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The Difference Between Direct vs. Indirect Fire Heater for Paint Booths

Most paint booths are heated; however not all heated paint booths are made the same. Some, usually older models, use indirect fire while others, usually new models, utilize direct fire. If you’re looking to buy a paint booth, it’s important to understand the difference between the two different types of heated booths. Keep reading to learn about the difference between direct vs. indirect fire heaters.

What is Indirect Fire Heat?

Indirect fire heaters were used for many years in the finishing industry and were in fact the standard for heated booths. Indirect fire heaters utilize gas or oil to heat a chamber that heats a paint booth. Because these heaters must heat an entire chamber before the air enters the booth, they only provide about a 75-80% heating efficiency at best. It also makes it extremely difficult to regulate and control a booth’s temperature, as it depends entirely on what the degree the chamber reaches. For this reason, it also takes a long time to heat and cool down booths.

Advantages of Indirect Fire Heaters

  • Provides 100% clean air
  • Good for shops with small spaces, as they do not release carbon dioxide

Disadvantages of Indirect Fire Heaters

  • Higher purchasing and operating costs
  • Lower heating efficiency
  • Requires an electrical outlet and exhaust ventilation

What is Direct Fire Heat?

Direct fire heaters have become the new standard for paint booths. These use natural gas or propane to heat up the air that goes directly into the chamber connected to the booth. It creates a faster heating process, as it occurs all at once rather than heating the chamber before the booth. Direct fire heaters create little to no waste of resources and create a 90-100% heating efficiency. They’re also much easier to turn on and off, making heating and cooling very easy.

Advantages of Direct Fire Heaters

  • Extremely high efficiency rate
  • Creates higher BTUs (amount of heat) in smaller units
  • Less expensive and has lower maintenance costs
  • Quickens the painting process with faster heating and cooling times

Disadvantages of Direct Fire Heaters

  • Requires ventilation or open air
  • Can add carbon dioxide to the air

Top-Selling Accudraft Paint Booths with Direct Fire

While all Accudraft paint booths can be customized, it is very uncommon for a new paint booth to have an indirect fire heater. Almost all booths we manufacturer today are direct fire because of its efficiency. Check out these three top-selling direct fire paint booths:

  • Pro-Series: economic paint booth and finishing solutions made in various configurations, including non-heated or heated, depending on your shop’s needs
  • Italia Alto: features all the same high-grade features of our Italia, yet cabin designed around Ford Transit and Amazon vehicles for an internal height clearance of 12 feet.
  • Titan: the ultimate in spray booth technology and high-speed finishing production with workspace conditions engineered and optimized for the latest low VOC & waterborne paints on the market today.

To inquire about paint booth installation and pricing, contact us online.