Avoiding Business Conflicts

What Kind of Heater Should You Rent for Your Construction Site?

by Arthur Bates

During the winter months, you don't want to put your construction project on hold due to the freezing temps. Fortunately, there are a number of heating solutions available to fit the needs of most any worksite. Whether you are working in a small, enclosed space, your construction site is wide open, or you're dealing with solid, frozen ground and need a quick thaw, here are just some of the options available so you can narrow down which one to rent for your project.

Propane Gas Heaters

Also known as direct-fired heaters, propane heaters are popular at construction sites, and they work well in open or closed spaces with plenty of ventilation. They are relatively inexpensive to rent, and since the cylinders that store the propane are closed, you don't have to worry about any contaminants getting in the fuel—an important consideration for most job sites. But there are a few other things to consider with propane heaters.

First of all, if you get a forced-air propane heater, their tanks tend to be large, rendering them less mobile than their competition. So they are better suited for stationery use. Second, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is present, but mainly if you are in a closed space without adequate ventilation.

Propane heaters can also come as a convection heater. They don't require any electricity, and the tanks are usually smaller, making them highly mobile and ideal for temporary heat. If your jobsite restricts the use of natural gas and you don't have a power source, this may be your go-to for heating needs.

You can also rent a radiant heater that uses propane and doesn't require electricity. The main difference between radiant and convection heaters is the former heats up objects in the environment rather than the air. So there is less heat loss to the surrounding area.

Kerosene Gas Heaters

These heaters use either diesel or kerosene to heat up your space. When compared to a propane heater, their tanks are typically smaller—though not always—so they may be more useful if you need a heater that can be easily moved. Another advantage is they leave less of a carbon footprint than propane, making them slightly more environmentally friendly, and they come with a reduced risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as well. Keep in mind, however, you still need adequate ventilation when using kerosene heaters.

Electric Heaters

If you don't want to bother with refueling a space heater, going electric is a good option for most any worksite. They're usually ideal for small spaces that need to utilize a "dry" heat, and most of them can be transported from one place to another relatively easily. You can also run ducts from them in order to supply heat to other parts of the jobsite.

The obvious advantage to using an electric heater is that you eliminate the concern for carbon monoxide poisoning, but the one disadvantage of using electric over gas is cost. It might be more convenient than having to replace the tanks, but that convenience will be reflected in the energy bill.

Ground Heaters

Sometimes, ground heaters are needed on construction sites for a variety of reasons, and you can rent several different types.

Thaw boxes are used to thaw out small patches of soil. For example, you may need to dig trenches or install poles and fences. Sometimes, home builders need them in order to prepare for and put in an egress window.

Hydronic heaters are for slightly larger projects and can be used to thaw the ground, cure concrete, and prevent the buildup of frost while working on your project. You can additionally connect them to ground thaw blankets to get a wider disbursement of heat. Hydronic heaters come in a variety of sizes that vary in their features, from the depth and square footage of heat delivery to how many hours they run.  

To learn more about your options, contact construction equipment rental services.