Industrial Air Heater Vs. HVAC Air Handler


What is an industrial air heater? How is it different from HVAC equipment? What is best for my application?

Industrial air heaters and HVAC handling systems can both be direct fired or indirect fired to provide heated air. Direct fired units force air through a burner, the air mixes with gas, and the burner fires with the airflow. The indirect fired heaters fire a burner into a heat exchanger. The air is “indirectly” heated as it passes over the heat exchanger. Indirectly heated air is not contaminated; the by-products of combustion remain in the heat exchanger and then are exhausted through a flue.

If they can both be direct or indirect fired, how are they different? While a lot of the same terms are used for each type of heater- blower, burner, fan, combustion, emissions, ect.- the two types of equipment are not to be confused.

The main difference between the two systems is that industrial air heaters are used in the manufacturing processes when hot air is required for the end product. According to Wikipedia, HVAC heating, or central heating, systems “are appliances whose purpose is to generate heat (i.e. warmth) for the building.”

In other words, Industrial Air Heaters can be used in processing lines for anything from industrial food to paint manufacturing. While, HVAC style heaters are meant for heating infrastructure and controlling climates.

Below is a picture of an Industrial Air Heater vs. a HVAC unit.

Industrial Air Heater- Stelter & Brinck
HVAC Air Heater Per Wikipedia

If you have any questions or would like more information on industrial air heaters, please contact Stelter & Brinck.