Are you ready for the summer heat? According to NASA report CR-1205-1, when temperatures in the work environment rise to 90° F, output drops 29%—and errors increase by an astonishing 300%!
Results show that Schaefer cooling systems that provide comfortable environments directly contribute to productivity, quality, and profitability. Even at 80° F, work output goes down 8% and there is a 5% loss in accuracy.
“The heat’s coming up in summer, and now is the time to think about it,” said Jason Prom, cooling expert and Regional Sales Manager for Schaefer Ventilation Equipment. He suggests trying these tips to improve summer productivity:
Decide What Level of Schaefer Cooling System You Need
The first thing Prom asks a client is, “What level of cooling do you need?” Options include:
- Fans—circulate existing air; can include ceiling, exhaust,pedestal, wall, or cooling fans
- Misting fans—reduce facility temperature by adding humidity to the air
- Evaporative cooling—evaporates water before it leaves the fan, providing a 20°-30° temperature drop
- Portable air conditioning—reduces temperatures dramatically around a limited “hot spot”
“The best solution is to have several different fans and coolers working together in concert to cool down the whole facility,” Prom said. “Decide what level of cooling you need, then pick the right fans and coolers to get you there.”
Make a Cooling Plan
“The biggest mistake I see is when people randomly place pedestal fans around the floor when ‘hot spots’ crop up,” Prom said. “These fans can actually work against each other. If they were all blowing air in the same direction, or with the natural breeze, then you could get a really good air flow going.”
Plan out the placement of your fans and air conditioning units to work together to maximize air flow—or capture the naturally existing breeze. Create a coordinated plan for locating your exhaust fans, ceiling fans, and pedestal fans.
More: IBT Ventilation Program
Pay Special Attention to Food Environments
In a hot, humid, corrosive environment—such as a meat processing facility—fan motors can rust and fail. Rust and paint can chip off and fall into the food, making them a poor choice for food environments—as well as a high-maintenance nightmare for staff.
In this case, Prom recommends using a washdown-duty stainless steel fan. “These fans are lower maintenance, they don’t rust, and they last 2-3 years longer than the typical fan,” he added.
Get a “Heat Assessment” from a Knowledgeable Professional
Not sure how to plan the best air flow in your facility? Hire an expert to do an assessment, Prom suggests.
For example, Schaefer routinely partners with IBT Industrial Solutions to do site surveys at warm facilities—and make recommendations for improvement. They step back and analyze the facility for “hot spots,” dusty spots, and stagnant air—and find the best path for air flow that will use the least amount of energy.
Often, Prom said, the solutions are simple and inexpensive, compared to the cost of lost productivity and employee errors. “We can help people cool off their employees or reduce energy costs immediately,” he said. “And we can usually find a solution within their budget.”