific target areas. This feature also allows
placing the unit outside and in a remote location from the area
being heated. Applications include general construction in enclosed
areas, special event tents, concrete curing, industrial painting,
wrapped scaffold projects, pipelines and hazardous areas, and
Heaters provide clean, dry heat with none
of the combustion by-products common to fossil fuel burning
units. They are also very quiet and require almost no routine
maintenance. Applications for electric forced-air heaters
include general construction in enclosed areas, temporary
commercial heating, special event tents, and moisture control/drying.
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