You’ve had a flood. You’ve sucked as much moisture from the carpet as you can with your extraction machine and wand. You've treated the carpet with a decontamination treatment. You’ve turned the air conditioner on and now it’s time to speed the drying up with an air mover or carpet blower. Sounds like a no brainer. You want to dry the carpet fast before the stink sets in. What more could there be to think about except plugging it in and turning it on? Well there’s 10 things actually.
Over the years there have been many accidents and fires due to the misuse of air movers. And many carpets haven’t been dried fast enough. That’s means the stink and bacteria start to take over. Not healthy at all! You might be thinking that could never happen to you but it happens more regularly than you might think.
To make sure that your drying job is finished safely and effectively without any further insurance claims here’s 10 rules you might want to take note of when using this type of electrical equipment.
1. Never leave a carpet blower unattended.
Never leave carpet blowers or dryers unattended or running overnight. For even drying move the fan every hour or two for even drying.
2. Position the air mover for maximum drying effect.
Ensure the fan is blowing the air across the floor not up into the air. This will speed up drying.
3. Current test and tag
Your carpet blower needs to have a current test and tag fitted by a qualified person. This is your responsibility and in most states of Australia this must be done.
4. Service your air mover regularly
Get your air mover serviced by a qualified electrician every 3-6 months. It’s a good idea because it gives you peace of mind and protects you from potential problems. Proper maintenance stops problems from happening, avoids breakdowns and reduces safety risks.
5. Use a dehumidifier if necessary
When a carpet blower is not working fast enough use a dehumidifier too. If there is no dehumidifier available turn the air conditioner on for improved drying. You have to give the moist air a way of escape from the space being dried so think about ventilation as well. A space that is closed in with no ventilation and a blower turned on just won’t ever dry out in a reasonable time frame.
6. No extension leads please
No extension leads should ever be used with carpet blowers. Check your leads regularly for damage.
7. Make sure your air mover can breath
Your blower should be positioned so that air can easily flow into the machine without obstruction. Keep the blower away from curtains and ensure no fluff or other obstruction is sucked against the intake areas. Any blockage of the intake areas can cause overheating and a melt down. Some professional carpet cleaner have not done this in the past which in some instances has caused houses and units to suffer significant fire damage.
8. Watch those intake areas
Clean the intake area regularly. That’s the area where the air gets sucked into the machine.
9. When buying used carpet blowers buyer beware
Be sure that the 2nd hand blower you are buying complies with the Australian Standards. The Australian Standards can change regularly so a machine that was purchased and compliant in 2014 may not be compliant in 2017.
10. Hire out your air movers and earn extra money
A busy carpet blower can make you a lot of money. Many contractors charge up to $50 a day to hire a single blower out to their clients. This depends on the quality of blower of course. The quality of your blower will also determine how long it lasts in heavy use applications. Most reasonable quality blowers will have an effective working life of about 1 year up to 5 years. Don’t push your luck too far with old air movers because when there’s a flood job on it’s usually an emergency and you can’t afford to have equipment problems during those times.
A carpet blower or air mover is a brilliant addition to any carpet cleaning equipment kit. It will serve you well and pay you back more times than you can count over it’s lifetime. Use it properly and it will be your friend. Use it wrong and it can be a nightmare.
If you have one already, how do you use your carpet blower? Do you have any tips or tricks you can share with us? We’d love to hear about your thoughts and experience with air movers and carpet drying. Perhaps there’s something you felt we missed or got wrong on this page. Let us know, we’re always looking to improve and help everyone as best we can.
For more information and assistance with any of your carpet drying or air mover related questions please get in touch with the XO2 customer care team.