By Andrew Martin
In facilities with high volumes of foot traffic, the constant opening and closing of doors not only lets in chilly air but can cause heating problems for the entire building. Cold drafts bring the temperatures down, so while main rooms benefit from the warmth of the building’s primary heating system, many other areas are left to deal with the arctic side effects. Vestibules, lobbies, entrance ways and hallways are frequently populated, so it’s imperative that facilities hunker down and counteract the cold drafts left behind by those entering and leaving buildings.
To help neutralize these blustery winds, facilities should consider fan-forced wall heaters that provide continuous comfort through optimized airflow for eliminating drafts. Such units are ideal for entryways and other spaces where short bursts of heat are needed – providing a tremendous advantage over gentle heating sources that may not be powerful enough to provide the desired amount of warmth.
However, if wall and floor space is minimal, facilities can instead opt for electric ceiling heaters. Mounted flat or recessed to the ceiling, these heaters are ideal for not only entryways but also in conference rooms, waiting areas, bathrooms and lobbies. No matter the case, both products move heated air with a fan to quickly heat the room from the wall or ceiling. Once the heater turns on, air is moved over a heating element and circulated into the space, making certain that residents are met with warmth and comfort from the time they enter the building until they leave.
Whether it’s through vents, unsealed windows or cracks and crevices in the building’s foundation, cold air will creep into facilities any way it can. This cool air can make indoor temperatures uncomfortable for occupants and reduce the overall heating efficiency of the facility. Specialized heating units are designed to stop drafts in their tracks before they spread throughout a building.
Fan-forced wall and ceiling heaters with an automatic delay feature offer help, eliminating drafts on start-up and discharge residual heat from the heater body during shut down, helping attack drafts at their source, making the best use of available heat and prolonging the life of the heater. To maintain desirable comfort levels, facilities should consider fan-forced wall or ceiling heaters equipped with integrated thermostats or BMS connections for easy adjustment of room temperatures.
A hotel’s vestibule, for example, may experience high foot traffic during check-in and check-out hours. Because fewer people are coming and going outside of these times, the adjustable thermostat feature allows facilities to alter their heating output needs to ensure heat is not misused and temperatures remain comfortable. For commercial fan-forced wall heaters with a contemporary look, Berko® and QMark® offer units to match any room’s décor while supplying an appropriate amount of warmth any time of year.
Safety and style go hand-in-hand. While selecting a heater that fits a building’s aesthetic is important, opting for a high-quality product that protects against common safety risks should be a top-of-mind priority. Fan-forced wall or ceiling heaters are built with easily accessible power on/off switches for added safety during maintenance. Tamper-proof plugs for thermostat holes prevent unwanted changes to the temperature and keep children and pets from getting into places they shouldn’t.
All fan-forced units also come with thermal overheat protectors that disconnect power in the event of accidental dust or debris blockages to mitigate risk of injury. Additionally, heaters that include permanently lubricated and enclosed fan motors are shown to have longer lives, require less maintenance and gently administer heat throughout a space. Keep in mind that some heaters are noisier than others, so make sure to choose one powerful enough to negate drafts but quiet enough to prevent disturbances from interrupting daily activities.
Maintaining Warmth and Comfort
Drafts bring cold air and a lasting chill into heated spaces every time a door opens, especially during the colder months. To offset the frigidness, consider installing a fan-forced wall or ceiling heater to regain suitable levels of warmth and comfort for all building occupants.
Martin is senior product manager with Marley Engineered Products, a North American designer and manufacturer of reliable comfort heating and ventilation solutions for residential, commercial and institutional buildings.