How to Select Gas Heaters and Propane Heaters
Gas heaters and propane heaters burn natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), propane, or other gaseous fuels to generate heat. The first gas heaters were similar to the Bunsen burner in that both devices used a flame to heat air locally. This heated air was spread by convection to warm an entire area. Later, the burner’s flame was used to heat a structure made of asbestos, a strong and incombustible fiber. Although asbestos structures have been replaced by fire clay and other refractory materials, modern gas heaters still operate according to this principle. Gas heaters and propane heaters often use similar designs.
Specifications for gas heaters and propane heaters include maximum temperature, maximum air flow, and heating capacity. There are two parameters for maximum temperature: maximum operating temperature and maximum air temperature.
The maximum operating temperature for gas heaters and propane heaters is the highest temperature that the heater’s sheath or protective cover may reach.
The maximum air temperature, as its name suggests, is the maximum temperature of the air exiting from the heater.
Heating capacity is the wattage that gas heaters and propane heaters can deliver.
Gas heaters and propane heaters differ in terms of insulation. Choices for insulation include ceramic, magnesium oxide, mica, mineral, fluoropolymer, and fiberglass.
Applications for gas heaters and propane heaters include annealing and heat treating, curing and tempering, drying, melting, and the heating of gases and vapors. Gas heaters and propane heaters are also used to heat clean water, process waters, and high purity waters; lightweight oils and degreasing solutions; heavy weight and medium weight oils; and mild corrosive solutions, severe corrosive solutions, and caustic solutions.
There are many optional features for gas heaters and propane heaters. Some products are corrosion resistant, explosion-proof, finned, indirect-fired, or microprocessor controlled. Others are designed for cryogenic applications, feature custom designs, provide dynamic power regulation, or have an encased coil to maximum heat transfer. Gas heaters and propane heaters may also be equipped with a grounding wire, internal temperature detector, and multiple / independent timing controls. Additional features may include overheat protection, portability, thermostat control, and approval by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Typically, documentation of UL certification is available from the manufacturer.