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Cooling in a Crunch

spot coolers, watts, cooling capacity



Hi. This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip … spot-cooling basics.

When addressing emergency cooling needs for portable classrooms, computer and server rooms, or small offices, facility managers can look to spot cooling. The first question managers should consider involves electricity. For spot coolers with a 1-to-5 ton cooling capacity, the starting point is 110 volts. The largest spot cooler that can run on 110 volts has a 1.5-ton cooling capacity. Along with understanding electricity, managers need to determine the unit’s cooling capacity, which primarily is measured in tons or Btus.

Managers also have to determine where the coolers’ byproducts — hot air and water — will go. With air-cooled machines, managers need to install ducts to vent the generated hot air out of the room. The machines also have water tanks that need emptying on a regular basis, depending on humidity.

Although spot coolers originally were designed for temporary cooling purposes, they often become permanent fixtures in a facility. If a computer room or small office needs cooling throughout the year, managers must decide whether to continue renting or commit to buying.

The spot cooling business is competitive, so choosing who to buy or rent the product from is another important decision managers face.

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