5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selecting Heat for Your Job Site

Brrrrrrrrrr. If winter hasn’t hit yet where you’re living, stay tuned: It’s coming. And to keep construction projects on schedule and budget, you need a heating solution. You’ll be able to continue with essential construction activities—even pouring concrete and curing plaster—and keep your workers comfortable and safe. Heating is particularly critical if you expect to be working in a structure with walls of sheet plastic or canvas.

To help you select the optimal fuel and heater, and to calculate the amount of heat you’ll need for your job, we created The Construction Heating Handbook and The How-To Guide for Calculating Heat Loads and Job Sizing. The Construction Heating Handbook covers selecting the right heaters and fuel for your project; the How-To Guide addresses calculating heat loads and job sizing.

Here are a few tips to help you choose a heating solution that will work—and pointers to where you can find more information.

What types of fuel should I consider to heat my job site?

Your choices generally come down to propane or diesel, unless your site includes full electrical power, natural gas, or a steam system you can use. With propane, you’ll need to be certain your site has room for all the tanks required while meeting local regulations. With diesel, you’ll need to ensure equipment placement will give a truck easy access for regular refueling. Diesel also limits your heater choice to indirect-fired, given the noxious combustibles diesel introduces into a building space. When you’re choosing a fuel type, also consider heat produced and cost per unit of heat, installation and safety, and your preference. To help you evaluate which fuel type is right for your job, check the information found in the Construction Heating Handbook: Selecting the Right Heaters and Fuel for Your Project.

How do I determine which type of heater is best for my project?

The type of fuel you choose will narrow down your choice of heater for your job. The possibilities may still seem endless, but that means you can tailor the solution to your needs. Considerations include size, portability, indoor or outdoor placement, power options, flame or flameless operation, cf/min delivered, combustibles and odor, installation considerations and additional equipment, fire watch requirements, safety, and rental cost. To help you evaluate which type of heater will work best for your job, we’ve compiled information on each of these factors for a range of heaters in the Construction Heating Handbook: Selecting the Right Heaters and Fuel for your Project.

What are best practices for installing any type of heater?

After you choose a heater for your construction project, make sure you become familiar with the manufacturer’s installation instructions. A few best practices will apply no matter which heater you choose:

  • Always set heaters on a level surface.
  • If the heater is outdoors, choose the most direct path for airflow into the building.
  • Pay close attention to recommended minimum distances to combustible materials.
  • Consult an electrician for power cables of adequate size, if needed.
  • Assign at least one individual to receive jobsite training in how to use and operate heating equipment.
  • Always maintain a fire watch unless the heater is flameless.
  • Follow all manufacturer safety recommendations.

For more information on installing every type of heater, see section 2 within the Construction Heating Handbook.

What do I need to know besides structure volume to calculate how much heat I need?

Various factors impact job sizing, including altitude, building envelope, heater efficiency, duct-run lengths, and design temperatures and moisture levels. But the three key numbers are air density, building heat loss, and equipment performance. The hardest number to determine is the building heat loss, which depends on variables and intangibles from the type of windows used to the number of stairwells. The heat loss calculations themselves are straightforward, but the values you use can be as much art as science. For more information on calculating job sizing, see section 3 within the How-To Guide for Calculating Heat Loads and Job Sizing.

Who should I contact if I need emergency heating equipment delivered?

If you’ve waited a little too long to plan your construction heating needs, we can help. We provide emergency delivery of heating equipment and excellent pricing on construction heater rentals. Just call us at 866-830-6143.

In fact, you can contact Sunbelt Rentals any time you want to discuss your construction heating plans, needs, and constraints. After considering your job’s budget, timing, conditions, safety, and other factors, we can recommend a solution designed for you. We’re happy to provide a free consultation including a no-charge, on-site survey. We also have computer models for job sizing that take into account factors from the weather at your location to the altitude to ensure as accurate an estimate as possible.

For more information, contact us today at 866-830-6143 or visit us online at sunbeltrentals.com.