Ceiling fans provide cooling comfort

Eight O’Clock Coffee installs ceiling fans to improve conditions for workers in its coffee roasting operations.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
February 01, 2010 - MMH Editorial

Operating 16 hours a day, the 100,000-square-foot manufacturing floor is equipped with roasting and packing equipment that generates excess heat inside the building. “With no air conditioning in here, the air was not moving,” says Joseph Wright, the company’s maintenance coordinator. A few workers benefited from small floor fans scattered around the plant, but the fans did not provide complete air circulation. Since much of the roasting equipment stands about 20 feet high and the racks of packaging materials nearly reach the 40-foot ceiling, air circulation was seriously obstructed.

The company’s solution was to install a number of fans (Big Ass Fans, 877-244-3267, http://www.bigassfans.com)) throughout the facility. In the open areas, two ceiling fans now provide an overall cooling effect—one fan spans 24 feet in diameter and the other spans 20 feet. In the packing department, two strategically mounted compact, adjustable 6-foot pivot fans provide directional airflow in tight spaces. The key to the effectiveness of the fans is their ability to move massive volumes of air slowly using 1 to 2 horsepower motors.

The ceiling fans provide quiet, gentle, round-the-clock cooling for the workers as well as the stored coffee product. In addition to improved comfort and ergonomics, the company has also experienced improved economics. The fans provide a low-cost cooling solution that dehumidifies stagnant air in the summer and reduces the company’s carbon footprint in winter months by bringing down and recirculating heated air that rises to the ceiling.

About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

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