Portable air conditioners are a practical alternative to central units; however, how a portable A/C cools a room is different than how central A/C cools a room. Cafeterias can pose several problems to portable air conditioner units including the size of the room, the number of windows in the room, and the number of children in the room. Here is a quick guide to explain how to cool a school’s cafeteria using portable air conditioning units.
Determine the number of units needed
Many portable air conditioners will detail the what size room it will effectively cool. As a general rule, the more powerful A/C units will keep larger rooms cool. However, it may not always be a good idea to buy one or two powerful A/C units and locating them in a cafeteria. If a lunchroom has a lot of windows, consider buying multiple weaker units to cool the room at different angles all at the same time. Because weaker units are cheaper than powerful units, this will save money for the school’s budget.
Determine the number of children in the room
Body heat can hinder an air conditioner’s performance. If there are a lot of children in the same room for a long time, body heat can collect and heat the room 10 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. It may be necessary to purchase high powered units to compensate for the collection of body heat.
Start the units before the children arrive
Thirty minutes before the children arrive for lunch, turn on all the air conditioner units. This will give the room enough time to cool down without wasting a lot of electricity. If the kitchen is attached to the main cafeteria, start the A/C units 30 minutes before the cafeteria workers arrive. Kitchen ovens and stove tops can also add to the overall heat in a cafeteria.
Insulation is what keeps cool air in and hot air out. Insulation can be expensive, but it can greatly reduce the amount electricity needed. A one-time insulation installation can reduce the operating costs in a school’s budget. Some companies offer discounts to school systems. Seek out a company that will work with a school’s budget and payment time frame for special services and operating costs.
Portable A/C units can be great benefits to a school, but it is important to take several considerations to mind. With a little preparation and creative thought, portable air conditioning can effectively cool a cafeteria and reduce the operating costs caused by central units.