What is Salamander Heater and How It Works

Electric Heaters

25 Jan
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Temperature regulation is a tricky task in workspaces lacking built-in HVAC systems. This is particularly true on construction sites with open-air and temporary work setups that make project-long heating an expensive prospect. Still, being able to provide a comfortable environment that encourages productivity could make the difference in maintaining workflow, meeting deadlines and ensuring the comfort and well-being of employees.

Many high-powered heating solutions for entire commercial spaces fall into direct-fired heating or indirect-fired heating solutions. Indirect-fired heaters, while safer due to lower CO, CO2 and NO2 emissions, do not supply heat with the energy efficiency of direct-fired heaters. 

For many enclosed spaces and construction projects alike, one direct-fired heater, the salamander heater, is a particularly popular option for providing consistent temperature control.

What is the Salamander?

A salamander heater is a portable heating unit employed as a temporary heating solution. Units often run on fuel, commonly kerosene or propane, while still requiring electricity for power.

Salamander heaters have been around for over 100 years, dating back to the early 1900s. Originally produced by Scheu Manufacturing for farmers to use during extreme weather in the 1940s, the modern salamander unit has become a go-to choice for large-scale heating needs. They are typically found not only on construction sites but also in large warehouses, workshops and even open-air sports venues.

Salamander heaters are available under a number of common alternative names, including “salamander furnace”, “torpedo heater” or the more basic “salamander”. The salamander name derives from a traditional Spanish wood burning stove called a “salamandra”. The name stems from the ancient legend of the salamander that could control and thrive in the fire, a myth fueled by the supposed occurrence of salamanders crawling from logs on the fire.

How Do Salamander Heaters Work?

Salamander heaters are a form of direct-fired heaters. It is an easily transportable forced-air or convection heater. Product air is forced over a heating element, making direct contact with either an electric coil or open flame. The air is then blown out at rapid speed (lending to the nickname “torpedo heater”). 

All of this occurs within a single open-ended tube. Cool air is drawn in by the fan on one end, passes over the heating element and gets shot out of the other end.

Benefits of Salamander Heaters

Direct-fired heaters are regarded as less safe for enclosed spaces because of the direct contact air has with combustion inside the unit. Harmful byproducts, including dangerous gases, are subsequently circulated into the work area. The fuel that many salamander heaters run on poses carbon monoxide poisoning and oxygen deficiency risks. 

Fortunately, electric salamander heaters exist to mitigate the health hazards of fuel-burning units while offering the same level of heating power, control and efficiency. With air being blown over a series of electric coils, toxic fumes are eliminated and the heaters can be subsequently employed in confined and enclosed spaces with little risk.

Electric salamander heaters provide clean, fume and odor-free heated air, which can be tightly controlled with built-in thermostats. The coils heat up quickly, allowing for much faster heat production and warm air circulation. Standard safety features on many electric units include automatic overheat protection, which helps maintain its longevity. Many also have the option to be used in a fan mode to circulate cool air when needed.

Salamander heaters are relatively lightweight and designed for portability. Sporting wheels and push handles, these are easy to transport and maneuver throughout workspaces. 

Electric salamander heaters only require a standard power source for use, making setup easy and worry-free with compatibility to generators, panels and power outlets. Plus, compared to fuel-burning models, electric units are less susceptible to failure.

Electric salamander heaters come in a wide range of sizes, allowing you to choose the perfect size to fit your space. For their safety, space-efficiency and heat output, salamander heaters are excellent heating options for a variety of spaces including:

  • Workshops and garages.
  • Retail floors.
  • Office spaces.
  • Schools.
  • Outdoor tents.
  • Construction sites.

Disadvantages of Salamander Heaters

When discussing electric salamanders, the benefits greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Nonetheless, certain drawbacks must be considered for their effect on the space and those using it.

As mentioned, these units do get dangerously hot. Although they do not pose health risks in confined areas from the air they expel, being able to keep them out of the way is critically important for employee safety. Furthermore, the intense heat they produce can cause considerable discomfort in poorly ventilated areas.

Salamanders are generally safe to leave unattended but if left on while near flammable items, the risk of starting a fire is greatly increased. When attempting to move a salamander, it is also absolutely essential to let the unit turn off and cool entirely beforehand.

Electric salamander heaters are also relatively limited in heat output. Their ability to generate over 200,000 BTUs far exceeds the capacity of most space heaters but still pales in comparison to many indirect-fired or fuel-burning direct-fired heaters. In large, airy warehouses or open construction sites, more powerful options may be more budget-friendly.

Electric Salamander Heaters from Preferred Climate Solutions

Electric salamander heaters available through Preferred Climate Solutions combine industrial-power heating ability with conscientious safety features and user-friendly controls. We carry electric units in a variety of sizes, ranging from 50,000 BTUs to 205,000 BTUs, making it easy to find the appropriate solution to fit your exact space requirements. Warm air produced by these units can be sustained at up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

We carefully select the units we make available for rent, opting for the best blends of power, reliability and user control. Our quality products are backed with exceptional service. We understand that temporary climate-control solutions can arise unexpectedly and urgently. We work hard to provide expedited service by being available 24/7 for our customers throughout Texas.

We strive to be the premier provider of heating and cooling solutions for commercial spaces in Texas. Contact our team of experts to discover how the salamander heater or any of our other quality commercial heating options can be the perfect fit for your needs.

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