Infrared Space Heating


  • Commercial and Industrial Space Heating


For an Overview on Radiant Space Heating

System Types

There are a variety of radiant heating systems that fall into two general categories: closed tube type and open surface combustion type.


Closed Tube

The closed tube type can be single units with one burner and one tube; they can be straight or “U” shaped, or they can be linked into a long pattern of multiple burners and multiple tubes.   Tube type units will generally use outdoor combustion air and have a forced exhaust flue.   Early units used plain, heavy black pipe; newer units use various more durable materials, including some ceramic type mixtures.   The shape and type of reflectors used are critical as well, because the tube is hot in 360 degrees, but typically the heat is only wanted in about 180 degrees (down).   Reflectors must be kept clean to be effective.



The open faced combustion type units will either be a ceramic or metal/ceramic fiber material full of thousands of holes that allows the gas to permeate the material and burn close to the face causing the material to become hot/radiant.   They are typically constructed in grids to get any size needed.   Only a small reflector around the edge is used.  They use indoor air for combustion, and are not vented.   Therefore, they cannot be used in some environments.

Radiant systems are typical for large spaces that only need spot heating, or areas that have large amounts of air turn over, such as maintenance garages or heavily ventilated manufacturing shops.

Tube type units are typically 60,000 – 90,000 BTUs per burner; open face type will be 15,000 – 30,000 BTUs per grid section.   Radiant systems are more expensive than air systems to buy, and contrary to what some manufacturers may say, they are not really more efficient at producing BTUs.   They can be more efficient at placing the BTUs where you want them.   Consider radiant systems for spot heating and areas of high air turn over.

Improved Controls for Efficiency

IR_R-G_ModulationGraphic IR_R-G_Text IR_R-G-UltraVac


Detroit Radiant – Re-Verber-Ray
21400 Hoover Rd
Warren, MI 48089-3162
Telephone: 586-756-0950

Roberts Gordon – Co-Ray-Vac, GordonRay
1250 William Street, P.O. Box 44
Buffalo, NY 14240 USA
Telephone: 800-828-7450

Schwank Infrared Heaters
Schwank Ltd.
5285 Bradco Blvd.
Mississauga, ON L4W 2A6

Schwank USA, Inc.
P.O. Box 988
2 Schwank Way @ Hwy. 56N
Waynesboro, GA 30830
Telephone: 877-446-3727
Solaronics, Inc.
704 Woodward Ave.
Rochester, MI 48307
Telephone: 800-223-5335

Sources: Bob Fegan 1/2009; manf web site for photos; 3-10-03; Schwank added 2/2008; RG Controller added 4/2008;

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