Improve your space room and water heating efficiency:
- Key issues will tend to be around your heating layout – working out the best ways to get heat to where you need it – also choosing the best system and controls.
- Select the right heating system – large airy spaces are difficult and expensive to heat, so you must focus on getting heat to where it’s required. A good choice might be a blown air heater. Also radiant heating gives localised and directional warmth for workers who are carrying out tasks in a specific area.
- Stay in control – occupation of heated areas can be very transient in an industrial environment, so it’s important to turn heat off if it isn’t needed. You can use timers in some areas like site offices, and proximity sensors are useful for less occupied areas. This works best with a fast acting heating system like radiant or blown air heating.
- Smart temperature adjustment – you need quality, fast acting thermostatic control to cope with people coming and going. Don’t rely on thermostatic radiator valves as they’re slow and inaccurate.
- Install a high efficiency boiler – if you use a boiler, install a high efficiency condensing boiler – they convert gas to heat at over 90% efficiency. Older boilers may be operating at less than 55% efficiency meaning running costs are over third higher1.
- Water heating – install point of use water heating for light hot water use, such as in toilets. This will stop excessive heat loss from connecting pipes – often a big problem in a large workshop environment.
- Upgrade your insulation – it’s often difficult to improve insulation in workshops because of wall and roof construction. Nevertheless, materials like insulated cladding boards and composite panels can help to retain heat in winter and slow solar gain in summer.
- Do away with draughts – a huge amount of heat is lost through opening doors as materials and vehicles flow in and out of a workshop. Automatic doors can make sure that air leakage is minimised.
- Air mixing – as hot air rises, it’s not uncommon to find that the air temperature in the apex of a tall building is 5 to 10 degrees centigrade above floor temperature. It’s more efficient to mix this air so the people inside a building get more benefit from this buoyant hot air – you can use air destratification fans to do this.
- Electric heaters eat energy – plug in electric heaters are often used to keep workshops or offices warm. But using on peak electricity in this way can be expensive over long periods, so it might be worth looking at a more permanent solution. Controlling the times you use electric heaters, and how high you set the temperature is critical – that’s why a time switch is a good idea.
1 The Boiler Efficiency Database lists gas boilers that operate at 90% efficiency. Older boilers may operate at less than 55% efficiency, which means running costs are over third higher (figure taken from Which).