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The Guide To Commercial Heating Systems

January 10, 2017

 

Did you know that around half of commercial energy use goes towards heating buildings? The significant costs associated with heating the commercial sector, along with the related carbon footprint and the essential need to heat buildings effectively, means that commercial heating systems that consider end use are vitally important.  

 

The heating of your commercial property plays a pivotal role in creating a comfortable environment for both customers and employees. However, there are challenges and complexities when it comes to commercial heating systems, from the design of the unit to its installation and maintenance. There’s no one size fits all approach and with the right design you can not only ensure that your system is meeting your needs but is energy efficient too – saving you money and supporting carbon reduction activities. 

 

Across all services energy consumption in the UK, the commercial sector accounts for 65% and though improvements have been made there are still substantial gains that can be obtained. By assessing and updating your commercial heating systems now you can benefit over the long-term. 

 

Aspects to consider for commercial heating systems 

 

There’s more than one option for commercial heating systems and the solution that is best for one business or property won’t necessarily be suited to another. There are several aspects that you and your partnering commercial heating systems business should consider to design the right option for your commercial building. 

  • Size – When you’re picking between commercial heating systems, sizing is crucial. While some businesses may only have small offices to heat, others will have vast spaces. A heating unit that hasn’t considered the size of the property during the planning process is unlikely to meet the needs of the business. When considering size, you should think about both the scale of the area that needs heating and how large the heating equipment will need to be. 

  • Location – Where a commercial heating system unit will be placed can affect the options that are open to you. The location of the system may also be limited depending on the design of the space, such as whether it must be placed outside or in a tightly enclosed room. 

  • Purpose – The level of heat that needs to be achieved and how frequently the system will be running will need to be considerations too. Depending on the nature of the business, you may have different requirements for various areas of the building. Complex commercial heating systems can be created by combining multiple technologies to build the perfect solution. 

  • Costs – If you’re installing a new commercial heating system to save money, you’ll need to weigh up the initial outgoings with the cost savings you’ll make over the long term. Depending on the option you select, you could reap the costs of your investment within just a couple of years. 

Renewable commercial heating systems solutions

 

Renewable commercial heating systems give commercial businesses an opportunity to generate their own power, reducing their reliance and outgoings to energy companies while shrinking their carbon footprint. 

 

Thermodynamic panels:

 

Thermodynamic panels are designed to produce hot water but the technology can be adapted to provide central heating too. The renewable energy source works in a similar way to air source heat pumps, absorbing heat from the atmosphere to convert a refrigerant into a gas that, in turn, heats up water. While the solution does require electricity, it’s able to draw heat from the outdoors all day and in all weather conditions, providing commercial properties with a year-round solution for hot water. 

 

Commercial heating systems that incorporate thermodynamic panels can stand to benefit considerably, particularly if their daily operations involve the use of a lot of hot water, such as restaurants, hairdressers, and hotels. 

  • Saves money – Average sized commercial units can expect to pay up to £500 per year for the running costs of thermodynamic panels, a significant saving on the usual cost of electricity to heat water. On average, users find the savings have outweighed the initial costs within 4 years.

  • Limited maintenance costs – Once installed, thermodynamic panels require very little maintenance and typically come with warranties of at least 2 years, with an expected life cycle of 20 years. 

  • Flexible solution for heating – Thermodynamic panels can also be used in conjunction with underfloor heating systems to further reduce energy bills. 

  • Scalable option – While only so much hot water can be stored, increasing the number of thermodynamic panels will cut the time to heat the maximum amount of water. 

Thermodynamic panels are not currently eligible for financial incentives under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) but it is an affordable solution even without this financial motivation.

 

Solar PV Panels:

 

Photovoltaics, or solar PV panels, are a clean energy source that converts light into electricity. The panels don’t need direct sunlight to generate energy, they will still work on a cloud day. Solar panels have become one of the renewable technologies that has been deployed extensively across the UK. There were more than 650,000 installations in 2014 and by the end of the decade it’s expected that the UK will have enough panels to power the equivalent of 10 million homes. 

 

When integrated into commercial heating systems, Solar PV panels can make commercial systems operate more effectively and offer other advantages too. 

  • Bolster sustainability initiatives – Becoming a leader in sustainability can benefit businesses and the use of solar PV panels can help strengthen these efforts. 

  • Reduced operating costs – Solar panels will greatly reduce, and in some cases even eliminate, your electricity bill. Combined with the little maintenance needed after a solar panel system has been installed, you’ll experience significantly reduced operating costs.

  • Reliable energy source – Solar panels are a renewable energy source that have been developed over the years to offer a reliable source of energy. Many manufacturers offer long periods of warranty to guarantee you a commercial heating system that is functional, sometimes for up to 25 years.  

  • Cost effective solution – The cost of PV panels has fallen considerably in recent years, while in 2011 you may have paid over £11,000 for a 4.0 KWp panel, this had fallen to below £7,000 by 2015, making the potential return on investment that can be achieved extensive. 

Air source heat pump:

 

Since its launch in 2011 just 1% of non-domestic installations under the RHI have been for air source heat pumps. But commercial properties could be missing out on an opportunity by not considering this technology. Air source heat pumps can form part of commercial heating systems that provides both full central heating and hot water. 

 

The technology works by transferring heat from outside to inside a property and can even work in cold climates. The heat generated can then be used throughout your commercial property. 

  • Versatile option – The heat created using an air source heat pump can be used to release hot air, heat radiators, work with underfloor heating, or heat a water supply, offering commercial properties flexibility for incorporating the technology. 

  • Requires limited space – Compared to other commercial heating systems, air source heat pumps take up relatively little space. For businesses that need to take advantage of every square meter this can be a big bonus. 

  • Reduce energy bills – While air source heat pumps do require electricity to run, the installation of one will still have a positive impact on your outgoings in terms of energy and cut your carbon emissions too. 

  • Long and reliable lifespan – Air source heat pumps can last for decades without excessive amounts of maintenance. It means that not only will you make back your return on investment but over the long-term can profit too. 

Ground source heat pump:

 

Ground source heat pumps use geothermal energy – the thermal energy that is generated and stored in the earth – to provide space heating and cooling. While heat can be extracted from any source there are areas where the technology operates more efficiently depending on the geothermal resources. When used within commercial heating systems, ground source heat pumps work most effectively when paired with underfloor heating but can be used with radiators and other options too.     

  • Efficient source of energy – Modern ground source heat pumps can generate up to four times the amount of energy that is used to operate the pump, delivering an efficient and cost effective energy solution. 

  • Reliable, emission free heating – Ground source heat pumps can power commercial heating systems for over 20 years with low maintenance. The life cycle of the product means that the initial outgoings are vastly outweighed. 

  • Invisible commercial heating systems – Ground source heat pumps are automated, out of sight, and create little noise. They don’t require planning permission to be installed and can benefit commercial enterprise that want to maintain the aesthetics of their space. 

Whichever commercial heating system you think would be best for your business, just remember that RSSenergyltd are experts in their field and will advise you from start to finish, just give a call, or send us a message to arrange a free quote.

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