Ductwork is a critical part of any heating system. When set up correctly, ducts efficiently deliver heat and help maintain positive pressurization which ensures a proper air change.
If not set up correctly or maintained, ducts can cause problems. Buildings may have cold spots. Safety switches may shut down heaters if they can’t determine a proper airflow or if they sense back pressure. Even if airflow is slightly restricted, heaters may overheat.
To get the most out of your temporary heating system, proper consideration must be given to airflow before installation and during use. Below are some of the most common issues we have seen onsite and how you can avoid them.
Square ducts are adequate for a low-flow system, such as a building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. But for the high cubic feet per minute (CFM) output of industrial heaters, elbows must have turning vanes built into them to allow air to flow correctly. Spiral ducts are more efficient at delivering heated air.
Similarly, T-duct connectors tend to restrict airflow. In contrast, Y-fitting connectors, at a 45° angle, allows for an efficient distribution of air.
Flex duct sounds like a great idea, but is rated for home heating systems. Industrial heaters will simply cook this type of duct. The insulation on the inside will crack, break apart. Flaps and loose pieces can restrict air inside the duct and force the heater to shut down. Ductwork must be rated for the right temperature. For example, BABFAR temporary heaters have a 350° discharge temperature and force a large volume of air.
Whenever possible, choose rigid ductwork. Soft materials are flexible and can easily dent, bend (as in the main image above), or collapse. Over two-thirds of the ductwork we collect at the end of a season is crushed or destroyed because it’s too weak. Ductwork needs to be rugged.
Avoid dampers in ductwork. To adjust heat in their work area, people often close a damper or place something in front of a vent to block hot air. They don’t understand that heating a structure is an interrelated system. Blocking a vent affects the rest of the building and may even force a heating unit to shut down. Instead of blocking vents, the foreman or superintendent should be notified so they can adjust the discharge temperature on the temporary heater.
Ductwork is so important to an overall heating system, BABFAR offers a complimentary design service to ensure everything is set up properly and that heat is delivered throughout the structure. Not paying for the right ductwork material is a classic example of being penny wise and pound foolish. Proper ductwork can avoid costly project delays, heater downtime. Contact BABFAR for your temporary heating rental needs!