Commercial HVAC Equipment

Consider these options when replacing your building’s commercial heating system

Wednesday, November 29 2017 9:00 AM
By Jon Goering

Heating systems in commercial buildings account for 25 percent of total energy use.

You’ve decided to do it.

Weeks, months, possibly years of increasing heating costs and occupant comfort complaints have led you to replace your building’s commercial heating system.

Now that you’ve made the decision to replace, what heating system should you choose for your building?

What will give you optimal performance for your dollar while providing maximum comfort and efficiencies for the people and operations in your building?

In this post, we’ll review when you should consider replacing your commercial heating system and discuss five common options for your building.

Click here to see when the time is right to replace your building’s commercial heating system

Reasons to Consider Replacing Your Commercial Heating System

In our previous post, we discussed when you should replace your building’s heating system, with reasons including equipment age, energy use, and comfort and safety issues.

We also pointed out that heating commercial buildings account for 25 percent of total energy use – much more than lighting (10%), ventilation (10%), or cooling (9%).

Naturally, you want to choose wisely.

Consult a building professional first before making any decision, since your choices will have a profound effect on you, your building, and its occupants for years to come.

With this in mind, let’s examine your options.

Commercial Heating Options for Your Building

  1. Steam Heating Systems – the “old workhorse” of building heating, steam heating systems utilize a boiler to condense steam and then pass the steam through pipes. Oil or gas acts as a fuel source. Somewhat inefficient, steam systems require time to heat a building because they must first boil and condense steam before moving it throughout the space.
  2. Water Heating Systems – this option might be considered the cousin of the steam heating system. Same principles apply -  a boiler, powered by oil or gas, heats a substance, which in this case is water rather than steam. The water travels through radiators located in strategic areas throughout the building. Water systems also are inefficient because air must clear when the heat has been turned on, which takes time and energy.
  3.  Renewable Energy Heating Systems – recognized as the environmentally friendly option of the bunch, renewable energy heating systems utilize solar, geothermal or other renewable energy sources. These systems often cost more up front, which may scare potential buyers away. However, they can be far more cost-effective during their lifecycle.
  4. Heat Pump Systems – these systems are your most energy and cost-efficient option. Heat pumps don’t rely on a fuel source. Instead, they pull heat from the air and move it throughout a building. Heat pumps don’t always work well in regions with exceptionally cold weather, however. In these instances, they rely on electric heaters to remove heat, making them somewhat uneconomical.
  5. Thermal Storage – this type of system shifts the operation of your heating and cooling equipment to low-cost times of the day in an effort to reduce energy costs. It does this by creating ice at night, which your system utilizes for comfort conditioning during the day, when demand charges are highest.    

this type of system shifts the operation of your heating and cooling equipment to low-cost times of the day in an effort to reduce energy costs.


As a building owner, you have a variety of options for replacing your commercial heating system.

The benefits of a new system often include increased occupant comfort, reduced energy use, and fewer disruptive repairs.

With so many choices available, reach out to a commercial heating and cooling company you trust to discuss what system makes sense for your building.

Once the replacement has been finished, you can feel confident knowing you’ve done all you can to position your building for optimal performance for years to come.

For more information, please email Jonathon Goering by clicking here or call 316-265-9655.

Knipp Services works with commercial and industrial building owners to lower operational expenses and increase building comfort. We provide services that enable owners to have high-performance buildings. “Making Buildings Better” sums up the mission statement of Knipp Services.

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