A skating arena is basically a giant refrigerator. The essential elements to provide an ideal, safe indoor skating environment are:

  • An efficient heating and cooling system
  • A well-insulated building
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Air dehumidification

Did you know that hockey rinks are usually kept several degrees colder than those used for figure skating? Most arenas offer both, so they need to find the middle ground. Lower temperatures mean the skates dig into the ice easier – which is fine for figure skating. But when there are a large number of hockey players on the ice, the ice would get ruined very quickly at higher figure skating temperatures (the ice is softer!).

How does a hockey rink stay frozen?

The top layer of a rink is ice – frozen water. But often underneath that is a piped layer of liquid anti-freeze. The anti-freeze remains liquid at a lower temperature so it can flow through pipes and absorb the heat from the ice layer, keeping it a consistent temperature without having to introduce any chemicals or moisture to the ice.
The anti-freeze is then cycled (and cooled) and returned under the rink in a constant loop.
A Zamboni machine usually takes care of the top layer of the ice. After a short amount of time of hockey play or public skating time – no matter what temperature the ice is – it will get chewed up. The Zamboni maintains the top layer of ice by scraping away any indents in the surface and depositing a layer of hot water to fill in the cracks and freeze.
Large refrigeration units behind the scenes keep the air cooled throughout an arena. Today’s sophisticated HVAC systems can manage different heating and cooling zones – so you can be warm in the stands while watching your favourite team!

We’re Your Commercial Refrigerant Pros!

If keeping an arena’s cooling system running perfectly sounds like a complicated process with little room for error, that’s because it is! But that’s why people call pros like us. At GPH Mechanical we can handle all your heating and cooling needs – commercial or residential. Hospital, hockey arena, or home, we’ll keep your temperature and air quality exactly where it needs to be. Give us a call!