Heat drying systems dry wet materials by circulating heated air throughout the affected area or by focusing thermal energy directly on the wet materials. The resulting moisture laden air is either dried by mechanical dehumidification or exhausted to the outdoor environment. Thermal energy accelerates evaporation and desorption of moisture from materials. Heat drying systems used today have different configurations, however they all have three components in common;
- a heating apparatus that can be electric, diesel or gas-fired;
- a delivery system (e.g. fan, ducting or hoses) to get the heat into the structure; and
- a means of removing the moisture-laden air from inside the building (e.g. exhaust, ventilation, dehumidification)
It is important to understand that heat drying systems need to be used properly and with appropriate precautions. Issues can include damage to heat-sensitive materials and condensation within the building envelope. To prevent uncontrolled heat-rise in the air and on materials, McArdles uses thermostatic control devices actively manage the temperature in the space.