Choosing a Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heater

Choosing a Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heater

Infrared heat is considered the most comfortable and economical method for warming your garage. Infrared garage heaters only heat objects and people. If you are underneath the radiant heater, you will be warmed, regardless of what’s going on around you. A good example is the sun, the world’s largest infrared heater. Let’s assume it’s 70F outside, and you are standing on your deck. If there are no clouds in the sky and the sun is shining bright, 70F will feel very warm. If a cloud passes by and cuts out the suns rays, 70F will feel cool. The air temperature doesn’t change when a cloud passes by, but your body temperature will.

Get more details and pricing on these: Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heaters

Operating Principle

The infrared radiant heating principle has been derived from the sun. Infrared waves from the heater penetrate the air nearly loss-free and only turn into warmth once making contact with people and surfaces. As surfaces warm, they become radiators and the entire space begins to slowly increase in temperature. An infrared garage heater uses a burner box and booster fan to generate a long flame that spans the length of the infrared tubes. As the tubes heat up, energy is radiated in all directions around the tube. Reflectors above the tube collect the energy and force it down to the floor.

Common Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heater:

Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heater - Image

Benefits of natural gas infrared garage heaters:

• Very efficient. 50% more efficient then gas fired unit heater systems.
• Quiet. There is no large air mover.
• Clean. No dirt or dust being circulated throughout your work space.
• Comfortable. Surroundings do not affect your warmth.

Things to consider with natural gas infrared garage heaters:

• Clearances must be maintained.
• The first cost is higher than most systems.
• Tubes are long and take up a lot of ceiling space.
• Single stage control vs. 2 stage control: Single stage control allows the heater to turn on and off. 2 stage control allows the heater to better match your heating requirements by staging the burner from high down to low, before turning the system off. 2 stage technology saves you money, and provides the most comfortable environment.

Natural gas infrared garage heaters options and accessories:

• Thermostats
• Hanging kits
• Vent kits
• Alternative metals for corrosive atmospheres.
• Most units are single stage (on/off). Some units offer 2 stage controls which allows the burner to operate on high, low or off. 2 stage units provide better temperature control and saves on operating costs.

Natural gas infrared garage heater installation overview:

1) Fasten burner box, tubes and reflectors using the manufacturer provided hardware.
2) Suspend the burner box, reflectors and tubes using chain and “S” hooks.
3) Install gas piping.
4) Install vent pipe.
5) Wire 115 volt power to the burner box.
6) Wire a low voltage thermostat to the burner box.

Commonly Asked Questions:

1) What is infrared heating?

ANSWER: The ultimate source of radiated heat is the sun, which generates vast amounts of infrared heat through gas consumption. This infrared heat passes directly through space, but it warms the surface of the earth and is, in fact, the energy source that makes life possible on earth. On a sunny day in winter the sun’s warmth comforts us even though the air around us is below comfort temperature.
Gas fired infrared heaters are sometimes called mini suns because they both rely on gas consumption (either propane or natural gas) to generate heat. Infrared heat warms people and objects at occupancy level, not the air in the room. This is a major advantage because warmed air rises to the ceiling where it is not needed, and wastes the fuel dollars spent to heat it.

2) How are conduction and convection heating different than infrared heating?

ANSWER: Heat can be transferred in one of three ways:
• By conduction through solid bodies, such as through a windowpane in your heated house to the (cold) outside. The rate of heat transfer by conduction is proportional to the temperature difference and the conductivity of the material through which the heat travels.
• Through convection by warming air and moving the warmed air to a cooler area. For example, air is warmed as it passes over the elements of an electric baseboard heater; the warmed air rises by convection and draws cooler air behind it to in turn be heated by the heater.
• Through radiant heat transfer, which unlike the other two methods requires no intermediate conductor material or convector medium (air). That’s because infrared energy, like light, passes directly from the source to the receiver. The rate of heat transfer depends on the emissivity of the source, the absorptivity of the receiver, the difference between their absolute temperatures (raised to the fourth power), and the distance between them.

3) How do infrared heaters work?

ANSWER: Most infrared heaters employ gas combustion (propane or natural gas) to heat a steel tube (tube heater) or ceramic surface (luminous –high intensity heater) which subsequently emits infrared heat. It’s important to note how much infrared heat is emitted. You should also be aware that an infrared heater produces both infrared radiant heat (that is directed at people and objects) and convection heat that rises and is for the most part lost.

4) Is infrared heating safe?

ANSWER: While the sun is a terrific source of infrared heat, it also delivers damaging UV rays, which leads some people to falsely conclude that the same problem applies to infrared heaters. The sun produces UV because it is an extremely high temperature source; infrared heaters are a medium temperature energy source – the ideal range for three reasons: it is below the UV range, a greater portion of the heat energy is converted into infrared heat, most materials are highly receptive to medium wave infrared heat. The latter is a key reason why infrared heaters can heat, dry and cure faster and more economically than competing systems.

5) How is infrared heating used to warm spaces in a garage?

ANSWER: Gas-fired infrared heaters are mounted overhead to direct infrared energy to the floor and the objects, including people, at the occupancy level of the garage. The infrared energy is absorbed by the floor and objects at floor level - all of which become warm and in turn heat the air in the garage. Moreover, the floor and objects continue to release heat to the air, even after cold air is introduced or the infrared heaters are turned off. Convection heating, in sharp contrast, has two major drawbacks: the total loss of heated air to ventilation air changes; hot air ‘stratification’ as it rises to the ceiling, where it is not effective in providing comfort to occupants.

6) How is the temperature controlled in an infrared heating system?

ANSWER: A thermostat shuts off the infrared heaters when the desired air temperature is reached.

7) How do I choose between a tube heater and a luminous heater?

ANSWER: The key factors are the mounting height of the heater and the heating application. If the mounting height is between 15 and 70 feet, or you need spot (or focused) heating, a luminous heater may be best. A tube heater is best if:
• The mounting height is between 10 and 25 feet.
• You require a sealed combustion system (direct venting and combustion air introduced directly to burner).
• The objective is to spread heat over an area of low heat loss.

8) What is the difference between space heating and spot heating?

ANSWER: Space heating refers to the warming of an entire room or building for comfort or to avoid freezing. Spot heating refers to the warming of an area within a much larger unheated structure, such as the spectator stands in an ice arena, a shipper’s station in an unheated warehouse, work stations in a courier depot, or a restaurant patio.

Technical background

Spot or area heating is a method of providing comfort to an individual or group of individuals without heating the entire space or building to a comfortable air temperature level. Luminous infrared heaters are the only heaters which offer a practical, economical solution to the problem of providing comfort in relatively large unheated structures that are sparsely populated. No other method of heat transfer can warm individuals without wasting heat to surrounding air.
The design criterion for the application of infrared for spot heating is different than that of space heating. In a space heating application, a combination of direct radiation and air temperature creates the needed comfort condition. In spot heating, only the direct radiation comes in to play in determining the comfort attained by the individuals in the heated area.
To successfully design a spot or area heating system, the designer must become familiar with the design conditions in the area to be heated. The air velocity in the area must be determined accurately. The surrounding air temperature and the activity level of the individuals in the area to be heated must also be determined.
Once the design conditions are established, the proper size and model of the luminous heater can be selected to effectively heat the individuals or area in question.

9) What are the essential elements of a good installation?

ANSWER: Proper spacing down the length and width of the building is essential to ensure consistent comfort levels. The design should also take into account safety margins for zone heating, warm up times and comfort levels. In many buildings, the best heating solution employs a mix of tube and luminous heaters.

10) How do you handle contaminated air conditions?

ANSWER: Direct ducting can be used to supply clean outside combustion air to a tube heater. With a fresh air duct attached and direct venting to the outside, a tube heater is a sealed combustion system that can handle very dusty conditions. In selected applications with ‘low level’ dust contamination, luminous heaters can be utilized, provided that regular maintenance and cleaning are scheduled.
The properties of chemical contaminants must be fully understood prior to considering any heating system, but often a ‘sealed combustion’ tube heating system can be the viable solution.