By Craig Widtfeldt, Executive Technical Director of Solutions Sales
As the summer months heat up, high temperatures can put a real strain on industrial HVAC systems. If your manufacturing processes throw off heat of their own, keeping everyone comfortable without breaking the budget can be a real challenge.
One overlooked factor in keeping HVAC costs under control is your air quality system. Keeping fumes and dust from manufacturing process out of the air is a priority in every season. But how you choose to do that can have a big impact on your cooling costs.
Here are three ways RoboVent can help you keep HVAC costs under control.
Choose Air Filtration Instead of Exhaust Ventilation
Exhaust-and-makeup-air ventilation systems make sense in some environments. They are relatively cheap to install, and if your particulate isn't especially heavy or toxic they may do an adequate job in keeping air quality within OSHA standards.
However, these systems have hidden costs when it comes to your energy bills. This is especially true in climates where the outdoor air is significantly hotter or cooler than comfortable indoor temperatures or when indoor temperature needs to be carefully controlled in the manufacturing process.
Exhaust systems rely on large fans that pull contaminated air out of the facility, often through the roof. Fresh air must be brought in from the outside to replace the air that is blown out and maintain normal air pressure inside the plant. In a temperature-controlled environment, whether you are controlling for the comfort or human operators or because your manufacturing process demands it, this means that you are continually blowing expensively heated or cooled air out and bringing in outdoor air must be heated or cooled to indoor temperatures.
This is like running your home AC with the doors and windows wide open. (If you ever did this as a child, you probably heard a parent yell, "Close the window! I'm not paying to air condition the great outdoors!") The greater the temperature differential, the harder your HVAC system will have to work to maintain appropriate indoor temperatures—and the more expensive it will be.
Air filtration systems, on the other hand, filter contaminated air and return clean air back to the facility. This keeps air-conditioned air in, reducing the work that your HVAC system needs to do to maintain a comfortable temperature. During the hot summer months, the difference in energy bills can be significant.
Look at an Integrated Air Filtration and Cooling System
Want to give your HVAC system an even bigger boost? Consider an integrated system that combines cooling and air filtration. The RoboVent ICE (Integrated Cooling Equipment) series of dust collectors provide both ambient air filtration and air conditioning in one unit.
An integrated system gives you additional cooling power to augment your central air conditioning system. This can be especially helpful for local cooling in the facility. Air filtration equipment is often needed near production equipment that throws off excess heat or in areas where materials or manufacturing processes are heat-sensitive. Integrated systems take care of both air quality and local cooling at the same time, preventing hot spots from developing near production lines while keeping air quality under control.
Consider Renting AC for the Summer
Sometimes, it just makes sense to rent. If you only need AC for a couple months of the year in your area, it may not be worth it to put capital dollars and maintenance into a large HVAC system that will be operating at a fraction of its capacity most of the year. Rental systems also make sense if you are operating in a temporary facility or are in the process of expanding your operations.
RoboVent's AC Rental Program puts high-powered air conditioning in place just when it is needed and removes it when the season turns. We take care of delivery, installation and setup, maintenance and repairs, and removal.
The Bottom Line on Indoor Air Temperature
Indoor temperatures can have a big impact on employee heath, comfort and productivity. When temperatures rise to 85° F on the factory floor, productivity drops by an average of 8.8%. At 95°, productivity losses average nearly 20%. These temperatures also put employees at risk for heat exhaustion and other health problems, especially if they are working near heat-producing processes or need to wear clothing or PPE that holds heat in.
This summer, make sure your employees can keep their cool, without adding needless stress to your HVAC system. Look for an air quality solution that works with your HVAC system instead of against it. Clean air and comfortable indoor temperatures should go together. Contact us by filling out the form below to learn more about how RoboVent can help you and your workers keep your cool.