Infrared heaters are designed to provide warmth and comfort for commercial, industrial and some approved residential applications.
Most infrared heaters are not approved for:
- Residential indoor living or sleeping areas.
- Process heating, such as paint booths, grain bins, material drying.
- Hazardous (class 1 or 2) environments.
V4: Infrared Heater Safety and Installation, Operation and Maintenance Practices
Infrared heater inspection checklist
For optimum performance and safety, it is recommended that all installation, service and annual inspection be performed by a qualified person or agency. For a complete checklist, reference the manufacturer’s Installation, Operation and Maintenance manual.
Make sure that:
- Clearances to combustibles warning signs are posted and the area around the heater is free of combustible materials.
- The manufacturer’s Installation, Operation and Service manual is legible and is kept in a clean, dry place. Contact the manufacturer for replacement.
- All warning labels are attached and legible. Contact the manufacturer for replacement.
- The reflector is in good condition and free of dust and debris. Clean outside surface with a damp cloth, if needed. Reflector must be properly resting on mounting brackets and not the tube itself.
- Vent pipe and outside air inlet are free of dirt, obstructions, cracks, gaps in the sealed areas or corrosion. Look for bird or insect nests. Remove any carbon deposits. Tubes are connected and suspended securely. There should be no holes, cracks or distortion on any part of the tube, especially the top.
- The gas line has no gas leaks. Check gas connection and verify proper inlet pressures are satisfied; refer to the manufacturer’s Installation, Operation and Service manual.
- Combustion chamber and burner observation windows are clean and free of cracks or holes.
- Blower impeller fan and motor are clean. Blow off any accumulated dust with an air compressor.
- Burner and orifice are clean.
- Igniter and electrode are not cracked, broken, eroded or showing signs of wear. Insure proper gaps. Repair/replace as needed.
- All electrical connections, thermostats, sensors and control devices have no exposed wire, corrosion or damage to the device or its wiring.
- Suspension of the heater is secure and in accordance with manufacturer’s requirements. Look for signs of wear on the chain or ceiling.
- Pump and blower inlets and outlets are free of blockage or soot.
- Ceramic tiles in burner assembly are not operating in a flashback condition (burning behind grids).
- Ceramic tiles are not cracked. Ceramic burner assembly gaskets must be in place. Do not clean with high pressure air.
The fan is a critical tube heater component and must be kept clean. When cleaning the fan, be sure to clean each fin on the impeller fan (squirrel cage) to ensure proper air movement. Oil the motor annually using SAE 20 Motor Oil.
A heater that hangs in a dirty or moist operating environment should be covered or removed during the summer months.
A dirty reflector will adversely impact the output and performance of an infrared heater. Clean reflectors annually using a wet rag or sponge. If your aluminum reflector is stained or discolored, try cleaning it with Alumiprep 33 by Henkel Technologies.
To avoid blockages in the venting from birds nesting, a screen can be installed on your vent cap with squares spaced 1/4 to 1/2 inches across. If using high pressure air to clean a ceramic heater DO NOT exceed 30 psi or you risk removing the gasket material that lines each ceramic. High pressure air should be applied carefully and from a distance of 3 to 5 feet. DO NOT apply high pressure air to a gas valve or air pressure switch as this will rupture the component’s internal diaphragm.
When checking the combustion chamber noted on the annual inspection checklist, pay particular attention to the integrity of the top portion of the tube nearest the burner (the first 10-feet) as this is where the failure risk is greatest.