As the owner or operator of a warehouse, you are concerned about warehouse temperature issues and whether warehouse temperature control improvements are warranted. By looking at ways to enhance warehouse temperature control measures, you have taken your first step in providing consistent warehouse temperature comfort and maximizing your dollars spent on energy.
Here are some tips on how to fix or mitigate warehouse temperature control problems.
1. You need a seal of approval
Let’s start with one of the cheapest and easiest improvements to implement. You know the cold drafts of winter air you can feel in your home if your weather stripping is missing from windows and doors? So just imagine the impact unsealed windows and large loading bay doors have on warehouse temperature control.
One of the top sources for energy loss in heated or refrigerated warehouses is air infiltration through gaps. One of the usual culprits for infiltration is loading dock doors. To save energy immediately, seal all air leaks and repair damaged insulation. Vinyl strip curtains should be installed at loading dock doors to help reduce the escape of cooled air when a loading/unloading operation is underway. Taking it a step further, you can install well-insulated cold-storage doors that open and close quickly to reduce infiltration.
2. Get in the zone
Invite an HVAC expert in to assess warehouse temperature control measures such as heating and ventilation settings. You should have your warehouse sectioned off into different zones based on temperature needs, including office space. Likely not all areas of your building require HVAC units running non-stop or running at full blast at all times. If the warehouse is automated or unoccupied for periods of time, an HVAC professional can evaluate the level of heating and air conditioning required to make the environment safe for product storage and for equipment operation.
3. Better control of your warehouse temperature
It is advisable to regulate warehouse temperature based on occupancy, building utilization and product needs. To improve efficiency, install programmable thermostats with timers. These thermostats can be set to control HVAC functions based on varied needs and can monitor and regulate multiple HVAC units.
4. Where is everybody? Find out with occupancy sensors
Here’s that word again: occupancy. Occupancy sensors can be installed to turn off or dim lights when no one’s around. It is also useful for areas that are sporadically occupied. These sensors work best with fluorescent or LED lighting rather than the newer metal halides that have a delayed start-up. These sensors aid warehouse temperature control because lights emit heat. Plus, you will save in energy costs by not having the lights on all the time.
Speaking of lights, fluorescent lighting is commonly used and is a good choice for warehouses. LED lighting is also a smart pick for a warehouse. Though LEDs can be more expensive than fluorescent lights, the LED’s energy usage is lower and heat output less than fluorescents. Also when reviewing warehouse temperature control issues, make sure you don’t have more lighting fixtures than required to provide adequate lighting and make sure bulbs are clean for greatest efficiency.
5. Bring in the fans
As we all learned in elementary school, hot air rises. This is particularly relevant when it comes to warehouse temperature control because the air at the high ceiling level in warehouses can become disproportionately hot. Ceiling fans can help save energy by reducing air stratification and recirculating the air.
6. Overuse of exhaust fans can exhaust your wallet
Don’t forget to shut off exhaust fans when warehouse spaces are unoccupied for significant periods of time. Don’t overlook the fact that it is cheaper to reuse indoor air than to bring in outside air. So, it is recommended that exhaust heat is captured from mechanical equipment to boost space heating. Exhaust air energy recovery can be accomplished by installing an energy recovery ventilator.
7. Hit the roof
Many warehouses are served by rooftop HVAC units. Guess where HVAC units are exposed to the most extreme temperatures and weather? Besides facing climate challenges from Mother Nature, rooftop units are more subject to the adverse effects of pollution than those installed at ground locations. Hot summer days can push ambient temperatures to 120 degrees on rooftops. Excessive heat will cause your air conditioner to work harder to achieve proper warehouse temperature control in your building. Also, pollutants covering your unit’s components can cause it to lose efficiency and work harder, which can lead to a breakdown. That’s why it’s recommended to have your rooftop unit routinely inspected and tuned up by HVAC professionals.
Related article: Rooftop HVAC Units: Out of Sight Shouldn’t Mean Out of Mind
Though there are some potential negative aspects to a rooftop air conditioning location, you can make improvements to reduce problems associated with rooftop units. If your roof is due for a replacement or major repair, you may want to consider installing a cool roof. This type of roof is constructed of materials that reflect the sun’s energy, which reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the building below. A cool roof will help you reach your goal of enhanced warehouse temperature control.
8. Warehouse temperature control: Keep your employees radiant
Sometimes, it is not economically feasible or practical to keep your entire warehouse at temperatures above the 60-degree mark that would be a comfortable climate for employees. This is especially the case inside loading dock areas in the winter months. To maintain warehouse temperature control, you may want to consider supplemental radiant heaters, which can be targeted to heat your building’s employees at specific locations. Radiant heaters can help maintain temperatures even when air temperatures drop because a loading dock operation is taking place.
9. Routine HVAC maintenance is an essential part of warehouse temperature control
As you know, there are a lot of challenges associated with heating and cooling the sizable square-footage of a warehouse. Wouldn’t it make sense to call in an HVAC expert to review the design and layout of your building, inspect your equipment and make helpful suggestions on how you can make your space more consistently comfortable? An HVAC professional can also make warehouse temperature control improvements that will increase efficiency and save you money on energy bills.
Here at Arista Air Conditioning, we can help you implement improvements that will undoubtedly enhance your warehouse temperature control. And it doesn’t stop there. Arista can also provide you with the regular preventative maintenance that ensures equipment reliability and will bolster energy efficiency at your warehouse which will save you money.
Related article: HVAC Service Contract Pricing Guide
Do you have older HVAC or commercial refrigeration equipment? Due to EPA regulatory changes, R22 refrigerant (the standard used to power AC and commercial refrigeration systems for decades) will be phased out come January 2020. Get informed about how this change impacts you with this information bulletin, R22 Refrigerant Phase Out: Do You Need to Replace Your AC?