Which Portable Heater Is Needed for Your Workspace?

Working on a temporary site over the colder months requires your site to be adapted. From lighting to reinforcing paths and driving tracks, the additional steps will improve safety and working conditions.

Another step to take is temporary heating, inside break rooms. When conditions are cold, workers will use more energy to retain body heat. So, as well as personal clothing, workers need a sheltered area where they can rest, re-energise, and get warm again.

Which heater you need will depend on various issues:

  • The size of the room
  • The amount of heat you need
  • The fuel type you can have

There is also a chance you need industrial-style heaters to dry paint, cement and other materials which are difficult to dry in colder conditions, as well as keep workers warm.


Which size space do you need to heat?

The volume of your room can be worked out using the following method:

  • room length (m) x room width (m) x room height (m) = total volume (m3)

As well as choosing the correct heater for your space and for what you’ll be doing, you need to ensure your chosen heater will heat the required area. Hiring one heater is more practical (and safer) than hiring several.

As a general guide, 1kW of power is needed for every 25 cubic meters.

Below is a guide to the different types of heaters which can be used in construction environments, whether to heat a break room or speed-dry work which has been carried out.


Heating areas

Employers are responsible for ensuring the ‘thermal comfort’ of employees, according to the HSE. More breaks than usual will be required, to keep the body temperature maintained above 35°C (which is the limit for hypothermia to occur).

A heated space will allow workers to warm their body temperature if the workspace is cold or maintain it when away from the heated workspace. The below heaters are great if used to heat a break area.

1. Propane-forced air heater

Propane air heaters are gas-powered, making them ideal for use in construction because they don’t require electricity supply or wires. The Master BLP53 Propane Forced Air Heater is good in commercial areas, with heat coverage of 1450m3/h.

It has adjustable heat levels, and a motor with thermal protection so is safe to use on a construction site. While no heaters should be left to run unattended, it doesn’t have to be monitored.

2. Fan heater

Able to provide clean, safe, and fast heating to a room, which is ideal in construction when you may need to rapidly heat a break room which has been left unattended.

The Master D3KWFH 3KW Fan Heater is nice and compact, so won’t take up valuable space. It produces no fumes, odours, or humidity, and can also be turned into a ventilation fan for the summer months.

3. Diesel direct heater

A diesel direct heater, such as the Master B150 44kW Direct Diesel Heater, can be used in ventilated areas within the construction industry. So, if you require a good airflow because of the work which you’re carrying out, but therefore need a powerful heater, this could be an ideal option for you.

The Master B150 features a really high airflow and uses diesel and will also require an electricity supply. Because they require a naked flame, care needs to be taken if using anything which may involve carbon monoxide.

As long as the area is well ventilated, they’re safe. They also have inbuilt thermostats, so can be left alone without supervision for the most part and won’t overheat the room.


Drying & heating areas

The Approved Code of Practice suggests work areas should be at least 13°C. Working in cold temperatures leads to the lowering of body temperature, and this can in turn cause issues with concentration and tiredness.

So, all possible steps should be taken to heat working areas as well as break rooms. But if you need to also dry out a building, you need a heater which generates dry heat. The below heaters can be used to provide dry warmth.

1. Bin heater

Bin heaters are practical both in terms of heating and drying out areas, so ideal if you need to heat a work area rather than a break area. The fact they can do both makes them a really practical solution in working environments.

They give out 360° surrounding heat, which is ideal for large areas which need a spread of heat as opposed to targeted heat.

With the Bullfinch 1400/02 Propane Bin Heater, there is no electricity supply required so you can leave it in the middle of the room for maximum efficiency. It is robust, offers clean burning and has flame failure security.

2. Infrared heater

Great for spot heating and drying plaster and paintwork, infrared heaters are great if you are struggling to get areas dry in time for the next job in cold conditions.

The Rhino TQ3 2.8kW Infrared Heater has a moulded handle and wheels for easy manoeuvrability, which makes it an ideal hire product if you have several areas which will need targeted attention.

3. Diesel indirect heater

Perhaps one of the most powerful heating options available, a diesel indirect heater can be used in huge, more open spaces such as marquees and workshops, so could be perfect for any outdoor covered work over winter.

Because models such as the Master BV170 49kW Indirect Diesel Heater can be ducted, they can be situated outside the work area which saves space indoors and makes things a bit safer when carrying out work around it.

The air is clean and hot, and there is a high airflow which means large areas are heated in no time. Unlike direct diesel heaters, there is no naked flame, but they do also need an electricity supply.

Diesel direct and indirect heaters both have inbuilt thermostats so should be fine to be left to run without supervision, and will still be energy efficient.

4. Battery oil-filled heater

These powerful heater types provide direct heat without any air movement, which can be great if you need dust-free drying of plaster and paints. They can also be really practical when it comes to defrosting machinery, which is great in the manufacturing and warehouse industries.

The Master DC61 17kW Infrared Oil Fired Heater is portable and gives the user hybrid power. So, it is powered via battery or mains cord and runs on diesel or kerosene. A one-hour charge offers four hours of power, and there are tonnes of safety features such as an overheat thermostat and anti-tilt switch.




Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of heaters for worksite use available for hire nationwide to out trade customers. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery.

When the temperature drops, trust Speedy to deliver. Open a Speedy account today online and in-store to manage hired products.

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