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sports hall heating systems

Sports Hall Heating

Designing a heating system for sports halls can be challenging.  The main issue is usually the effect of a very high ceiling, often in excess of 6m.  In tall buildings conventional convection based heating systems can be very expensive to run.  It is estimated that in a conventionally heated building, the air temperature will increase by around 2.5°C for every metre above floor level.  Therefore, to maintain an air temperature of 20°C at floor level, in a 6m high sports hall, the air temperature at ceiling level would be around 35°C.  The net result is a large body of over-heated warm air that is expensive to generate and serves no useful purpose.

The second challenge when designing a sports hall heating system concerns the sporting activities themselves.  Heaters mounted at low level can interfere with activities and even be dangerous.  This means that heaters mounted at high level tend to be more acceptable but, of course, maintenance of high level equipment is difficult and expensive so heaters that require little or no maintenance are preferred.  Even with a high mounting position, occasional impact from a stray football or tennis ball is inevitable so any heater needs to be robust enough to cope.

Many sports halls are used for activities other than purely sports.  School halls for example are often used for parents’ evenings, exams etc.  Where this is likely to apply, a silent system is generally preferred.

sports hall heating esp

Radiant cassettes omit no light, noise or draught output which means they do not interfere with activities 

Longwave Radiant Cassettes

Where a sports facility is used continuously for a good few hours each day, BN Thermic usually recommends a radiant heating system using radiant cassettes which are generally suspended from the ceiling in an evenly distributed grid.  This creates the ideal sports hall ventilation for air flow. Radiant cassettes are particularly well-suited as sports hall heaters because they do not give rise to a significant temperature gradient meaning that the air temperature at high level is virtually the same as it is at floor level.  The resultant saving in energy costs from the energy efficiency speaks for itself.

Shortwave Quartz Halogen Heaters

Heating indoor sports facilities, even with radiant cassettes, can be prohibitively expensive when the facility is only used intermittently.  In these circumstances halogen heaters are sometimes preferred because they are instantly effective and therefore no pre-heating is required.

Quartz halogen heaters are generally mounted between 3m and 5m above floor level, and emit shortwave energy which is absorbed by solid bodies including the floor, equipment and, of course, people.  Because halogen heaters operate in the shortwave part of the spectrum, some light output is inevitable.  However the introduction of BN Thermic’s Magic Lamp reduces the light intensity to a barely discernible glow.


Quartz heaters are instantly effective making them ideal for sporadically used sports halls 

heating design for sports hall

A bespoke radiant cassette design for an 18 x 26m school sports hall

Designing Your Sports Hall Heating

Sports Hall heating systems, whether using radiant cassettes, infrared heaters or halogen heaters, need to be carefully designed as a heating solution.

The engineers at BN Thermic are very experienced and are always on hand to assist. 

When required, they will visit a sports hall, carry out a survey and provide a bespoke heating proposal.  Our heating design service is 100% free-of-charge.

Sports Hall Heating FAQs & Guide

  • A poorly selected sports hall heating system can certainly result in unwelcome energy costs.  Here are some of the main points to consider.

    Convection based heating systems including fan heaters can present a problem in sports halls with a ceiling higher than a nominal 3m.  This is because, when heating relies on convection currents, superheated warm air will collect at high level.  This is not a significant issue when using radiant heating systems such as longwave radiant cassettes.

    Generally, when we think of heating, we are thinking of building up and maintaining a body of warm air in a confined space.  This is the way we heat our homes and offices.  For a sports hall with continuous use, this approach may well be the best.  However, for sport halls used on an intermittent basis, space heating may be unnecessarily expensive to run.  An alternative method is to use quartz halogen heaters which are instantly effective.

    Another way in which quartz halogen heating can reduce heating costs is through zone heating.  This means that, rather than heating the entire hall all the time, only the part of the hall being used needs to be heated.  Zone heating cannot be achieved using conventional heating systems.

    Finally, perhaps the main reason for higher than necessary energy costs is inadequate control.  Space heating systems always require accurate thermostatic control whilst the running costs of quartz halogen heaters can be kept to a minimum by using devices such as run-down timers and movement sensors.

    BN Thermic has considerable experience in designing sports hall heating systems including bespoke control systems.  If you like assistance with your project, please complete our enquiry form or simply call our Customer Service Department for assistance.

  • Yes, infrared radiant heaters are an ideal means of heating a sports hall.  For continuously used halls, we generally recommend longwave radiant cassettes.  However for intermittently used facilities, instantly effective quartz halogen heaters may be more suitable.

    Neither of these technologies give rise to a significant temperature gradient.  This means that costly energy is not wasted superheating air which merely collects at high level and serves no useful purpose.

  • Unless it is possible to partition off sections of a sports hall, the only means of reducing running costs by only heating a section of the total area is to use quartz halogen heaters.  Conventional heaters rely on raising the air temperature of the entire hall whereas quartz halogen heaters heat people directly without the need to heat the surrounding air.  So, for example, if there is a yoga class in one corner of a large sports hall, only the heaters in that corner need to be switched on.