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7 Reasons Why You Still Have Hot or Cold Spots at Your Restaurants

Jul 19, 2017 11:25:36 AM

Hot or cold spots at your restaurant

Imagine a restaurant entryway that's hotter than the warm air outside. Then, when you get seated, you're wishing you had brought a jacket! It doesn't make for a pleasant dining experience, especially if you were hoping for a nice, cold drink or two.

If you're a restaurateur, potential revenue is walking right out your door, or maybe not even entering your restaurant because of the temperature imbalances.

Hot or cold spots in restaurants can occur in the winter months too. For example, some restaurant owners install separate heaters in entryways and near large windows to keep spaces warm. A temperature imbalance in an entryway can also affect the plenum temperature. This is an issue for some restaurants that have water lines tracking through ceilings to soda machines (common in fast foo and quick service restaurants). 75F has an energy efficient frostless plenum solution that negates the need to remove ceiling tiles to ensure the plenum space remains warm enough to prevent frozen water lines.

Hot, cold or just right temperature

There Are 7 Main Reasons Hot or Cold Spots Affect Your Restaurant

  1. Outside air optimization: If your HVAC system is not programmed for optimal outdoor air intake, several factors that affect comfort in your restaurant will be affected, including indoor air quality, airflow and air pressure.

  2. Which brings us to pressurization: An air pressure imbalance may cause hot or cold air to hang around certain zones in your restaurant, or cause hot, kitchen air to flow into the dining area. A negative pressure balance in your restaurant may cause outside air to come rushing in whenever a door opens or closes.

  3. Solar gain: Many restaurants have large south- or west-facing windows. It's nice to be able to keep the view open for patrons and to allow people to see inside the restaurant from the street, but the heat from the sun is sometimes just too much. Most HVAC systems cannot compensate for the heat generated at tables next to the windows without causing the rest of the restaurant to put in an icebox.

  4. Airflow balancing: All buildings are dynamic, especially restaurants, which experience varying numbers of patrons throughout each day and have a kitchen environment to maintain. As the sun moves from east to west, the dynamics of the air in your building change in direct proportion to the sun's intensity. Restaurant hot or cold spots are influenced by the ability of the HVAC system to funnel and balance air appropriately throughout the day to compensate for the position of the sun and the local weather effects.

  5. Diffuser positioning: HVAC air diffusers are those square vents you see in the ceiling. They are the end of the line for the supply air flowing from your air ducts. Diffusers and air temperature sensors should be positioned strategically throughout your restaurant, based on the dynamics of your building and business. If diffusers and sensors are not optimally positioned, a dynamic airflow balancing system may be able to prevent most hot or cold spots in the space, but it is important to be strategic with placement from the outset of HVAC system design.

    HVAC Smart Damper and Diffuser
  6. Equipment energy loads: Kitchen equipment such as refrigerators, stoves, fryers, ovens and grills produce a large amount of heat. If that heat is allowed to escape into the dining area instead of up and out exhaust vents, diners will be in for an unpleasant experience. Even a small amount of hot air transfer from the kitchen can create discomfort at tables close to the kitchen.

  7. Equipment sequencing: Many restaurateurs believe their exhaust fans and makeup air (MUA) units are synchronized at all times, but we have found this to rarely be the case. Out-of-sync HVAC equipment in a restaurant easily causes pressurization issues, which lead to temperature imbalances and unwanted odors seeping from the kitchen to the dining room.

Hot or cold spots in your restaurant can be prevented and fixed to improve guest comfort, employee productivity and turnover rates, and energy cost savings. Envision Sleep Number meets Nest. That is the dynamic, predictive and proactive smart HVAC system you get with a 75F solution.

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