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Heating

How to Improve Efficiency of Your Construction Heaters

September 30, 2016

If you’re working in home building, commercial construction or even renovation projects, you may need to rent temporary heaters during the winter. These construction heaters can vary in types and sizes, and they can eat up a bit of your job’s budget. To help make sure your heaters don’t break the bank, On Site has put together a helpful guide to useful you improve the efficiency of your construction heaters.

Reasons for Using Heaters on Your Construction Site

The reason you might be renting portable heaters for your construction site could range from the preservation of materials, speeding up workflow, or to just keeping your workers happy and warm. The main reasons to rent heaters for your site would be:

  • Keeping Materials, Paint and Putty from Freezing Overnight

If you’re doing major painting, putty, or other work during the winter months in an unheated building, you’ll probably want to rent some portable heaters to keep these products from freezing, and to adhere properly for quality finish.

  • Thawing Ground or Curing Concrete

Thawing ground or concrete curing during the winter is not going to be an easy job. You’ll more than likely have to rent either hydronic heaters to heat the ground or concrete directly. Another option is to create an enclosure and use air heaters to cure the concrete effectively and quickly.

  • Keeping Your Workers Comfortable and Efficient

If your workers are warm and happy, they’re more likely to work harder and be more efficient. Because of this, many site managers rent temporary heaters to keep their construction sites warm for workers.

Easy Ways to Improve Efficiency of Heaters

Now that you know why you should be using heaters on your construction site, let’s get down to improving the efficiency of the heaters you’re renting. Optimizing the efficiency of your construction heaters can save you a lot of money on fuel over the long winter season, so its important for your bottom line to make sure they’re running as efficiently as possible. The optimization tips that we’re going to talk about are:

  1. Choosing the Best Heater for the Job
  2. Considering the Layout of Your Construction Site
  3. Using Fans to Circulate Air Around Your Job Site
  4. Insulating the Work Space to Keep Heat In
  5. Placement of the Heater’s Thermostat
  • Use the Best Heater for Your Job Site

The easiest way to improve the efficiency of your construction heaters is to first pick the heater that’s right for your job. Deciding which heater is best for your job site first involves thinking about what the end goal is for using heat. Are you trying to prevent materials and work from freezing? Are you attempting to cure concrete? Are you just trying to keep your workers comfortable? Knowing what type of heater you require can take some consideration and discussions with a trained heat sales representative.

He or she will help you decide which types of heaters may be right for you. For instance, if you’re trying to cure concrete, a ground heater might be the most efficient option for you. If your need is to keep dry, clean air, then an indirect fired heater may be the best choice. If you’re simply trying to keep your jobsite at a certain temperature, then direct fired heaters may be the most efficient choice.
Trained sales representatives can also help you calculate the BTU’s (British thermal units) that will be required to heat the space you’re working on. If you rent a heater that is too small for the space, it will continue to run. This will burn more fuel and cost you more. If you simply choose the right heater for the job in the first place, you’ll save more in fuel costs over time.

  • Considering the Layout of Your Construction Site

Properly considering the layout of your building and the placement of your heaters can also be a great way to optimize the heaters that you rent. When deciding where to place your heaters, try to find spots near the base of your building. Remember that heat rises, so placing heaters near the base of the building and away from staircases and elevator shafts will help heat the entire space more quickly.

If you are working on a building with multiple levels, you can also use fewer heaters the higher up you get in the building. Lets say that you have a three level building. You’ll want to place the most heaters on the first level of the building near the base. On the second level you’ll only have to place half the number of heaters as you had on the first. Finally, on the top level, you’ll only have to place a quarter of the number of heaters you had on the first level. By considering the layout of your building, you can pretty easily optimize your heat with using the fewest heaters possible.

  • Using Fans to Circulate the Air Around Your Job Site

One of the easiest ways to help improve the efficiency of your heater rentals is to use fans and air movers to circulate the heat around your construction site. These fans and air movers can be “tumbled”, which is a process where the air movers are lofted towards the ceiling of a building to force the warm air back down into the room or at cold spots.

You can also use fans and air movers to circulate warm air around spaces that are “cut up”. If you’re working on a building that is “cut up”, or a space with lots of small rooms and twisted hallways, fans and air movers can be utilized to help circulate the warm air, preventing you from having to put a separate heater in each room.

  • Insulating the Work Space to Keep Heat In

 

Anyone who has even been in a drafty house will know how much heat can escape if the area isn’t insulated. For construction sites, properly insulating an area can be difficult, but it is important to optimizing the fuel usage on your portable heaters. To help insulate your construction site, consider securing poly over windows, plywood and any other open space around the site. We’ve even seen customers tent their entire open workspace with poly in order to keep the heat in. You wouldn’t leave your door wide open in the winter, so you should try not to leave the door open on your construction site.

  • Placement and Temperature Setting of Your Thermostat

 

Most of the portable construction heaters that On Site provides come with an attached thermostat to help regulate the temperature of the space. If you want to better optimize your heater’s performance, the placement of this thermostat is important.
Don’t place your thermostat directly in the path of the heater. If you have your thermostat right in the path of the heat, it will run less, but it won’t do a good job at keeping the temperature where you want it. Try to place your thermostat off to the side to better gauge the temperature of your workspace.

Another way to optimize fuel usage is to only set your thermostat for the application that you’re looking for. If you’re only running the heater to keep materials and work from freezing, only set the heater at 55 degrees. This will do the job without wasting any additional fuel. If you’re looking for the comfort of your employees, set it somewhere around 65 degrees. If you’re curing concrete, however, you’ll want to set it somewhere around 90 degrees. By properly placing your thermostat and setting it correctly, you will use only the fuel necessary for the job at hand.

If you are using temporary heating on your construction site, there are several things you can do to help optimize your heater’s performance and save yourself some money.First, make sure that you’re using the correct heater for the job. This will help the heater work more efficiently and burn the least amount of fuel.

Think about the layout of your construction site, and use fans and air movers to properly disperse the heat throughout your space.Keep the area as insulated as possible so the heat you are generating isn’t escaping outside, and finally, place your thermostat in a location that will help your heater get a proper gauge of the temperature of your work space.

These are just some basic suggestions for optimizing the performance of your construction heaters. By speaking with a trained sales representative, you can take even more factors into account and create a customized plan for making sure you’re getting the most out of your construction heater rentals.

On Site Companies is a construction equipment rental company out of St. Paul, Rochester and Mankato MN, St. Louis MO and Omaha NE. For more questions about direct fired heaters or renting heaters for your construction site, call us at (651) 429-3781 or email us at sales@onsiteco.com.

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