Recycle Less, Save Money...wait, what??!!

Updated: Mar 8

Returning Air to Your Factory

That's right! There are crazy truths in our world that make perfect sense, yet are counter-intuitive. This is one. Recycling or 'returning air' to your factory is a tricky business even though on the surface - the process seems simple. If your dust collector is 'removing’ air from your workspace...all you have to do to replace it is;

  1. Leave the door open

  2. Have fans blowing air back into the factory to replace the air that's removed

  3. Don't worry about it!

And two of these solutions can work...however, when it's really hot out or extremely cold - none of these is optimal. When you have decided to return air to your factory because you have chosen to control the climate for your employees, process, and/or product - you create a new list of challenges. You'll need to,

  1. Decide how to replace the extracted air, by volume in real-time.

  2. You'll have to decide how clean you'd like that air to be.

  3. You'll have to decide what temperature you'd like the air to be.

Please remember that you can return air to the factory if the air is clean and your filters are designed and maintained properly (and note that not all industrial processes are allowed for air return for health issues).

HVAC Savings

Once you've decided to 'return air' - you've already learned that by returning air extracted by your dust collector - you will have done HVAC analysis and realized the savings difference you will benefit from. Returning the air will save you some money! Imagine outside the air is 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the heated or cooled air inside your plant is 68 degrees Fahrenheit - NOW, those are 48 degrees you have to pay to heat or cool your plant's environment. So, running your collection fans at 100% (or 60 Hz) sucks a lot of air out of your plant...the treated heated/cooled air you have "paid" to treat!!

Now, imagine at this point you go back and do an analysis of what it costs to heat/cool that air by cubic feet and then compare that to the volume of air extracted that then needs to be retreated. What was once simple math becomes a much more complicated equation AND can open your eyes to some substantial savings. So your "recycled" air saves you money. Some averages we have seen look like this: if you were having to re-treat air by 48 degrees, now, after returning the may only have to retreat it by 11 degrees! That represents big savings-

The Formula

What we have also seen is that...really smart engineers never stop asking questions. Your next question will probably be, "if I can save 'x' by returning 'y' volume of might I reduce the 'y' volume of air extracted - and ultimately optimize my return air system by reducing the air extracted?!"

That's a great question...and that's where Ecogate might represent substantial augmentation to those savings. It is not unusual that you would be able to double your HVAC savings (based on the 'utilization' levels of your workstations = required volume of extracted air). Imagine you only have to retreat to the heat/cool the volume of air you expected!! That's where Ecogate can incrementally save substantial dollars AND...once you have Ecogate installed - you'll also save an average of 68% of your dust extraction related energy consumption. That's a one-two savings punch you should do the math on!!

Speaking of math - there are a lot of 'assumptions' made in this blog...check out this blog post to see this in action.

Author: Matthew "Mateo" Rodriguez

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