3 choices to find the best heating system for your house

2 March 2021

When constructing or renovating a poultry and pig house, there are many choices to be made. One task is to find the right heating system for your climate, house volume and animals. In this article, we will guide you in your decision and explain a few general terms such as convection, radiant heat, open and closed combustion, etc. 


Choice 1: fuel — gas, oil, water or electricity

The price and availability of fuel is often the first consideration when selecting the right heating system. But it’s not just the type of fuel that affects the energy bill. The consumption and heat output of the appliance are crucial factors for an energy efficient solution. Therefore – when choosing for closed combustion – you should always check two important numbers that you can use to compare the efficiency of different appliances: 

  • the nominal capacity = the input: how much energy does the appliance use? 
  • the nominal output = the output: how much heat does the appliance generate with a given input? Other synonyms for nominal output are power output and heat output.

Heating with open combustion is 100 % efficient. So, the input will always be the same as the output.

Choice 2: convection or radiant heat

In houses with animals the decision between convection or radiant heat is often made based on preference. Below, we explain two key terms:

  • With convection heat, a space heater warms the air in the house and this warm air heats the objects in the space. Of the two methods, convection heating takes the longest to create a feeling of warmth where you want it. Convection is very often used in poultry and pig houses.
  • With radiant heat, infrared waves (IR) travel through air and gases and directly heat surfaces and bodies. Therefore, in a poultry house, an infrared heater will heat the litter and chickens but the ambient air is not heated. This means radiant heat saves energy since the heat generated is used very efficiently. An additional advantage is that you can precisely position the IR radiation, so the heat reaches the areas where it is needed more rapidly. 

For poultry, you can choose between convection and infrared. In pig houses, convection is often preferred, but infrared is also used in specific situations.

Choice 3: open or closed combustion in your house

The choice between open or closed combustion will often depend on whether you want a basic solution or a more modern method. 

heating direct fired cannon heater gas siroc-turbo convection poultry and pig
  • Heating with open combustion — or direct fired heating — requires oxygen to be extracted from the living environment for the combustion process. All the heat generated is used to heat the space because the combustion gases are not carried away. The downside of this 100 % efficiency is that you need more oxygen and ventilation. Roxell describes this option as a basic solution because with open combustion the air in the house will contain higher levels of CO, CO2 and condensate.
heating closed combustion heater gas siroc-pure convection poultry
  • Heating with closed combustion — or indirect fired heating — draws in oxygen for the combustion from outside and the combustion gases are carried away. To increase the efficiency of a closed combustion system, the system recuperates heat with heat exchange. If you want to create a healthy microclimate for your animals with clean air, closed combustion is the best option. Closed combustion is therefore a modern method that factors in animal welfare.

Your choice of fuel, type of heat transference and combustion will guide you to specific heating systems. The next step is to compare the individual heating systems based on efficiency, durability, safety and quality.

Roxell’s decision tool for heating systems

Roxell offers appliances that run on:

  • gas: natural gas, LPG and propane
  • oil: diesel, kerosene, petroleum and mazut
  • water: via an external boiler that runs on biomass, wood pellets, wood, coal etc.
  • convection: with open or closed combustion
  • radiant heat: with open combustion

Roxell makes it easier for you to choose with the decision tool. Use this handy tool and learn more about each of Roxell’s heating systems.

Want to receive an offer from Roxell? Contact a distributor in your country. Can’t find a distributor for your country on the map? Contact Roxell.