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Keeping Things Comfortable in the Kitchen

Controlling Latent and Sensible Heat from the Dishroom

Commercial dishwashers are just one of many pieces of equipment in the kitchen that can affect the comfort level and productivity of the work environment. Fortunately, there are ways to control the heat and humidity produced by dishwashers and keep your kitchen comfortable and productive.

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Understanding Heat

In order to understand how to best control the environment surrounding a commercial dishwasher, it’s important to first understand the heat output. 

  • Sensible Heat.Sometimes referred to as radiant heat, this is the warmth produced by the equipment that radiates out into the environment and can raise the temperature, like the radiant heat of the sun warms the temperature of the Earth. Sensible heat is the warmth you feel when standing in front of the dishwasher.
  • Latent Heat. This is the energy released when water changes to steam without a change in the actual temperature. Humidity itself isn’t latent heat, but it contains latent heat. When an environment is humid, it can feel hotter than the thermostat says because a thermostat only measures sensible heat.

Keys to Comfort

There are many elements to consider when working to create a pleasant atmosphere around your commercial dishwasher. With a full understanding of the different steps you can take, you can enjoy the efficiency and high productivity of commercial dishwashers without an adverse impact on your work environment.

  • Kitchen Design– The design of the kitchen is important when creating a comfortable workplace. A dishroom with ample space for employees to move around, high ceilings and proper ventilation helps keep the air flowing and temperatures at a comfortable level. 
  • HVAC – A properly sized HVAC unit plays an important role in environmental control. A unit that is too small might not be able to cool the area to the temperature set on the thermostat, while a unit that is too big will cool the room temperature down so quickly that the unit doesn’t have time to also remove the latent heat, leaving the atmosphere uncomfortable. 
  • Incoming Air – In addition to controlling the temperature of the room, it is important to heat and/or cool the air that is being pumped into the dishroom. “The mechanical engineer should take this into account when designing a kitchen, because code states the difference between make-up air and the air in the room should not exceed 10 degrees,” says Hass. 
  • Proper Hood Installation– Certain types of dishwashers, including conveyor and flight-type, require a Type II hood to help remove steam from the dishroom. When specifying a hood for your commercial dishwasher, take into account the amount of overhang that will be necessary to completely cover the discharge space where the racks come out or where the door is opened.
  • Ventless Dishwashers– Some dishwashers do not need a hood to keep the dishroom at comfortable working temperatures. Hobart’s Advansys™ line of dishwashers incorporates an energy recovery system with condensing cycle that captures the steam from the wash cycle and condenses it to heat incoming cold water. Not only is less energy needed to heat the water to appropriate temperatures for the next cycle, but less latent heat is released into the dishroom environment. 

Call your local Hobart representative to learn more about how a commercial dishwasher can improve operations in your kitchen, and how to integrate it into your workflow while maintaining a comfortable dishroom environment for your staff.

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