Whether the mercury is falling or rising, climate control suppliers are offering more options than ever to keep tented events comfortable.
Some tented events need heat, and some need cooling solutions. Then there are those that need both.
“We have … found that many of our clients require heating and cooling at the same event,” says Tina Behnke, business development director for AirPac® Inc., a supplier of portable air conditioning and heating equipment based in Front Royal, Va. “Many corporate events that last several days use the tent for breakfast functions in the early morning when it might be chilly, and then by the afternoon when the tent is full of people, they need to air condition it.”
AirPac’s solution for those situations is a dual-purpose heat pump that provides heating and cooling. “We use no ductwork with our modular split systems,” Behnke says. “Each has an indoor handling unit and an outdoor condensing unit that are connected and can work with any tent.”
Based in Sauk Rapids, Minn., Pinnacle Climate Technologies offers an array of ventilation equipment for the rental market under its Schaeffer and Master brands, including fans, misting fans, evaporative coolers and portable air conditioning units.
“For heating, we mainly deal with propane-fueled patio heaters that are outside of the tent,” says Pinnacle national sales manager Kate Boland. “Our evaporative coolers work in all tented spaces and have an oscillating top that allows them to cover 4,800 square feet of unobstructed air.”
Customers of Flagro USA Inc., a supplier of heating and cooling equipment for the construction and rental industries based in Savage, Minn., are frequently opting for direct expansion cooling systems, says Flagro USA president Wade Sorenson. “There are vertical and horizontal direct expansion units. Vertical units replace a tent wall on tents. This allows both the cooling and returns in a small footprint. Horizontal units are set away from the tent with ducts running to the tent to provide cooling and return.”
Sorenson offers a checklist to help determine accurate cooling and heating estimates for a tented event:
* What is the cubic area inside of the tent?
* What is the desired inside temperature?
* How many people will be at the event and inside the tent?
* What are these people doing (dancing, sitting, etc.)?
* Does the customer want spot cooling inside the tent or the entire area cooled?
* What power is available?
* How much space is available to place the units outside of the tent?
* For heating, what fuel is preferred?
Climate control equipment often requires special permits, Sorenson adds, and the requirements of the local jurisdiction should always be considered before giving an estimate to a client. Working closely with authorities and communicating well in advance of the event is the best way to proceed, he adds.
“Treat [permit authorities] with respect,” Sorenson says. “If there is an issue, state your case. If you know something and have facts to back your opinion, [share them.]” But be respectful, he emphasizes. “In the end, they are the law.”
Jake Kulju is a freelance writer based in Shafer, Minn.