Choosing the Best Heater for Your Business
Conducting business in a cold commercial space is a challenge. Workers and customers are likely to complain of discomfort, and depending on the type of business you run, your products may begin to suffer quality issues. If you’re looking for a quick and relatively affordable way to chase away chilly temperatures in your commercial building, various types of space heaters may be helpful in the short term. However, they should only be considered a temporary solution because of their poor safety record. A commercial HVAC system is likely the more appropriate choice. The following considerations will help you decide what type of heater is right for your business.
How to Choose a Heater
With so many different types of heaters to choose from, it is difficult to know where to begin. Start with safety concerns, and then consider your specific needs. Are you hoping to keep products at a reasonable temperature? Do you want to offer employees or customers additional comfort? How big is the space you’re trying to heat? The answers to these kinds of questions will guide you through your options and help you choose between various heater types.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Heater for Your Business
Answering the aforementioned questions will indeed help guide your search for various types of heaters. Budget, space requirements, and energy efficiency may also factor into the equation. No matter the parameters for your search, finding the best type of heater for the unique needs of your business should include these important steps:
1. Consider Safety
Space heaters get quite warm. If accidentally knocked over, they can spark and cause a fire. For most commercial spaces, they just aren’t a safe heating solution. A permanent HVAC system, on the other hand, provides fast, efficient, and safe heat throughout your entire building.
2. Choose the Right Heater Type
Whether you’re hoping to add warmth to an open-air job site or a drafty retail space, it’s important to first understand the basic heater types, power sources, and heating methods. Safety should always be among the most important considerations. Your ideal heating solution should provide comfortable and clean air for your commercial space. An unsafe heating system can cause fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, or explosions. Selecting a heating system with optimal safety is your top priority.
A convection heater relies on a heating element to warm the air it’s in contact with. When the air gets warm, it rises and expands. As it gets further and further from the heater, the air will begin to cool and be pushed out to the sides by the warm air rising underneath it. As cooling air descends, a circular current is created. This is what distributes heat throughout a room. Some convection heaters include a fan to better circulate the air and distribute heat. This type of heater is a safe option, as it does not produce flames, sparks, or fumes that pose a fire hazard or health risk.
Radiant heaters deliver heat directly from a heating element via thermal radiation. No air currents are required to disperse warm air. Instead, thermal radiation travels on electromagnetic waves. It’s similar to the way the inside of your car heats up in the sun on a hot day. The radiant energy of the sun heats up the body of the car, making radiant heat. The closer you are to a radiant heater, the warmer you’ll be. Many modern radiant heaters have safety features such as automatic shut-off when the heater gets too hot or is accidentally knocked over.
If you’re looking to invest in an appliance you can use all year, a combination heater may be the solution. This heater type includes a fan that can help disperse warm air when the heater is turned on. In the warmer months, you can use the fan on its own to help cool your space.
3. Consider the Capacity of the Heater
Many space heaters are designed to heat small rooms. The larger your space, the more BTUs or watts you’ll need to generate enough heat. Natural gas space heaters tend to be more powerful than electric versions, but they require proper venting to avoid the buildup of carbon monoxide. As you explore various types of heaters, make sure you understand their limitations so you can make an informed decision. If you need to heat a large space, consider installing a heating system for greater heating capacity.
4. How Often Will You Use the Heater?
There’s no use investing in an expensive heater if you only plan to use it for a couple of days each year. Conversely, if you hope to use a heater most of the time, you’ll want to invest in a system that’s built for daily use. The best type of heater for your needs will meet demand and work seamlessly, no matter what. The reality is that for most commercial spaces, a robust HVAC system will be safer and more effective than a space heater or other portable heating option.
5. How Quickly Do You Need Heat?
The size of a space, the building’s insulation, and outdoor temperatures all play a role in how quickly a room is heated. If your goal is fast, effective heating, you may want to opt for a forced air system that pushes out warmth quickly. These electric heaters can be expensive to run, though, especially if your space is poorly insulated. This is another reason why investing in an HVAC system is a better long-term heating solution.
Where to Find the Best Commercial Heating System
While you can purchase a variety of different types of space heaters from a retail store, don’t expect it to solve your heating problems. These types of heaters are, at best, a temporary heating solution, but using them does come with some risks. To properly and safely ensure heating for your business, consult with the heating experts at your local Aire Serv®. Our local HVAC expert will explain the different heating options and help you decide on the most efficient option for your business. To get started, schedule your appointment online or call us today!