When working in cold conditions, particularly during the winter months, adequate heating, (whether it’s on a building site, a warehouse, an office or at home) is vital. However, all heaters are not equal in size or specification and selecting the right one for the job can make a real difference. Before you jump into purchasing or hiring a heater, it might be worth asking yourself a few questions:
- What exactly do you want to heat?
- Why do you need the heater?
- What sort of space are you going to be using it in?
- Are you going to run it in short or long bursts?
The answers to these questions matter when deciding which heater you should choose. You might simply want to heat a workspace to make it a pleasant environment in which to operate. In which case, you’re looking at generally heating up the air in a room, with the likes of a convection heater. Then again, if you are looking to heat a particular area - to dry out a section of wall, for instance - then you’ll want a heater that can apply its heat directly, like a radiative heater.
Space itself can make a difference: is it big or small? Is it ventilated? If so, how? Finding the ideal heater for the job can be quite difficult with these variables. You need something powerful enough to heat the space, but you must also consider safety aspects and you don’t want to be wasteful with the heat produced. With all of this in mind, let’s look at some different types of mobile heaters.
If you’re inside and you’ve got available power, an electric heater is probably a good option. Oil-filled radiators can be found in many homes as an ideal source of additional mobile heat. Radiators heat up the air in a room, warming up a space fairly evenly. Radiators, however, work best in areas where the heat can’t escape, be it through open spaces or thin, poorly insulated walls.
Fan heaters can heat up a room quickly and can deal a little better with poorly insulated environments, but are, of course, more expensive to run than oil-filled radiators, particularly when used for an extended period. Used together with a dehumidifier, they can be an effective way of drying out damp rooms.
Radiative electric heaters give a very powerful direct source of heat, particularly useful for drying out areas of damp on walls or heating a worker at their workstation. Again, requiring more power than an oil-filled radiator, safe use is also something to consider with both fan and radiative heaters. They should be placed carefully and, ideally, not be left unattended. Alternatively, radiative gas heaters or cabinet heaters are also an option if an electricity supply is not available. These heaters are fueled by butane gas cylinders.
Direct gas and oil fired heaters
Direct gas and oil fired heaters are powerful and fan assisted. They can heat up spaces extremely quickly, but do require an electricity supply. They also need to run in well-ventilated areas. Direct gas heaters use a naked flame, so care must be taken with the risk of introducing carbon-monoxide into the workspace. They are perfectly safe if their environment is well-ventilated, but potentially dangerous if not.
Indirect gas and oil fired heaters
Indirect gas and oil fired heaters take the issue of a naked flame away, but are correspondingly more expensive. They provide clean, dry air, but do still require some method of exhaust ventilation when used indoors. We are also back to the problem of a power source, as they do need an electrical supply. Provided you can overcome these issues, indirect gas and oil filled heaters have enormous heat output, and are perfect for heating large indoor spaces such as warehouses.
On a side note, direct and indirect gas and oil-filled heaters often come with an inbuilt thermostat, meaning that – provided you have followed the safe procedure in placing and setting them up in the first place – they can be left to run without supervision.
Plantool have a full range of heaters at our disposal, from electric fan heaters to industrial-strength direct gas systems.
If you are interested in hiring a new heater – we are currently running our “Winter Warmer” heater offer: hire any two heaters and receive a third heater hire half price. Take a look at our full range today, and find the solution best suited to the task at hand.