How does propane heat work for the construction industry?
Did you know that over 350,000 vehicles in the US are powered by propane? In fact, you can convert most vehicles to run on propane, for less than $2,000. It’s also safer for our environment.
Propane is an approved clean fuel. It’s listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It’s one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels available today.
The tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency show promising results. Propane-fueled vehicles produce 30% to 90% less carbon monoxide than gasoline. Propane also creates 50% fewer toxins and smog emissions than gasoline.
It’s also nontoxic to water and soil.
It can be used to fuel vehicles, generators, and space heaters.
Plus, it’s portable. When you’re ready to learn how this alternative fuel can revolutionize your construction company, read on.
How Does Propane Heat Work on the Jobsite?
Though there are all sorts of propane tank myths floating around, propane is one of the safest fuels on the planet. Here are just two of the reasons why it’s better than using gasoline:
Propane tanks are 20 times more resistant than gasoline tanks and have a much higher autoignition rating. The autoignition temperature is the heat required to ignite the gas.
In other words, propane is less likely to catch fire by accident, making it safer for the job site.
You can use propane to run your vehicles. You can use it to operate your generators.
But the way you’ll find them most useful on the construction site is in the portable heater. They’re especially effective if your job site has no electricity and you’re working in winter.
When Using Propane Cylinders to Power Your Heaters
If you’re using cylinders to power your propane tank heaters, follow these guidelines. They’ll ensure you run a propane-safe job site.
- Make sure your propane cylinders are devoid of bulges, rust, dents, or other signs of fire damage.
- Always transport cylinders to your job site in a secure, upright position.
- Never use a cylinder that holds over 100 pounds of propane, indoors.
- Connect no more than 3 hundred-pound cylinders to 1 manifold inside a building.
- Check each cylinder for leaks with a rated leak-detector solution, and avoid soap and water.
Industrial size propane tanks are available at your local propane gas company. Smaller tanks are available at your local grocery stores and gas stations.
When Using External Propane tanks to Power Your Heaters
If you’re running a line from your propane tanks to your heaters inside the house, follow these guidelines:
- Place tanks a sufficient distance from the property line and the building under construction. Consult your local building codes for local regulations.
- When you choose a location, keep in mind the effects that freezing and thawing may have on that ground.
- Transport the propane from the tank to the construction heaters inside the building with rigid piping.
- Flexible tubing is unsafe outdoors, as it cracks more easily.
- Hire a qualified propane technician to double check your setup and ensure your tank and heater are free of leaks.
- Choose a protected spot for your tanks and piping.
- Avoid any area that may be used by vehicles.
- Clear the area of combustible materials in a 10-foot radius around each tank.
The biggest problems arise from vehicles or people crushing the lines running into the house. Keep this in mind when you set up and plan accordingly.
When Using Your Salamanders or Other Propane Heaters
These are a few other details to keep in mind when using propane heaters on the job site. Specifically, heaters with a small, attached propane tank.
- Choose a propane construction heater of appropriate size for the square footage you intend to heat.
- Keep your heaters away from potentially combustible materials.
- Only use heaters in ventilated areas with enough airflow for both combustion and the removal of carbon monoxide.
- Only use heaters that include shut-off valves for added safety.
- When you complete your project, close the safety valve on the container first.
- Allow the gas in the line to burn off.
- Then shut down the heater itself.
- Only allow a qualified propane gas technician to repair any faulty equipment.
We can’t stress the importance of the last item on the list enough. You work in an industry in which you’re used to getting things done. You’re used to jumping in and fixing problems.
In this case, seek expert advice to make certain your equipment runs properly.
What About Gases Similar to Propane?
Ethane, methane, propane, butane. Each is a safe, clean hydrocarbon fuel source. Ethane and methane may be used for energy sources, though propane and butane are used more regularly for industrial use.
Why? Because they create more energy per ounce.
Strictly speaking, propane and butane can be used for similar jobs. So long as you attach the right pressure regulator, you’ll be good to go. Sometimes people choose butane because it’s slightly less expensive.
Propane, on the other hand, is rated for a wider degree of temperatures. That makes it safer and more convenient for year-around construction sites. These are the areas in which people most commonly use these fuel sources:
- Patio Heaters – Propane Gas
- Portable Heaters – Butane
- BBQs – Propane or Butane Gas
- DIY Use – Propane Gas
- Outdoor Use – Propane Gas
- Camping – Butane Gas
- Caravans – Propane and Butane Gas
- Commercial Heating (Intense Use)- Propane Gas
- Ovens (for Non-intense Residential or Commercial Use) – Propane Gas
Kerosene is another fossil fuel source that’s commonly used. Unfortunately, it leaves an undesirable film behind when burned. it coats cabinets, walls, and appliances. Propane does none of these things.
Electric heaters may also be an option, so long as electricity is available at the job site.
The two things you need to be careful of when using electric heaters are price and power load. It costs more to run an electric heater, and your other tools may use the same circuit as your energy-heavy heater.
Now that we’ve answered the question how does propane heat work?
It’s time to figure out how it can best work for you. If you want to learn more, contact a local propane gas dealer for any questions you have.
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So long and good luck!