Screen printing shops are known for lots of things, but one sticks out quite common...they’re hot! What else can you expect when you’re working around flash dryers, heat presses and conveyor dryers typically in a garage or building that is not temperature controlled? In this video, we’ll go over a couple ways you can make your shop a more comfortable temperature.
Install an AC/Heater unit. In this video we showcase a Ductless Mini-Split unit. These are great, especially for shops in a garage or ones with a smaller footprint. Ductless Mini-Splits can be pretty simple to install and when put into the right location, they can make a world of difference. While a mini-split is preferred, a combo AC and heating window unit will also work. We went the mini-split route since there are no windows in the garage and it gave us everything we desired for temperature control. Here are some quick tips if you’re looking to install an AC Unit or Ductless Mini-Split like we’re showing in the video.
- Make sure the area you’re installing a system into has ample insulation and all cracks from doors and windows are properly sealed off.
- If you’re in a garage, adding insulation to the ceiling above can drastically help keep your shop more temperature controlled. This will also help with energy costs.
- Make sure to purchase a unit that is rated for the area you’re wanting to keep temperature controlled.
- For a screen printing shop, it’s recommended that you go the next size up since you’re running multiple heat sources already.
- We chose an 18k BTU unit while we could have gotten by with a 12k BTU unit. This was a definite worthwhile investment!
- Map out your shop to make sure the placement is correct. You DO NOT want the unit blowing directly on your screen printing area, but can be near it.
- Placement is key. We placed this unit so the air will blow down the long side of the garage.
- This is also where the DTG machines are in this shop. The cold/warm air will flow in front of them, but not directly onto them.
- Putting the unit where we did, made sure that the air was also not directly blowing onto the screen printing press. Too much air movement can stir up dust and particles that will get into your screens and ink.
Venting out your dryer exhaust will greatly help keep the temperature in the shop easier to keep under control. Dryers often will omit a high temperature exhaust that will always increase the temperature in the shop. If you are running AC into your shop, this is a must! If you do not vent out the dryer exhaust, the AC unit will be fighting the always warming air and run much longer than it is needed. For an even better fix, you can use insulated piping when venting out your dryer exhaust.
*This will also help with the odors and fumes that can come off when curing discharge.
**The Vastex Dryer used in this shop does a great job at bringing in cool air from the room to help keep the outer layer of the dryer cool to the touch and cool down the exhaust.
Take a look at the seal on your doors in windows. When we moved into this shop, the back door leaked air so much and honestly was so old that it needed to be replaced. I recommend you look into replacing the door seals or filling in the cracks that can form over time with appropriate calk. Making sure that the doors and windows in your shop are correctly sealed will greatly help in keeping your shop more temperature controlled as well as help lowering your energy costs to do so.
*Garage Door: If you’re in a garage shop with a large garage door, there are a couple things that will help.
- Make sure your garage door bottom seal is not worn out. If it is and is falling off the door, replace it and make sure you’re getting a tight seal.
- Look at the outside door seals and replace if needed.
- Insulate the garage door if your do not have an insulated one already.
- There are kits that are well worth the money to do this!
These are just a couple tips to help get the shop to a more comfortable temperature and environment for printing. While not all of these tips may work for your shop, I encourage you to try and share what works best for you. Finally, don’t discount how important being comfortable in the shop can be. If you have a comfortable environment to work in, you’ll simply enjoy printing more and I believe that you’ll find yourself wanting to go to the shop more.