Choosing the Right Type of Heater for Your Workspace
Working in environments which are either too hot or too cold can have serious implications on staff morale and general employee wellbeing. If staff can’t work comfortably, then inevitably, productivity suffers! ‘Cold Stress’ is a real risk in some working environments, so, as we wave goodbye to summer and head into the chilly winter months, it is a good idea to stop and consider how you plan to effectively and economically heat your workspace. Purchasing or hiring additional heating equipment is an excellent way to ensure a comfortable winter for your team and with energy efficient options available, it doesn’t have to cost the earth…
A Guide to Safe Working Temperatures
Different workplaces require different ambient temperatures. For example, the comfortable working temperature in a busy kitchen environment will be much different to that of a quiet office where staff are generally seated with little physical activity.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, place a legal obligation on employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace. Whilst the Approved Code of Practice suggests the minimum temperature in a workplace should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius, or 13 degrees if work involves significant physical effort, it does not specify a maximum figure.
Employers are required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to determine what the reasonable comfort levels will be in their particular location and to ensure temperatures are at a comfortable level to avoid risking the health and safety of their employees.
A good way to help determine your employee’s temperature preferences is to talk to them, good communication can help you understand if the workplace temperature is comfortable or if adjustments need to be made.
Which Heater is Right for Your Workplace?
Planning your workplace heating requirements will help to prevent paying out unnecessary amounts of money on the wrong specification of equipment and will also help ensure you choose the most energy efficient option. We always recommend you use a heater with thermostatic control to ensure the room temperature does not fluctuate and to prevent the heating equipment from using unnecessary energy.
Consider the following factors before you hire or buy:
- What is the size of space you need to heat? You can work the volume of your space out with the following calculation: room length (m) x room width (m) x room height (m) = total volume (m3). The total volume will indicate which type of the heater you need, for example if you need to heat a large industrial warehouse, a space heater hire will be most efficient.
- What is the space used for? For example, are you heating a site office, an office, retail premises, a hospital, factory or a warehouse? This will affect voltage you need (construction site voltages will require 110v, whereas a commercial space will usually be 230v). The purpose of the space will also affect the temperature you need to achieve.
- Are there other factors that will influence temperature control? For example, the presence of heat generating equipment which will affect the temperature, ventilation (such as open doors and windows) and insulation of the building.
- Why do you need the heater? Are you simply heating a workspace, or do you need the heater for a specific application, such as for drying? If drying out a building, you will need a heater which generate dry heat, such as an indirect oil-fired heater.
- Are you going to run it in short or long bursts? Some heaters can heat a space quickly and effectively but are costly if left running for long periods of time.
- Will the heater be left unattended? Some heaters, such as direct oil-fired heaters which have a live flame, are not recommended to be left unattended.
Size Guide: How many heaters are required for my workspace?
We recommend 1 kilowatt of power per 25 cubic meters. You can work out the volume of your workspace using the calculation above.
So, a 3 kilowatt heater will comfortably heat up to 75 cubic meters.
What Type of Heater will Best Suit Your Needs?
Finding the ideal heater for the job can be quite difficult when considering the many potential variables. Ensuring you have equipment powerful enough to heat the space, whilst not being wasteful is a fine balance. Safety aspects, including ventilation, must also be carefully considered.
With this in mind, let’s look at some different types of mobile heaters available from Rapid Climate Control:
Electric Heaters are many peoples ‘go-to’ product for heating as they are suitable for a wide range of circumstances and are generally light weight and portable, meaning they are easy to move around to provide a flexible option. Electric oil filled radiators and convection heaters are recommended for heating smaller, well insulated spaces, such as site cabins or offices. Industrial fan heaters, or space heaters, are ideal for heating large spaces such as warehouses or factories. Electric Heaters come in a range of specifications to suit different power supplies:
- 110 volt: Suitable for building sites.
- 230 volt: Suitable for offices or houses.
- 3 Phase: Suitable for large spaces such as warehouses or factories with 3 phase electricity supply available
A Direct Electric Heater, sometime known as a Radiant or Infrared Heater, can be used both domestically or commercially and will provide a very powerful direct heat source which extends to an impressive area. Many, including the range from Veito, can be used both indoors and outdoors, are aesthetically designed to blend well in domestic settings, whilst other models such as the Clarke 370PC, are very robust and perfectly suited for spot heating or drying out walls within large draughty areas such as workshops, storerooms or construction sites.
Indirect Oil Fired Heater
Indirect Oil Fired Heaters are most commonly used in the events industry to heat large spaces such as marquees or temporary structures, and are also well-suited to warehouses. They provide clean, dry, thermostatically controlled heat inside the structure, with the heater located safely outside. They still require some method of exhaust ventilation when used indoors and an electrical supply, but due to their inbuilt thermostat, provided they are set up correctly, they can be left to run without constant supervision.
Direct Oil Fired Heater
Direct Oil Fired Heaters are a great option to quickly heat large areas. They work by burning fuel and are most suitable to be used in short bursts, maybe to get a workshop up to the desired temperature before a shift starts. Commonly used as an industrial workshop heater, Direct Oil Fired heaters require good ventilation to prevent the built up of any fumes generated from the burning process.
LPG Heaters are powered using LPG propane or butane gas. They are very efficient and can heat large areas quickly, making them a good option for industrial premises. Choose an LPG heaters which has automatic gas shut off to ensure the safety of employees.
Access the Most Innovative Heaters and be more Energy Efficient!
When it comes to heating, costs can quickly escalate, especially if you are heating a large area! Hiring or purchasing equipment from Rapid Climate Control means you can access the newest and most efficient products on the market to reduce your energy consumption and reduce your bills too. The expert advice you will receive from our team will help you discover the most efficient options available.
More than Just Delivery
We know it can be a bit overwhelming trying to understand which heating product is right for your workspace and so, as part of the service, our team will visit your location to conduct an in-depth site survey. The survey will take into account all the factors that will influence temperature control and your specific location to develop the most cost and energy efficient proposal.
We don’t just deliver the equipment to your door! Equipment installation is carried out by our experienced engineers, who will position the equipment in the most effective location to deliver optimal performance and to meet all health and safety requirements. The installation team will then provide a face-to-face demonstration to help you understand the functions of the equipment and address any queries you may have.
How to Hire or Buy from Rapid Climate Control
We have 8 Service Centres strategically located across the country to provide total coverage. You can call into any of our locations and find out about the latest products and innovations from our industry experts. The online team are also available to offer support, with lines open between 8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, just call 0370 330 6029.
If hiring equipment, opening an A-Plant account will give you access to thousands of products across all our specialist A-Plant divisions. For a one-off hire you can leave a deposit relative to the equipment you want to hire and provide two forms of identification (including a photo ID and a utility bill), and you will be ready to go!