Extend Summer Season With Infrared Heating

Businesses can maximize the use of outdoor spaces into the fall season by installing radiant heating units.

By Andrew Martin

radiant heating
A radiant infrared heater overhead provides comfort to employees and customers in outdoor spaces.

The days are longer, the nights are warmer and everyone wants to be outside. Who doesn’t love a summer breeze? Businesses often open their doors, windows, rooftops and patios during the warmer months to accommodate their customers’ desire to enjoy the pleasant weather.

When the leaves start to turn and the nights cool, however, many businesses choose to close up shop for outdoor activities, potentially losing out on customers not yet ready to hang up their flip flops. During that “in-between” season at the start of autumn when the summertime activity is still very much alive, businesses could benefit from making small adjustments to maintain outdoor accessibility. By equipping open air spaces with spot heating technology, owners can prolong their busy season for a stronger bottom line and happier customers.

For businesses with outdoor spaces, or exposure to open air, such as restaurants, bars, and hotels, it can be costly to use traditional heating systems to counter cool outdoor air. While gas or air-forced heating options can be expensive or inefficient for heating areas like patios or rooftops, electric radiant infrared heaters provide an efficient solution for delivering heat to specific spots without spending resources to warm the surrounding air.

Short-wave infrared heating works by warming objects, not the air around the heater. The radiant heat energy emitted by infrared heaters is transferred directly to the people and objects under them. It is the same principle that allows the sun to make a clear, cold day feel warm. The radiant energy from infrared heaters can be directed in any direction to evenly blanket people and equipment with comforting warmth, free from drafts and noisy fans or blowers.

Other characteristics of radiant infrared heaters include:
Instant and Localized: Provides instant, fully directional space heating
Efficient Comfort: Heat people and objects, not the air, for optimal energy efficiency.
Economical: Provides a low-cost energy efficient alternative to propane/gas heat
Clean and Safe: No moving air/parts, dust, combustion, fumes, or odors
Wind Resistant: Radiant heat doesn’t heat air, so heating temperature is sustained during elements.
All Weather Design: Stainless steel and IPX5-rated solutions
Low Maintenance: With no moving parts or filters, minimal servicing is needed. In addition, radiant output can be installed in tight spaces with limited clearance without ducting or exhaust — minimizing installation costs or maintenance burden in the future.

Radiant heat delivers targeted warmth in difficult-to-heat spots, and has year-round applications both indoors and outdoors. While the most common use for radiant heating is to provide comfort to customers or people at work, the variety of infrared heaters available allows businesses to leverage the localized heat for a myriad of spaces and functions, including:

Industrial: Radiant heat is ideal for open industrial areas such as factories, assembly lines, workshops, showrooms, and foundries.
Cold Weather: During winter months, infrared heaters are ideal for keeping walkways, garages, aircraft hangers, and loading docks clear of snow and ice.
Outdoor Spaces: To provide comfort no matter the weather, infrared heaters can be used in sheltered outdoor spaces like sports arenas, ski resorts, valet areas, or transit/bus stops.
Indoor Spaces: To warm compact spaces with no fans or ducting, radiant heat can provide personal warmth under counters or desks, hallways or entryways, or fitness centers and yoga studies.

Martin is product manager at Marley Engineered Products, a Bennettsville, SC-based provider of comfort heating and ventilation solutions.