Welcome to the Portacool Blog

A winning perspective

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 @ 04:47 PM

We recently teamed up with Woman’s Day magazine to give one lucky winner our newest residential product, the Portacool Cyclone™ 1000.

Our lucky winner - J. Dicus - lives in Magnolia, Texas, which is located outside of Houston. He recently sent us an update on how he likes using the outdoor cooler. Here’s what he had to say:

 “So excited to win the Portacool [evaporative cooler]! I do my own simple maintenance on my cars, truck and motorcycles in my garage that includes changing oil, brakes and fluids. Being in Texas with temperatures right now  @ 100+degrees F, the Portacool is a life saver when a standard fan just isn’t enough.

 It is very simple to operate as well as easy to maneuver anywhere I need it in the garage. I am afraid I am already spoiled with it because when I am in the garage to do some tinkering I first think of where to position the Portacool [evaporative cooler] in order to be comfortable while I work.

 The adjustable louvers are a blessing too. If I am under the car draining oil I just move the louvers down to send a refreshing stream of air under the car as I work. And if I am under the hood, I just move the louvers up.

 Pardon the pun, but this Portacool is ‘cool’.”

August_Dicus_Family_showing_their_coolingThanks, J. Dicus!  And now it’s your turn – tell us how you use your Portacool evaporative cooler and send us a pic for a chance to be featured in our social media.

Click to Share Your Story

Topics: automotive, Summer, Cyclone 1000, woman's Day

Ahhhh - It's August!

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Wed, Aug 05, 2015 @ 12:44 PM

As we embark on the homestretch of summer, we can certainly look forward to a few more days of sultry weather in most parts of the country. No matter where you live, everyone can agree that being cool and comfortable is key to truly enjoying your work or play activities.

A highlight of our summer is hearing tales of how Portacool has 'saved the summer' for business and homeowners who found relief in a variety of scenarios. This month, we want to hear how Portacool is making a difference for you. Please share your story with us here or click below.

Just a few lines and a pic would be great. And, you never know, your story could be selected to appear on our social media. So send us your pic of your Portacool at work and your story now!

Click to Share Your Story

 

Thanks to the Ridings for sending in their outdoor summer wedding story noting how the outdoor cooler (the Portacool Cyclone) kept the bride and her guests cool in June when outdoor A/C wasn't an option.

Russ_Ridings_wedding

Thanks to Alan at WestCoast Enterprises for sharing his business story:

"Our Warehouse gets very hot durning the Summer, but being so large I didn't know what to do to cool it down. Then I happened upon the Portacool Hurricane at Bike Week in Las Vegas,  bought 2 of them and man my guys like coming to work now!"

Westcoast_Enterprises_in_California_Ontario

 

Topics: heat, Summer, Cyclone, Hurricane, Share Your Story, August

Tips for staying safe in the heat at home

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, Jul 09, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

This summer, we've talked a lot about heat safety relative to work environments. But, enjoying fun in the sun is one of the great pastimes of summer when you are at home.

It’s important to protect yourself from sun and hot weather while you’re outdoors. Normally, the body cools itself by sweating, but when the weather is particularly hot and humid, you may not sweat enough to keep yourself cool. When one’s body temperature increases too much, heat-related illnesses can occur. These range from minor irritations like heat rash or cramps, to potentially deadly conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In fact, each year, heat-related illnesses claim an average of more than 100 lives, according to the National Weather Service. Thousands more seek medical treatment for heat-induced injury and illness.

Here are a few tips  to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer:

* Choose your outdoor time wisely. Whenever possible, avoid spending time outside during the hottest parts of the day, typically noon to 5 p.m. Choose outdoor activities that you can enjoy in the early morning or evening, such as grilling and dining al fresco or going for a walk. 

* Keep everyone hydrated. When the weather is hot, it’s more important than ever to ensure everyone in the family – from children and pets to parents and grandparents – gets enough water. While outdoors, be sure to have ample bottled water on hand and don’t forget to keep your pet’s bowl filled—and give him plenty of opportunities to drink—while outdoors.

* Leverage cooling technology to make outdoor spaces more comfortable. Sometimes, you have to be outside during hotter times of day. Keeping cool is key. Outdoor coolers like the Portacool Cyclone 1000, use the natural process of evaporation to make outdoor spaces more comfortable during hot weather. These evaporative coolers move water over evaporative cooling pads (or evaporative cooling media) to produce chilled air that provides a noticeable difference – lowering temperatures by as much as 30°F. This can make outdoor spaces such as the patio, deck or garage more bearable in the heat. 

* Seek shade. If your patio or deck isn’t covered, use movable umbrellas or awnings to create plenty of shade. Going to a ballgame or the beach? Take an umbrella to shield you from the sun, or wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face.

* Choose weather-smart attire. When the weather’s very hot and the sun is bright, choose loose-fitting clothing made from lightweight materials and opt for lighter colors. This type of clothing will be more comfortable when you sweat, and lighter colors reflect heat more efficiently. If you’ll be working outdoors for any length of time, consider long-sleeved shirts and long pants in moisture-wicking materials to help shield your skin from sun exposure.

* Don’t overdo it with exercise. While vigorous exercise has many benefits, engaging in strenuous activity in extreme heat can do far more harm than good. If you enjoy an outdoor run or have yardwork to do, try to reserve it for the coolest times of day—early morning and evening. Consider taking your exercise routine indoors to a gym or your own living room when temperatures are very hot.

 Portacool_Cyclone_1000_cooling_Pet__Child

Topics: evaporative cooling, heat stress, avoid heat stress, evaporative cooling pad, evaporative cooling media, heat-related illness, outdoor coolers, Portacool cyclone 1000

Heat Is More Than A Temperature Reading

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 @ 04:45 PM

Assessing risk for heat-related illnesses means looking beyond the thermometer to other indicators that add to the potential for illness or injury. The “heat index” is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a single value that takes both temperature and humidity into account. Put simply, it can feel much warmer when the heat index value is factored in because it combines air temperatures and humidity to describe perceived outdoor temperature.

The key thing to know is the higher the heat index, the hotter the weather feels given that sweat does not readily evaporate and cool the skin. According to OSHA, the heat index is a better measure than air temperature alone for assessing the risk to workers from environmental heat sources.*

revised_heat_index

This guide helps employers and worksite supervisors prepare & implement hot weather plans.
This guidance is available online at http://osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/.

 

Take care to protect your employees in these conditions. Provide water. Offer regular breaks in the shade. If air-conditioning is unavailable or impractical, consider creating a cooling station where a portable evaporative cooler can be placed to help lower temperatures by as much as 30°F. Precaution and prevention are the keys to keeping employees safe when the mercury AND heat index rise.

*Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/index.html; wording taken verbatim from Introduction to OSHA’s “Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers”

Topics: evaporative cooling, heat stress, OSHA, heat index

Insight on maintenance of evaporative cooling media

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Evaporative cooling media is used for a range of agricultural applications such as poultry houses, greenhouses, barns and pens. Proper maintenance of your evaporative cooling system is important to achieve maximum cooling efficiency.

Here, we provide a link to a recent  Poultry Times article by Michael Czarick, Extension Engineer at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension. Czarick provides keen insight on keeping your evaporative media in optimum shape to extend their life and efficiency. 

http://www.poultrytimes.com/eedition/page_04683960-84a1-5e40-b3f3-66ce57470ae3.html

pads-resized-600

 

 

 

Topics: Kuul pads, poultry times, Michael Czarick, evaporative cooling media

The Cost of Heat-Related Injuries

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

We all know that heat intense environments are uncomfortable, but in a working environment it can be costly to a company’s bottom-line. Heat-stress and heat-related illnesses are a very real challenge in the summer months. If you are a manager or owner of a business that conducts work outdoors or in an un-air-conditioned setting, it is important to assess the risks AHEAD of a heat-related illness or injury. OSHA offers a tool that estimates just how much an accident can cost in terms of impacting profitability: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/safetypays/estimator.html

Using the tool, if you select “Heat Prostration” as the Injury type and use their 3% default profit margin, you will find that just ONE heat-related accident can have a direct cost a direct of more than $23,000 with indirect costs doubling the amount.

OSHA_Estimated_cost_of_injury_and_illness_and_impact_on_company

OSHA’s $afety Pays Program, “Estimated Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Estimated Impact on a Company’s Profitability Worksheet

Studies have also shown that you risk a 16.6% decrease in productivity when working in temperatures over 92°F as noted in the following illustration. In fact, high temperatures increase the likelihood of injury or illness and that can result in higher legal and insurance costs.

COMFORTBYNUMBERS

Take steps now, not after it is too late. Be proactive in guarding against heat-stress. In addition to providing hydration and scheduling breaks, consider using a portable evaporative cooler to lower ambient temperatures in the workplace. Cooler working conditions will help reduce the threat of heat-related illnesses, increase worker effectiveness and reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents.

Topics: OSHA, evaporative coolers, heat stress; productivity,, avoid heat stress, @heatstress

Thanking Our Local First Responders

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

First Responders are committed to serving others. They are first to show up in the face of danger and natural disaster when citizens need them the most.

Portacool recently sponsored a luncheon to celebrate and thank the First Responders in Shelby County, where we are headquartered. The luncheon, held June 5, 2015, at the John Dean Windham Civic Center in Center, Texas, was hosted by the Center Independent School District and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. Portacool had employees on hand to serve food and drinks as well as pass out tokens of our appreciation to the First Responders.

Guests included members of the Center Police Department, Center Fire Department, Shelby County Sherriff’s Department, Texas State Troopers, ACE EMS, City of Center Judges Office, Shelby County Judges Office, Shelby County Attorney’s Office and Shelby County District Attorney’s Office and Assistant District Attorney’s Office.  

These heroes perform miracles, support others and give part of themselves, and sometimes their lives, to save and protect others. From each of us at Portacool, LLC we say thank you for all you do.

 

First_responders_luncheon

 

Topics: Shelby County Today, First Responders

Every Degree Matters

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

Heat related illness and deaths are a real concern for employers and workers. According to the National Safety Council, 11 American workers die on the job each day. As we continue to think about safety this month, taking preventative steps to reducing heat related illnesses is key.

National_Safety_Council.org_info_graphic_on_deaths_on_worksties

Source: http://www.nsc.org/Pages/safety-at-work.aspx National Safety Council, “Safety at Work”

Heat-related illness can be prevented. Take measures to combat heat-related injuries:

  1. Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand.
  2. Schedule rest breaks and add a cooling station when possible with tools such as a portable evaporative cooler that works on a standard 110-V from worksites.
  3. Stay aware of conditions with your phone or tablet, especially if working outdoors. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15°F. OSHA has an app (download info here) to help calculate the heat index for the worksite and helps to identify the risk level.
  4. Be informed by reviewing the heat illness signs and symptoms. Training is this area is worthwhile.
  5. Use a buddy system. Monitor each other for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA's heat illness webpage and online guidance page for employers that outlines how to use the heat index to protect workers.

Topics: heat stress, Extreme Heat, OSHA, evaporative coolers, National Safety Council, avoid heat stress, NSC, portabable evaporative cooler

June is National Safety Month

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Tue, Jun 02, 2015 @ 10:45 AM

This month, via promotion of National Safety Month, the National Security Council is encouraging everyone to take extra care and precaution to maintain personal and work safety. As you can imagine, heat is one of the biggest safety concerns during the summer. Working in a hot environment can be more than uncomfortable, it can be a health risk and dangerous. According to the Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, each year thousands of people become sick from heat-related illnesses. Last year, at least 30 workers in this country died from heat exposure.

It is important to understand how the body handles heat and hot conditions. As temperatures rise, the body releases heat more slowly. As humidity increases, sweat evaporation decreases and stagnant air makes sweat evaporation more difficult. When these three factors are combined, you have a higher potential for health and safety concerns.*

In addition to the personal health risks, it is important to note that you are putting yourself and others in your work environment at risk when you are not properly prepared for the heat. The chances for accidents due to sweaty hands, dizziness and decreased mental alertness go up considerably in hot conditions. Additionally, increased body temperature and discomfort can lead to irritability and frustration that could lend to more careless behavior.

The key to staying safe in the heat is to take preventative measures. OSHA advises workers to follow these simple steps:

  • WATER: You need plenty of water throughout the day—every 15 minutes. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.
  • REST: Rest breaks help your body recover.
  • SHADE: Resting in the shade or in air-conditioning helps you cool down.

 Keep in mind that cool air from evaporative coolers can also be a practical alternative when air conditioned spaces are unavailable as noted in the “shade” step. Portacool evaporative coolers are portable and work off a standard 110-V plug making accessibility easy in hard-to-cool spaces or outdoors. You could even consider setting-up a cooling station.

Browns_Orchard_in_center_from_Misty Houston_Hobby_airport

Taking care to follow these tips can go a long way. This month we’ll continue to explore various heat-safety topics. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

*Source: Click-Safety http://www.clicksafety.com Heat Stress Course

Topics: evaporative cooling, heat stress, OSHA, cooling station, cooling solutions, National Safety Month

The Portacool Team Gives Back

Posted by Melodie Elliott on Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 03:28 PM

This May, our team focused on opportunities to serve our communities by participating in worthy causes with tremendous impact.  On a broader geographic scale, Portacool joined with the Home Depot Foundation in a special building event to benefit three military veterans and their families in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rick Kelly, National Director of Retail Sales for Portacool, represented our company by serving on the restoration team that made significant improvements to one veteran’s home exterior.  From painting to sod installation in the front yard and building a new fence and garden, the work was incredible.

 
According to Rick (pictured below, right), “It was a remarkable effort by the Home Depot Foundation, and all of the vendors that participated in the event. The veterans were on hand, and participated where possible.  They were truly grateful for our efforts and demonstrated this on many occasions.”
HD_Foundation_Event_4
HD_Foundation_Event_2
 
On a local level, a team of Center, Texas-based employees banded together to raise $4,460 for the American Cancer Society through participation in the Relay for Life.  Thirteen team members represented Portacool in the Friday-evening walking event, while countless others helped raise the funds by selling tickets to win a unique raffle item:  a special Portacool Cyclone 3000 portable evaporative cooler in a commemorative shade of pink.  Raffle tickets were sold in the weeks leading up to the event, and the very excited winner was presented with the one-of-a-kind Cyclone last week. 
Portacool_Relay_for_Life  Portacool_team
"We think this was an awesome outcome especially considering this was our first year to participate," said Laurie King, Human Resources Director at Portacool.
As Portacool celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, our team is privileged to give back wherever possible.  We are committed to giving our neighbors a helping hand whenever we can through our labor and our cooling solutions.
PAC_Team_Walk 
Kim_Winters_Survivor_March
Kimberly McElroy, Customer Service Manager pictured above, notes why this event was important to her:
"I walked in honor of all other melanoma survivors, and those that weren’t as fortunate as me, who have lost their battle to this terrible form of cancer.  I, along with all other Portacool employees, walked in memory of family and friends that have lost their fight with cancer.  Portacool participated in honor the four team members who have currently won the battle against cancer.  We all walked to find a cure!"
 

Topics: Relay for Life, cyclone 3000, Home Depot Foundation, American Cancer Society

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