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I run a t-shirt screen printing business in Texas. I started in my garage, like most of us do. Six months ago I decided to move to an industrial space to handle my extra business. Me and my two helpers immediately noticed a problem once the hot weather really got started: the industrial space wasn't well ventilated for our purposes. In the past, opening the garage door and all the windows, plus working after the sun went down, solved this issue. I realize that screen printing is a hands on, messy business that you just have to love, and we do, and sweating through your shirt is a given, but our current workspace wasn't safe. We're talking over 100 degrees most days.

The easy fix would have been to attach the top vent of the dryer to a duct and just blow that air out through the roof. Nope, the landlord didn't want any modifications done to the building. He still thinks the air conditioning units should be enough (they're not). We had already committed to this place -- what could we do, move? My crew and I have an expression for these times when the landlord or a customer makes our lives unreasonably difficult: "In for a penny, in for a pounding!" (Might make a good company t-shirt someday ...)

I posted our problem in chat rooms online. Some people thought that cross ventilation with open windows would work, but that didn't do much for us. We're on the south-facing side of the building so all the air is blazing hot all day long (the north-facing side is occupied by another business).

One poster had a helpful suggestion: move the dryer near the roller door by the loading dock. This person also posted a link to a few products made by a company called Deelat Industrial.

What I put together was Deelat's 32-foot-long, 13-inch-wide HVAC industrial ventilation duct (D1143697) attached to their 12-inch portable exhaust fan (D1143670). I placed the fan over the screens and connected it to a duct that went up to the ceiling and out a high window. I also got a Deelat air blower fan on a set of casters that I could roll around as necessary (D1148100) -- blow air from the windows on the west side in the early morning before the sun gets overhead, then do the same from the east side windows at dusk.
These products did a good job of moving the air around. The heat problem was less severe and the fumes weren't as bad. I decided to purchase a second portable exhaust fan, this time an 8 inch model (D1143664) from Deelat along with one of their aluminum semi-rigid ducts, which was also 8 inches in diameter (D1774628). I attached the aluminum duct to the vent on top of my drier and hooked that up to the portable fan, which i have out on the loading dock. That really cut down on the heat.

We still have to take long lunch breaks on the really hot days, but we are managing to fulfill orders and have a good time. I'll probably make it through this summer using these fans and ducts, then reevaluate my options before next summer. I may have to move.
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