Got a question?

Here are the most common questions we get asked. However, if your specific question isn't covered here, we encourage you to contact us and we'll be happy to enlighten you.

What is Infra-red heat and how does it work?

Please refer to the Infra-red Basics page.

How even is the heat produced by Infra-red heating?

A properly designed Infra-red heating system is known to distribute heat very evenly, adding to the superior comfort level. People do not need to be under or near a heater to realize the overall building comfort.
U-Tube Heater

How complex are Solaronics infra-red heating systems?

The heater & related components are actually remarkably simple, and so are their operation and maintenance. Refer to Infra-red Basics for a full explanation of how Solaronics infra-red heaters operate.

How is the heat recovery with Infra-red when doors are opened frequently?

In a word, fantastic. The sense of considerable comfort is gained even while doors are open. Even though the building air temperature can dip down due to doors opened, floors & objects remain warm. This aids in rapid heat recovery better than any other heating method available.

Does infra-red pose any negative side effects from standing under a heater?

No. Infra-red heaters do get hot, therefore proper mounting distances must be met. However, there are no harmful effects from the radiant heat energy. Unlike the sun, Infra-red heaters do not produce ultra-violet rays. Only comfortable radiant warmth is produced, like standing by a fireplace or stove.

Do Infra-red heaters heat the air?

Indirectly, yes. Infra-red heaters first heat objects such as the floor, machinery, people, etc. Then through various methods of heat transfer (radiation, re-radiation, conduction, and convection) the air is heated secondarily as the objects emit heat. Keep in mind that the sun does not heat the air - it heats thermal masses which in turn re-radiate to heat the air. For a graphical representation of this process visit Infra-red Basics.

Is this new technology?

No. Infra-red heaters have been manufactured since the early 1960's for commercial heating. It's popularity increased noticeably in the 1980's as the benefits became more widely acknowledged. Progressive Energy Inc. has specialized in Infra-red heating since 1984.

What is the difference between space heating & spot heating?

Space heating is heating an entire room or building. Spot heating is the warming of an area within a much larger unheated structure, such as sport spectator stands, a shippers station, a specific work area, or a restaurant patio.

How is the heat controlled within a building?

Typically, for space heating requirements, a thermostat that simply senses air temperature is used. In a spot heating environment, a timer switch is sometimes used.

What is low intensity and high intensity heaters?

This can be a common source of confusion. A low intensity heater is a tube heater, ranging in size from 10ft -70ft long, and typically vented to the outdoors. Low intensity heaters range in tube temperatures of 350-1000 degrees Fahrenheit. A high intensity heater, or ceramic style heater, is small in nature, approx. 2ft square (+ -) in size. The surface temperature is far greater at 1750 degrees Fahrenheit, producing an open, visible glowing surface. High intensity heaters are unvented, and sometimes the building is vented from flue gases via a separate mechanical exhaust fan located within the building. Note that Infra-red heaters are often called "radiant" heaters. Low intensity tube heaters do not glow, high intensity heaters do glow.

Can Infra-red heaters be incrementally zoned & what are the benefits?

Among the many benefits of Infra-red radiant heating, incremental temperature zoning ranks high on the list. In many instances, temperature demands & control should vary. Heating a large area to one temperature throughout is often not the most cost effective approach. Only Infra-red heating can effectively zone without wall dividers or curtains. Warm air heating "zones" simply blend into each other. The result with Infra-red incremental zoning is increased control & comfort and substantial fuel savings.

Can Infra-red be used in wet corrosive environments?

Yes. SOLARONICS Infra-red heaters are available in optional stainless steel construction, (type 304L).

Isn't a high efficiency warm air furnace or boiler nearly as cost effective as Infra-red heating?

No. Fuel economy is accomplished through methods far beyond just combustion efficiency. Even a furnace or boiler with 90% + AFUE often is no challenge to a properly designed Infra-red heating system. The simple fact still remains that regardless of the heating appliance combustion rating - warm air is still the means of distribution. And this warm air, even if produced more efficiently, still convects upwards & away from the primary heat zone. Cold floors still remain, & the heat has not been stored in thermal masses as with Infra-red heating. Infra-red heats objects, thus re-radiating & heating the building from the floor level up.

How does Infra-red heating compare to in-floor radiant slab heating?

In the typical environment that Infra-red heating is commonly found in, Infra-red has notable benefits over in-floor slab heating. The heat recovery has proved to be very slow in a commercial building with in-floor radiant slab heating. This is due to the only heat source is the slab itself. Infra-red has the added benefit of additionally heated thermal masses throughout the building including machinery, tools, vehicles, etc. People benefit directly from the comfort of Infra-red, not having to wait for the air temperature to return to a certain comfort level after doors have been opened. Infra-red heating can be used on demand. At several points throughout the year, Infra-red heaters can remain off & when turned on comfort is gained within minutes. In-floor heating takes several hours to overcome a cold building. Finally, the initial installed system cost is many times greater with in-floor compared to an economical Infra-red system.

How does contaminated air or negative air pressure get handled?

Direct ducting can be used to supply clean outside air to the individual Infra-red burners. This sealed combustion solution can handle very dusty or negative air pressure conditions.

Is maintenance required?Crane image

Very minimal. Essentially, for optimum burner performance, the combustion inlet air blower should be kept clean. This typically is accomplished with the use of sealed ducted outside air to each individual burner.

Will Infra-red heaters mounted inches above my overhead cranes harm them?

This is a common concern. Frequently, Infra-red heaters are mounted in overhead crane bays in manufacturing & shipping areas. A very simple sheet metal shield mounted on top of the crane eliminates any heat concerns. We have encountered this issue in multiple instances with zero problems.




PO Box 10419
Bedford, NH 03110
Northern Phone: (603) 471-1414
Southern Phone: (860) 990-0061
Fax: (603) 471-9198



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