Portable and overhead non-ducted heating units can make every spot a warm spot.
Heating units of various sizes can deliver temporary heat during forced air system failures, or permanent heat for areas that can’t be ducted effectively, such as shipping and receiving docks or factory assembly lines. Spot heating is also popular in certain retail store applications. In homes, target areas can include corner rooms, areas that receive less sunlight, or spaces that need extra heat due to lack of balance in the central system.
The heat pump market — which includes products such as the Arctic Air (shown below) — will continue to expand, because heat pumps address commercial "spot" heating issues better than the alternative forms of supplemental heating, says Garth Tagge, vice president of Sales for Spot Cooler, Inc. He says heat pumps' advantages over electric resistance heaters or fuel-fired heaters in commercial buildings, include:
- No burn risk
- Safe operation
- Clean air
- Energy efficiency
- Installation advantages.
"A heat pump uses the heat transfer from the refrigeration cycle," Tagge explains. "It isn't hot to the touch, and won't scald or burn building occupants. And, there are no hot elements or flame, which can ignite or kindle flammable substances within the space."
Tagge says heat pumps don't burn fossil fuels to produce heat, so there's no risk of contaminating the air with noxious fumes.
In regards to energy efficiency, Tagge says that their effective operating range of 50F to 70F produces heat much more efficiently than electric resistance heaters commonly used for supplemental heat within commercial spaces.
"Heat pumps are particularly useful when buildings experience heater or boiler outages in winter, and supplemental heat must be added for worker comfort and/or to prevent pipes from freezing in specific spaces," he says. "Any contractor who finds he must respond to a no-heat call, and provide supplemental heating during the repair, will have access to our most up-to-date models." Spot Cooler portable heat pump air conditioner distributors can be found by visiting spot-coolers.com.
"Portable heat pumps are becoming more popular with contractors as a way to expand their services," says Clark Michel, vice president, sales, Atlas Sales & Rentals, Newark, CA.
"The applications we see most often include localized temperature control of spaces ranging from office environments and shop floors to industrial processes," he says.
"Portable heat pumps are limited in size and temperature capability. Most heat pumps are 1-5 tons (up to 60,000 BTUH) and require minimum ambient temperatures of 45F to 55F F to operate, so they will not heat a large space in a 10F cold snap. Think supplemental heating; if the climate is severe, or no other heat source is available, you’ll have to look at other options," Michel says. atlassales.com
Infrared Option for Industrial Uses
With the economy in a deep freeze, contractors are looking for ways to assist customers with energy efficient HVAC capital projects, says Jim McLellan, vice president of sales for Schwank North America, Waynesboro, GA.
"HVAC contractors are considering gas-fired infrared heating for space and spot heating applications in retrofits and Design/Buildprojects. It offers opportunities for extended profit margins, while helping customers reduce costs, save energy (up to 65% depending on the application), reduce carbon footprint, and conserve natural resources," McLellan says.
Bob Genisol, vice president, sales and markeing for Space-Ray, Charlotte, NC, says the comany is seeing more interest in Space-Ray's CB series of heaters, for residential garage applications, and restaurant/covered patio applications.
"Being a U-configuration, the CB series provides more uniform energy distribution on the floor level when compared to straight tube configuration. Typically, savings range from 30% to 50%. The heaters are extremely quiet, and don’t blow air around as the forced air heating systems do."
The Broan Big Heat uses ceramic heating elements to provide 1500 watts, for fast warm-up, and a 1200 watt setting to keep a space warm while using less electricity. Features include rugged steel construction, a durable finish with integrated carrying handle, rounded bumpers to protect surfaces. a built-in thermostat; instant, automatic safety shut-off if the unit is tipped over on its front or back; and overheat protection that shuts off the heater and activates a caution light if excess heat is detected.
The Chromalox DRA portable spot/industrial 'Salamander' blower heater provides 25,590 to 102,360 BTUH and operates on 208, 240, 480, and 600V. The unit operates on single- or three-phase power.
King Electrical Manufacturing Co.
The Yellow Jacket portable unit heater is designed for the rigorous demands of a jobsite or industrial facility. It features a high CFM and low temperature rise, and is useful for spot heating or in dry-out, where dry electric heat is preferred.
The MovinCool Arctic Air operates between temperatures of 55F to 105F. Applications include localized temperature control of spaces ranging from office environments to shop floor, to industrial processes. In heating mode, it addresses cold spots and individual preferences for more heating than the environment provides. Corner rooms, areas that receive less sunlight, or spaces that need extra heat due to lack of balance in the central air heating system are other applications.
Munters’ portable KID product line provides spot heating for small and medium areas, well-ventilated workshops, and construction drying. Direct-fired gas heating units use a powerful fan to force air through a combustion chamber where the burner is situated. As air passes through the burner, the heat released by the combustion process is transferred to the air stream, giving the units a 100% thermal efficiency.
The PrimoSchwank from Schwank North America produces and emits high- and low-intensity infrared energy. The combined intensity, high efficiency PrimoSchwank 30 heater, with an input of 113,000 BTUH, has the same infrared output as a conventional radiant heater, with 191,000 BTUH input. Insulated construction reduces convection heat loss. Each heater has a direct spark ignition and flame monitoring control.
The Space-Ray Cold Blocker is available in four different input sizes from 20,000 to 50,000 BTU/hour. It comes in single-or two-stage modulation input, in natural or propane gas models. The U-tube design is offered for uniform energy distribution, and the unit is compact enough for easy installation from 6-ft. to 20-ft. above floor level. The Cold Blocker features a radiant emitter tube system, which is a 3-in. O.D. calorized aluminized steel emitter tube for long life and high radiant efficiency.