Unless you live in a perpetually cold environment, working outside on an unheated construction site in the winter is the pits. Unfortunately, shutting down construction projects in the winter typically isn’t an option for anyone. That’s where temporary construction heat comes into play. Combined Energy Services can help!
Both residential and commercial project can benefit from the use of temporary heat throughout the coldest months. Those in the industry know that drywall, spackle and paint have certain minimum temperatures that must be met for the products to finish properly. And let’s face it, everyone is more productive when working in a comfortable environment. CES has not just the propane to meet your needs, but also the equipment.
Temporary heating devices are a vital part of being able to work effectively in cold weather. However, as a result of poor selection and careless use, injuries and damaging fires occur every year.
If improperly used, temporary heating equipment can lead to burns, fires, explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning, and the creation of oxygen deficient atmospheres. So, with the winter season upon us, it’s important to review the many types of construction temporary heating tips and devices that are available, and be sure they are used safely.
There are a variety of devices to choose from: Temporary heat units can be fired either directly or indirectly. They can be electric or fueled by: (1) LPG / propane, (2) natural gas, (3) liquid fuel: kerosene, fuel oil, some diesel oils or (4) solid fuel: wood, coal, etc.
Solid fuel heaters are the most uncontrollable and therefore most potentially dangerous. Because of the inherent hazards associated with solid fuel, temporary units cannot be used inside or within 15 feet of any building or structure. This safety requirement makes their use for most temporary heating situation impractically.
With the winter months upon us, project managers should work with Combined Energy Services experience sales department to discuss their construction plans.
Important Winter Construction Heating Tips:
- Never use a “fueled” heater within 10 feetof any debris piles, temporary enclosures, tarps, combustible materials, or flammable material.
- Maintain a good fresh air supply, to avoid oxygen deficient atmosphere: flames use
- Every heating unit must have a fire extinguisher immediately available.
- The use of temporary heaters in confined spaces is never recommended; when they are used, sufficient ventilation and temperature control must be provided.
- Allow the heater to cool downbefore it is re-fueled.
- Always turn off the gas supplywhen the heater is not in-use.
- Never store used or extra LPG containers inside. Only those in use should be present.
- Temporary heaters should be placed at leastsix feet away from the LP container and not fired toward the container, unless the heater is an approved integrated unit.
- Never manifold more than three 100-pound LPG cylinders together.
- LP cylinders must be securedin the upright position and protected from damage.
Never use LPG below grade level: Be aware that gases such as propane are heavier-than-air, and will settle into any low spots, such as a basement. If there is no way for them to exit, a spark or flame can ignite and explode the concentration of gas, causing great damage and injuries.
Temporary heaters are great tools, allowing work to continue in cold and damp weather. But remember, they can be dangerous. Take advantage of these winter construction temporary heating tips. Learn how to operate them, and don’t take them for granted.
Contact CES for details on how you can take advantage of Temporary Construction Heat.
Supporting the Community: CES Donates Maintenance Vehicle to Ten Mile River Scout Camp
We’re proud to support the local community and giving back to those who’ve supported us make it sweeter! Combined Energy Services’ Mike Taylor and Ron Lindholm hand the keys of this Chevy service truck over to Tom Hamer, Ranger at Ten Mile River Scout Reservation.
This is the 3rd vehicle in a year that CES has donated to Ten Mile River, a 12,000-acre Scout Reservation that is home to three traditional Scout summer camps and a Family Camp. Located in Sullivan County, near Monticello and Narrowsburg, it is operated year-round and has been a CES propane customer for over 20 years. TMR has been host to tens of thousands of scouts & their families over the decades, giving many life experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.
CES is proud to be a family owned, local company who has been serving the community for 50 years. We’re honored to be able to give-back to great local non-profits in the region like TMR.
Combined Energy Services wants to take a moment to remind everyone of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 430 people in the United States die each year from accidental CO poisoning and approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room. More than 8% of those visiting the OR are hospitalized.
Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that often goes undetected, striking victims caught off guard or in their sleep.
This “invisible killer” is produced by burning fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, portable generators or furnaces. When the gas builds up in enclosed spaces, people or animals who breathe it can be poisoned. Ventilation does not necessarily guarantee safety.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says about 170 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide produced by non-automotive consumer products, such as room heaters. That’s a whopping 60% of CO poisoning deaths! So as the weather turns colder, it’s important to take extra precautions.
Who is at Risk?
Exposure to carbon monoxide can result in permanent neurological damage or death, and anyone can be at risk. The CDC says infants, the elderly, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia or breathing problems are more prone to illness or death, but carbon monoxide doesn’t discriminate – especially if certain conditions are present.
How Can I Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in My Home?
Winter can be a prime time for carbon monoxide poisoning as people turn on their heating systems and mistakenly warm their cars in garages.
The National Safety Council recommends you install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home near the bedrooms. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. The CDC offers these additional tips:
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. Combined Energy Services offer a variety of service plans (Propane – Fuel Oil/Kerosene) to take the worry away from system maintenance;
- Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors;
- Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes;
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after the fire is extinguished;
- Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly;
- Never use a gas oven for heating your home;
- Never let a car idle in the garage;
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm. If you don’t have one, please go out and get one.
As with smoke alarms, make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
You won’t know that you have a carbon monoxide leak without a working alarm. So, test alarms regularly and replace them every five to seven years depending on the manufacturer’s label.
For the best protection, have carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
Carbon monoxide alarms are not interchangeable with smoke alarms, and vice versa. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available.
Replacing CO detectors
If you wonder if your carbon monoxide detectors are worn out, they probably are. CO detectors only have a five to seven-year life. In 2009, the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) began requiring an end-of-life warning to alert homeowners when their carbon monoxide alarm has reached the end of its useful life. If there’s no date on yours and you can’t remember when you bought it, you’re probably due for a new CO monitor.
Here are two key things to look for when you buy replacements. First, pick a detector with a “fuel-cell electrochemical” sensor. This type is far more sensitive to CO and less prone to false alarms than models from just 10 years ago. There are other types of sensors on the market (metal oxide and gel cell) that offer longer life. But humidity and temperature changes can reduce their accuracy.
When it comes to detecting carbon monoxide, we recommend accuracy over detector life span. Second, experts recommend choosing a model with a digital readout and a “peak level” memory retention feature. That’s helpful to emergency personnel if they suspect CO poisoning. If you have small children, consider buying a talking CO detector. A voice warning is more effective than a horn at waking children.
Since carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air, it neither rises toward the ceiling nor sinks to the floor. Therefore, detectors that don’t have a digital display can be mounted anywhere if they’re at least 15 in. below ceilings.
Just make sure you install one on each level of your home. Locate them in hallways near bedrooms but at least 15 ft. away from fuel-burning appliances.
Steps to Take When Carbon Monoxide Alarm Sounds
The CPSC says never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm, and do not try to find the source of the gas. Instead, follow these steps:
- Immediately move outside to fresh air;
- Call emergency services, fire department or 911;
- Do a head count to check that all persons are accounted for;
- Do not reenter the premises until emergency responders have given you permission to do so.
- Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- The U.S. Fire Administration has put together materials on the dangers of carbon monoxide. Included is a list of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.
Low to moderate carbon monoxide poisoning is characterized by:
- Shortness of breath
High level carbon monoxide poisoning results in:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
Symptom severity varies depending on the level of carbon monoxide and duration of exposure. Mild symptoms sometimes are mistaken for flu.
It seems like we go from one season to the other without pause. Waking up this morning to the first frost gave way to finally turning on the heat. A few moments after firing up the furnace for the first time this fall, I got to enjoy that fresh roasted dust bunny smell. You know the one I’m talking about? A cross between dust, pet hair and heat. Not a burn, so much, but a heating up. Yeah that one!
To prevent this roasted dust bunny smell, it’s a good thing to break out the vacuum and clean the radiators, heat vents and returns prior to turning on the heat. Combined Energy Services offers yearly services contracts for Propane, Fuel Oil and Kerosene heat. We don’t vacuum the radiators or vents, but we make sure that your furnace is in tip top shape.
If you have radiators with thin metal fins, you want to use a vacuum attachment with soft bristles. Why? As coolant passes through the radiator’s pipes on its way through the heating loop, it transfers much of its heat to the pipe that, in turn, transfers the heat to the fins that surround the pipe. It is the fins that release the heat into the ambient air. Crushing the fins together disrupts the fin’s ability to transfer heat making the system inefficient. So, take your time vacuuming them.
Cleaning the vent and return covers or grilles isn’t difficult either. Depending how dirty they are, you may be able to just vacuum them off with a bristled vacuum attachment. If they are really dusty or grimy, you may want to take them off and wash them. Are your heating system returns in the ceiling or difficult to reach? You might want to consider getting a telescoping brush for cleaning.
With forced air heat, don’t forget about your filter. Having a clean filter not only improves air quality but also the efficiency of your furnace…up to 15%! Please note that changing your forced air furnace filter is a pretty simple fix, but if you are uncomfortable at all with the process, please call in a professional.
There is much discussion about how often you need to change your forced air furnace filter. If it hasn’t been changed in months, there’s no better time than the present! Typically, it should be changed every 3 months at most. The number of people and pets in the home along with the type of filter may dictate a more frequent replacement cycle.
So, with a little fall cleaning, you can get rid of the roast dust bunny smell, improve air quality and help your furnace run efficiently. You can view more safety tips on our website.
What will this winter bring?
Tips for being ready for whatever winter brings!
It shouldn’t be hard to remember the devastation that occurred in March 2018. With 4 Nor’easters clobbering the area leaving millions without power for days, you’d have to live under a rock to not want to be prepared.
Depends on what prediction you follow – The Old Farmer’s Almanac, NOAA or The Weather Channel – it’s anyone’s educated guess what Mother Nature is going to throw at us. The Woolly Bear caterpillars are predicting a mind winter (large red-brown bands), while the local deer turning grey in September is indicative of a harsh winter. Even the wildlife can’t come to a consensus!
Rather than take chances, wouldn’t it be easier to take some steps now and rest easier later? Here’s a few steps to get you going.
- Make sure your heating system is ready for the cold weather by having it serviced NOW. If you are a Combined Energy Services customer, we offer service contracts on both propane and fuel oil It’s recommended that you have your heating system professionally serviced BEFORE you turn it on.
- Are you a “Will Call Delivery” customer? We must ask why? CES must be notified 5 – 7 business days before the desired delivery date. We will make every attempt to get you fuel sooner but if there’s severe weather, our automatic delivery folks get preference.
- There’s a serious rumor that needs to be dispelled here. Someone started the scuttlebutt that heating fuel companies wait until the prices are high to deliver fuel to their automatic delivery customers. This is just NOT true! Combined Energy Services uses a degree-day delivery system that considers monthly temperatures to plan deliveries. It has nothing to do with price, and everything to do with weather.
- Wouldn’t it be easier to sign up for Automatic Delivery and not worry about checking your fuel gauge to try to figure out how many days of fuel you have remaining? There’s still time, call us today for details at 800-874-1975.
- Is your heating system more than 20 years old? It might be time to bite the bullet and install a new furnace. Maybe consider changing from fuel oil to energy efficient propane. Combined Energy Services can take the worry out of the process. Contact CES for a free, no obligation quote. The expense for conversion can easily be paid for in increase energy efficiency.
- Something you can easily do yourself is to seal up any outside air leaks. If you can see daylight around closed doors or windows, it’s time to add some weatherstripping and caulk. If you feel drafts around receptacles and light switches on exterior walls, you can add foam gaskets behind the plates. They’re available at your local hardware store or online.
- Do you have enough insulation in your attic? Do you remove or cover window/wall air conditioners? What about your fireplace damper? Does it close properly. Check out this diagram for more handy tips.
- What about replacing your dirty wood burning fireplace or woodstove with an energy efficient propane model? Combine Energy Services can help! Not only can we sell you with propane but we also sell a wide variety of propane fire options.
Contact Combined Energy Services for all you home heating needs!