Steam warehouse unit heaters use the hot water from a existing steam system to provide heat to an isolated area.
A common example would be a workshop attached to an office space. Even if it's disconnected from the main office heating system, the workshop could still benefit from the heat generated by the office's boiler by way of a steam warehouse unit heater.
Now that you've selected the application and fuel for your unit heater, it's time to choose those final specifications!
Choosing a Heat Exchanger Material
In some cases, you will have an option of choosing between two heat exchanger materials, copper or cupro-nickel.
Copper is the most common metal used for steam unit heater heat exchangers. Rather than using corrosion-susceptible steel like other unit heaters, steam unit heaters rely on corrosion-resistant metals like copper to help withstand the oxygen found in the steam.
While copper is resistant to corrosion, it is relatively soft, making it unsuitable for high-pressure steam systems. If you have a standard, low-pressure steam system, copper is the best choice for you.
Cupro-nickel is an alloy that maintains the corrosion resistance of copper, but also has improved stability - especially at high temperatures. This serves particular importance in high-pressure steam applications, where temperatures can reach extremes. The typical example of this would be a warehouse or large workshop connected to a commercial or industrial steam plant.
If you have a steam system with a pressure greater than 150 PSI, you'll want to go with cupro-nickel. Otherwise, you likely won't notice much of a difference compared to copper except a higher price tag. If you don't know the pressure of your steam system, you can always check the pressure gauge on your boiler.
Choosing an Orientation
Because steam unit heaters don't include a combustion site (i.e. a flame), they are available in more mounting and installation options than a gas- or oil-fired unit heater. Steam warehouse unit heaters come in both horizontal and vertical orientations, and your application will dictate which makes the most sense for you.
In most cases, horizontal will be the orientation that provides the best comfort. Horizontal unit heaters blow air outward from one side of the room to the other. Especially effective when placed at the far end of a room or in rooms with low ceilings, horizontal steam warehouse unit heaters will provide broad coverage across your entire space. Note that we currently only offer horizontal steam warehouse unit heaters with copper heat exchangers.
Vertical unit heaters direct heat downward and allow it to spread out horizontally through natural dispersion. The primary applications for a vertical orientation would be spot heating and ensuring full coverage in rooms high ceilings. If one part of your warehouse needs particular heating attention, vertical warehouse unit heaters would be a great fit.
Steam Warehouse Unit Heater Buying Guide - How to Pick the Perfect Steam Warehouse Unit Heater. Our heating, ventilation and cooling equipment how-to library can help you pick the perfect comfort solution for your home.