Heat: Now We're Cooking!

Heat and it's role in high- performance cleaning..  Simply put, there is no substitute.  Sure, you can spend more time and make up for the lack of it.  But isn't the idea to be able to do the best job possible, as quickly as possible?  In this section, we'll look at specifics related to heat, including the generation of heat, the effect of heat, how heat is lost (and prevented) and more...


Why Such an Emphasis on Heat?

I've long been known for recommending high heat output capability for HWE ("steam") systems.  And I've built systems designed to do just that: Deliver high heat levels at high flow rates.  But how can I justify that, in lieu of the past recommendation by carpet manufacturers that temperatures not over 150 degrees be used?  Well, it's a long story, but I know you have time to read it.  So here it is...

Basically, there are 2 concerns when addressing the phenomena of heat delivered to the carpet.

1.) Heat loss between the system and the carpet.

2.) Heat loss at the carpet.

Heat delivered to the carpet fibers can be addressed in two ways, namely, 1.) actual prevention of loss of heat, and 2.) starting out with more heat than needed, so that you can afford to lose heat along the way. Prevention of loss can only be accomplished to a limited extent with current technologies, since some heat loss is inevitible. And points to be addressed include heat loss through system plumbing, through solution hoses, through the wand tube, and in the stream between the wand jet and the carpet fibers.

But assuming that heat loss is remedied, the question then becomes, "How much is enough to begin with?".  A system that could conceivably be built to deliver 100% of it's original heat level to the carpet, would still suffer one pitfall: age.  As a system ages, it becomes less efficient, due to internal scaling and external sooting of the heating tubes.  And a system that delivers "enough" new, may deliver "less than enough", once it ages some (or, in colder climates).  So the best remedy for this is via prevention, in the form of being able to deliver more heat than is necessary.

But how much is "enough".  Well, opinions vary.  Because, even though lower heat levels mandate slower cleaning speeds, some people are satisfied with cleaning at a slower pace than others.  But ultimately,


(Stay tuned, more to come...)