Engineering ToolBox - Resources, Tools and Basic Information for Engineering and Design of Technical Applications!

# Air Heating Systems

## Air heating buildings - heat supply vs. air flow and temperature.

Air heating systems may be cost effective if they can be made simple or if they can be combined with a ventilation system. But - be aware that due to the low specific heat of air the use of air for heating purposes is very limited. Larger heat loads requires large volumes of air resulting in huge oversized ducts and fans. Transport of huge volumes of air requires a lot of energy.

### Required Air Volume in an Air Heating System

Required air flow rate in an air heating system can be calculated as

L = Q / (cp ρ (t h - t r ))                                         (1)

where

L = air flow rate (m3 /s)

Q = heat loss covered by the air heating system (kW)

cp = specific heat air - 1.005 (kJ/kg oC)

ρ = density of air - 1.2 (kg/m3 )

t h = heating air temperature (oC)

t r = room temperature (oC)

As a rule of thumb the air heating supply temperature should be in the range 40-50 oC . The air flow should be in the range 1-3 times the room volume.

Equation (1) expressed in imperial units:

L = Q / (1.08 (t h - t r ))                                        (2)

where

Q = heat (btu/hr)

L = air volume (cfm)

t h = heating air temperature ( oF)

t r = room temperature ( oF)

### Air Heating - Temperature Rise Diagram

The diagrams below are calculated from the equations above and can be used to estimate heat required to rise temperature in air flows.

#### Imperial units - Btu/h, cfm and oF

• 1 m3 /s = 3,600 m3/h = 35.32 ft3 /s = 2,118.9 ft3 /min (cfm)
• 1 kW (kJ/s) = 859.9 kcal/h = 3,413 Btu/h
• T(oC) = 5/9[T( oF) - 32]

#### Example - Heating a single room with air

A building with a large room with a heat loss 20 kW is heated with air with a maximum temperature 50 oC . The room temperature is 20 oC . The required air flow rate can be calculated as

L = (20 kW) / ((1.005 kJ/kg oC) (1.2 kg/m3 ) ((50 oC) - (20 oC)))

= 0.55 m3 /s

### Required Air Flow from an Electric Furnace - Imperial Units

Required air flow from an electric furnace can be expressed in Imperial units as

L cfm = P w 3.42 / 1.08 dt                                   (3)

where

L cfm = required air flow (cfm)

P w = electric power (watts)

dt = temperature difference ( o F)

## Related Topics

• ### Heating Systems

Design of heating systems - capacities and design of boilers, pipelines, heat exchangers, expansion systems and more.
• ### Ventilation Systems

Design of systems for ventilation and air handling - air change rates, ducts and pressure drops, charts and diagrams and more.

## Related Documents

• ### Air - Heating, Cooling, Mixing, Humidifying or Dehumidifying Processes

Basic air changing state processes - heating, cooling, mixing, humidifying and dehumidifying by adding steam or water - psychometric diagrams and the Mollier charts.
• ### Cooling and Heating Equations

Latent and sensible cooling and heating equations - imperial units.
• ### Heat Recovery

Ventilation and heat-recovery calculations, sensible and latent heat - online calculators - imperial units.
• ### Heat Recovery Efficiency

Classification of heat recovery efficiencies - temperature efficiency, moisture efficiency and enthalpy efficiency - online heat exchanger efficiency calculator.
• ### Heating Systems - Steam and Condensate Loads

Calculating steam and condensate loads in steam heated systems.
• ### Humid Air - Heating

Enthalpy change and temperature rise when heating humid air without adding moisture.
• ### Latent Heat Flow

Latent heat is the heat when supplied to or removed from air results in a change in moisture content - the temperature of the air is not changed.
• ### Mixing of Humid Air

The change in state wwhen mixing moist air - enthalpy, heat, temperature and specific humidity.
• ### Moist Air - Enthalpy

Sensible and latent heat of moist air.
• ### Removing Heat with Air

Calculating heat removed with air by measuring the wet bulb temperature.
• ### Steam Heating Air

Calculate steam heated air systems.
• ### Steam Heating Processes - Load Calculating

Calculating the amount of steam in non-flow batch and continuous flow heating processes.
• ### Steam Radiators and Convectors - Heating Capacities

Steam radiators and steam convectors - heating capacities and temperature coefficients.

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## Citation

• The Engineering ToolBox (2008). Air Heating Systems. [online] Available at: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-heating-systems-d_1136.html [Accessed Day Month Year].

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8.21.8

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