How to Select the Right HVAC Duct Heater

Choosing the right duct heater requires a deep understanding of one’s industry, the heating requirements of certain operations, and the heater’s capabilities. Selecting the right one can help maximize specific processes while reducing costs. This post will examine how you can choose the best HVAC duct heater for your industry. 

How does an HVAC duct heater work? 

Duct heaters work by converting electricity into heat through resistance. Through conduction or convection, the resulting heat transfers to the air flowing through the heater. Finally, it releases heated air into the target location. 

Of course, modern HVAC duct heaters can get quite sophisticated. They often come with software packages that specify the configuration of wiring and coils, the use of accessories, and other controls. 

Additionally, duct heaters come in varying dimensions, sizes, and configurations to support specific industries and applications. We at Wattco offer three types of HVAC duct heaters: finned tubular heaters, tubular duct heaters, and open coil heaters.

Selection criteria for HVAC duct heaters

Choosing an HVAC duct heater may require more than selecting a specific unit type. There are parameters to consider to help you choose the right heater for your intended application. More importantly, considering these parameters can help determine if you need a customized HVAC duct heater. You may (or may not) need to solve specific equations to address these parameters. 

Parameters to choose the right HVAC duct heater

  • Wattage, expected temperature, and required airflow — Measurements of wattage needed output, the temperature a heater can sustain, and the airflow it can generate. 
  • Heating unit capacity — A measurement of thermal output a heater delivers over time in kilowatts. 
  • Max. operating/sheath temperature — The highest temperature the heater sheath can reach. 
  • Max. airflow — A measurement of the volume of space a device can heat and the required heating capacity to maintain a predetermined temperature. 

Calculating the needed measurements in these four categories will help you determine which type of HVAC duct heater best meets those requirements. You may need a custom solution, but you will likely need one of the three duct heaters mentioned earlier. 

Dimensions and sizing of an HVAC duct heater

Another reason you may need a customized heating unit is due to dimension and size requirements. Different spaces and operations will need smaller or larger duct heaters. For example, heating a warehouse space will likely require a bigger duct heater than one needed to heat a medical laboratory or autoclave. For that reason, it’s essential to measure and choose a heater’s height, width, and depth to match your intended application. 

Features of an HVAC duct heater

The other deciding factor to consider when choosing a duct heater is whether you need special features or not. Depending on the application, you might need an HVAC duct heater with special features for added efficiency or safety. Take, for example, explosion-proof duct heaters. 

We recommend these heaters for applications where excess heat can ignite combustible gases, such as those in the mining industry. Identifying risk factors and energy efficiencies in your processes can help you decide if added features are necessary. 

Wattco duct heater solutions

With a wide range of uses for an HVAC duct heater, there’s no shortage of options for your industry. Finding the most suitable unit depends on addressing your industry needs, the physical space needed to install one, and a need for safety or performance features. 

Here at Wattco, we construct the best HVAC duct heaters for various industries and uses. They include finned tubular heaters, tubular duct heaters, and open coil heaters. The unit you need may likely fall into one of these categories. Nevertheless, we can build custom units with preset wattages, dimensions, controls, and more to suit your specific needs. 

Get in touch with us so we can help you select an HVAC duct heater that fits your industry.