Night Time Set Back with Gas Fired Radiant Infrared Heaters

Feb 29, 2016
Night Time Set Back with Gas Fired Radiant Infrared Heaters

     Forced air and radiant heating (low intensity or high intensity systems) are very different when it comes to using night set back.  The biggest difference between radiant heaters and forced air heaters is that radiant heaters heat the objects within the building; it is the convection off these warm objects that in turn provide comfortable air temperatures.  When you are using radiant heat to heat a building, you can do yourself a huge disfavor if you are setting back your thermostat greater then 3-5 degrees at night.  The solid objects absorb the infrared energy from a radiant system at a very efficient rate, while forced air heating systems rely on heated air to transmit the heat energy to the solid objects within the building - not at all an efficient heat transfer method. This is why you will have substantially cooler floor temperatures with forced air systems and elevated roof or ceiling temperatures.  With radiant heating systems you will experience considerably warmer floors with reduced roof or ceiling temperatures.  While the floor (concrete) is the largest and most common heat sink in every building, all the object become a heat sink; steel, tables, racking, etc. - anything that stays in the building.


     If you are looking to maintain the temperature in your building, and you do a night time set back greater then 3-5 degrees, it can actually cost you some of the savings that you get from using a Radiant heater.  The way it works is when the system comes out of night time set back mode the system will need to run longer to replace the heat energy of the buildings heat sink that was lost throughout the night, thus costing you more cash out of your pocket.  Unless there is extended unoccupied times in the building, radiant heaters can actually run efficiently and save you money if you set it and forget it.

 

     The traditional thinking of how we save money with our heating systems needs to be reversed when it comes to night time set back when using your radiant heater.  You need to ask yourself "How do I use the space being heated?" Is it occupied most of the day or is it special purpose driven?  Do you use it every day or a few days a week or month?  If the answers are it is occupied daily, night time set back could just eat into your savings.