Infrared Heater Efficiency
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers has found infrared heaters can reduce the required heat needed to maintain a comfortable temperature in a building (heat load), by at least 15 percent.
These heaters can achieve these savings by providing focused warmth where it is needed most, which helps to reduce the need to warm the air in the entire space.
Infrared heaters warm objects, machinery and people in its path, which in turn reradiates the absorbed warmth to provide a comfortable environment. This “spot heating” quality makes this equipment an energy-efficient heating option, particularly in situations where the air in a space does not need to be warmed or would be inefficient to warm. For example, in a large warehouse, an infrared heater can efficiently provide comfortable warmth to workers concentrated in an area, when it would be inefficient to heat the air in an entire building.
Radiant heaters can also work efficiently to heat areas where doors are opened and closed often, like a loading dock. In these types of spaces, the warm air in the space will quickly escape to the outside, but a radiant heater will continue to provide comfort heating. The reason is that the floor absorbs and stores the radiant heat directed down from a heater above, and loses little of it when a door is opened.
Whole Building Heat
A whole building also can be efficiently warmed by low intensity infrared heat, but the heating system must be designed effectively, properly installed, used and maintained. A common mistake made is to install one large infrared heater to warm a space, which is neither effective nor efficient.
One large heater can create an intensive hot zone, which can have the unintended consequence of drawing the cold air from other areas of the building causing individuals under the infrared heater to feel intense heat from above, but a cold draft below making for an uncomfortable situation. A more effective design practice is to develop a balanced system that uses two or more burners spread throughout a large space to deliver lower-intensity comfort heating to more areas within the space.
When designing an infrared heating system, it’s also important to note that these systems can be zoned to maximize their efficiency. With infrared
heaters, it is possible to divide any area into separate smaller zones and maintain a different comfort level in each zone. For example, one zone with a high concentration of people could maintain a 70 degree Fahrenheit comfort level while at the same time another zone, a storage area, could be kept at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or at a lower temperature.
To obtain a balanced infrared heating system that maximizes its benefits by delivering comfortable heat efficiently, manufacturers recommend working with an experienced professional who is familiar with designing these systems. To find an experienced infrared heating manufacturer in your area, go to www.ahrinet.org