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Shortwave infrared heating compares favourably to gas outdoor heating

Supplier: SBH Solutions By: Nigel Smalls
06 June, 2018

Traditional unflued gas heating is under pressure from new shortwave infrared heaters as an effective means of heating outdoor and unconditioned open spaces such as factories and warehouses.

The heat projection of gas ceramic heaters makes them popular outdoor undercover heaters for use in hospitality areas and other hard to heat open areas.

To achieve the radiant heat ‘throw’ they need a good supply of gas and are generally in the range of 25 – 40 Mj per hour capacity.  Often requiring deflectors to reduce loss of heat to the area above the heater, it is not uncommon on a cold day to see waves of heated air floating away from the people it is intended for.

This is because the radiant efficiency of the medium wave infrared is around 60%.

Gas ceramic heaters are quite expensive to buy and to install, depending on existing gas and electricity supply to the outdoor area.

We have recently completed cost comparisons between our new Heliosa short-wave infrared heaters, and gas heater alternatives.

Shortwave heaters offer instant heat at 92% radiant efficiency – resulting in less energy loss to the atmosphere. Unlike most other commercial electric heaters on the market, they can cover similar square meterage as current gas alternatives much more effectively (no heated ceilings!).

Purchase costs for Heliosa infrared heaters are a fraction of wall mounted natural gas ceramic heaters. They also are less costly to install and switched-on running costs are comparable. The instantaneous nature of the heat means that no pre-heating is required and the heaters can be placed on button timers or proximity switches, so overall costs of running the heaters will be less than their gas equivalents.

Heliosa and our other Titan shortwave infrared heaters should be considered when you next review your comfort heating needs in outdoor seated areas or for spot heating in a warehouse or factory. The energy savings from heating just what needs to be heated and not everywhere else will be immense. 

Shortwave infrared is the form of heating that most closely meets the objective of Section J of the National Construction Code, and most closely follows the intent of Section J 5.2d for outdoor and unconditioned space heating.