Tent and event ventilation provides comfort and safety
Proper ventilation at a tented event increases guest comfort and worker productivity. Properly ventilating a tent ensures fresh air is circulating, which leads to a better event experience. While customers rarely ask for ventilation at events, it is typically because they are unaware of the available options.
When it comes to hot days and nights, air movement at an outdoor event becomes critical to the comfort of guests. That’s why Barron’s Rental in Athens, Ga., often rents an 8-ft. mobile fan with its tents, linens, dishes, chairs, tables and other items for outdoor events.
Charlie Barron, owner of Barron’s Rental, says he used to tether, high-speed fans to tent posts to help circulate the air in tents during the warmer months to alleviate the discomfort from the typical hot and humid Georgia days and nights. However, he says the fans were only effective on those directly near them and that they tended to be rather noisy.
That has changed with the introduction of quiet, large fans, such as the 8-ft. diameter AirGo® manufactured and engineered by the Big Ass Fan Co.®, Lexington, Ky. The mobile fan is designed to provide large volumes of quiet, non-disruptive air movement in any direction, allowing users to direct air wherever it is most needed. Barron’s initially added the fan to its inventory in May 2010.
“I could stand in front of it and carry on a conversation and I could stand 60 ft. away and still feel the air movement,” Barron says.
People, including event staff members, work comfortably at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but productivity declines as heat rises. For example, in 90-degree weather, work output decreases an estimated 29 percent with accuracy dropping 300 percent. At 105 degrees, productivity drops 79 percent with a 700 percent loss in accuracy. That is why ventilation is an important factor in return on investment (ROI).
Heat-related injuries and fatalities at summer concerts and festivals this year also serve as a reminder of the importance of event cooling.
How to ventilate a tent depends on the event. The illustrations, left, depict methods depending on whether the tent is open or closed. For example, in open wall tents, Schaefer Ventilation recommends placing pole-mounted fans on each side of the pole and directing them 45 degrees from facing forward to move air in one direction across the tent. This moves air across the tent while over the guests in the tent.
In closed-wall tents, it is important to place fans in a “race track” pattern to circulate air around the tent. On one side of the tent, direct the fans around 45 degrees from facing forward and on the opposite side, direct them the other way. This creates air circulation in the tent, which prevents air from becoming stagnant. This method also can be used with tent heaters. Mount the fans at the top of the side poles and/or on the canopy support beams with a downward direction to de-stratisfy and circulate hot air.
Misting and evaporative coolers are not generally recommended in a closed-wall tent, but can be a nice add-on for the open-wall tent applications such as dances or sporting events.
Misting and evaporative cooling have become more popular in recent years, but in order to give proper recommendations to clients, rental stores must understand how each product works. Misting fans spray a fine mist into the air, which cools the air. Low-pressure misting means it is spraying larger water droplets and high-pressure misting means smaller droplets that evaporate in the air.
Evaporative coolers function best with low humidity, but still create a cooling effect in high humidity. For example, at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 percent relative humidity, evaporative coolers lower the ambient air temperature by up to 20 degrees. At 75 percent relative humidity, the same cooler will reduce the ambient air temperature by 6.5 degrees.
Evaporative coolers use water to cool the air through pads. In areas of high humidity, such as the Southeast, evaporative coolers, also known as ‘swamp coolers,”
work best at night in situations where people are already moving, such as dances and outdoor events.
In the summer, offering customers tent fans and evaporative coolers can provide safety and additional rental revenue. Most customers are willing to add these products to ensure the comfort of their guests and improve the accuracy and productivity of their staff.
Tracy Kelly, market specialist for Schaefer Ventilation Equipment, Sauk Rapids, Minn., can be reached at 800-779-3267, ext. 122, or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Schaefer Ventilation Equipment is available at www.schaeferfan.com.