Weather is killing me

It has been brutally hot again today, 105, and it is supposed to be above 100 the next three days. Just thought I would complain, but it could be worse this year we had to close a day because of ice storm.

It sounds like you might be ready to begin advertising a “beat the heat special”.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

You got me thinking…what do you do to keep the heat level down in the kitchen? Thinking back, it must get over 120-130F near the oven sometimes in July August (depends on where you are, i guess). Opening windows when its already a zillion degrees outside can still actually be helpful sometimes, but is there anything creative that any of you operators have found to be even modestly mitigating?

in the small store I used to work in, we literally turned the AC down to like 60 degrees, and it ran 24/7. you’d walk in at morning time and it would be 63 in there and you could see the cold blowing from the vents. by 11:30am, the temp would be back up to around 70 or so. Keep your filters changed, and make sure your exhaust hood is running. if you have conveyor ovens, you might try turning off the ones you dont use. In fact, most of the time we ran only 1 until we needed the extra capacity. On really hot days, we’d either turn the one way down or turn it off completely to help give the ac a chance to catch up. Turn off any warmers that you dont need or arent using to help keep the heat down. We also put a big fan in the kitchen on the floor to keep lots of air moving.

Also, keep all of your refrigeration coils clean and make sure you keep your prep table doors closed when you arent using them. The less your refrigeration systems have to run, the less heat that stuff will eject into the kitchen. i’ve also been known to remove the diffusers off the ac vents in the kitchen to help get more air into the kitchen.

Our building is 3 joined units, one is mid-1970 and has an appropriate amount of insulation, the Pub is tin ceiling on furring strips with very little if any useful insulation and not a very easy way to blow in any. The kitchen is even worse, pretty much a shed roof with little to no air space to insulate. We’ve collected quotes to spray on a close-cell urethane roof coating. It not cheap, but we’ve got to find a way to do something. Tonight our kitchen was over 100 at head-level, 115+ on the upper shelves. The Pub room was a balmy 87 degrees…and this is with all the A/C units running 24/7.

We are having the same problems. Here in middle GA the highs are getting to 100 and you can tell it inside the shop. We’ve tried keeping the A/C units running all night, but it is just as hot by mid afternoon. I’m thinking that our dine-in service is suffering because of it. I do not remember it being this bad last year. We are in an older brick building (OVEN) and our landlord went the cheap route and installed two 3 ton units on the wall (the type you see in the portable classrooms at schools). We are biting the bullet and getting a quote on a 5 ton central unit that will use the existing ductwork that is already installed in the ceiling. Hopefully that solves our problem???

I’d keep those two 3 ton units running as well. I think it was george mills that said (and correct me if i’m wrong) that it’ll take 5 tons just to keep up with the kitchen equipment.

If that is a rooftop unit you are installing, be sure to get a quote for adding an air economizer. That allows the a/c to grab cooler air from outside (when conditions are right) instead of running the compressor. I don’t remember the specifics on payback time, but for us (in Indiana) the numbers looked like a good investment.

Thanks Brad, I will check on that as well. Was that alot more expenseive?

Stebby: Good advice. We are going to run the two 3 ton units as well during the heat of the summer. We plan to keep the 5 ton unit on 24/7 (set to like 80 or so during closed times) and then turn the other two on when someone comes in to start the oven.

Adding an air economizer with temperature and humidity controls added $542.00 to the total cost of the project for my 3-ton heat pump. Unfortunately, that unit is the one that mainly takes care of the back half of the restaurant with a 5-ton dumping solely into the kitchen. It’s really the big A/C that needs an air economizer for me to see substantial savings.

I can’t say exactly what my savings have been because right after installing that I also redid the ceiling and replaced all my half-burned-out T12s with working T8s fixtures. Despite the T8s being more efficient, I increased my lighting electric usage by having all the ballasts actually working. Even so, my electric usage has been lower in the 1st half of this year compared to last year by small amounts.

Here’s a .pdf I found that talks about air economizers in various settings: … em2332.pdf There’s a chart all the way at the bottom that gives a range of potential A/C energy savings when using one in various settings. Looks like wherever you put out a lot of heat and can’t open windows, the savings can be pretty substantial.