Numerous studies have shown that comfortable ambient temperatures in warehouses significantly contribute to increased employee productivity, decreased energy costs, and improved overall workplace safety as well as better product quality (i.e., climate-controlled storage), among other benefits. But many warehouse managers baulk at the initial considerable costs involved in the maintenance of optimum indoor temperatures in their facilities.
This should not be so considering that there are many small and affordable methods of maintaining optimum indoor temperatures in warehouses. Indeed, it is unnecessary to place air-conditioning systems in the entire warehouse although products stacked on Rapid Racking pallets requiring specific climate control measures should ideally have it.
Install HVLS Fan Systems
Air-conditioning units are not the be-all and end-all of temperature control especially during the warmer months of summer. You should consider low-cost yet results-effective alternatives, such as high volume, low speed (HVLS) fans, which are large fans mounted on the ceilings.
Warehouses usually have vast storage areas and high ceilings to accommodate the stories upon stories of pallets, shelves and containers as well as to provide sufficient room for the movement of raw materials, goods in process, and finished goods. The constant flux of movement results in ongoing battles with temperature maintenance during the summer months even with air-conditioning systems in place.
In places without air-conditioning systems, the battles can be better fought with HVLS fans, thus, resulting in lower energy costs and higher worker productivity. The fans produce slow-moving air, which breaks up the moisture-rich boundary between the body and air and which then accelerates evaporation.
The result: A cooling effect that contributes to a more comfortable working environment.
HVLS fans can be used either as stand-alone systems or along with air-conditioning systems, both with great results. As stand-alone systems, HVLS fans can provide effective cooling effect of up to 8°F less within its coverage area. Along with air-conditioning systems, these fans can reduce the necessity for costly air-conditioning ducts.
Install Curtain Walls
Of course, keeping the doors and windows shut in an air-conditioned environment or keeping these openings open in well-ventilated areas is a must. But keeping these openings either open or shut all the time may be near-impossible considering the amount of movement required within warehouses.
The solution: Install curtain walls especially on dock doors. Keep in mind that docks doors can decrease the efficiency of climate-controlled environments in defined areas because these act as the largest siphons. But when curtain walls are installed, the siphoning effect can be reduced even with the constant opening and closing of the dock doors.
Curtain walls are also good solutions for dividing hotter areas from cooler environments. These can also be used to protect certain areas from dust, dirt and debris, thus, their popularity in commercial and industrial warehouses.
Worker awareness about the effective and efficient ways in which individuals can contribute to a cooler workplace is also a must. You should provide for the appropriate training in this area, perhaps as part of the safety training provided by the company.