Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Maximum Use for the Mini

July 12, 2006
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Mrs. Jones was in the kitchen cooking dinner. I was busily engaged cleaning her imported deluxe sculpted velvet couch. Having just come back from the van with my heavy-duty 2,000 CFM centrifugal blower, I placed it blowing against one of the cushions for quick drying.

If you're like me, you want to know how the upholstery is going to turn out before you leave the house. The only way to do this is to make sure the majority, if not all of the upholstery, is dry before you leave. The last thing you want is the phone call with a panicked customer explaining that the upholstery is now two shades of purple and it was beige (but still damp) when you left the home after cleaning.

So, I placed the big blower to power dry the cushion. In just a split second while I was over working on the couch body, my powerful blower managed to blow the cushion over which allowed the significant air stream to blow against the wall lifting a picture off its support and sent it crashing to the floor. Thankfully, I only broke the frame while the original oil painting inside remained unharmed.

My follow-up remedy to the big blower problem was to pick up a couple of box fans at the local hardware store. These worked semi-effectively, but were bulky and were the same type household fans that the customer would buy - not very professional.

I never fully resolved the issue back in my cleaning days but today there are excellent ways to get good drying capability in a small package. Today, we have the new mini air movers that have now been on the market for just a few years.

Efficiency and Power

The new small air movers will generally push 300 to 400 CFM. While this is not comparable to the big air movers, it's important to remember the effectiveness of velocity, and ability to direct the air where needed. These little powerhouses can move air 50 feet away from the unit. They will run on less then 1 amp up to a max of 1.5 amps using very little power. They will also daisy chain together or allow you to plug additional electrical tools right into the air mover.

Drying Upholstery

You can fit three or four mini air movers into the space of one of the large conventional types. This makes it easy to carry two or three into the job and use them to speed dry all the cushions and body of the upholstery before you leave. Directional snouts allow you to direct the air in any direction.

Drying Carpet after Cleaning

While these units do not have the power and big CFM numbers of bigger units, they are perfect to point down a hall or traffic lane and affect speed drying. The ability to daisy-chain these smaller units allows you to cover larger areas if desired. When cleaning heavily soiled areas in front of doorways, couches or hallways, you often use more water and more passes which can prolong the drying. Directing the mini air mover onto these areas will have them ready to walk on in minutes.

Drying Carpet and Contents from Floods

Industry talk will often focus on the need for huge CFM of 3,000 or more to get a drying fan that is effective on flood work. Certainly, well-directed high CFM is necessary and effective, but I have been amazed at the versatility and usefulness of these small air movers when applied to drying jobs. Closets, hallways, bathrooms, in and under cabinets are just some of the places they are useful. If you are using any of the drying systems that use thermal energy (heat), then the mini air movers are great to circulate air between rooms and direct the energy where it is needed.

One popular mini air mover uses just 0.8 amps at full power. That effectively lets you plug 18 air movers into one 15-amp circuit. With high velocity, many restorers are using these minis to dry areas once reserved only for the big brutes.

Keeping Your Cool

We are in the heat of the summer and you actually work for a living. Use these mini air movers to blow on you while you work. You will be a little more comfortable during the day and much more tolerable when you greet your spouse after work.

Having a few of these little gems on your truck is a wise way to be properly equipped for any drying situation.

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