Some considerations for selecting air movers on a water restoration project!
One of the most numerous types of equipment used by water restoration companies are air movers. In a drying environment, air movers, also known as turbo dryers, will most often have the highest count of any other type of equipment on the job site. As the name suggests, an air mover’s purpose is to move air. The idea is to move air across materials with abnormal moisture levels, blowing evaporated moisture away from the surface and circulating it in the drying chamber where the dehumidifier can pick it up.
Air movers are such a simple concept but with a lot to consider. Different air movers have different functions and power consumptions. One thing to consider is volume versus focus. Some air movers are axial type air movers and are good for a high CFM, which is an acronym for Cubic Feet per Minute. These types of air movers are good for wide spaces and flat materials, because they can push out a lot of air, but the air pushed by these axial fans does not bank around obstacles well. For this reason they are not very good in tight spaces and don’t focus air very well. Other turbo dryers are good for focused air. They usually have a focused snout and most commonly look like a snail. These air movers are good for focusing air and pointing the air flow up or at other angles is not hard to accomplish. They are also common to “float” carpet on a cushion of air for drying, and in some cases attachments are used to turn them into a more specialized piece of equipment.
Power is another consideration when selecting air movers. Turbo dryers that focus air tend to use more Amps to power them. This can be an issue when a large loss requiring a lot of drying equipment is divided by 15 and 20 Amp breaker circuits. Sometimes it is better to use an axial fan that pulls only 1.5 Amps than a focused turbo dryer that would pull 4.7 Amps because to overall power usage on a job will ultimately determine how much equipment can be set. Sacrificing one turbo dryer in order to set three axial fans can be better for the job as a whole even if the one specific area would have been better with focused air.
As time goes by, air movers are getting more compact and more energy efficient. Someday soon there may not need to be a trade off of power versus focus. Hopefully soon an air mover can be chosen only for its function and the power usage concern will vanish
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