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Air Heaters

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Industrial air heaters are rugged, heavy-duty construction ideal for the most demanding air processing applications. They are dirt, contamination, and vibration resistant, and the optimum sheath material and highest permitted watt densities decrease weight, size, and footprint. Read More…

Air Heaters Air heaters are electric heaters that use air circulation or a blower device to heat areas for domestic or for industrial purposes. Air heaters range in size and shape, although the most common air heaters are large, portable, and either rectangular-shaped or barrel-shaped. They are constructed by installing heating elements in a casing; the heating elements remain stationary while air ducts rotate alternately to expose sections of the heating plate elements to the circulating air.
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Leading Manufacturers

Danvers, MA  |  978-777-0070

Backer Hotwatt is a superior designer & manufacturer of electric heaters and related heater accessories for various OEM & industrial applications.

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Backer Hotwatt, Inc. $$$

Columbus, IN  |  812-372-0281

For more than 70 years, Ulanet™ has been engineering and manufacturing electric heaters, cartridge heaters, immersion heaters, tubular heaters, miniature strip heaters and bolt hole heaters, as well as industrial heaters and appliance thermostats.

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Ulanet™ $$$

Rochester Hills, MI  |  888-852-3611

Working in the production of infrared heating products since 1965, Combustion Research is sure to be able to meet the infrared heater needs for your application. Our products (Reflect-O-Ray®, Omega II® and Synergy® brands) are known for their "big three" — comfort, efficiency and economic operation.

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Combustion Research Corporation $$$

Fortville, IN  |  905-664-8274

Superior Radiant Product is the global innovation champions in the heating industry, saving energy for future generations. SRP offers a complete range of low and high-intensity energy efficient infrared heaters for industrial, commercial, agricultural and residential applications worldwide.

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Superior Radiant Products $$$

Houston, TX  |  800-460-5200

Process industries have relied on Gaumer since 1962 for the design and manufacture of industrial heaters, electric heaters, heating systems plus controls. Circulation heaters, component heaters (radiant heaters, strip heaters, cartridge heaters), comfort heaters and immersion heaters are the offerings.

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Gaumer Process Heaters, Systems & Controls $$$

Charlotte, NC  |  800-438-4936

Space-Ray is an international manufacturer of infrared radiant gas heating products. We are a division of the Gas Fired Products Group of companies which manufactures energy efficient overhead radiant heating, space heating, infrared heaters and process heating systems in the UK and USA. We design and manufacture energy efficient gas heating products that will stand the test of time.

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Space-Ray, Inc. $$$
placeholder image Backer Hotwatt, Inc. Ulanet™ Combustion Research Corporation Superior Radiant Products Gaumer Process Heaters, Systems & Controls Space-Ray, Inc.

In an air heater, industrial heat radiates into flowing air or fluid. Dirt, grease, and water in unfiltered air can shorten the life of heaters, especially open coil air heaters. Even after the heater is switched off, a time delay relay will maintain air flowing over the air heating element for some time. An over-temperature sensor can be placed next to the air heater itself if the temperature sensor is far down from the air heating element. Compared to tubular heaters, wire wound heating elements constructed of resistance wire have minimal pressure drop across the heating components.

Air Heaters

Salient Features of Air Heaters

  • For extended life and corrosion resistance, sheathed heating elements are employed. It's also possible to employ stainless steel-clad heating elements.
  • Insulation integrity is guaranteed as recompacted element bends eliminate voids.
  • Air heaters for high temperatures can provide up to a 20 W/in² rating and a max outlet temperature of 1200 °F (650 °C).
  • Stainless steel element spacers and supports are used to ensure the spacing and avoid drooping.
  • High-temperature air heaters have 5 to 300 kW ratings up to 480V.
  • The terminal enclosure is thermally insulated, which keeps the wire cool and decreases heat loss.
  • Procedure and over-temperature monitoring are possible with integrated sensors.
  • C-UL-approved systems are made up to 600VAC, ensuring safe and dependable operation.
  • For cool wiring temperatures, air heaters feature an insulated stand-off housing structure.

Material used for Air Heaters

Heating elements with rectangular fins are materials that guarantee maximum heat exchange with a minimal gradient.

All the resistors of an air heater have standardized production with the following characteristics:

  • Aluminized steel is used to make rectangular fins.
  • A high-quality AISI 321 steel tube acts as a rectangular fins mount.
  • Industrial heaters are available in both options, with or without an onboard thermocouple.
  • The resistors are assembled with a connection using a zinc-plated steel fitting and terminal blueprints.

Types of Air Heaters

Air heater is a broad phrase that can refer to various heaters.

  1. Duct Heaters

    Duct heaters work to heat gas streams in continuous movement as the gas passes through the heater.

    Duct Heater
  2. Forced Air Heaters

    These heaters use forced convection to pass air through a heat source with a fan or blower.

  3. Radiators

    Radiators consist of coils that contain circulated and heated media such as hot water, oil, or steam.

    Radiator Heater
  4. Tubular Heaters

    These are typically used in custom heating applications because the element is bendable into custom shapes.

    Tubular Heating Elements
  5. Enclosure Heaters

    Enclosure heaters provide humidity control, protection, and freeze control. They are commonly designed to be used in enclosures.

    Enclosure Heater
  6. Room Heaters

    Safe from emitting noxious fumes or hazardous pollutants, these are used in confined spaces and are generally portable.

    Space Heater
  7. Heat Torches

    These devices generate a focused flame or stream of abnormally hot air or gas.

    Flame Heater

Energy Sources of Air Heaters

Electricity, combustible fluids & solids, solar energy, or thermal fluids are the most common energy sources for air heaters.

  • Electrically Powered: Electric heaters either use single-phase or three-phase power. They differ in watt density and commonly use AC instead of DC.
  • Combustible Fluids and Solids: The fluids used to power air heaters include hydrocarbons. They can be classified as either liquid (diesel, fuel, oil) or gaseous (propane, natural gas). The solids acting as a power source can be wood or wood pallets.
  • Solar Energy: Solar energy is a renewable energy source used to power air heaters by applying a solar collector and a thermal mass transfer system.
  • Thermal Fluids: These are used to carry thermal energy in air heaters. Steam and hot water are the two most common fluids used in industrial applications.


Air heaters can be used in various residential, commercial, and industrial situations. HVAC systems and room or space heating are the primary applications for residential and commercial air heaters. Industrial applications include:

  • Calcination is a high-temperature heat treatment method for metals, ores, and minerals. The procedure removes hydrates and other impurities from solid materials to change their physical and chemical characteristics.
  • Air heaters can be used for preheating processes to prepare unfinished goods and materials for further processing.
  • Drying includes evaporation to remove water or other solvents. Inks, raw materials, coatings, and other goods may be dried with air heaters.
  • In addition, air heaters are utilized in a wide range of industries, including automotive, rubber, textiles, plastics, electronics, and packaging.
  • Air heaters are used in the semiconductor industry for drying wafers and PC boards, preheating process gases, heat shrinking wire insulation, and soldering lead frames.

Air Heaters Informational Video


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