Deciding on a heating system for your yoga studio is a difficult task. There are many options for heaters for yoga studios. Setting up a heating system for your yoga studio or even buying appropriate heaters for small yoga studios is a significant investment.
So, what are some of the essentials of finding a good heating system for your yoga studio? Consider this when purchasing heaters for your yoga studio:
- The energy source (gas vs. electric)
- Space heaters vs. central heating
- Heating type (forced-air vs. baseboard vs. radiant/infrared)
- Costs, including the “hidden costs.”
- Quality of the insulation in your building
- Length of the system warranty
- Durability of your heater
Now that you are aware of the basics let’s dive a bit deeper to understand the pros and cons of different heating systems and how to find the heaters for your yoga studio that perfectly fit all of your needs.
Heaters For Yoga Studios: The energy source
There are several types of heating systems with different energy sources (gas, electric, solar, wood, etc.). Here are the main options:
Gas heaters For Yoga Studios
Gas heaters are standard in homes and many businesses. They’ve been in use for decades, and they could heat your yoga studio well.
However, they do have certain health implications. For example, having a furnace heating system spreads allergens around. It’s also not good for the environment, which could hurt your branding if you present your yoga studio as an environmentally-conscious business.
Electric Heaters For Yoga Studios
Electric heaters are a good option. The main benefits of choosing electric heater are that they are sometimes cheaper than their gas counterparts, and you don’t need an exhaust pipe or chimney to remove the gas vapors from your yoga studio.
Electric isn’t always cheaper than gas – sometimes gas is the less expensive option. The exact prices vary based on your location, so you should look into what each form of energy costs near you before making a purchase decision.
Heaters For Yoga Studios: Heating Type (Forced-Air vs. Baseboard vs. Radiant/Infrared)
Your energy source isn’t the only thing you need to consider. You also need to choose which heating method you’ll use: forced-air, radiant, baseboard, or infrared.
Forced-Air Heaters For Yoga Studios
If you’ve seen floor, wall, or ceiling ducts in a home or office, you’ve seen the visible components of a forced-air heating system.
Forced-air heating is pretty simple: A gas or electric-powered furnace sucks in air from the building and heats it using a heat exchanger (seen in gas furnaces) or heating coils (seen in electric furnaces).
Distribution of heated air around the building happens through a network of ducts, and releasing heated air into the rooms happens through the vents.
The main benefits of a forced-air heating system are that it heats the space quickly, it’s easy to install, replacement parts are relatively cheap, and you can incorporate a centralized air conditioning system using the same network of ducts.
The primary downside is that the ducts can leak without you knowing, which can lead to substantial energy losses (which translate to monetary losses in the form of a higher heating bill).
Baseboard Heaters for Your Yoga Studios
Baseboard heating works by sucking in cold air from the floor of a yoga studio, heating it using electric or hydronic (hot water) heating systems, and then releasing the heated air back into the studio.
Baseboards are less expensive to install and maintain than central heating. The main downside is that they are less efficient than central heating systems, but they’ll still work if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution.
Radiant Heaters For Yoga Studios
Radiant heating systems work by directly supplying heat to the floor, wall panels, or ceiling. The heat dissipates to the room (and the people in it) through infrared radiation.
Infrared panels are a particularly strong contender for hot or Bikram yoga studios. They are very efficient and can heat the room quickly through electromagnetic radiation. It operates like a low-level microwave of sorts (but don’t worry – it isn’t harmful in the slightest!).
Using radiant heat can result in significant energy savings, and there are reports from hot or Bikram yoga practitioners who say that they prefer this form of heating.
One of the main benefits of infrared heating is that it heats the room evenly. Some hot yoga studios use forced air to raise the temperature. Still, the inconsistent nature of airflow can lead to pockets of cold air lingering about, which means that some students won’t get the full-fledged hot yoga experience.
It’s important to mention that infrared heating is only suitable for hot yoga studios. The light essentially turns the room into a giant sauna, and students who are looking for a normal yoga experience won’t appreciate the extra sweating they have to endure.
One more note before we move on: if you plan on using infrared heating, make sure you have moisture-resistant flooring that can handle the sweat that will be pouring off your students’ bodies. Insufficient flooring can quickly become damaged by the sweat that will be pooling on it all day long.
Space Heaters vs. Central Heating Systems For Yoga Studios
Once you figure out the type of energy you want your heater to use, you need to decide whether you want to invest in a small, portable space heater or a more extensive central heating system.
As you’re running a commercial establishment, I recommend you to choose the central heating option.
While space heaters are certainly affordable and can provide a quick source of heat on a budget, they are woefully insufficient for a professional yoga studio.
First of all, the heat will be typically uneven, with the area closer to the space heater getting too hot, and the areas far from it not receiving enough heat. And while it’s true using a convection heater instead of a radiant heater will mitigate this inequality of heat, there are also other factors to consider.
One such factor is the relative weakness of space heaters. If you live in an area that gets particularly cold during the winter, space heaters simply won’t cut it. You would need superb insulation to keep the studio warm enough to operate in, and even then, it would likely be too cold.
Space heaters are also inadequate when it comes to heating larger areas. If you have a tiny studio, you might be able to get away with one. But if you need to heat a larger space, a central heating system is your only feasible option.
Although the central heating system is your best bet, there’s no harm in buying a space heater to help your studio through the winter months. Space heaters are an excellent supplement to central heat. They just don’t fare too well if used on their own.
How Much Will The Heating System For Your Yoga Studio Cost?
While each heating system has pros and cons in terms of heating capabilities and environmental impact, the cost of the heating system will likely be the driving factor in deciding which heater to purchase for your yoga studio.
When you begin your calculations, make sure to include the entire cost of owning it. You’re already aware that there is an initial cost for purchasing the heating system. However, there are some other “hidden” costs that you also need to take into account.
For instance, you need to consider the opportunity cost of the amount of space that the heating system will take. A bigger unit that takes up more of your limited square footage will cost you more than a unit that takes up less space.
If your yoga studio is already fully decked out and you have an area that’s going unused, it’s not a big deal to place your heating system there. However, if you’re in a smaller space where every square foot counts, adding a larger heating system could result in less room for students; and over the years, the decreased student count could cost you thousands of dollars in potential income.
Maintenance and Repair
Maintenance is another aspect of the price. You’ll need regular checkups with a professional and, while these don’t cost too much, they should still be a part of your decision. You’ll have to pay for it every year, so it’s worth your time to calculate how much a particular unit will cost to maintain.
You also need to consider the repair costs. How much will it cost you to pay for replacements of certain parts? This is especially important when the heater is not under warranty anymore.
You’ll also need to pay attention to how long the warranties last to protect yourself from unexpected costs.
Some manufacturers are not willing to offer more than 90 days, and it’s unlikely that your heating system is going to need part replacements that quickly.
While a three-month warranty is better than none, it’s added as more of a sales gimmick than something that will help you with repair costs down the road.
Insurance is also something you need to consider, but it often remains forgotten. An insurance company is more likely to assign high premiums to gas and oil heating systems.
They are risky and could lead to fire and cause numerous problems. Insurance companies are famously wary of these systems. On the other hand, they might be willing to assign lower premiums if your heating system is electric.
How Tall And Well-Insulated Is Your Building?
The height and quality of your ceilings and walls can affect the type of heater you get. If they are too high and not insulated as well as they should be, you could be losing heat quickly (and paying extra to replace it).
Escalating costs due to lack of good insulation can be especially tricky if you’re running a hot yoga or Bikram yoga studio. You need the space to be hot, and if your ceilings are ineffective, no heating system will work well.
Make sure that your ceilings are at least 12 feet high, especially if you plan on having your heaters on the ceiling. If your ceilings are too low, your clients could hurt themselves.
Before you install a heater (whether it’s on the ceiling or not), you should inspect your ceilings. If there are issues with the insulation, fix them. The cost of electricity or gas spent over time would be much more than a fix right now.
You should also check your windows. Windows are similar to ceilings and walls in that if they are not insulated, they let the heat out.
Before investing in a heating system, make sure your studio is well-insulated to avoid excess heating costs and pockets of uncomfortably cold air.
How Long Will Your Heating System Run Before You Need To Replace It?
It’s important to know how long your system will run before you need to replace it. You can get this information from vendors or manufacturers when you start getting quotes on systems.
On the surface, it might seem smart to buy a cheaper heater that’s of lower quality than a more expensive option. After all, you’d be paying less money upfront, which gives you more capital to spend on other aspects of the business.
However, you need to account for the cost of buying a replacement down the road. You might save a few hundred dollars now by buying a lower-quality heater. However, if that heater typically only lasts ten years, while a slightly more expensive option typically lasts 15 years, you’ll be paying significantly more in those 15 years by going with the less expensive heater.
The decision will ultimately depend on how much cash you have on hand. If you’re starting your yoga studio on a tight budget, you might have no choice but to go with a cheaper option. However, if you can splurge a bit on a nicer model, your wallet will thank you down the road.
More Things To Consider
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- The placement of your heaters. Some of them are thin enough to be mounted on walls or floors, but some of them are big and need their own space.
- The amount of fresh air. Even though your studio should be warm and sealed tight in terms of insulation, you still need it to have enough fresh air.
- You can hire a professional consultant. They can help you with everything from choosing the heaters to installing them
Choosing the right heating system is essential when building or outfitting a yoga studio. You’ll need to consider the energy source, the type of heating, and all of the hidden costs that come with purchasing a heater before you settle on the right heater for your yoga studio.
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About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the yoga, fitness and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set-up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently resides in London, U.K.