The dog days of summer may be behind us, but that doesn’t make cooling a factory floor any less important. Many factories operate around the clock, giving the equipment little or no time to cool down. Even when equipment is switched off, heat can build up and, with no escape, gradually raise the temperature on the factory floor.
Excessive heat can not only cause equipment to operate more slowly or even break down entirely, but also have an impact on the health and safety of workers. And either one is bad for productivity and morale.
Here are some tips on meeting the challenges of cooling a factory floor any time of the year.
Some manual cooling methods
1. Open some windows and doors.
While a more technical approach to cooling a factory may be necessary — and it will depend on the setup of the building — you might begin by opening doors and windows to improve air circulation. Opening windows higher on the walls or near the ceiling will allow hot air to escape and can help lower the factory temperature.
2. Manage airflow with fans.
Keeping the air moving can go a long way in cooling the factory floor by reducing the perceived temperature. High volume, low speed (HVLS) fans are larger than standard fans and more effective in breaking up blocks of hot air. This enables HVLS fans to create a cooling effect and lower the effective temperature by up to 7%. Many industrial models fans are programmable and can work in tandem with HVAC systems to lower temperatures on the factory floor.
3. Mount your fans on the ceiling.
A large ceiling-mounted HVLS fan can distribute air evenly and help to eliminate trapped pockets of heat. In combination with an HVAC system for cooling a factory floor, it decreases how hard the system has to work and help to reduce energy consumption.
But rather than mounting the fan against the ceiling, dropping the fan down a few feet allows air to circulate through the fan, for better air movement. However, keep in mind that the lower a fan is, the smaller the diameter of coverage will be.
4. Pick the right fan blade for the space.
Choosing the right fan blade size is important for proper air distribution and cooling the factory floor. Many industrial HVLS fans offer blades ranging from 8 to 24 feet. The larger the fan blades, the more slowly the fan turns — creating more air volume, but at a lower velocity.
With a lower ceiling height, a shorter bladed fan, with a higher RPM (revolutions per minute) and higher velocity, will work more effectively. With a higher ceiling, a large fan moving a larger volume of air at a lower speed can handle cooling a factory floor.
5. Space your fans for maximum cooling.
If an HVLS fan covers a 100-foot diameter, that means it reaches 50 feet in all directions from the center of the fan. Place two such fans 100 feet apart, and they will “meet in the middle” to effectively cover a space 200 feet wide.
More precise options for cooling a factory floor
Of course, some factories cannot allow outside air into the facility because of the risks that dust, insects, or other contaminants pose to equipment or processes. Others might need specific temperature conditions for their production processes, requiring a more precise cooling method than fans that simply move the air.
Thankfully, there are other factory cooling solutions that offer greater precision and control.
6. In low humidity climates, try evaporative cooling.
As a cooling system for a factory, evaporative coolers can cool the air by up to 20 degrees and are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Portable models can be effective for spot cooling in areas of the factory that get especially hot.
However, it is important to know that evaporative coolers are not effective in climates with high humidity — making the air more humid, but not cooler feeling. On the other hand, in places with low humidity (below 60%) evaporative coolers have the added advantage of putting moisture into the air as well as cooling it.
7. Get maximum control with centralized air conditioning.
Unlike evaporative cooling, air conditioning works well in humid climates, actually dehumidifying the air as well as cooling it. For spot cooling especially hot or small areas, portable AC units offer an affordable option. For example, spot coolers might be used for extra cooling on servers in large data centers or for equipment that requires a precise temperature at all times. However, for cooling a factory floor, the more efficient and cost-effective method is a larger HVAC-based cooling system.
Learn about types of air conditioning equipment and how to choose the right type of system for your business: The Ultimate Guide to NYC Light Commercial Air Conditioning.
8. Cool more efficiently with zoning.
Chances are, not all areas of your building — such as office spaces vs. the factory floor — have the same requirements for cooling. Different areas need to have the temperature regulated based on when and how they are used.
For optimum efficiency in cooling the factory floor and the rest of your building, create zones and install programmable thermostats. They can be set to monitor and control cooling functions in each zone based on different needs at different times.
9. Don’t forget to seal it up!
Once you’ve gone to the trouble of cooling a factory precisely, don’t forget to eliminate gaps where the cooled air could escape. Read more in our blog 9 Tips to Improve Warehouse Temperature Control & Save Money.
10. Take advantage of expert advice.
An HVAC expert can help you assess your facility’s temperature control needs and make recommendations for cooling the factory floor more efficiently. For example, an Arista HVAC specialist can review the design of your building and inspect your cooling system to:
- Create different zones based on your cooling (and heating) needs
- Offer suggestions on how to make the space more comfortable
- Recommend improvements that will increase efficiency and energy savings
We can also provide routine HVAC maintenance services to help keep your system cooling the factory reliably and efficiently.