How To Heat A Manufacturing Environment

Discover the basics for heating manufacturing environments, with Active Air Rentals Director, Brad Sweeny.


‘There are four main things to consider when heating a large manufacturing environment.’ explains Brad. ‘These are floor space, heat load, power and ducting space.’

Let’s look at these in detail:

  • Floor Space
    How big (m2) is the area you want to heat? This dictates which heating equipment to use and how many units.
  • Heat Load
    What’s in the manufacturing environment? Machinery, people, stock, a combination or something else? Each has its own heat load and again dictates which heating equipment to use.
  • Power
    What kind of power is available? Is there enough power for additional heating?
  • Ducting Space
    How much space is available for ducting?

Once these variables are known the relevant equipment can be chosen.

Entire Manufacturing Space Heating

‘One of the main drawbacks of manufacturing space heating is the cost.’ Notes Brad. ‘Heating uses a lot of energy so can be costly. Because of this, gas heating is most commonly used. However, we’re finding that due to increasing OH & S concerns about ventilation manufacturing managers are looking for safer ways to use it. That said, there are three main options for large space manufacturing heating.’

  • Gas Boiler and Air Handler.
    ‘If you need to heat a very large manufacturing space then this is the best option. Boilers sized anywhere from 300kw to the truly staggering 1500kw, plus relevant air handlers, will do the job.’
    The boiler is placed outside, therefore eliminating ventilation concerns and connects to either existing natural gas outlets or LPG cylinders.
    Warm water from the boiler is pumped inside via two small hoses. Depending on the heating requirements, these connect to one or multiple air handlers. Inside the air handlers, the warm water flows through coils over which cool intake air is blown and warmed up. The subsequent warm air is then distributed via the air handler outlets.
  • HVAC Packaged Unit Air Conditioner. 
    ‘For a medium sized manufacturing space then an HVAC Packaged Unit will be sufficient.” Explains Brad.
    These units provide 200 kW of heat, blowing at an enormous 6100L / second.
    Like the boiler, these units sit outside eliminating gas ventilation concerns. The warm air is ducted in and distributed either via free ducts or ducting towers.
    The Packaged Unit connects to either existing natural gas outlets or LPG cylinders.
  • Electric Blower Heater
    ‘If you have a small manufacturing environment then a series of electric blower heaters will suffice. To be clear, these aren’t small domestic-style heaters. These are industrial sized heaters that are designed to pump out a lot of heat and for sustained periods of time.’
    Although electric, these units are still cost effective. They provide 21kW of heat, blowing at 3060L / second. These units are firm favourites with plant and warehouse managers countrywide thanks to their ease of install and quick heating.

Spot Heating

Sometimes only a single spot within a manufacturing environment needs to be heated. For example a person on a production line or a lunch break area. If this is the case then a radiant heater is the best option.

Something Unique?

‘All environments are different so you may find that none of these general options will work. If that’s the case speak to your HVAC specialist. They should be able to design a custom solution that meets your requirements and is cost effective.’ Explains Brad.

Click here to read the accompanying case study.

If you would like to know more about manufacturing or warehouse heating please contact Brad on 1800 50 50 47 or or visit