Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters

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Fieldthistle
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2006/07/18 14:04:35 (permalink)

Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters

Hello All,
How do you find unique, cost-cutting ways to cool and heat your establishments during the extremes of climate?
Beside maintanence, or perhaps you have unique maintence techniques,
what can be done to cool a place in hot weather and increase heat
during the cold? Ceiling fans are a given, but what else?
I wonder how things worked before central air and heat?
Take Care,
Fieldthistle
#1

19 Replies Related Threads

    xannie_01
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 14:15:55 (permalink)
    well, we use a swamp cooler, basically water running through filters with a fan drawing the cooled air into the house. which only works if the hunidity is below 15% unfortunately its at 32% right now so it's useless.
    #2
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 15:01:54 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    xannie 01, I am ignorant. What kind of filters?
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #3
    prisonchef
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 15:07:15 (permalink)
    since we are mobile we have some unique problems. thank goodness i worked in kitchens for years before getting our rig. without that prior knowledge i would not have been able to foresee several problems.
    1- a/c is useless with two 6 foot wide by 4 foot tall serving windows open. this is my only mistake. if i had it all to over again the a/c would have been deleted at a considerable savings.
    2- the heat generated by a 22 cu. ft. reefer and 7 cu. ft freezer needed to be considered.
    3- the heat of two smokers no matter how well insulated was another consideration.
    the way we beat it---
    1- the rig manufacturer added additional insulation in the walls and ceiling.
    2- our hood system is 3 foot deep by 5 foot longer with an optional higher powered fan motor to generate more negative pressure. this increases airflow thru the serving windows so my server stays comfortable.
    the one thing we can't beat---
    humidity. last weekend was 95f with humidity of 72% and gave a heat index of well over 110f. at those temps fluid replenishment is imparitive as is the intake in my case of additional potassium to prevent cramping. to be honest it is on the dangerous side but really is no hotter than many kitchens i have worked in.
    winter---
    condensate on my hot water lines have been a drawback.
    the high powered hood that works so well in the summer now draws too much air and gives one heck of a wind chill!!!!!!
    overall--
    hey it's florida. hotter longer than cold. if it gets too bad just remeber what president truman said "if ya can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen"
    jack
    ps. this is another one of those things that the foodnetwork never shows
    #4
    xannie_01
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 15:08:53 (permalink)
    technically it's called an evaporative cooler pad it retains water longer so the fan won't work as hard. the entire unit is known as an evaporative cooler, but we all call it a swamp cooler.
    much, much cheaper than air conditioning. works almost as well. unless we get high humidity..

    keep cool, dayle
    #5
    V960
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 16:34:08 (permalink)
    My oldest daughter (now 18) puts a small kiddie pool behind the trailer. We run water through it constantly. Every hour or so one of us will strip to our bathing suit and take a dip. She is blonde, green eyed, drop dead beautiful, 5'8" tall and sweet as everything. We sell alot of Q just after her dip. After the fat old man gets in we sell beer.
    #6
    xannie_01
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 16:39:01 (permalink)
    prisonchef,

    foodtv should give you a reality show, showing the "underside" of running a business instead of giving us the romantic dream. keep posting. i'm learning so much from you!

    dayle
    #7
    WVHillbilly
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 17:50:42 (permalink)
    Maintain your equipment. Change filters on a regular basis. Have your unit cleaned and pressures checked by a pro at the beginning of the season and every couple months.
    The difference between well maintained equipment and neglected equipment will have a HUGE effect on it's cooling capacity and it's longevity.
    #8
    roossy90
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 18:02:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by xannie_01

    technically it's called an evaporative cooler pad it retains water longer so the fan won't work as hard. the entire unit is known as an evaporative cooler, but we all call it a swamp cooler.
    much, much cheaper than air conditioning. works almost as well. unless we get high humidity..

    keep cool, dayle

    You see those type of cooling units mostly in the dry west area of the US.
    I too was curious when I had gone to Colorado and looking at property there..
    Swamp Cooler.. Even out there, I would still like to have a regular A/C unit.
    #9
    xannie_01
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/18 18:07:07 (permalink)
    a new swamp cooler costs$350 compared to the thousands for central air.
    i'll make do with the swamp cooler.
    #10
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/19 07:13:14 (permalink)
    ahhh memory lane. growing up, my grandpa had a furniture store. out back, was one of them swamp coolers. it was neat to watch, as a young'n.
    hillbilly is right, thas what we do. at the change of seasons, we have all equipment serviced. coils cleaned, thermstats checked, coolant levels checked.
    sure is better than having one break down on ya.
    jack hit the nail on the head. our place was 110 went i got there yesterday morning. that was with two windows propped open. problem is the big refer, the little refer, and the freezer, all cranking out hot air. for all you new construction folks, had these units' compressors, out-side!!!!!!
    in the summer, we kinda suffer. we have three fans, and a window a/c. it still runs 95-100 in the prep room. in the winter, we thank god everyday, for the change of seasons, and still work in shorts and teeshirts.

    #11
    prisonchef
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/19 15:28:48 (permalink)
    xannie_01,
    naw they never would believe it plus they are too busy watching hell's kitchen and thinking that it's for real. might be the same ones that tell me rasslin' is real.
    too be real honest hot kitchens are just part and parcel of the craft. plus it gives you good war stories to tell the younger staff, like my general manager and i did yesterday to a new hire. he was complaining that the kitchen was 90 degrees. chris and i looked at each other and in unison said "oh my goodness where's the sweaters? we might catch a chill and die!!!".
    if you want a good look at the underbelly read tony bourdain's book "kitchen confidential"
    #12
    xannie_01
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/19 15:33:23 (permalink)
    reading that book made me glad i decided not to be a chef. just watching my father work 18 hours a day drove it home.one chef in the family was enough.
    #13
    Jimeats
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/20 11:19:44 (permalink)
    Can you put the elusive Swamp Gravey in a swamp cooler to keep it from going bad? Chow Jim
    #14
    lleechef
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/20 15:22:21 (permalink)
    prisonchef, I hear you! One of the young bucks I work with in Anchorage was complaining that it was "hot"......72 degrees outside. I nearly flipped. How would you like to be in a kitchen in Boston, the temp outside is 99 with 98% humidity and it's 135 in the kitchen?? And work in the kitchen 18 hours a day, 6 days a week. Tell me that's not fun! And suddenly when did all the line cooks turn into Prima Donnas? Peel potatoes? No way. Peel shrimp? Nope. Put away the produce of dry goods orders? Never.

    Ok, I'm done ranting. Sorry.
    #15
    xannie_01
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/20 16:05:19 (permalink)
    when the chefs starting leaving the kitchen to do food shows, sell books and knives, the hot line realized they were doing all the work and could get paid more at other restaurants. other than taking care of their mise en plas
    line cooks shouldn't have the time to do prep work.are you going to ask the waiters to wash dishes?
    #16
    prisonchef
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/20 16:31:38 (permalink)
    lord have mercy as we say in the south. we sure seperated the wheat from the chaff!!!!! i've said it before the worst thing that ever happened to our profession is the food network. lleechef try this it works but only if you can produce the acf chefs wallet card. i had one gave me the same line of grief while I WAS WASHING DISHES!!!!! advised young swain that 600 hours on an acf apprenticeship was dedicated to sanitation so the sooner he got started the better. said young swain advised me that was what we had a dishwasher for, to which i replied "hey james, it's your lucky day. come on over to the line you've earned it!!!" and with that i sent the young swain to the dishpit!!!!
    xannie,
    i found that my best workers were always the dishdogs. when a line cook called in sick i would move a dog to the line and i would wash dishes while giving him instructions. the one thing i learned real early on was not to hire grads from the "big 2" cooking schools. too much time and trouble there in my experience. but give me a good dishwasher and i got something i can train even though i knew he would leave in a year but to me the highest honor as a chef was a former dishwasher being able to advance himself and his family. it really felt good then and it really,really feels good now years later. matter of fact my main pirate "richy" (or mable as i called him since he hated gertruade so bad) still calls me up years later. we got him into the apprenticeship program at the greenbrier and he is now an exec in maryland. it's ez to tell the phone call. it always starts out "hey sous chef!!! i'm an exec, wanna sous chef job now that you old? could really use a good one!!!" and that for me is what being a chef is all about!!! and thanks for letting me ramble and relive it for a few minutes.
    jack
    ps. richy always told me that if he could ever make exec when i was old and broken down he would take me in as his sous" /> one day i just may take him up on that!!!!
    #17
    xannie_01
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/20 16:36:17 (permalink)
    thanks for understanding both sides, prisonchef.
    now I'M done ranting.
    :)
    #18
    prisonchef
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/21 14:26:13 (permalink)
    xannie,
    no problem. to be really honest sometimes it is a pleasure to wash dishes. no line hassels,no administrative problems, just a large stack of pots and pans. plus it gives a chance to lead by example. shows every memeber of a crew is vital and no one really ranks the other guy since it takes every one to get the job done.
    jack
    ps. i also take out the garbage where i work part time now. the guys love it what they don't know is i am sneaking a smoke" />
    #19
    dinerminer
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    RE: Energy Ideas- Hot Summers, Cold Winters 2006/07/21 19:22:57 (permalink)
    I have found that a misting sprinkler hitting our rooftop unit coils will dramatically improve it's efficiency. Doesn't really help our cost, but it's a lot more comfortable.
    #20
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