A lot of individual factors come into play in keeping an industrial building functional and comfortable. One of the most important units in any commercial or industrial building is its heating system.
Because industrial buildings are typically built on a large scale, it’s easy for heat to get lost in space. Therefore, an industrial-scale heating system is essential for thorough heat distribution.
There are many types of industrial heating systems out there, but studies have shown that the most cost-effective heating method in the long term is gas heating. However, gas heaters come with their own unique maintenance requirements and risks, so it’s necessary to be vigilant.
Today, we’re going to be explaining what industrial gas heaters are and what to do in the event of a malfunction.
What are Industrial Gas Heaters?
An industrial gas heater is, quite simply, a large-scale, gas-powered heater designed to elevate the inside temperature of industrial or commercial buildings. These units can be wall-mounted, suspended, or free-standing, depending on the layout and spatial requirements within the building.
Typically, industrial gas heaters run on either natural gas or LPG (liquid petroleum gas). The difference between these gas types is that natural gas can be supplied via a building’s mains supply, while LPG is sold by the canister on a portable basis.
Industrial gas heaters come in a variety of types. The standard option is the warm air or space heater. On an industrial level, gas-powered warm air heaters are effective at heating medium-sized to large, closed spaces, such as warehouses or factory floors. A warm air heating system works using the power of ventilation. These systems suck in cold air through a set of vents. Then, the gas burner inside the heater warms the air before releasing it back into the atmosphere through ducts.
Speaking of ducts, duct furnaces are yet another option for industrial gas heating. A duct furnace can be installed into an HVAC or air conditioning system. These heaters consist of gas-heated coils that, when placed in the path of a stream of air, heat up the incoming air before redistribution.
Radiant heaters are also usually gas-powered and can be built to industrial standards. These heating systems are effective for what is called spot heating (the direct heating of a smaller area). In a radiant heater, gas is contained inside a steel or ceramic tube until the surface begins to put out heat through infrared radiation.
You can also find gas-powered, industrial water heaters. In an industrial or commercial environment where large quantities of water need to be heated, a gas water heater can be installed for this purpose. Gas-powered water heaters work using the physics of convection. Usually, the unit will consist of a supply tube for the unheated water, which leads into a tank-like chamber. As the water collects in the bottom of the chamber, the gas burner is activated. The heated water is then carried out via a hot water pipe and distributed around the building.
Signs that an Industrial Gas Heater Could Be Faulty
The first and most obvious sign that an industrial gas heater might be faulty is an uneven or insufficient distribution of heat. Moreover, excess humidity or condensation in the air is a sign that the heating system isn’t working properly.
It’s also important to note that, generally speaking, industrial gas heaters shouldn’t be overly loud. In fact, they should be close to silent during normal operation. So, if you notice any unusual noises coming from an industrial gas heating system, this is a sign that an inspection should be carried out.
Another potential indication that an industrial gas heater isn’t working properly is the presence of carbon monoxide symptoms in the workplace. If multiple workers in an industrial building begin to complain of headaches, nausea, dizziness, or breathing difficulties, you should evacuate the building immediately and call your local gas emergency services.
Reasons an Industrial Gas Heater Might Break
When an industrial gas heater stops working, it’s always possible that the fuel has run out. Checking the gas supply should either confirm or rule out this issue.
Another potential reason for malfunction, which is easily rectifiable, is that the safety switch has been triggered. This could be because the access panel is out of place, which would prevent the switch from being turned off. Make sure your access panel is locked in and in the correct position and that the safety switch is off.
There are multiple components inside certain types of industrial gas heater that can become clogged or blocked. This can cause the system to malfunction. If too much dust accumulates in a filter, for example, the exchange of cold and hot air won’t take place properly.
Gas-powered industrial heating systems often rely on electrical components (fans, for example) in addition to fuel. If the heater stops working, it could be that the circuit breaker has malfunctioned.
What to do if an Industrial Gas Heater Breaks
If an industrial gas heater has stopped working, the first thing to do is rule out any of the more minor and easily fixable causes. Check the safety switch and access panel and make sure that the fuel supply is not depleted.
Where none of these seems to be the culprit, and there are no telltale signs of a carbon monoxide leak, it’s probable that the cause of the malfunction is something to do with either the filtration system or circuit breaker. You should be able to access the breaker panel and flip the switch to see if this rectifies the problem. If not, the situation probably calls for a professional.
Industrial gas heating systems are complex units that should be inspected internally by professionals. Therefore, filtration and electrical issues should be handled by a heating engineer.
A heating engineer will be able to conduct a thorough inspection and cleaning, and carry out any repairs, if necessary. If the heater in question has malfunctioned beyond the point of repair, the engineer will be able to help you source replacements and schedule an installation.
Winrow Heating Maintenance
If your heating unit needs maintenance or repairs, Winrow have a team of professional engineers on hand. We have experience with a wide range of brands and heating types. Contact us today on 08000 588 035.