The efficient and cost effective heating of churches presents a unique combination of considerations – both technical and aesthetic. A successful church heating system will be effective, economic and as unobtrusive as possible.
Typically, churches are tall buildings with a correspondingly large air volume to floor area ratio. They tend to be used intermittently and often have poor thermal properties. These factors mean that conventional space heating systems are rarely practical.
Churches are also special places and heating systems must be selected with this in mind. The people at BN Thermic have provided church heating systems for many years and over this time has developed two distinct approaches. Both are direct acting heating systems in that they heat people directly rather than building up and maintaining a body of warm air.
They are both silent and draught free. Where a church has fixed pews, we would always recommend the BN Thermic pew heaters (the BLC range).
Why use Pew Heaters for Church Heating?
Why use pew heaters in a church? The low level skirting convector heaters from BN Thermic are designed for installation directly under the seat of a conventional church pew, and we believe that this range is the best church heating system available. Here is why:
- Direct acting: Direct acting BLC pew heaters provide comfort heat to a church’s congregation without the need to heat the church itself
- Effective within minutes of switching on: the energy consumption is kept to a minimum as no significant pre-heating is required
- Under pew mounting position and dark brown paint finish: These features ensure minimal visual impact
- Silent and draught-free operation: Ensures that the heating system will not in any way detract from the congregation’s experience
- Tough all-steel construction with metal sheathed, finned heating element: Many years of trouble free service
- Automatically resetting over-temperature protection device covering the entire length of the heating element: The heater will automatically be switched off should the flow of air become obstructed at any point along the heater’s length
- Choice of mounting methods: fix directly to the pew backboard; floor mount (with special brackets); suspend from the underside of the seat. Suitable for most types of pew and floor surfaces.
How Pew Heaters Work
Pew heaters are installed below the pew seat and provide gentle heat to the pew’s occupants. Once energised the metal sheathed heating element will quickly reach its optimum temperature causing warm air to rise from the aperture above the central baffle plate. At the same time cooler air will be pulled into the heater through the aperture below the central baffle plate completing the convection cycle.
The BN Thermic BLC pew heaters represent the best church heating solution because they are 100% effective within minutes of being switched on. Pew heaters are visually unobtrusive, operate silently and without the draughts and light output associated with other church heating technologies.
How to Select Pew Heaters
BN Thermic BLC pew heaters are designed to provide direct heating to pew occupants. The greater the percentage of the pew length that is heated, the more effective the system will be. BLC pew heaters are generally mounted to the pew’s back board immediately below the seat.
Where a backboard is not available, the heaters can be floor mounted using BLC-FB floor brackets or fixed to the underside of the pew seat using BLC-HB suspension brackets. When required, BLC pew heaters can be protected by fitting the appropriate guard.
For example, when the space between seat supports is 650mm – 750mm you can use the BLC300, for 751mm – 1000mm use BLC500, and for 1001mm – 1500mm use BLC750. Of course, when the space between seat supports exceeds 1500mm, a multiple of heaters can (and should) be used.
How to Control Pew Heaters
BN Thermic BLC pew heaters are generally used to provide direct heating for people sitting in a pew rather than heating the air around them. For this reason thermostatic control is not usually required. Control is usually manual. The system should be energised approximately 15 minutes before the start of a service to allow sufficient time for the heaters to reach their optimum working temperature. At the end of the service the heaters can be switched off. If preferred, this operation can be performed by a programmable timer.
Because these pew heaters are direct acting, there is no need for unoccupied pews to be heated. It is therefore common practice for a simple switch to be fitted to each pew allowing individual pews to be isolated.
Read more about the church heating solutions and the BN Thermic pew heaters via Sparks, where you can find more about the features and benefits, dimensions, and installation instructions. The above article is inspired from BN Thermic’s presentation of the BLC range of pew heaters. More pictures of the application of such pew heaters below.