Air handler unit


A Hiring Guide to Commercial Heaters

September 28th 2022

Are you looking for a fast and efficient heating solution for your business?

Our team at HSS are here to help you find the perfect commercial heating solution for your industrial setting.

No matter what your needs, we have a wide range of direct and indirect fuel heaters that can provide large volumes of heat, as well as radiant heaters that create intense, localised heat.

In this guide, we will take you through all of our heating equipment so that you can understand what options are available to your business. 

Air handling units 

  • Best used in: Medium to large commercial and industrial buildings
  • Placement: Located on the roof, basements, or on floors
  • Level of heat: Used to heat particular zones or sections of a building, multiple required for larger buildings.

What is an air handling unit?

Air handling units are essential in the distribution of air within a building. They condition, filter and distribute air through ductwork as well as provide heating or cooling to the space. These units are best used in conjunction with a boiler and can be used either internally or externally depending on the type of air handling unit hired.

The air-handler unit includes:

- Various dampers that control the flow of outside air, return air, and mixed air

- An air filter that removes dust particles and contaminations from the air

- Heating and cooling coils that condition the air

- A fan that delivers the conditioned air to various parts of the building

The benefits of an air handling unit?

In general, commercial air handlers move 2,000 to 10,000 cubic feet per minute - meaning they cover large areas with ease. 

1. The main advantage of an air-handler unit is its ability to provide both heating and cooling functions with just one unit - this helps reduce energy costs. Buildings are becoming increasingly better insulated to reduce heat loss and, as a result, reduce energy costs, so the air inside the building remains stale for a longer period of time. In addition to placing a threat on your employees and visitors, this stale air can also cause condensation and mould growth in the building itself.

2. Air Handling Units provide your staff and visitors with a much more comfortable working environment. An air handling unit cleans the air that enters your building and even adjusts the humidity. This is in contrast to an air conditioning unit, which heats or cools the workspace depending on the outside temperature.

3. Air quality standards can be greatly improved in your office building or commercial premises with the addition of an AHU. By eliminating harmful particles that could harm people and damage building interiors, a better and safer working environment will be created.

Direct fuel heaters

  • Best used in: Open-plan workspaces and warehouses
  • Placement: Located in well-ventilated areas 
  • Level of heat: High volume heating capacity capable of heating entire industrial space

What are direct fuel heaters?

A direct fuel heater is a heating device that uses natural gas or propane to directly heat the air. Heat is generated by burning an open flame but in a safe and effective manner. An air-fuel mixture is channelled through heaters so that the right amount of each is injected.


These units are best for those who want a consistent flow of hot air throughout their commercial space.

However, as a result of the combustion of fuel, toxic gases are released into the workspace where the heater is used.

Therefore, direct fuel heaters will not be able to be installed in some workspaces where people or animals are present. The environment and workplace of many companies may not be conducive to the release of exhaust and byproducts. Before making your decision to use a direct-fired heater, make sure that it can be operated on the premises you intend to use it.

The benefits of direct fuel heaters

These industrial heaters provide high amounts of heat, perfect for food storage sites and outdoor applications.

1. The biggest advantage to direct fuel heaters is the efficiency of them. Almost 100% of the fuel burnt is converted into direct heat output, minimising operating costs and fuel consumption. 

2. These units are incredibly low maintenance and rarely break down. This means that you won't have to worry about repairs and the heater will last longer than many other types of heaters. 

3. Despite delivering high volumes of heat, these units are portable and easy to transport. This means that you can move the heater from different sites or sections of your workspace as and where you see fit. 

Indirect fuel heaters

  • Best used in: Hospitals, schools, arenas and retail settings 
  • Placement: Inside or outside depending on setting
  • Level of heat: Strong heat source for one large area

What are indirect fuel heaters?

Unlike traditional, direct-fired heaters, indirect units use a heat exchanger to warm up the air. The burner itself is contained in a burn chamber, where it is fed by a supply of propane or natural gas. The flame heats the metal of the heat exchanger, which then passes hot air through it and into the building or outdoor area.

Through a chimney or stack, indirect fired heaters direct toxic fumes outside of space to keep carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide from entering the space. This means that it is safe to be installed indoors and in compact spaces, providing there is an exhaust outlet.

The benefits of indirect fuel heaters

Indirect heaters can be used in a variety of scenarios, be it for heating a room of people or for drying assistance in the event of a flood.

1. The indirect fuel heater is a great way to heat your space without the negative side effects of other methods. Unlike direct fuel heaters, which burn the fuel directly in your home and produce toxic byproducts such as soot, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, indirect fuel heaters allow you to heat your home using natural gas or propane without ever having to worry about harmful toxins.

2. Indirect fuel heaters are designed with built-in thermostats that automatically turn off when the desired temperature is reached. This means that you can set your thermostat to a specific temperature, and the heater will shut off once it reaches that number - so you don't have to worry about turning it on and off yourself.

Radiant heaters 

  • Best used for: Restaurants, social settings and office spaces
  • Placement: Plugged into electric source indoors
  • Level of heat: Medium supply of heat
Radiant heaters

What are radiant heaters?

Electric infrared heaters are a popular type of heater for commercial settings. They work by converting electricity into radiant heat. This type of heating is different from traditional convection heaters, which work by blowing air over the burner. In contrast, infrared heaters have no visible flame - instead, they emit invisible infrared radiation that heats objects in its path.

Therefore, rather than heating up the surrounding atmosphere, it warms up the object itself. This provides a comfortable amount of heat, similar to that of natural sun, that is ideal for social settings and outdoor areas like patios and seating areas. 

This is a 100% safe and effective source of heat and is also one of the most energy-efficient heating units. 

The benefits of radiant heaters

1. Because these heaters warm up people rather than the air, it makes for a much more stuffy room. This also means that it is cost-effective to run, so you do not need to worry about energy consumption. 

2. This electric heating unit can be used as both indoor and outdoor heaters, particularly where people gather and spend time. Many restaurants and outdoor bars use these heaters as an efficient method of heating. It provides fast and instant heat due to infrared rays. 

3. There are surprising health benefits to these heating systems. They use infrared light to warm the air in a room, which can help your body regulate its temperature better than other types of heaters. 

Infrared heaters also help to relieve symptoms associated with allergies, such as congestion, watery eyes, and sneezing. Infrared energy penetrates deep into the tissues of the body and heats them up, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation.

Hire heating from HSS for instant warmth to your industrial or commercial space

If you're looking for instant warmth to your industrial or commercial space, HSS is here with the solution.

Whether you want small electric radiators or large 42kW heaters, we've got you covered with our wide range of heating equipment hire. We'll meet your heating requirements no matter how big your site might be because we know that being comfortable and warm is key to productivity.

We provide our clients with the best service and products available at an affordable price. Our team is highly trained and experienced in providing you with the best service possible. We also offer a wide range of products including electric radiators, heaters, boilers, air conditioners and more.

Not sure about the heat output required for your business settings? You can use our heating hire calculator for an accurate figure and further advice.

Author - Marcin Haraszczuk

About the Author

Marcin Haraszczuk

Marcin is a member of our E-Commerce Team. He mixes creative flair with analytical thinking, has a knack for DIY and is always seeking ways to broaden and share his knowledge.

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