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The key to heating an open space is to focus on the inevitable fact that “Hot air Rises”. Focusing on this physical fact will allow for a better understanding of why heating via Radiant is a different, and often a much better solution.
The chosen system can either fight or leverage this fact that “Hot Air Rises”
Heating systems that use heated air as their energy transport medium are constantly fighting this fact, especially in large facilities with ceiling heights above 10’. They engage in this uphill battle by using blowers, ducts, ceiling fans, air curtains, etc… All in an attempt to mitigate the discomfort and financial loss incurred when “Hot Air Rises”. For hot air systems, this battle cannot be won. The heat accumulates at the ceiling and never reaches the floor leaving it cold and damp. Then, the moment the fans are not blowing or an exterior door is opened, hot air systems quickly lose ground. This lost ground is then recovered slowly for they are fighting nature just to hold the ground they have.
Why not leverage the fact that “Hot Air Rises” instead of fighting it?
Radiant heaters do not use heated air as their energy transport medium. Instead, they employ infrared waves to move the heat from where it is produced to where it is needed. These waves don’t know up or down, they only go straight in the direction they were pointed (or reflected) until they hit a surface. This allows the energy to be easily applied where desired, without a fight.
The infrared energy streaming down from above is absorbed by all the objects in the space below. These objects (Equipment /Materials / People / Floor) providing warmth & comfort while developing a huge thermal mass. This heat is then transferred to the air at floor level, exploiting the fact that “Hot Air Rises” to warm the remaining air in the facility.
Hot Air Systems have an uphill battle the cannot win. Heat accumulates at the ceiling and never reaches the floor, leaving it cold and damp. Then, the moment the fans stop blowing or an exterior door is opened, the hot air systems looses what little ground it gained.
Radiant Heaters use infrared waves to move the heat from where it is produced to where it is needed. These waves don’t know up or down, they only go straight in the direction they were pointed (or reflected) until they hit a surface. This allows the energy to be easily applied where desired, without a fight.
Infrared heat is quiet and draft free! Many industrial applications require "clean rooms" and with radiant heat, no dust is blown about. In showrooms and auditoriums, you won't have to worry about noisy fans disturbing the show!
As the diagrams above show, infrared heats from the floor up, causing heat stratification to the ceiling to become greatly reduced. And since these temperatures are lower at the ceiling, transmission losses to the outside are far lower! This helps to reduce fuel costs while maintaining comfort.
No matter the application, the one thing all large industrial buildings have in common are large doors! These doors are used frequently, allowing heat loss and fuel wastage. Radiant hear results in rapid heat recovery, minimizing fuel wastage.