Staying Warm in the Winter | Heaters for Industrial, Warehouse, and Garage Needs
Working in various warehouses before starting our own business, I remember the cold, long days of winter. I can remember the warehouse heaters that the various business owners I worked for used to combat the harsh Pittsburgh winter climate. I can also remember that these heaters tended to get in the way with their long, confusing cords. Knowing what I do now, these types of heaters provided a safety hazard for the employees and therefore a massive liability to business owners.
Whether you own a warehouse, store, or any other commercial space, warehouse unit heaters are a great solution for your heating needs. They come with a few benefits in comparison to their portable counterparts. The first benefit is that they do not take up any floor space since they are mounted above. The second is that they are far safer since they are mounted and not on the floor. This means less liability for you as a business owner.
What are Unit Heaters?
Before we go any further, let's address what a unit heater actually is. Unit heaters, which are sometimes referred to as garage heaters, are able to heat space at an incredibly powerful rate. Unit heaters differ from the more standard and basic portable heaters in that they are far more powerful. Therefore, they are able to cover a far greater area of space.
How do Unit Heaters Work?
The way that unit heaters operate is rather simple. The process begins with a heat exchanger. A fan is used to blow air over the heat exchanger, delivering the warm air to the area that is in need of the heat. In the case of large spaces, it may be necessary to have multiple unit heaters to cover the necessary area.
Where to Apply Unit Heaters
It stands to reason that unit heaters are used in spaced that are not connected to the building's central heating system. However, unit heaters are often used in spaces that are connected to the building's central heating system yet have low insulation. The low insulation leads to cold air penetrating and warm air escaping. Unit heaters can help overcome this problem by supplying heat directly where it is needed.
How to Choose the Right Unit Heater
The necessary size and power of unit heaters vary on a case by case basis. For this reason, it is extremely important to select the correct size for your needs when shopping for one. Choosing too small of a unit heater will prove to be a waste since it will likely not provide enough heat to create a desired level of comfort. By choosing too big of a unit heater, the space will likely experience large temperature swings since it will cycle on and off frequently. This will lead to increased wear and tear on the unit heater.
The simplest way to think about unit heater sizing is in a garage, warehouse, and industrial perspective. Heating a garage can range anywhere in need from 6,000 BTU/hr (British Thermal Units Per Hour) - 100,000 BTU/hr. Warehouses typically range in need from 100,000 BTU/hr - 250,000 BTU/hr. Industrial needs can usually be seen between 250,000 BTU/hr - 400,000 BTU/hr.
While the size and output power of your unit heater is important, it can only efficiently heat areas that the warm air can reach. Heaters use a term called throw that refers to the distance a unit heater can blow the heated air. You will want to ensure that your unit heater will meet the needs of the dimensions of your space. In the case of an oddly shaped space, you may opt for selecting multiple smaller units instead of one larger one, for example.
Choosing the right Heat Source
When it comes to the source of power for your unit heater, there are also multiple options. Natural gas, liquid propane, hot water, steam, and electricity are the main options. Each has their benefits and drawbacks, but we highly recommend electric for a variety of reasons. The first is that they are mounted to the wall or a ceiling, eliminating the hazard of placing them in your floor space which can result in accidents. The second is that they are direct wired, which opens you to the possibility of providing all the heat needed from one direct source.
If you are located in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, we can help you select the correct size, heat source, and installation process for your individual need.
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