Mind Your BTU's
How much heat is your equipment adding to a structure?
You wear many hats as a restoration contractor, but the most important one you need to know about on a water damage job is this HAT - Humidity, Airflow and Temperature. All three need to work together to achieve the best drying results.
Heat is an important part of that trilogy and controlling it can sometimes become a concern. What if too much heat is the issue? Using the HVAC system (if available) helps, along with portable air conditioners. But another heat source to consider is the heat generated by your drying equipment.
You can easily find out the amount of heat your equipment is adding to the structure by using this simple formula:
Amps x Volts x 3.4 = BTUs/hr.
For instance, say you were using the following equipment:
12 - Air movers (4 amps each) = 48 amps
2 – Dehus (10 amps each) = 20 amps
1 – Air scrubber = 3 amps
Total amps = 71
71 amps x 115 volts x 3.4 = 27,761 BTU’s/hr.
A 1-ton air conditioner will offset 12,000 BTU’s of heat per hour. But in this case, it’s obvious that even a 2-ton unit wouldn’t be enough to counteract the heat radiating off your units, besides other possible heat sources like the outside temperature and body heat from techs and residents. So, a portable air conditioner (which acts as a cooler and dehumidifier) would be helpful in this case.
Of course, the heat coming off your equipment can also benefit you in certain cases, especially in the wintertime. But in either case, knowing the number of BTU’s your units produce help’s you control the climate for the best outcome.