Click button to learn all about the Alpha Aire 100% outside air unit!
Click button to learn all about the Alpha Aire 100% outside air unit!
Click button to learn all about the Alpha Aire 100% outside air unit!
The remediation industry has long relied on traditional equipment like mechanical dehumidification and desiccant systems for the removal of excess moisture from flooded and fire damaged buildings. In many cases these are the better choice for drying out the high moisture situations in preparation for later renovations. Still a controversy persists whether or not air conditioning can be used as effectively as a dehumidifier. The answer is most definitely yes, but it depends on the unit type and application.
But moisture removal is only one of the reasons why portable air conditioning should be a serious contender for remediation projects. Just as important as moisture removal is space conditioning during the renovation phase of the project.
Portable air conditioning is not just for cooling outside tents and temporary facilities. When the right type of portable air conditioner is used, it will not only dehumidify the facility, it should also be used to condition the space for the repair phase of the project.
In simple terms, dehumidification is the removal of water vapor from the air. This is accomplished by lowering the air temperature to its dew point, where it condenses and can then be removed.
Efficient dehumidification relies on two basic concepts. First, the air must be chilled as low as possible in order to effectively remove the moisture that is in the air. This is done through the refrigeration cycle of both dehumidifiers and air conditioners. Air is cooled as it passes over a cooling coil and a drain pan captures the moisture from the air as it condenses on the coil.
Second, the ambient room or space temperature should be raised as high as practical so that it can absorb the maximum amount of moisture from the space. This is accomplished by reheating the air as it returns to the room, and is done differently by air conditioners and dehumidifiers. This cycle continues until the space has reached the desired temperature and humidity levels.
A key difference between dehumidifiers and air conditioners is how the heat from the refrigeration cycle is processed. Dehumidifiers use the heat generated by the refrigeration cycle to immediately heat the air re-entering the space. This results in dry, warm air leaving the unit.
Air conditioners, on the other hand, reject the waste heat away from the space, usually to an external air-or water-cooled condenser. The conditioned air is returned to the space dry but cooler.
Since maintaining a warmer ambient is important for dehumidification, good quality portable air conditioners are available with supplemental electric heating coils or in heat pump models to reheat the cooler, dry air. The temperature can be controlled very accurately for efficient dehumidification, and the availability of heating and/or cooling can be used during the reconstruction or renovation phase.
Another key difference between dehumidification units and air conditioners is the way they control sensible and latent heat. Sensible heat is essentially the air temperature within the space and latent heat is the additional heat in the form of moisture in the air, the relative humidity (RH).
An air conditioner measures and controls temperature, cooling the space until the thermostat reaches its set point. A dehumidifier removes moisture until the humidistat reaches the desired RH level.
The sensible-to-latent heat removal ratio for a dehumidifier is 50-50 while an air conditioner is closer to 70-30. In other words, dehumidifiers ring out more moisture, but they generally have poor to no control of space temperature. Air conditioners have great control of space temperature but remove moisture at a lesser rate.
If your only interest is maximum moisture removal in the shortest time, straight dehumidification is probably the better choice. But when moisture removal is lower and the space will require renovation or some type of post construction, a portable air conditioner should be your number one selection.
Portable commercial air conditioners can easily reach 2,000 CFM for a five-ton unit when in the cooling stage. However to improve the moisture removal characteristics, lowering the fan speed by up to 50% improves its dehumidification performance. By slowing the warm, moist room air traveling over the cold evaporator coil, additional moisture can be removed.
Portable air conditioners are available in a variety of configurations and sizes as high as 30 tons for even the largest of buildings. Smaller units can have wheeled bases making them easy to transport and position, and their narrow cabinet design will pass through a standard 3/0 door opening without modification.
The key to any job site is to maintain Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) during reconstruction and renovation. Portable air-conditioning systems offer the restoration and remediation industry an excellent tool to assist in the safe and efficient completion of restoration projects.
It’s commonplace during renovations to seal the affected area by turning off the air conditioning and isolating the airflow from the rest of the building. The goal is to maintain a negative pressure in the workspace (or positively pressurize other areas) to prevent the migration of air contaminants from work areas to occupied areas.
Portable air conditioning units will retain a controlled environment by maintaining specific relative humidity and temperature conditions, and they can also effectively filter the circulated air. That means the same unit that removed the initial moisture can be used to provide an ideal workspace environment. Worker productivity is maximized and space conditions are improved through dust control.
Conditioned space is also critical for building materials and finish applications. The installation of hardwood floors and wood paneling require the materials be normalized at the right temperature and humidity to prevent warping or later expansion/contraction.
Controlled humidity will protect metal surfaces from oxidizing and help wall coatings dry faster and more completely. And renting a single unit for moisture removal and space conditioning is generally less expensive and requires less set up time.
Equally important is the prevention of mold and fungus. Molds like Aspergillums can grow on modern building materials such as gypsum board and ceiling tile if they are allowed to remain wet more than 72 hours. Spores become airborne during repair and/or disturbance of the building and have low settling velocities, remaining in the air for long periods of time. A portable air conditioner will continue to dehumidify the space and filter the return air as long as the space is being conditioned.
Portable air conditioning units are available in a variety of sizes and configurations while purpose-built dehumidifier units available through rental distributors are generally small in capacity. As an example, quality manufacturers like United CoolAir Corporation offer one of the largest selections of portable systems and capacities capable of conditioning even the largest of commercial spaces.
Portable horizontal air conditioning systems are the most popular and have the widest range of sizes and arrangements. These smaller horizontal units provide needed flexibility and can be used for indoor or outdoor installations.
Typical cooling capacities can reach as high as 15 tons and include the option for electric heating. Since mobility is paramount for these units, they are narrow in design to navigate doorways and entrances and include integral unit-mounted forklift pods or casters for easy mobility.
For the really large projects or where it makes sense to replace multiple smaller systems with a single unit, consider a larger, high capacity system. With sizes ranging up to 30 tons of cooling, these units can also be equipped with up to 80 kW of electric heating. Narrow in design, they are easily positioned using the built-in lifting pods and can be stacked if necessary. Trailer-mounted units are also an option for outside installation.
Also available are vertical portable air conditioning and heating units. While not as popular as the horizontal models, they offer both bi-directional free blow and ducted operation and find great application in large open spaces.
Typical sizes can range from three to 30 tons with up to 60 kW of heating. These narrow footprint units are easy to transport and move into position using the forklift pod. Installation can be inside or out as conditions allow.
With the right manufacturer, you can select from standalone in-line blowers and heaters that work in conjunction with larger tonnage portable air conditioners for more reheat capability and longer flexible duct runs.
Today’s portable air conditioners are easy to install with features like Camlock power connections, duct collars, built-in circuit breaker and more. Many include multiple ducting options with high static pressure for long duct runs. Quality units are also equipped with an internal thermostat and offer an option for remote control if required.
Always choose a reputable portable air conditioning brand with a proven track record of performance. They are your number one source for getting a unit that best fits your application. But not all portable air conditioning units are built to the same standards. It is not uncommon to find traditional building air conditioners, or even rooftop designs, adapted in some fashion for portable use. These units are built for stationary installation and cannot withstand the continuous movement and transportation requirements necessary for portable equipment. When used in portable applications, they are prone to refrigerant leaks, component failures, and reduced life expectancy.
Finally, it’s also important to evaluate the suppliers of portable air conditioning rental equipment available in your area. While most will be helpful in getting you started, choose one that will help you select the right size, type of equipment and accessories for your application.
Be sure to ask about technical support in the event of a malfunction, and if they carry an inventory of equipment should it be needed quickly.
United CoolAir is delighted to announce Tommy Lute as the new Operations Manager effective October 30,2017.
Tommy is an experienced professional who brings over 20 years of leadership in military, business and manufacturing. As Sr. Director of Design at Tait Towers, he was responsible for scheduling, design, manufacturing, integration and delivery of custom products in the live entertainment industry. Tommy also served as Director of Engineering for Playworld, where his responsibilities included all Product Development Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Facility and Compliance Engineering, product safety and continuous improvements to plant activity and processes. He also worked for TE Connectivity, GE, ConAgra Foods, TRW and Corning Cable Systems.
Tommy also served over 7 years active duty in the US Navy in the Nuclear Power Program, spending most of his time aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, CVN-71.
As Operations Manager Tommy will be responsible for all manufacturing activities, purchasing, shipping and receiving, inventory control and safety.
Join us as we celebrate the arrival of Tommy to the United CoolAir Team.
United CoolAir is delighted to announce Patrick Kline as the new National Sales Manager Portable/Temporary/Specialty Products effective October 1 , 2017.
Patrick is a graduate of Michigan State University and is an experienced sales professional who brings over 20 years of result driven leadership in business development, and account management. Patrick’s past work experience includes being the Director of sales for N Square Corp., where he was responsible for building an industry leading sales team and help motivate and mentor that team to market dominating performance. Patrick was also the National Accounts Manager for Sunbelt Rentals Climate Control Services, where he helped build the industry leading National Accounts dept.
As the new National Sales Manager Patrick will continue to build the United CoolAir brand within the portable and specialty air conditioning market. United CoolAir is the leader of the pack in this industry and Patrick Kline is the right person to take this brand to the next level.
Join us as we celebrate the arrival of Patrick to the United CoolAir Team.
A commercial portable air conditioner is relatively compact. It’s also easy to transport and the installation takes only a few minutes, even if you’ve never done it before. This makes a commercial portable air conditioner the perfect solution to short term cooling needs and an absolutely perfect solution for special events held in outdoor venues. In fact, this amazing technology can save the day in these cases!
You will often see a commercial portable air conditioner set up at outdoor events where air conditioned tents are set up. These include special events like festivals, trade shows, traveling shows, large family reunions, outdoor weddings, wedding receptions, private parties, music concerts, religious events, corporate celebrations, and even conferences. A commercial portable air conditioner can also come in handy when cooling is absolutely essential for a special event. For example, they are often used for special events involving residents of nursing homes or other events where there are elderly people who are more prone to heat related illnesses. A tent cooled by a commercial portable air conditioner can also serve as a good space for a blood drive or as a temporary place at the fairgrounds to do routine medical checkups on seniors.
If you are an event planner or just someone who is putting together a one time event, the environment you expose to your guests plays a huge role in how successful the event turns out. For example, you can have the most beautiful bride wearing the most beautiful gown, the best band, the most spectacular flowers, and a well planned lovely ceremony but it will be ruined if everyone is hot and or sticky from the humidity. This is why air conditioning is so crucial at any special event. Luckily, this is something you can control with a portable unit without breaking the bank. Even if your outdoor special event is going to take place in an area that only gets into the 70s or 80s, you may be surprised at how miserable people can be if the humidity is also high.
While a commercial portable air conditioner can be rented, if you plan to use a commercial portable air conditioner more than a couple times a year, it will likely be more economical for you to actually buy one. Since they are relatively compact, they don’t take much space to store. A small storage room or even a closet will suffice. Furthermore, they are not that expensive compared to a traditional HVAC system where the ducting is very expensive to install. Buying your own unit also prevents you from having to track one down every time you need it for an event.
As a general rule of thumb, you should plan to use about 12,000 BTU per 250 square feet of space. However, this may vary depending on the height of the space you need to cool. The ambient temperature and humidity can also play a role in the power you need. It is always best to describe the area you plan to cool to the dealer you buy or rent from and ask for his or her advice on what size and power commercial portable air conditioner you need to get.
When it comes to outdoor special events, every year people die or suffer significant illness from heat stroke and other heat related illnesses. The United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 7233 heat related deaths occurred in America in a ten year period from 1999 to 2009. If you are planning an outdoor event in an area with high temperatures and humidity, it is imperative you provide “cool zones” where people can cool off and get their core body temperature down to prevent heat stroke. The symptoms of heat stroke include nausea, mental confusion, fever, confusion, and loss of consciousness. It is best to include at least one portable “indoor space” that is air conditioned so people can escape the heat if they begin to feel these tell tale symptoms coming on.
Most air conditioners recirculate indoor air. While this saves energy, there is a very serious health cost to pay when people breath indoor air instead of outdoor air! According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is two to five times MORE TOXIC on average than outside air. This is true even in the most heavily polluted United States metropolitan areas! In fact, some inside air has been found to be as much as one hundred times more toxic than the outside air in metropolitan areas!
It’s a combination of a great many factors, some of which we’ll discuss below. For now, just know that the toxins found in inside air are mostly all human made and are more heavily concentrated during seasons when we don’t open windows, such as the warmer seasons when we run air conditioning. Furthermore, newer buildings that are “better insulated” tend to have inside air that is more toxic than older “drafty” buildings.
Many buildings have carpet and furniture. The foam on the back of the carpet and in the stuffing of the furniture provides a constant source of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) which are known carcinogens and irritants. These VOCs are found in many other indoor items too such as drapes and shower curtains. You know that funky “new odor” you smell when you hang the new shower curtain? That’s VOCs leaching out. They continue to leach out into the air even when you don’t smell them any more so your nose is not the best guide when it comes to toxins in inside air.
We use pesticides that emit toxins into the air we breathe. Popular industrial cleaners contain toxic chemicals like phthalates, erchloroethylene or “PERC), triclosan, ammonia, chlorine, and 2-Butoxyethanol. There’s paradicholorbenzene in moth balls. Flame retardants found in mattresses, clothes, electronics, and are composed of polybrominated diphenyl and ethers–PBDEs, both highly toxic! These same nasty chemicals plus PCBs (phthalates) are found in many plastic products, including toys, plastic plant pots, food containers, lamps, picture frames, eyeglass frames, and plastic organizers. Particle board furniture emits formaldehyde for as long as you have it in your space!
Does your carpet, furniture, clothes, or other products state they are “stain resistant?” Does your cookware say “non stick?” If so, these items contain perfluorinated acids (PFAs) which cause birth defects! Then there are all the nasty chemicals in our building supplies such as the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate found in spray foam insulation and the resins found in paint, varnishes, and tiles! There’s also radon gas from your flooring and toxins released from mold!
We’ve already mentioned cancer and birth defects but there are other health hazards that are also caused by toxic indoor air as well. For example, scientists now believe that toxic indoor air may be partially responsible for the soaring rates of autism and Asperger’s in children! It can also cause nervous conditions like ADD and general anxiety. Heart diseases has been linked to the many of the nasty chemicals found in toxic indoor air too. Asthma and allergies that have been on the rise are thought to be linked to toxic indoor air. In fact, many chronic illnesses are linked to or exacerbated by toxic indoor air. These include sinus issues, skin rashes, dizziness, runny nose, persistent cough, achy joints, digestive issues, irritated eyes, nausea, poor concentration, memory loss, weakened immune system, and general fatigue.
When it’s hot and or humid outside, it can be just miserable if you don’t run your air conditioner! However, since most air conditioners recirculate toxic inside air, it can be a difficult choice on what to do. Do you open your windows and just try to bear the hot sticky feel? Or do you close your windows and feel comfortable while knowing you’re breathing in all that toxic air?
The Alpha Aire and Omega Air 100% outdoor air systems like all UCA air conditioning equipment are designed for indoor installation! Air handlers and condensers require no exterior mounting space, which is critical in multi-floor, urban applications. Indoor unit mounting preserves the architectural integrity of the building by keeping the roof and perimeter free of obstructions. In addition to eliminating the roof loads, the installation and maintenance costs is lower, the equipment is protected from the elements and security is enhanced because of limited outdoor access.