Natural gas is the preferred energy source wherever it is available. As a result, there’s a large selection of natural gas-fired equipment available to meet the energy needs of this diverse market. Here are a few examples:
Many large commercial oil-fired boilers can be converted to natural gas by replacing the oil burner with a natural gas conversion burner. This is usually the most cost-effective way to switch to natural gas, provided that your existing boiler is in good condition.
If you have an electric boiler or tank-type water heater, you can still switch to natural gas even if you don't have a chimney. These appliances use a mechanical fan to vent vertically and horizontally, which provides the flexibility needed when replacing electric equipment that is located in the interior of a building. They are available in both mid-efficiency and high-efficiency models.
There’s a wide variety of natural gas-fired boilers available today to meet the needs of commercial, institutional and industrial facilities. Whether you have an old inefficient oil boiler or an electric boiler, there are natural gas-fired boilers to suit your application. Boilers are available with efficiencies rated from 80% to over 90%. Modern boilers are compact and easily replace old boilers where space is a concern. Hot water boilers that can fit through a 30-inch door are available with efficiencies of over 85% and up to 2,000,000 BTU/hr. Modular installation of these boilers provides a large hydronic heating plant with a relatively small footprint.
Does your business have a large area to heat that is also frequently exposed to the outdoors? Infrared gas heating may be the solution for you. Unlike forced-air convection heating which heats the entire air mass to keep people and products warm, infrared heating works on the principle of radiant heating. It acts like the sun's rays to heat the floor below. Re-radiation of the floor then warms people and material directly. Infrared heaters are fuelled by natural gas and due to their high-energy efficiency, require less natural gas than other units. Popular commercial applications include: automotive repair and auto body shops; warehouses; parking garages and driveway ramps; arenas and sports halls; and greenhouses.
In particular, many smart restaurateurs are capitalizing on infrared heaters to extend the seasonal benefits of outdoor patios. Outdoor heaters increase seating capacity and attract customers who enjoy open-air dining. A single infrared heating unit can heat an area from 110 to 160 square feet.
Make-up air units are essential to a building's mechanical operation and to the health and comfort of its occupants. By providing a controlled quantity of clean, conditioned ventilation to common areas of the building, they:
- Reduce drafts, dust and dirt entering the building.
- Replace exhaust air expelled through kitchen and bathroom fans.
- Reduce odours.
A make-up air unit consists of a fan and heat-exchanger component as well as filters and dampers. Gas-fired units are available in many sizes to meet building ventilation needs and are supplemented by a variety of control components (both temperature and air quality) and operating strategies. Control systems are important as they can be designed to handle 100% outdoor air or to mix outdoor air with re-circulated indoor air. Mixed air systems can be electronically controlled. Heating can be provided at fixed or variable heating rates and control strategies for these systems can also vary from simple manual systems to computerized options.
Depending on the application, make-up air units can be installed either on rooftops or indoors. High-rise buildings generally install their units on rooftops, where they’re mounted on either a wooden curb or metal roof frame, then connected with the building's electrical and ductwork system. In walk-up apartments, units are often installed in utility or attic rooms and conventionally ducted to feed air to the corridors and common areas.
A variety of features are available that will enhance the performance of make-up air units, including:
- Heat reclaim coils or heat wheels, to recover waste heat.
- High-efficiency filtration to maintain air quality, and automated controls that govern temperature and air quality while minimizing energy consumption.
Electric make-up air heaters can also be converted to natural gas by installing a heating coil in the duct, which is heated by hot water supplied by a gas-fired boiler.
Natural gas baseboard heaters are quiet, efficient and dependable. They are designed to replace existing electric baseboard heaters, or for use where air conditioning is not required or is provided by alternate means. They are small, lightweight and thermostat-controlled for added flexibility. Baseboards are now available that have no electronic ignition.
Spotless dishes, sparkling glasses and gleaming flatware boost customer satisfaction in restaurants. The health code requires that properly cleaned tableware be pre-washed, washed, rinsed, sanitized (at no less than 82 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 10 seconds per cycle) and dried. A natural gas booster water heater:
- Provides high-temperature sanitation while using less energy.
- Reduces drying time by 25%, helping eliminate spots and water marks.
- Eliminates the need to add chemical disinfectants – making its use environmentally friendly.
A gas booster water heater can be installed in a remote location or beside the dishwashing machine. Its space-saving design requires minimal water and piping and a simple 120-volt, 15- to 20-amp electrical supply. Designed for efficiency and cost savings, gas boosters are available from 50,000 to 200,000 BTU. Heat transfer ratings are 80-90%, placing gas boosters among the most efficient and least costly types of gas equipment. Most gas conversions achieve payback in less than two years.
Over two million of these space-conditioned units have been installed across North America. Self-contained, pre-wired and pre-charged, they are easy to install and fit neatly into a small closet. Air distribution is provided through a duct system. The heating section consists of an aluminized steel heat exchanger and an electronic spark-ignited burner system. A power vent fan exhausts combustion gases directly outside, and combustion air is drawn from outside directly into the combustion chamber. The cooling system is mounted on a slide-out chassis for easy service and maintenance. The unit is available in a range of sizes with heating inputs from 26,000 to 64,000 BTU/hr and nominal cooling capacities from one to 2.5 tons.
These boilers are designed to complement living space and therefore do not require a separate enclosure or closet. They have capacities similar to conventional compact boilers. The direct-vent version is typically most suited to multi-residential applications, as exhaust gas can be vented directly through the sidewall. Direct vent units are usually installed no more than six feet from an exterior wall.