Significant problems can arise from a lack of make-up air in your plant. Unfortunately, a lack of make-up air may not be obvious or easily recognized. A ventilation system that is properly designed and correctly installed controls the plant environment by avoiding negative pressure. If fresh air is not introduced at the same rate that contaminated air is exhausted, a negative air pressure condition is created. Static pressure increases, creating negative air pressure, which must be overcome. This means the exhaust system needs to work extremely hard, and is ultimately less effective.
Here is a video that clearly demonstrates the benefits of implementing a make-up air unit:
While a lack of make-up air may not be initially apparent as shown in the video, there are many signs that indicate a make-up air issue. Here a seven to watch for:
- Cold walls in the plant.
When negative air pressure is present, drafts coming through the walls will be cold. Insulation is ineffective if the air within the plant is unbalanced.
- Moisture on the walls.
Cement walls have small cracks that allow water in. In a negative pressure atmosphere, fans pull air through walls, as well as water from rain and other outdoor sources.
- Haze, dust or smoke in the air.
Without proper air circulation, particulate and fumes from processes such as welding or metal cutting, remain hanging in the air.
- Lingering odor in the plant.
Processes involving oil mist, boilers, ovens and paint booths have odors that require ventilation. If the ventilators cannot provide the required number of air changes, odors cannot disperse.
- Doors that are difficult to open or shut.
Drafts through the door seals and door knobs can cause a force of pressure that makes the door difficult to open or close, depending on which way it swings.
- Excessively high heating bills.
Cold air moves through the plants and activates the thermostats and the heating system. Since the heated air rises to the ceiling and is not circulated, most of the heat is lost.
- Corrosion of steel near fume hoods.
Air that is contaminated with corrosive elements may not be pulled through intended hood, due to exhaust fans trying to grab air from anywhere they can. This causes nearby steel to corrode.
Air Solutions is your source for energy-efficient make-up air solutions, from single units to comprehensive air supply systems throughout Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Whether you are looking for heated or non-heated make-up air, we can develop a customized solution to supply the fresh air needed in your facility or process area. Contact us today to discuss your make-up air needs!