Indoor Heating

Three great ways to save energy

There are three general types of indoor heating systems, each with its own advantages for specific applications – forced air heating, hydronic or hot water heating and infrared heating.

Forced Air Heating

Forced air heating is the most common method of heating spaces of any size. It is especially popular in closed environments like shopping malls, office buildings, hospitals and schools.

There are several types of forced air systems, including furnaces, rooftop units and high efficiency rooftop units, make-up air units, unit heaters, natural gas baseboard heaters, and through-the-wall combo heating and cooling units.

Furnaces - For more than 50 years, the standard forced air furnace has heated millions of businesses and homes. Today’s technology includes high efficiency motors, electronic ignition and multiple heat exchangers, all of which help to make furnaces more efficient than ever before.

Most use ductwork to deliver warm air where it is needed. Set-back thermostats control the temperature in a specified area, often controlling the airflow as well. They are available in many styles and help reduce operating costs by reducing heating requirements.

Rooftop units and High Efficiency Rooftop Units - Gas-fired rooftop space heaters can be used in a wide range of building types, such as retail stores, schools and many office buildings. These units are usually part of a decentralized system.

As the name suggests, rooftop units are installed on the tops of buildings, although they can be installed on the ground level. A new generation of rooftop units have been improved by the latest technology and are efficient, cost-effective heating solutions for facilities and businesses.

Make-Up Air Units - Make-Up Air units are designed to heat fresh ventilation air brought in from outside and introduced into a space to replace the air exhausted from a building. This ensures the building pressure is balanced, that there is a ready supply of fresh air and also improves the indoor air quality for the occupants.

Make-Up Air units are especially important in apartment buildings, restaurants, office buildings, laundry and industrial facilities. Make-Up Air units are designed to run all year long.

Go to our Save Money & Energy section to see our Condensing Make up Air unit incentive program.

There are several key benefits to make-up air units:

  • Minimizes negative pressure build-up as air is exhausted from the building by equipment and exhaust fans. For example severe drafts that occur at exterior doors and exterior doors that are hard to open.

  • Keeps oxygen content at normal levels and prevent build-up of CO2, which means less drowsiness and higher productivity. Ensures vented equipment operates properly.

  • Prevents odours from traveling from one area to another, especially in foodservice environments

Unit heaters - Gas-fired unit heaters are ideal for heating open areas where no ductwork exists or where supplemental heat is required. Normally, these units are suspended from the ceiling or ceiling joists and heat the air directly.

They are cost-effective, take no floor space, and can be installed in virtually any location. Some common areas where unit heaters are used are arenas, garages, warehouses, loading docks, greenhouses, and other large indoor areas.

Natural Gas Baseboard Heater and Wall Heaters - Natural gas baseboard heaters are designed to replace existing electric baseboard heaters, providing thermostat-controlled heat at a lower cost than electric. Wall heaters are quiet, light-weight and dependable and many can operate without electricity.

Through-the-Wall Combo Heating and Cooling - More than 2-million of these units have been installed in North America, often replacing electric heating systems and adding the advantages of air conditioning. They come pre-wired and pre-charged. Self-contained, they fit neatly into a small closet.

Hydronic Hot Water Heating

In hydronic heating, hot water is generated from the boiler and pumped to where it is needed through a pipe system. The heat is distributed through baseboard, freestanding, wall or overhead radiators. This is a proven and cost effective natural gas heating system.

Boilers - Common in industrial and commercial settings, boilers are an efficient way to perform several tasks – space heating, water heating and process heating – with one system.

A boiler is part of a closed system that uses thermal energy to produce hot water or steam.

As with any system, regular boiler maintenance is required to keep a boiler system running at peak efficiency.

Radiant Panel Heating - Some spaces can be effectively heated by radiant surfaces. Hot water from the boiler or water heater is directed through piping in the floor, wall or ceiling, heating these surfaces which then warms the space.

Infrared Radiant Heating

Infrared heating systems heat objects, including people, directly by radiant heat. The absorbed heat then warms the surrounding air. A conventional forced air heating system by comparison heats the air and then circulates it so it can warm objects and people in the space.

Since infrared heating directly heats objects, it is the best choice for spaces with high ceilings or open areas where heat can escape easily. Locations where infrared heating is commonly used are garages, warehouses, patios, arenas, sport halls, as well as farm storage and livestock areas.

There are several key benefits to an infrared heating system:

  • Infrared heating delivers heat to where it’s needed directly to the people and materials in the space, without heating the air. Infrared radiation heat reaching the floor results in some ground level heating, close to where most people and activities will take place. This is the most efficient way to heat a large open area.

  • These systems are very quiet because they do not use forced air fans or blowers.

  • Infrared heaters are more efficient than forced air because they heat objects directly. In addition, the units use spark or hot surface ignition rather than a pilot light, which reduces gas consumption.