Manufacturers furnish information regarding the area effectively heated by units to enable proper planning and location of the units. Generally, units under 50,000 Btu per hour are designated to operate on low-pressure steam or high-temperature hot water.
Space heaters are used for heating rooms and similarly enclosed spaces, either in addition to, or in place of, a central heating system. They are desirable as a means of providing heat to a small space because of their simplicity of construction, low initial cost, and reasonable fuel consumption. They may be placed directly in the space or at such a location where heat can be delivered through a single register into the space.
Space heaters are sometimes classified by the manner in which they transfer heat to the space to be heated; for example, by radiation and/or convection. The terms direct-fired and indirect-fired are also used to identify such heaters. In this manual, space heaters are identified as direct-fired units and by their heat source or fuel. This discussion will include electric, gas-fired, coal-fired, and oil-fired units.
Space heaters with electrically powered heating elements are used in spaces where it is desired to eliminate cold spots and maintain uniform temperatures, where other fuels are useful as portable units on the floor to overcome floor drafts, and as fixed units mounted in, or to walls or ceilings. They are generally rated in kilowatts (kW). One kW (1,000 watts) is equal to 3,415 Btu per hour.
Electric space heaters are available in two general types - the radiant and natural convection type and the forced warm-air (fan) type. In the radiant and natural convection type, heat from electric elements rises and strikes parabolic (bowl-shaped) reflectors. The reflectors are highly polished curved metal surfaces, which deflect the heat outward into the place where heat is desired (fig. 4-3). Some radiant heat units have no deflectors but provide a combination of radiant and natural convection heat, which rises from the coils into a chamber open on the side where heat is required. The electric baseboard convection heater is an example of this type. The forced warm-air type uses a motorized fan to circulate heat from the heating element outward into the space (fig. 4-4). The electric units are operated manually with an ON-OFF switch or automatically with a thermostat.
Figure 4-3. - Radiant electric space heater.
Figure 4-4. - Forced warm-air electric space heater.
In the selection and installation of electrical space heaters, safety must be assured. Units that are to be installed should bear the label of the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL). They should also conform to the safety standards outlined in space heating equipment UL-573. All electrical work required for an installation should be done according to the manufacturer's instructions and by a qualified electrician.
Gas-fired space heaters are clean in operation; they are easily operated and require no fuel handling. They are adaptable for use with natural gas, manufactured gas, or liquefied petroleum gas. Their construction features are similar regardless of the type of gas used. Basically, there are two types - the vented and the unvented.
VENTED UNITS are enclosed metal cabinets with either top and bottom or front and rear grilles forContinue Reading