Air movers, also known as air blowers, help significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for carpet or matting to dry. Industry leading air movers can cut the drying time by up to 40%!
Why reducing drying time is important?
- Promotes safety. When walking from a wet, just-cleaned carpet or mat, to a hard surface floor, the chances of a slip and fall accident occurring are very high. Drying the carpet and matting as quickly as possible helps reduce this risk.
- Prevents re-soiling. Often, people start walking over a just-cleaned and damp carpet or mat before it has completely dried. Dry soiling such as dust and dirt, which can just be vacuumed up on a dry carpet, now can become embedded in the moist carpet or mat, marring its appearance.
- Stops odours. Carpets and mats that remain damp too long can attract bacteria that harbour unpleasant odours.
- Increases productivity. By reducing the time required for drying the carpets, you can have your cleaning crew focused on other tasks at hand sooner.
And one more thing. According to John Poole, a consultant with the American Institute of Cleaning Science, “Drying the carpet is as important as cleaning the carpet. [But] if you leave the carpet wet, you’ll set off mould and mildew, so it’s critical to dry it thoroughly.” Same holds true for entrance mats as well as other types of matting.
Why air mover placement matters?
Placing an air mover in a room and letting it go to work is a good first step. Is there a way to increase its efficiency at drying the carpets and mats? Proper placement of air movers allows them to be most effective, while ensuring maximum air circulation and faster drying.
To see how this is done, let’s assume we are working with a “snail” or “whistle” air mover in an office building. These are the most common types of air movers and get their names because this is what they look like. Cleaning professionals refer to them as low-profile air movers.
A low-profile air mover pulls dry air down through the unit and out the snout of the machine. The air is blown directly over the carpet. An air mover that produces 2200 CFM is typically needed to dry carpet and subfloor areas quickly. And by the way, the air blown over the carpet is not heated. It is the movement of the air over the carpet that speeds evaporation. Choosing an air blower with a mat holding clip makes it easy to keep a mat in place, thus increasing air circulation underneath and drying it faster.
Air Mover Placement Tips
Here are some of the things we should know about the use and placement of low profile air movers in different carpet and matting cleaning situations:
Hallways. Place an air mover at either end of a just-cleaned hallway. For very long hallways, a general rule of thumb is to place at least one unit for every 200 feet.
Office areas. Using the same rule of thumb, for every 200 square feet of carpet in an office, at least one air mover is needed. Using this formula, a 20-foot by 20-foot room would need two air movers.
Corners. In most cases, placing an air mover in a corner of the room will dry the carpet most effectively, following the same formula. So, if the room is 20 feet by 20 feet, we would position those two air movers in opposite corners.
Adjustments. It may be necessary to relocate air movers during the drying period. Do so about every thirty minutes to make sure the units are reaching all mat and carpet areas.
Stairs. Drying stair carpet can be a bit more challenging. A typical stairway can often be divided into two sections. Place the air mover at the bottom of the stairs – the first section – and then after thirty or forty minutes, move it to the next section further up the staircase.
As our consultant said earlier, view the process of drying the carpets and mats as important as cleaning them, and ensure air movers are part of your routine floor maintenance. Not only does this promote safety and keep the carpets and mats clean and healthy, it also helps prolong their life and improve the overall look of your facility. It is worth remembering that routine maintenance is one of the critical elements of floor care, reducing the need for costly restoration or replacement of carpets and mats.
For more information on air movers, other tools and cleaning solutions used for carpet care and matting maintenance, contact a Swish representative.