How Hot is Too Hot?

Mother Nature is not yet done roasting us with the summer sun. We’ve had a good week or two of cool weather but now Philly is roasting hot. Factoring in humidity, it feels a little over 100 Degrees Fahrenheit outside. Put another way, if we cracked an egg on the hood of lead salesman Scott’s Jeep, it’d probably turn to dust in about a minute. The US National Weather Service has issued heat advisories and warnings to stay inside. Where do we put that boundary, between mere comfort and necessity to live?   Beyond Uncomfortable When we start to see these excessive temperatures proper cooling becomes not a matter of comfort, but of health, life, and death. When the Heat Index breaks past 100 degrees, we start to have issues cooling ourselves. The core of your body wants to be at about 98 degrees. If the air outside of you is above 98 degrees, it can be physically impossible to remain cool. In these situations, any movement or activity outside can make you hotter. The hotter you are, the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more dehydrated you are. At the same time, excessive humidity will make sweating less and less effective at cooling your body. At some point, it just becomes impossible to remain healthy. You’ll either become too dehydrated or start to suffer heat-stroke and exhaustion from your body becoming too hot. These situations are more […]

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Is my AC Leaking?

Air conditioners aren’t necessarily restricted to just cooling the air. The cooling is actually a side effect of what the first air conditioners were meant to do: regulate humidity. This is in part why it’s an air conditioner, not an ‘air cooler’ or ‘air freezer’. We’re doing more than one thing to the air.   Water In The Air Humidity is essentially just gaseous water in the air. It weighs nothing, so it literally just floats around. This is good and bad. On the one hand, water in the air creates our weather. On the other, it makes the air feel hot and sticky, we just struggle to cool ourselves down. This poses an even bigger problem in industrial settings. Water in the air is readily absorbed by things like paper in printing presses. At one point in time, this could cause tens of thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Old color printings were done one color at a time. The paper was run through the equipment, printed with blue ink. Then yellow could be printed over that to create shades of green, and so on. Paper that absorbs water however, changes its size slightly. Over the course of a mile long roll, the small changes in length were enough to ruin prints. This is where we got the first air conditioner: a really big dehumidifier. Water condenses on a cool surface. By passing air over a freezing, or near-freezing […]

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Outdoor Air Conditioning?

It’s summer. It’s hot and humid and we’ll do anything to ease the heat off, even a little bit. Or in some cases, we’ll do anything to ensure our guests, customers, and clients don’t melt just for coming to a major public event. The problem is, how do we cool people down outside? It can’t be that hard, right?   Mother Nature’s Onslaught We first need to understand what we can’t do. On a hot sunny day, there’s effectively hundreds of thousands of BTUs of heat in the air. If we attempt to use a standard air conditioner outside, it’d be every bit as effective as blowing in the wind or using a match to solder 6″ piping. We’re fighting an uphill battle. Modern air conditioning works because we can keep it inside. Air naturally wants to mix and achieve a temperature equilibrium. By putting cool air into buildings, we contain it and prevent any significant dispersal from occurring. Our 40,000 or 400,000 BTU of cooling is able to actually get something done in this way. We could put these massive machines outside and try, but chances are they would have to remain constantly on. Even if a target temperature could be reached, the movement of the air would soon blow our nice, coolness away. It quickly becomes a matter of impracticality. The size, cost, and logistics of the cooling equipment to cool your company picnic or cool an entire […]

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