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Commercial equipment options for cooking, heating, CHP and more

There’s no doubt about it: including natural gas equipment in your commercial space is a smart business decision.

In fact, it’s one of the best ways to get the comfort, reliability and efficient performance your business needs at a lower cost. There’s even a wide range of natural gas applications available to meet the unique needs of your business – from the most popular equipment options for cooking, heating and water heating to the lesser known, but equally efficient cooling, refrigeration and combined heat and power.

But don’t let the equipment options overwhelm you.

The professionals at Washington Gas will help you review what’s available and make the best decision for your business. We also have a wide range of commercial rebates available to help with the initial costs.

  • Boiler Systems

    Boiler systems are perfect for large-scale heating applications such as office buildings, hospitals, school campuses, multifamily dwellings, hotels, etc. A boiler system heats water or another fluid in a closed vessel. The heated or vaporized fluid exits the boiler for use in various processes or heating applications, including water heating, central heating, cooling, boiler-based power generation, cooking and sanitation.

    A condensing boiler system is much more efficient than traditional boiler technology. In a condensing boiler system, the flue heat and excess water vapor are utilized to preheat the “cold” fluid as it enters the boiler.  In some regions, condensing boiler technology is incentivized through rebates or tax breaks.

  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

    With policymakers creating rigorous environmental regulations, community advocates campaigning for a cleaner environment and energy prices soaring -- the commercial, industrial, institutional, municipal and manufacturing industries are recognizing the importance of reducing carbon emissions and establishing energy efficiency goals.  

    One solution making headway in the industry is Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration. CHP is a form of distributed power generation and is typically located near the point of consumption. This technology is essentially the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy (heating and/or cooling) from a single source of energy, usually natural gas.  Learn more.


  • Cooking

    In professional cooking, natural gas is essential. Natural gas cooking equipment comes with so many modern features - like steam and combo ovens - that can make cooking faster, healthier and tastier.
  • Cooling and Refrigeration Options


    Dehumidifiers use specialized materials to remove moisture from the air, eliminating the need to set thermostats at uncomfortably low temperatures on humid days. Dehumidification can be used either in a stand-alone system or in conjunction with an air conditioner. When used with an air conditioner, the dehumidifier can significantly increase the energy efficiency of the air conditioner because dry air is comfortable at higher temperatures.

    Absorption Chillers

    Absorption chillers cool water using energy provided by a heat source. In addition to being direct fired by natural gas, absorption chillers can run using hot water, steam or waste heat, making them an integral part of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems or anywhere waste heat is available. Absorption chillers are generally used where noise and vibration levels are an issue, particularly in hospitals, schools and office buildings.

    Engine-Driven Chillers

    Engine-driven chillers cool water using energy provided by a natural gas engine. Engine-driven chillers are generally used to provide large cooling loads in areas with medium to high electric rates. In addition to high efficiency cooling operation, waste heat can be recovered for domestic hot water production or other thermal energy needs.

  • Energy Management Systems

    Energy management systems (EMS) are computer-based systems commonly used to monitor and control building HVAC and lighting systems, including groups of buildings such as university campuses, office buildings or factories. Energy Management Systems may also collect data from electric, gas and water meters. EMS allow for both local and remote monitoring and control of HVAC components. It can be interfaced with building security and fire protection systems. They are also used to monitor and control a variety of commercial and industrial processes.
  • Gas Heat Pumps

    Heat pumps provide heating or cooling from a single piece of equipment. When used in moderate outdoor temperatures, heat pumps offer significant operating cost savings over a conventional furnace or air conditioner. Gas heat pumps are most commonly used for space conditioning in large homes, nursing homes, apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, hotels, retailers and office buildings.
  • Generators

    Extreme weather, summertime brownouts and many other unforeseen complications can interrupt the electrical service to your commercial building. With a natural gas standby power generator, you can be assured that when power is lost, your residents remain safe. This is particularly important in assisted living facilities where it's critical for medical equipment to remain fully operational.

    A natural gas standby power generator is permanently installed outdoors. A typical natural gas standby power generator has an automatic transfer switch that continuously monitors the utility power for an interruption. If utility power fails, the transfer switch automatically starts the generator, transferring electrical loads and restoring power. When utility power resumes, the transfer switch automatically reverses the process.

    Back-up power generators are available in a wide range of sizes and can be used for the largest commercial facilities, and because it runs on natural gas the need for fuel storage is eliminated completely.

  • Hybrid/Combo Heating Systems

    Hybrid/Combo heating systems use one energy source to create two or more useful forms of energy. Hybrid systems also have the option of using two or more energy sources to create one or more useful forms of energy.

    The most common combo system uses one burner tip of natural gas to create space heat and hot water. These systems are built around either a boiler or a water heater where waste heat is channeled into an air handler for space heat. This system saves on the need for equipment, space and energy. It also can reduce long-term maintenance costs.

    Hybrid systems with two energy sources are often set up so that one source is a backup. An example of this is a solar water heater with natural gas as a backup for evenings and days without sufficient sunshine.
  • Radiant Floor Heating

    Radiant floor heating systems heat rooms using a set of tubes permanently installed beneath the floor. The operation of a radiant floor system circulates hot water or a water/glycol solution through PEX tubing below the floor. Radiant floor heating is most commonly used in high-end homes, commercial buildings or very cold climates. Radiant floor heaters are comfortable, efficient, quiet and provide a constant “blanket” of space heat. Also, radiant floor heaters allow for the creation of different zones with different temperature settings.
  • Space Heating Options

    Commercial Unit Heater

    Commercial unit heaters provide space heat to small areas such as small industrial facilities with relatively low ceilings, or larger areas where even temperature distribution is not critical. For example, unit heaters are typically found in the entrance to a retail store, or just inside the building near the loading dock. They are also used in manufacturing plants to provide spot heating in areas where employees are stationed. Some modern unit heaters are condensing units, which condense flue gases to increase overall efficiency.

    Forced Air Furnace

    Forced air furnaces burn natural gas to operate a heat exchanger where air passes through on its way to heat a space. Forced air furnaces can be used for climate control in most residential and commercial settings.

    Radiant and Infrared Heating

    Keeping many workspaces and patios heated can be a challenge. Open doors, large, drafty areas and non-insulated structures make traditional HVAC unfeasible. But gas radiant and infrared heaters have what it takes to do the job economically and comfortably. That's because they heat objects, not the air, so the heat is retained instead of escaping through an open door. Gas infrared heaters can also be used to melt ice on stairs and walkways, for condensation control on high window areas and deicing aircrafts.

    Rooftop Heater

    Rooftop heaters combine a furnace and air conditioner into one package. The typical rooftop unit uses natural gas for heating and electricity for cooling. Rooftop heaters are used most commonly for space heating in commercial and small industrial settings. Despite the name, rooftop heaters may be installed on ground-level concrete pads for buildings with multiple stories or a pitched roof.
  • Water heating options

    Booster Water Heaters

    Booster water heaters increase the temperature of hot water from 140º F to 180º F for use in cleaning and sanitizing dishware. In commercial or institutional kitchens, the hotter water produced can replace sanitizing chemicals used in conventional dishwashers.

    Direct Contact Water Heaters

    Direct contact water heaters allow flue gases to come in direct contact with the water they heat. This stands in contrast to more conventional water heaters and boilers, which use heat exchangers to heat water indirectly. Therefore, these devices will often have a smaller footprint than indirect contact heaters.

    Tank Water Heaters

    Tank water heaters heat and store hot water so it is ready for use as needed. Smaller water heaters, with a capacity of 30-40 gallons, are generally used in residential and small commercial settings. Larger heaters, with a capacity of around 100 gallons, are common in commercial and small industrial applications.

    Tankless Water Heaters

    Tankless water heaters, also called continuous water heaters, produce hot water on demand so there is no reserve of hot water. Tankless water heaters commonly have efficiencies in the range of 82 percent to as high as 97 percent, and can supply an endless stream of hot water. When a user opens the hot water tap, cold water travels into the unit. A gas burner then heats the water continuously as it flows through, before leaving as hot water. In commercial settings, tankless water heaters save energy and floor space.

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