The official first day of summer was last week, but the hot temperatures are already upon us! Some of our lucky contractors might still be experiencing nice weather, but here in Houston, we are regularly getting 90°F+ days. Because of this, we were inspired to put together our best tips for staying cool while blasting in the summer.
Keeping yourself cool:
Blast helmet with cool tube
One of the best ways to stay cool while blasting is with one of our safety packages. They include:
- A blast helmet
- A cool/heat tube which supplies 20°F above or below ambient air
- An apron
- All the hoses and breathing air filter*
- CO2 monitor strips
The cool tube is like wearing your own personal air conditioner, and our contractors say it makes a big difference in comfort!
Our blast helmets have many other benefits, such as reducing noise and protecting your face. They also have peel-off outer lenses, so you can remove a dirty lens quickly without having to take the whole helmet off.
We carry two types of blast helmets: Nova and Bullard. Nova is the most popular option because it is less expensive and has a wider viewing area. The Bullard lens is round, reducing some of your peripheral vision. Contact us to order a safety package!
*Note: When using a blast helmet with supplied air, it's important to never run breathing air straight from the compressor. It needs to first pass through a filter, otherwise you could breathe in carbon monoxide.
This is the exact same concept as the helmet, except the cool tube feeds into a vest instead. By wearing the vest and helmet at the same time, you'll be sure to stay cool and comfortable.
We do not sell a cooling vest, but you can find it at many local and online suppliers.
Keeping your machine running cool:
The process of compressing air generates a lot of heat. Our compressors actually produce air that's 100°F above the ambient air temperature! That's why we put a condensing fan on our mobile units -- it cools the air back down before it goes into the blast pot.
Still, it's good to combat the heat when you can, especially in the summer. This will keep your engine running its best, and prevent the possibility of overheating.
An easy way to keep your compressor running cool is a radiator coolant additive. There are many varieties out there, but our favorite is Purple Ice which can reduce the temperature of the coolant by up to 25°F. It's simply added to the coolant reservoir.
One more note about coolant -- make sure to always park on a level surface so the coolant can properly circulate through the engine.
Keep the radiator clean
Another way to keep your compressor running cool is to keep the radiator well ventilated. Regularly flushing out the radiator fins to keep them free of dust and debris will allow for ample airflow. See our video on flushing the radiator fins here.
Run the machine with the canopy down
Here's a common misconception: running the compressor with the canopy or "hood" up will keep it cooler. It's actually quite the opposite! The compressor is designed to run with the canopy down, so air can be properly directed over the engine, keeping it cool. It's always best to run the compressor with the canopy down.
Don't use max pressure if it's unnecessary
You should always adjust your blast pressure relative to the job, using the blast pressure regulator. Running the machine at the maximum PSI all the time just puts unnecessary strain on the equipment, and can increase the risk of overheating in the summer.
Refer to our article on how to choose the right blast pressure and the chart below.
We hope you stay cool and busy this summer!
— The Dustless Blasting Team