It’s springtime! Though winter recently ended, contractors have already started shopping for temporary heating units for next winter.
Typically, shopping involves collecting and comparing rental quotes from different vendors. But rental costs only represent the cost of getting temporary heating units on site. Contractors may also find that “low-cost” temporary heater rentals cost more in the long run. For a true cost comparison, contractors should consider costs that occur during the entire rental period, which can represent 85% to 90% of total costs!
The Total Cost of Renting (TCR) calculation is a simple way to fully evaluate different heating systems. In addition to rental costs, the TCR includes costs associated with installing, operating, and servicing heaters.
The first cost used in calculating TCR is the most obvious and most scrutinized. Contractors and vendors often go back-and-forth over hundreds of dollars. As it turns out, heating rental costs make up only 5% to 10% of the TCR.
After collecting temporary heater rental costs, the next step is estimating installation costs. Labor, additional equipment, and heavy machinery required for unloading and hooking-up heaters may represent 5% of the TCR.
Take a moment to estimate costs of plumbers, propane suppliers, steam-pipe fitters, sheet metal workers, and electricians needed to get units online. Likewise, anticipate ancillary equipment needed such as vaporizers required for vapor-withdrawal propane heaters or gas boosters for natural gas heaters. Be sure to capture costs for cranes or forklifts needed to unload and place units, too.
Representing 80% to 85% of the TCR, operational costs are largely made up of fuel costs. Natural gas, propane, and oil have different costs that should be estimated over the rental period. Fuel consumption of heating units, themselves, also varies. For example, liquid-withdrawal propane heaters are more fuel-efficient than their vapor-withdrawal counterparts.
Ancillary equipment also consumes fuel and should be included in TCR number crunching.
Service & Support Costs
Service programs vary with temporary heater rental units. Some vendors will charge per visit. Some will swap-out problematic heaters. Others will include service and maintenance in the rental.
Be sure to review the level of support included with each heater and make an apples-to-apples comparison. If a vendor does not include certain services, an estimated cost will have to be added to determine the TCR. Don’t forget to budget for service calls on ancillary equipment, too.
Now, with the TCR in hand, simply multiply it by the number of temporary heating units needed for your application.
The Total Cost of Renting (TCR) methodology goes beyond the heating unit rental cost to anticipate costs over the life of a construction project. The TCR helps contractors anticipate costs that will vary with each type of temporary heater and choose the system that best meets their needs and budget.
Visit our website to download a TCR white paper, which includes a worksheet designed to help you compare costs.