As soon as I purchased my first home, I realized that it was going to be difficult to take care of all of the appliances. I was worried that some components would fail or that others would simply suffer from neglect. Unfortunately, I had no idea what to do in order to avoid these types of problems. To ward off my worries, I decided to hire a professional HVAC contractor who could help. I was able to find an incredible business in my area who really cared about their products and services. They taught me how to look for problems and how to troubleshoot a lagging system. Check out this blog for more information about protecting your HVAC system.
Heating large commercial spaces is a major engineering challenge, especially if the structure is a warehouse or retail establishment with vast, open areas. Keeping these spaces warm during the cold months is vital for the comfort, safety, and productivity of employees and customers, and often necessary to protect equipment and merchandise as well. Simply maintaining a stable temperature in these areas is challenging enough, but doing so in a cost-effective manner may sometimes seem impossible. Luckily, many potential solutions exist. One of the most popular in modern commercial spaces is radiant heating.
What is Radiant Heating?
Radiant heating as a term is actually used to describe a family of heating systems, rather than one single thing. In general, a radiant heat system is one where the floors, walls, or ceilings of a room are heated directly. Rather than heating the air, the room is heated directly and that heat is radiated out to other objects. Of course, this has the effect of also warming up the air in the space, but its ability to directly warm objects in contact with it (in particular, people walking across a floor) is often seen as a major benefit.
What Are the Advantages for Commercial Spaces?
While homeowners will often talk about how luxurious radiant heating can be, does it offer any special advantages for commercial spaces? Fortunately, the answer is "absolutely!" Radiant heating excels at maintaining a stable, even temperature with no warm or cold spots. This is particularly useful when heating large retail spaces, as there's no need to worry that your heating system is leaving certain sections of the store out in the cold. It's helpful for other commercial spaces as well since it guarantees a comfortable environment wherever your employees might need to go.
For warehouses, workshops, and industrial settings, heating the floor offers several additional advantages. Keeping the floor warm allows heat to be transferred directly to equipment, preventing it from becoming too cold to operate or handle. It also makes it easier for employees who may need to work on or near the floor for maintenance purposes. For spaces with high ceilings, there's also a large efficiency gain since heat is not being lost to the upper portions of the room.
Is It More Energy Efficient?
Energy efficiency is without a doubt one of the strongest benefits of radiant heating. Baseboard and forced air heating systems rely on heating a particular point in a room and then circulating that warm air. This an inefficient process, and in large rooms a sizable portion of the heat is "lost." These types of heating systems must also generally run for longer in order to achieve the same level of comfort. On the other hand, radiant heating systems provide heat evenly. Even better, room inhabitants are being warmed by direct contact with the eating surface, often allowing for greater levels of comfort at much lower temperatures.
Is It Right for Your Business?
Of course, all the advantages in the world won't matter if radiant heating doesn't fit your specific needs. Radiant heating installations can sometimes be more costly upfront, and budget limitations may prevent them from being the right option for all commercial buildings. The cost savings due to higher energy efficiency can usually offset this cost, however. Meanwhile, the productivity gains from workers who are more comfortable are certainly real, but difficult to qualify.
Ultimately, consulting with a professional HVAC technician is the best way to determine if radiant heating may suit your needs. A study of initial and long-term costs can help you to decide if this is the right system to heat your commercial space. Companies like Ongaro and Sons can help.