Religious buildings are usually characterised by large sizes, both in terms of surface and height. For this reason, they require the selection of an appropriate heating system. High power is not the only requirement – speed of action is also important.
Features of religious buildings relevant to heating
The key aspect in the selection of a heating system for a building is the calculation of heat losses. In the case of very old religious buildings, numerous glazing is often found as well as large, decorative doors. Their aesthetic qualities are indisputable, but in terms of heating, these are the places where a large amount of heat escapes. Thick walls, which may seem to be excellent insulation, in practice are an additional difficulty – heating up such a large mass requires huge energy expenditure. Another aspect is height – warm air escapes upwards. Impressive spaces please the eye, but certainly make it difficult to maintain the right temperature in the rooms.
To avoid huge costs, it is worth considering systems that are able to provide heat at the time when the building is used, have low inertia, and use as little energy as possible.
What solutions are worth considering?
Certainly, heating systems characteristic of residential buildings should be rejected. The radiators will not work – the heat will escape upwards, and warming up the entire volume of air will require a lot of time and continuous operation of the source. Underfloor heating is problematic – on the one hand, it would provide heat directly under the feet of the faithful, but on the other hand, it would require a lot of interference in the construction of the building. And in the case of age-old facilities it is a big disadvantage, often disqualifying the investment.
An interesting solution is infrared heaters. They can be located in close proximity to the congregation (near the walls, pillars, underneath the benches) and heat directly the seats and bodies of people staying in the building, bypassing the air. The assembly is simple, and an electric cable is enough for power supply. Unfortunately, this type of heating can be expensive in regular operation.
Trench heaters are an interesting alternative. They can be electrically powered or traditionally be a receiver for central heating with a boiler. The interference in the floor construction is smaller, the effect is almost invisible. While the heat flux also, as in the case of classic radiators, goes upwards, yet, due to the fact that it starts its journey from the floor level, it will have more effect on the comfort of people in the religious building.
Air heaters in religious buildings
The use of air heaters of various types (including water heaters) may also be considered. Theoretically, they have a negative impact on the aesthetic value of the religious buildings. Modern designs of water heaters, however, are not necessarily obtrusive, especially if they are properly arranged. A correctly selected and installed system should not generate unpleasant airflow. The noise may have adverse effects, but it should be kept in mind that in the newest engines it has been significantly reduced.
Undoubted advantages of water heaters, such as: the ability to quickly supply heat to specific zones of the room, as well as energy savings (especially compared to electrically powered devices), cause that religious buildings can be found in which this type of heating is installed. However, a lot depends on the individual construction and aesthetic features of such a building.