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Emergency Air Conditioning: Be Prepared, Stay Cool

portable air conditioner, spot cooler

This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is tackling emergency cooling before it’s too late.

Most problems in specifying emergency-cooling equipment arise from one mistake: waiting until an emergency occurs to decide on the necessary equipment. In the rush to get cooling quickly, managers too often set themselves up for failure. A host of problems can arise from this mistake:

• Local demand for portable units exceeds supply, and delays occur in obtaining and installing equipment.
• Managers specify over- or under-sized units, leading to inefficient operation or insufficient cooling and dehumidification.
• The facility gets the wrong type of unit for the application or climate conditions.
• The unit uses more power than necessary in relation to the amount of cooling generated.
• The facility lacks the correct electrical connection for the equipment, or no emergency power generator is on hand.
• The space has unsuitable provisions for venting.
• The additional equipment increases the building’s heat load, exceeding HVAC system capacity and causing malfunctions.

Successful strategies begin with preparation for an emergency. As the nugget of wisdom goes, when you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember the objective is to drain the swamp. In reality, managers can resolve many pressing issues in advance. Preparation is key to success.


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