Heating and Cooling

A quick guide to heating and cooling options for business.

Save on your energy bill by installing energy-efficient, natural gas heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment. NW Natural can help you choose the option that's best for your business.

Packaged HVAC Units (GasPac)

This is the most typical heating and air conditioning product used by businesses. A gas pac combines the convenient cooling of an air conditioner with energy-efficient gas heat of a furnace, all in one space saving unit. Typically these units are installed on the roof of the building.


Just like your home furnace, these units use forced air to heat space. Circulated air moves across a heat exchanger with a blower or a fan and distributes the heated air throughout the building via a duct system. Features of energy-efficient furnaces include electronic ignition, sealed combustion, a secondary heat exchanger and pulse combustion.

Unit heaters

Most often these types of heaters are used in garages, warehouses or large manufacturing facilities. Unlike a furnace, unit heaters are more commonly mounted on the ceiling and blow heated air directly into the space, versus using a duct system. Energy-efficient units have electric ignition and power venting.

Infrared heaters

Infrared is a great, energy-efficient solution to replacing unit heaters in spaces with high ceilings or in areas that are frequently open to the elements. How does it work? Like the sun, infrared rays heat the earth, people and objects directly.

The energy emitted is safely absorbed by cool surfaces that warm up, which in turn, release heat into the atmosphere by convection to raise ambient temperature.

Typical types of businesses that install this technology include auto service centers, warehouses, aircraft hangers, greenhouses, kennels, sports arenas, and even restaurants with outdoor patios.


Boilers supply heat by using either low-pressure steam or hot water. Heat is circulated through the building by a system of pipes. Energy-efficient boilers can feature pulse combustion, high turn down burners, economizers, vent dampers and other energy saving features.

Engine driven chillers

These units are cost-effective for cooling industrial and large commercial facilities. Natural gas engine-driven chillers have the ability to vary the speed of the engines to match the load, resulting in high part load efficiency. Heat recovered from the engine can be used for heating domestic water or for other thermal applications.

Absorption chillers are designed to eliminate the need for CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) refrigerants, which are harmful to Earth's ozone layer. Instead of using CFC's, absorbers use water as the refrigerant, completely eliminating the need for CFC's. Because they have few moving parts, they generally operate relatively quietly.

Desiccant dehumidification equipment

The less moisture in the air, the more comfortable and easier it is to cool. This is what desiccants do best. By lowering the humidity they are also effective at reducing the amount of bacteria and fungus in the air.