The winter months are quickly approaching. If you have winter construction plans, keeping your site and team warm is crucial. Fortunately, you have a few options to choose from to keep your construction site and team comfortable, regardless of the cold weather.
Research is a top priority if you are currently on the lookout for the best temporary heating rental for your construction site. What works best depends on your specific industry and your team. Before determining which is best suited to your company and the needs of your workers, it helps to understand the difference between the most common temporary heating methods.
Indirect fired heaters are one option. Typically, these heaters will be fueled by either natural gas, propane, or diesel. The burn chamber contains a flame with cool air that moves over and around the heat exchanger. Ultimately, this will produce warm air, which can be ducted into the construction site or building.
One of the benefits of indirect fired heaters is the lower safety risk they pose to your workers. These heaters have a lower risk of causing carbon monoxide to build up throughout the site than other popular heating methods. Still, with that low risk comes a higher cost, as well as a lower level of efficiency.
As they are the less powerful option, indirect fired heaters might not be the best heating option for some winter construction projects.
If you do opt to bring in an indirect fired heater, be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Keep your heating unit outside the building, and make sure that it is placed on stable ground.
- Use jersey barricades or bollards to secure and protect the heater’s fuel tank.
- To discourage fumes from entering the construction site, ensure that flue stacks aren’t placed near any combustible materials.
During the winter months, direct fired heaters are an especially desirable heating option for construction sites. These portable heating units are powerful, with one hundred percent of their fuel converted into heat. As a bonus, direct fired heaters are easy to transport and even offer a relatively low cost to use.
However, one of the biggest sacrifices you’ll need to make relates to the additional safety concerns. If they’re used responsibly on spacious, supervised construction sites, there will be a relatively low risk of mishap. Nevertheless, because direct fired heaters have a direct flame, they should never be placed too close to combustible materials; otherwise, you will be introducing a fire risk to your construction site.
If your site is contained within a wood-framed structure, then direct fired heating may not be the most appropriate option for you. Since these heating units are highly portable and simple to maneuver, they also increase the risk of tipping. Compared to indirect fired heaters, this option has a more substantial chance of introducing hazardous gases (such as carbon monoxide) into the site. If this occurs, it is a serious health risk for all workers.
If you are interested in a powerful direct fired heater, remember the following safety tips:
- The unit should be placed on a non-combustible surface; this surface should also extend at least four feet in front of the heater.
- To avoid tipping, remember to mechanically secure your heating unit.
- Make sure that pilot safety valves or electronic flame sensors are secure and in place before use.
Electric heaters are another option for your winter construction site. These small units tend to work best if you’re heating a smaller area temporarily. To create heat, electric heating units use either a ceramic disc or a filament. A fan is then used to dispense warm air throughout the construction area.
These units offer workers a low health and safety risk, which is one of their greatest benefits. The drawback of electric heaters is that you need an electric source, making them a less convenient option. They are also made for small areas. If you’re looking to heat an entire construction site, you’re also likely to require several heating units.
To safely use an electric heater, just remember to:
● Use ground fault protection to maximize employee safety.
● Bring in these units only if you’re working in a dry environment.
● Make sure that the electrical circuit is correctly rated for the unit’s size.
Before you decide upon a winter heating solution for your construction site, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each possibility. Take stock of the site you’re working on, including its size and layout, as this could have a heavy impact on the best heating unit for you.
Guest Writer Bio:
Dan Hamilton is a heating expert with over 10 years of experience in the space. He started his career at BABFAR, focusing on building relationships with new and experienced contractors. His passion for construction has helped BABFAR have many years of success.