Commercial & Industrial Heating Systems – Cambridge Air Solutions


For many commercial and industrial buildings that do not require space cooling, non-centralized equipment such as unit heaters provide space heating to building occupants. Unit heaters are a traditional method of providing heat in large commercial and industrial facilities throughout the U.S.

Technologies that are commonly used in heating and ventilation of large open spaces are air turnover, recirculation, make-up air, infrared, unit heating, and high temperature heating and ventilation (HTHV).

When looking for the right commercial or industrial heating system, it is important to choose a solution that provides sufficient space heating, ample air filtration, and is both energy and cost efficient. Your solution will ensure a more comfortable environment for your employees and will be long lasting, saving you money in the long run.

Cambridge systems check all of these boxes and much more.

Learn more below about the details and mechanics of commercial and industrial heating systems—and how Cambridge can help you make your building safer and more comfortable for those inside.

How does a commercial or industrial heating system work?


Cambridge heating solutions use 100% outside air to heat buildings, and also serve as ventilation and air destratification equipment.

These systems mix fresh, outside air at a 10-1 ratio with existing air in the building, at a rate of 1,500 to 2,000 ft. per-minute.

Fresh, outside air enters the heating system through a double-width, double inlet and forward curve fan, which blows the fresh air into a proprietary burner system that can be fired by either natural gas or propane.
No matter how the system is installed, whether on a rooftop, through wall, vertically or mounted on a horizontal outdoor stand, the commercial heating system functions the same way.

An engineer or space designer can help determine the right installation method for your building.

Understanding the Differences Between Heating Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Just like the heating needs vary from commercial and residential buildings, commercial buildings and industrial facilities have different heating requirements as well.

Industrial facilities, including factories, steel mills, assembly plants and aerospace hangers require more fresh, outside air since machinery, blast equipment and aircrafts can put off harmful byproducts. In comparison, a commercial facility such as an indoor sports arena or retail space may not have the same needs but could have several additional zones requiring heating.

Learn more about the unique characteristics of both commercial and industrial heating below.

Commercial Heating Solutions

According to the DOE, unit heaters account for nearly 18% of primary space heating energy use for commercial buildings, specifically in warehouses and distribution centers. Much of this space heating energy is wasted because of inefficient or outdated technologies. Cambridge Air Solutions line of heating systems for commercial buildings are high efficiency solutions that help reduce wasted energy while providing lower operational costs and improved comfort.

Industrial Heating Solutions

Similarly, industrial heating solutions from Cambridge are designed to provide lower operational costs and help mitigate wasted energy by utilizing state-of-the-art HTHV technologies. While industrial space heating is similar to commercial, the key difference is the application they are best suited for. Where commercial heating solutions are ideal for warehouses, distribution centers, and auto transport facilities; industrial heating solutions are best suited for manufacturing plants, mills, wastewater treatment plants, factories and other similar building types.

Different Types of Commercial & Industrial Heating Systems

While there are several types of heating systems such as central forced air with heat pumps, water heating, geothermal heating, and solar, Cambridge has perfected gas-based high temperature heating and ventilation (HTHV) technology.

HTHV is a technology classification created by the Department of Energy (DOE), producing a heating system capable of a discharge temperature greater than or equal to 150°F and a temperature rise greater than or equal to 140°F. HTHV heating systems are capable of effectively heating and ventilating both large commercial and industrial spaces, reducing energy consumption and increasing energy savings by 20-70% depending on the building, location, application, and installation.

HTHV Commercial & Industrial Heating Systems – Cambridge Air Solutions

What is the difference between HTHV products and 80/20 unit heaters?

For years, HTHV direct-fired heating systems and traditional 80/20 direct-fired units have been the heating solutions used for new construction and retrofit projects throughout the U.S.

The largest difference between HTHV products and 80/20 units are the indoor air quality (IAQ) that the systems provide.

Good IAQ includes comfortable temperature and humidity, adequate supply of fresh outdoor air, and control of pollutants from inside and outside of the building. The performance and safety standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are z83.4 for HTHV 100% outside air non-recirculating direct gas-fired industrial air heaters and z83.18 for 80/20 recirculating direct gas-fired industrial air heaters. Thus, HTHV direct-fired 100% outside air technologies improves IAQ better than 80/20 direct-fired technology.

What are the Benefits of HTHV Technology?

With the main goal of increasing the energy efficiency of heating equipment, HTHV technology provides the following benefits:

  • It reduces energy consumption significantly. According to DOE and energy modeling studies, HTHV systems use the least amount energy to heat and ventilate warehouses and other commercial and industrial buildings with large open spaces.
  • Lower total costs for mechanical contractors and building owners. Some industrial and commercial HTHV systems can provide heating, ventilation, and destratification all from the same piece of equipment. This helps reduce installation, operating and maintenance costs.
  • Increase safety and comfort for workers on the floor. By using 100% outside air and direct-fired technologies, HTHV products provide a ventilation process that delivers superior indoor air quality for employees/building occupants.

Specs & Techs

Industrial & Commercial Heating Installation Process

Although similar, no commercial and industrial building is alike, and the installation process will look different for every building. Cambridge assists with installations on both new construction buildings and retrofitting for replacing old heating systems. No matter the installation, Cambridge always begins with an on-site visit for a building walkthrough. The purpose of the walkthrough is to analyze your current systems, and understand not only your facility’s needs, but also the needs of your people and processes. This ensures your heating solution is customized for your exact setting, enabling you to maximize your return on investment quickly.

Cambridge industrial and commercial heating equipment can be installed in one of six configurations:

• Rooftop
• Through wall
• Under roof
• Indoor vertical
• Outdoor vertical
• Outdoor horizontal

Zoning a Heating System

Zoning, or separating your building into different sections, is an important factor to consider when implementing a commercial or industrial heating system. Rather than one source providing heat and filtration to your entire building, specific temperature control can be provided to different areas of your building through zoning. This allows for a better flow of air through your building, lets occupants receive a more comfortable level of heat, and protects any equipment or product that may need to be more temperature-controlled.

How Long Do Commercial or Industrial Heating Systems Last?

While many environmental factors can play into the longevity of a heating system, on average you can expect to get about 15-20 years out of a system. Throughout the life of your system, proper maintenance and usage is essential to ensuring long-term efficiency.

Outdated systems can use more energy than needed and increase maintenance and operating costs. Replacement can be more affordable and sustainable than repairs and hunting down spare parts that may be discontinued by the manufacturer.

Cambridge provides retrofitting installation, ensuring that your building is using the right sized heating system to reduce energy costs, maintenance costs, operating costs, asset costs and reduce system complexity. The more suitable your commercial or industrial heating system is for your environment, the longer it will last and the more efficient it will run.

Applications for Cambridge’s Commercial and Industrial Heating Systems

HTHV technologies have become the gold standard in heating and ventilating high-bay commercial and industrial buildings. The 100% outdoor air introduced through ANSI Z83.4 technology is designed and installed to improve the indoor air and environmental quality of the facility. Any level of required ventilation, including ASHRAE 62.1 levels, can be achieved and maintained through these technologies.

Many offerings include optional MERV13 filters added to the inlet air of this device, further improving indoor air quality. ANSI Z83.4 equipment can be installed with a minimum amount of ductwork, providing an efficient and cost-effective installation.

Additionally, HTHV direct-fired heaters can be installed indoors or outdoors or in horizontal or vertical configurations while always providing 100% fresh outside air, thus, improving the comfort and safety of those inside.

Learn about the Cambridge® HTHV Direct-Fired Heating Solutions

Cambridge Air Solutions manufactures ultra-high efficiency space heaters for safe and efficient heating and ventilation of commercial and industrial spaces. Designed to provide superior heating comfort while reducing installation and energy use costs, Cambridge’s space heaters—the S-Series and SA-Series—utilize patented technologies and achieve 40 to 70 percent energy savings over other commercial or industrial heating applications.

The S-Series and SA-Series Systems can be installed in new construction projects, as part of a plant expansion, a renovation, as part of an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) upgrade or an industrial retrofit.

Learn more about the differences between Cambridge HTHV heating systems and other heating systems such as air turnover, unit heaters, and more.

Contact us today to speak with one of our experts to learn more and discuss your project in detail.

Air Solutions Tour

Cambridge's Air Solutions Tours are customized to answer your questions regarding how our technology can help you address your facility's heating challenges. Your knowledgeable Cambridge guide will walk you and your team through our facility and answer any specific questions you may have regarding HTHV technology, the S-Series industrial space heater or the SA-Series natural gas space heater. If you have any questions about our tours, get in touch with our Sales Development Representative by phone or chat. Schedule an in-person or virtual tour today!

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