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OSHA Paint Booth Ventilation Requirements

OSHA approved paint booth

Keeping your paintbooth OSHA compliant

A paint booth is more like a room that is enclosed specifically for contaminant-free painting of various things. Paint booth ventilation design is important to create a safe environment for painting and to meet OSHA requirements. To protect the general population environment and the person inside the paint booth, OSHA had created requirements for paint booth fans and filters to assure that paint booth ventilation is safe. 

There are two types of high-efficiency filters for paint booth ventilation. One is a paint booth exhaust fan installation that captures over-spray before it enters the general environment. The other filter is an intake filter that catches dirt, dust, insects, and other contaminants before they enter the paint booth.  

What is a downdraft spray booth?

A downdraft paint booth ventilation delivers clean air down from the ceiling from the roof and exhausts on the floor. The purpose of this downdraft is to create clean air to enter the paint booth, making it a healthy and safe environment for the person painting. It also ensures a clean air quality for a flawless finish, free of debris, dirt, and dust. 

How does a downdraft paint booth work?

The overspray is exhausted with the downdraft paint booth ventilation regardless of where the painter is spraying and keeps the airflow from crossing over the painter or the item being painted so that it is exhausted. The process pulls the overspray down and away instantly and ensures that the overspray doesn’t cover the painter or the freshly painted item.   

Why do spray booths operate at negative pressure?

Paint booth ventilation function at negative pressure to prevent the fine mist from airborne paint entering the general workplace. The air pressure is slightly lower than the surroundings, which draws air into the paint booth. 

What does positive air pressure mean?

Regarding paint booth ventilation, positive air pressure is increasing the filtered air inside the cleanroom than what is surrounding space of the cleanroom. There are various falling levels of positive air pressure from the cleanest room with the highest pressure to the airlock room. 

How do you measure airflow in a paint booth?

There are two basic methods for testing a paint spray booth operation:

  1. Airflow testing.
  2. Worker exposure to spray paint discharges testing.

Face Velocity Testing Air Flow

There must be enough airflow in the paint booth to overcome any overspray out of the spray gun. Testing the paint booth ventilation’s face velocity, a velometer is used along with a thermo anemometer and vane anemometer at the spray paint booth face, using a simulated grid on the paint booth’s face.

Capture Velocity Testing Air Flow

Capture velocity is the true air movement measurement effective in holding the paint spray. This is where the airflow is emitted at the breathing zone of the operator.

Worker Exposure Testing for Booth Air Flow Effectiveness

The true measurement of the airflow’s effectiveness whether the protection for the operator is protecting him/her from the paint spray particulates and solvents. If the exposure to the operator is within acceptable terms, OSHA Compliant or other limits, they deem the spray booth to be in proper performance. 

painting a bumper

What Are OSHA’s Requirements for Paint Booth Ventilation?

The OSHA criteria for design and construction of spray paint booths and ventilations are many wide-ranging, can confuse and be overwhelming. The following is an abbreviated version of OSHA requirements. The best way to make sure your paint booth ventilation is up to OSHA requirement is to hire the services of an authorized paint booth contractor.

  • Construction of paint spray booths shall be significantly constructed of steel that is rigidly and securely supported, and not of any noncombustible material such as aluminum.  They are to be designed to where air currents sweep in the direction of the exhaust outlet.
  • Spray paint booth interior surfaces are to be continuously smooth with no edges and designed to avert residue pocketing and enable cleaning and washing without harm.
  • The surface of the spray paint booth and working area for the paint operator need noncombustible covering that will enable residue removal and safe cleaning.
  • Baffle plates shall promote the air in an even flow through the booth or initiate an overspray deposit before entering the exhaust duct, are to be made of noncombustible material that is easily accessible or removable for cleaning both sides. The plates are not in the exhaust ducts.
  • For dry type overspray collectors aka exhaust air filters in standard dry type spray paint booths, installed filter rolls or overspray dry filters are to conform as follows:
  • Except for electrostatic spraying operations, the spraying operations shall be designed and installed and standard maintenance so that the normal air velocity over the booth’s open face or cross-section in spraying operation, shall no less than 100 lfpm. An air velocity over a spray paint booth open face is not less than 60 lfpm or more dependent on the amount of the finishing material being utilized and its explosion and flammability characteristics.

Again, refer to a qualified contractor that is knowledgeable of OSHA requirements as well as any local laws. You can also refer to OSHA.gov website for detailed information. Need ventilation for your paint booth in Mansfield and Arlington, TX? Call C&S Air, Inc. at 817-477-2665 today!

Is it Necessary to Service AC Every Year?

HVAC technician testing pressure.

Should HVAC Maintenance Be Routine?

Most HVAC experts agree that you should have your AC looked at once a year. That is mainly because there are a lot of constituent parts in an air conditioner. While some parts may not need to be checked out every year, there are other parts that do. When the more delicate parts fail or are compromised, they affect all other constituent parts. It’s like a domino effect and it can hinder the performance of your unit and shorten its lifespan overall. So in order to save money on costly AC repairs or replacement and to make sure your AC is cooling your home efficiently (a compromised AC unit can cost you hundreds of dollars a year in utilities) you should definitely have it professionally maintained regularly.

How Often Should You Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced?

So just how often should you have your AC serviced and when is the best time to do it? What if you have a brand new unit? The experts still agree that even if you have recently installed a new AC unit, it should still be serviced once a year. Ideally, you should have your AC looked at by a professional in the spring before the summer season rolls around. Annual AC maintenance is even more important if your unit is 5-10 years old. Air conditioning maintenance frequency needs to be maintained more strictly the older your unit gets to avoid failure which brings us to our next topic.

What Happens if You Don’t Service Your Air Conditioner?

Maybe you haven’t had your AC serviced in a couple of years and don’t really notice a difference. It is still cooling your home down adequately but have you been keeping an eye on your energy bills? They will tell the true story. The fact is that your AC will probably still work to keep your home cool if you don’t get it serviced but it will have to work harder to do so. On average, your AC will lose one percent of its energy efficiency every year you don’t have it serviced. That doesn’t sound like a lot but if you run your AC a lot in the summer that can add up to a lot of money. Regular maintenance will also extend the life of your unit.

Why is AC Maintenance Important?

Aside from efficiency and function, you should have your AC serviced for the comfort of your home. When filters are clogged or other systems aren’t working optimally, it can lead to uneven cooling in your home. Some manufacturer warranties require that you have your unit looked at every year and not doing so may void your warranty.

What is Included in AC Maintenance?

Now that you know how important AC maintenance is you may be wondering what it entails. Check out the following list of common AC maintenance services:

  • Thermostat Calibration – Making sure your thermostat is working properly and that it has not been installed near heat sources.
  • Electrical Connections – Tightening and inspecting all electrical connections.
  • Drain Cleaning – Maintenance will almost always include cleaning the condensate drain line to prevent clogging and leaks.
  • Air Filter Service – Cleaning or replacing the air filter for maximum efficiency and safety.

What Does an AC Tuneup Include?

AC tune-ups are designed to not only maintain the function of your unit but keep it working like new. It typically includes cleaning and removing debris from the condenser coil, tuning the compressor, testing and topping off refrigerant levels, wiring inspection, making sure the amperage levels of your blower are right, lubrication of all moving parts and other services.

Technician working on AC.

Air Conditioner Maintenance Checklist

If you are feeling proactive and want to know what you can do to maintain your AC yourself, here are some steps you can take:

Maintain your Trees

Debris from overhanging and overgrown trees can wreak havoc on your AC unit so keep them trimmed.

Get an AC Maintenance Kit

Hardware stores sell kits that include helpful items for cleaning your air filter and other necessary maintenance tasks.

Keep your Front Coil Clean

Spraying your front coil with a cleaning agent specifically designed for AC coils is a relatively simple way to help extend the life of your unit.

Work with Professionals

Above all, when choosing an AC service provider, you should always go with a licensed and certified professional. Working with HVAC companies who lack these credentials can void your manufacturer’s warranty and may be detrimental to the unit itself. That is why it is best to hire experienced professionals. We offer full air conditioner repair and maintenance in Mansfield and Arlington, TX here at C&S Air, Inc. and we are a fully licensed HVAC company. You can count on us for complete AC and HVAC maintenance service and much more. Call us today at 817-477-2665!