Addressing the Diverse Heating Demands of Multi-Use Buildings
By: Andrew Martin, Product Manager, Marley Engineered Products
Typically when selecting heating solutions for a building, decisions are made based on its main function. It gets a bit more complicated, however, when the property is designed as a multi-purpose facility – possibly being used for retail, residential and office space all at once. These buildings often present unique heating challenges that vary from room to room, calling for a diverse portfolio of solutions to ensure energy efficiency and occupant satisfaction.
Here is a breakdown of common areas in a multi-use property that may benefit from innovative heating solutions customized to address specific needs:
Safeguard Warmth in High-Traffic Entrances
Multi-use buildings have high-traffic entrances and exits that need extra help to maintain an even temperature. High-powered air curtains can trap the heat inside while blocking outside air, dirt and even insects from entering.
Cabinet and wall heaters can create a pleasant transition between indoors and outdoors by providing heat inside vestibules and other entrances.
Guard Windows with an Invisible Shield
Windows are usually the biggest culprits for heat loss– prone to chilly drafts or condensation that obstructs views. For protection from cold air and condensation, equip office and shop windows with convectors. To keep hallway and lobby windows warm and clear without inhibiting foot traffic, opt for radiant ceiling panels as well as convectors or baseboard heaters to ensure the heat sources are providing effective, targeted and unobtrusive warmth.
Eliminate Cold Spots in Open Areas
Once the windows are handled, it’s time to tackle open areas like lobbies and waiting rooms. These spaces can be a challenge to keep warm with traditional ductwork alone. One solution is to supplement existing HVAC systems with customized baseboards and convectors, wall and cabinet heaters, or ceiling heaters and radiant panels. Consider installing these systems with centralized controls to keep unauthorized people from changing temperature settings and ensure the common areas maintain a comfortable temperature. If controls are disjointed, warmth may be inconsistent, leading to unnecessary increases in heating costs.
Stairwells are a prime target for supplemental heating in any multi-use space. Prevent the HVAC system from losing heat in this area by adding a wall, cabinet or unit heater to fill in the gaps. These additions will assist in freeze protection while also boosting energy efficiency by helping to maintain a level temperature in an often overlooked area of a building.
Maintain Machinery in Any Climate
Elevator shafts, water lines, wiring and other equipment are vulnerable to freezing when the temperature drops outside. The right heating solutions can help prolong the life of machinery, water and power lines while protecting them from damage due to freezing and sudden temperature changes. With easy-to-operate unit heaters, compact plenum heaters, and specialty heaters such as utility well house heaters, extra warmth will be delivered to key machinery throughout the building to ensure proper functionality.
Equip Work Spaces with Quiet Comfort
Conference rooms and office spaces are susceptible to uncomfortable temperature changes and chilly drafts, but require quiet heating solutions to avoid disruption. Maintain an ideal work environment with the help of customized heating products that best fit the space. From baseboards and convectors to ceiling and wall heaters, building owners can specify the right one for any room.
Utilize Space-Saving Products in Kitchens
In a multi-unit residential space, kitchens are the center of the home and a gathering place for friends and families. The size of a kitchen, however, can vary greatly from building to building. To help keep smaller kitchens comfortable, look for solutions that deliver maximum output in a compact frame. From toe space heaters to ceiling panels and wall heaters, each solution is designed to leave more room for cooking and living.
Get Creative for Bathroom Warmth
Another room with a limited floorplan is the bathroom, where wall and floor space are already utilized by plumbing and fixtures. The key to keeping bathrooms comfortable is selecting creative heating products that can work around these constraints to provide customized warmth. From toe space to wall and ceiling units, these types of heaters can be placed in just the right spot without getting in the way.
Rest Well with Supplemental Heating
At the end of the day, nothing feels better than settling in for a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bedroom impervious to the temperatures outside. Consider supplemental heating solutions for bedrooms’ hard-to-reach areas and small spaces that provide gentle, consistent warmth for long, deep slumbers.
Convection baseboard heaters, radiant ceiling panels and cove heaters all offer compact heating without the noise that could disrupt dream time as they do not rely on a fan to circulate heat. There also is an array of portable models that occupants can plug in for additional heat for those extra chilly nights.
No matter how a building is being used, there is a creative heating solution available to address every need. Whether the building encompasses shops, office space or living units, standard or customizable heating products can provide efficient supplemental warmth to maintain a comfortable environment. The key to success, however, is identifying each unique heating challenge and knowing which technologies are best suited to address them.
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About the author: Andrew Martin is a product manager at Marley Engineered Products®, a leading North American designer and manufacturer of reliable comfort heating and ventilation solutions for residential, commercial and institutional buildings. Recognized by contractors, architects, engineers and HVAC professionals for providing a wide range of high-performance, reliable heating and ventilation solutions, Marley Engineered Products’ brands include QMark®, Berko®, Fahrenheat® and Leading Edge®.
Marley Engineered Products’ manufacturing operations are based in Bennettsville, S.C., with regional sales representatives located throughout the U.S. and an administrative office in Burr Ridge, Ill. For more information, please visit www.marleymep.com.