Forced Air Torpedo Heaters
A torpedo heater is a portable version of a forced air heater. This heater has a cylindrical shape, two wheels and a carrying handle. This heater is called ‚Äútorpedo‚ÄĚ because it is shaped like a torpedo. It can be used in a wide variety of applications both indoors and outdoors.
History of Torpedo Heaters
The history of torpedo heaters started in the early 1940s. Mr W.L. Scheu of ‚ÄėScheu Manufacturing Company‚Äô (at the time a leading producer of temporary portable space heating equipment) invented the Torpedo heater / Salamander heater, to provide warmth for laborers. This allowed construction crews to work in colder weather and increased productivity. With the introduction of the Salamander heater in the 1940s, sales spread across the USA. And by the 1950s sales spread across the Atlantic to Europe.
Nowadays torpedo heaters are still popular. “Master”, “Reddy” and “Dayton” offer a range of kerosene and propane-fueled heaters with ratings from 30,000 right up to 600,000 BTU. Although torpedo heaters are most popular within the construction industry, smaller torpedo heaters can be used in garages and workshops if there is sufficient ventilation.
Kerosene Torpedo Heaters
A torpedo heater is generally fueled by kerosene. The heated air from inside the heater is propelled by a fan that operates on a time cycle. The timing of the fan helps to make the heater more efficient because it stops the heater from blowing cold air once the heater has stopped. This is done by cycling the fan on and off with a thermostat. For a forced air torpedo heater to function properly the amount of air that comes in must be equal to the amount of air that comes out.
This means that when choosing the forced air heater you are going to use it needs to match the size of the room or area that you are heating. If the heater is too large or too small for the area, it will put out a level of heat that is not proportional to the amount of cold air coming in. In this case it will operate in an unbalanced manner. As the result, this will create a draft which defeats the overall purpose of the heater.
When you choose a garage heater, you face the problem that torpedo heaters have pros and cons at the same time.
- Quick heating of large areas
- Easy to use due to simple operation
- Multiple fuel options, including kerosene, propane and natural gas
- Many models are portable and easily transported
- Offers clean, efficient and cost effective heat
- Heated areas must be well ventilated.
- Need power supply from mains grid or generator so will not operate during power outages.
- Units get very hot when heating. So they can be dangerous to workers or passersby.