When temperatures rise outside the warehouse, you know inside can be hot and humid, making for an uncomfortable and unhealthy environment for your warehouse employees. Under hot conditions, employees can suffer from heat stress, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. Unhappy employees are less productive and have poor morale.
In addition, with your warehouse operating non-stop or for most of the day, your equipment has little to no time to rest and cool down. Hot temperatures outside can cause parts to burn out or equipment to overheat.
Keeping your warehouse cool in hot temperatures is of vital importance.
Here are 10 tips to cool off a warehouse:
1. Create constant airflow with HVLS fans.
High volume, low speed (HVLS) fans keep the air moving in your facility and help with ventilation. Heat rises in a building with the hottest air being at your facility’s ceiling. HVLS fans effectively move air with their large fan blades and slow speeds.
In hot temperatures, HVLS large fan blades rotate counterclockwise, causing air to circulate in all directions. This action eliminates humid, hot air and replaces it with dry air. The dry air is then circulated throughout the warehouse space.
HVLS fans can make the “feel-like” temperature 6-8 degrees cooler than your HVAC system thermostat reading. Read more about how HVLS fans work here.
You may also want to consider adding in industrial fans down at the shop floor level as well. If you incorporate industrial fans along with HVLS fans in your warehouse, you will have constant air flow and high-quality ventilation. Find out what the best industrial shop fan is here.
2. Open windows and doors at night.
Take advantage of natural refreshing air if your facility is in an area that has cool summer nights. If your facility operates 24/7, the overnight crew can prop open doors and windows to let the cool breeze in and ventilate the building. If you are in a region with mild summer temperatures, you may benefit from leaving doors and windows open during the day. Keeping the door open can make a huge difference in indoor comfortability.
You may also want to consider installing screen doors. A screen door can keep intruders and pests out.
3. Use dehumidifiers.
When humidity levels are high in your factory or warehouse, it can make the environment feel much hotter than it actually is. Dehumidifiers take moisture out of the air and lower your humidity levels. When used in conjunction with your HVAC system, dehumidifiers can be highly effective in cooling down the warehouse and help you lower your energy costs as well. Find out how humidity can affect your building by clicking here.
Dehumidifiers should not be used in your facility if you are in a hot and dry region since they would have the opposite intended effect.
4. Invest in insulation.
Insulate, insulate, insulate. Insulation can make a huge difference in the summer and winter months. Make sure to insulate ceilings, the outer walls, and under the roof deck. Insulation can keep cool air in during the summer and warm air in during the winter.
5. Replace your roof with a cool roof.
Choose a light-colored roof with reflective qualities if possible. A dark roof absorbs heat, which eventually makes its way into the warehouse. A cool roof will reflect the sunlight’s rays instead of absorbing them.
6. Seal air leaks.
Make sure all doors and windows are sealed. Just a small amount of leakage can add a huge amount of heat to the warehouse.
A top area of concern for commercial facilities when it comes to air leaks are truck loading dock doors. Make sure loading dock doors are sealed when not in use. Consider installing curtains at loading dock doors to prevent air leaks when they doors are in use.
7. Keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape.
Regularly maintain your HVAC system. An HVAC maintenance schedule ensures your system is working properly and effectively. You can also create different zones based on the cooling needs of each area of your warehouse, which can save on energy costs.
8. Install smart thermostats.
Smart thermostats allow you to regulate how much cooling you want to use throughout the day. A smart programmable thermostat makes it possible for you to have a cooling schedule and adjust temperature settings remotely. This gives you the option to set your thermostat based on peak-pricing periods or the outside temperature instead of keeping it at the same temperature reading all day and night. Smart thermostats can also give you constant updates on how your HVAC system is performing.
9. Upgrade your lighting to LEDs, which don’t generate heat.
Traditional lighting options, like metal halides or fluorescent bulbs, generate a lot of excess heat. In fact, many of our clients are surprised when we show them how much money they add to their electricity bill by that excess heat alone. LED lighting is cool to the touch and doesn’t produce any heat. With LED lighting, you help keep your warehouse cool and cut energy costs. Find out the differences between metal halides and LEDs here.
10. Ask professionals for help.
Professional energy consultants, like U.S Energy Recovery, can help you analyze and audit your facility, then give you tips on how to cool down your facility that are unique to your building. U.S. Energy Recovery can also find a variety of energy efficient solutions for your facility so you can cool down your warehouse and save on energy consumption costs at the same time. Find us online or call us (800) 834-8737 so we can guide you to a cooler warehouse!