If you own or are responsible for a commercial business such as an office, school, restaurant or gym, you’ll want to consider the heating system of the space. From cold, early morning meetings to intense HIIT sessions, there’s a different need for every commercial space. Before you enquire, OKEL is here to help you on your way when it comes to requirements and commercial heating systems to choose from so that you can make a more informed decision.

Things to consider when choosing a heating system

If you’re looking to heat a large space, chances are you’ve got a lot of requirements. 

Is there wall and ceiling insulation? What is the ceiling height? Are doors continually opening and closing? What are your stock requirements? How often are staff or customers in your commercial space? 

Everything you need to think of, including the volume of your commercial space, how long you’ll have the heating running on a daily or weekly basis, and your overall budget, is explained in more detail in this blog from OKEL.

Size of space

Commercial settings can range from small yoga rooms to large indoor arenas and theatres, and there’s a different need for every setting. 

Large buildings tend to feel the cold, and with older buildings being renovated into more commercial spaces, it’s easy to let the cold seep in! If you want your staff to work effectively and customers to enjoy their experience, particularly in the colder winter months, it’s best to use an efficient heating system designed for the volume of your commercial space. 

To choose the correct commercial heating solutions, you’ll need to measure the volume of the space, from floor plan square footage to ceiling height. This way, you’ll have a better idea of the types of heating systems to choose from. 

For example, large open spaces with working employees may need the warmth to stay at ground level, in which case a warm air and destratification heating system is best. Whereas somewhere like an indoor climbing centre might need to spot heat areas, and therefore a far infrared heating solution is best.

Radiant heating in a sports hall/climbing hangar
Large, open climbing centre with specific cold spots, using infrared heating.
floor space showing heaters
Medium sized play area with large cold spots, using warm air heaters.

Running time

Next up, you’ll want to consider how long the heating system will be running. Office space heating is typically needed on a continual basis, to keep all employees in a comfortable position to work effectively. Whereas some spaces only need heating during the winter months and benefit from air circulation during the summer months to keep staff and the public at a comfortable temperature, such as our project with The Ice Cream Farm

With modern heating systems, it’s possible to target more localised areas, using different types of heating systems and configuring running times to suit your commercial needs. Alternatively, for areas where air conditioning is needed most, check out our case study about Elif restaurant. 


Lastly, you’ll want to think about your budget. Now, this can also be a question of the heating system types already existent in your commercial space. If you’re looking to save on energy costs, you can opt for the best heating system to utilise the already existing fuel type. 

As part of the OKEL promise, we’d recommend weighing the pros and cons of a new, more efficient system running on a different fuel type that would save you more money in the long run. Compared to running a more expensive heating system on a preexisting fuel type. 

This is where our site surveys and expertise come into play. We’ll always give you the best quote based on the volume of your commercial space, the times needed to run and the budget of your project, alongside the continual needs of your business. 

Once you’ve got these three requirements down, you can start thinking about the new types of heating systems to choose from to heat your business the smart way. 

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Types of Commercial Heating Systems

The heating system you choose will depend entirely on the type of commercial property you’re heating. Each of the main three types of heating systems has its own unique qualities and we’re here to help you differentiate so you can make an informed decision about how to heat your property. 

Electric Infrared Heater Units

Infrared heating is a low-maintenance, low-running cost and high-efficiency heating solution for commercial spaces that need zone heating and rapid warm-ups. Perfect for restaurants and bars, yoga studios, churches and kennels. Save money and energy by spot-heating the areas you need, compared to heating the whole space.

Gas Fired Radiant Tubes

If you’ve got a large open space but only require certain areas to be heated, radiant heat systems transport the heat through the air without heating it. The heating will only touch the people, machinery or objects it encounters, removing unnecessary costs associated with heating unoccupied space.

This is the perfect heat solution for companies looking to spot-heat specific areas, for premises with high levels of air changes, or for those prone to heat loss due to opening roller shutter doors.

Gas or Electric Fired Warm Air Heaters

Commercial warm air heating systems directly warm the air in a commercial building, rather than heating radiators via a boiler-powered central heating system. They are specifically designed for large, open-plan buildings and that have a lot of empty space, such as production lines and warehouses. They can also be fitted into sports centres, indoor arenas, theatres, and other premises that cannot be warmed efficiently via a traditional central heating system. 

For even bigger spaces with high ceilings of 5m and above, destratification fans can push the warm air back down to lower level whenever the heat escapes upward. This means your staff and customers can stay comfortably heated even in wide open spaces such as warehouses, factories or showrooms. This is also the best heating option for commercial areas where machinery or materials are best suited to specific, optimal temperatures, allowing you to control the room and production.  

Winterwarm air heating unit

How can a warm air heating system benefit your business?

Now you understand the differences between the main three types of heating systems, it’s better to understand how each can benefit your business specifically. The following are just three examples of how a warm air heating system can benefit your business. 


It can be hard to keep everyone happy, but with warm air heating in your showroom, you can ensure a continual, consistent temperature as set by yourself or your employees. At the same time, circulated air can also be used to keep everyone cool during the summer months when the temperature rises. This is what makes warm air heating systems so versatile and suitable for large areas. 

Industrial unit

For factory production lines and warehouses that need specific temperatures for its machinery and production materials, such as steel components, warm air heating and destratification systems can create a continual flow of heat without heat loss. This can be further improved with the use of modular air curtains above any doors that see a lot of access. That way the hot air can stay inside, no matter how many times the entrance is used.

Retail area

In spaces such as shops and shopping centres, there can be a lot of open space. These places need to stay warm throughout the day, particularly in winter, and cool throughout the summer. Using a similar system, with modular air curtains at the shop entrances can be the most effective way to heat retail spaces.

When it comes to choosing the right heating system, it’s important to think of every aspect. From the volume of your commercial space, to when it’s used, to the business’ budget. OKEL cover all aspects when it comes to our site surveys, taking into account any preexisting fuel types and offering Green Funding Lease Plans to those in eligible areas. 

It’s important to us to not only suit our projects to your business’ needs but also to be environmentally conscious about the way we supply heating solutions to commercial spaces. For more information, a site survey or a quote, give us a call or fill in our online form and we’ll get back to you with help. The OKEL promise.