Efficiency in aircraft hangar heating

Compare and contrast

3 heating options are evaluated based on efficiency and life-cycle costs to determine the best way to heat an aircraft hangar. 

A hydronic radiant heating study

An aircraft hangar is a challenging space to heat. Large amounts of heated air escape when hangar doors are opened for aviation and maintenance equipment to enter and leave the space. By heating the floor surface rather than the air, REHAU radiant in-slab heating allows owners to lower costs and reclaim control of hangar temperature.

To prove the effectiveness of hydronic radiant for aircraft hangar heating, a national third-party engineering firm performed a simulation in five US cities across four different climate zones (Zones 3-6) comparing three heating options:

  • Forced-air unit heaters
  • Gas-fired overhead infrared heaters
  • Hydronic radiant in-slab heating

The study conservatively assumed that the hangar doors would be open for 15 minutes twice a day.

Across the climate zones, in-slab hydronic radiant heating showed up to 55% energy savings over the benchmark forced-air unit heaters.

Energy Comsumption graph aircraft hanger - 117750

Looking at heating energy consumed in aircraft hangar simulation across the climate zones, we observed 40-55% energy savings when comparing the REHAU radiant slab installation to the benchmark unit heater system. This equated to analogous savings in utility costs, after accounting for differences in local utility rates.

Other advantages of radiant in-slab for hangar heating include:

  • Heat focused at the level of the workers, not above their heads, increases comfort
  • Heat stored in the thermal mass reduces temperature fluctuations, allows use of off-peak energy and enhances resiliency
  • Maintenance costs 60% lower compared to the benchmark forced-air unit heating system

All the above advantages lead to 30-40% lower life cycle costs and a return on investment that is typically less than 5 years.

REHAU radiant heating systems have long-term proven reliability in projects worldwide. To learn more about these projects or the study described above, download the full online seminar.

By Ryan Westlund, Senior Manager, Radiant Heating and Cooling

Engineering progress

Enhancing lives

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