How do I keep my warehouse cool?
Factor 1: Temperature
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) recommends a summer temperature range of 16 – 21° for those doing physical work.
Why is temperature important? Worksafe NZ gives us some pointers:
- An overheated worker might not wear PPE (personal protective equipment) if they’re too hot. This opens the door to injury.
- People may take short-cuts to get out of hot or cold environments.
- A worker’s ability to concentrate may start to drop off – very dangerous in a factory or warehouse.
- And you want your workers to be healthy and feel good!
Whether or not you use air-conditioning, the following 3 considerations will help you to improve the level of thermal comfort in your facility.
Factor 2: Humidity
Humidity refers to the moisture content of the air. It’s brutal in hot or high activity situations.
Air conditioning is an effective way to remove moisture from the air. However, there’s a lot of air to be treated in a large, high-ceilinged warehouse.
On top of that, outside air comes pouring in when bay doors are opened to send and receive shipments.
As humidity levels approach 80%, sweat will not evaporate quickly. So it’s even harder to stay cool. And the extra dampness adds to the heat and discomfort.
Fans are a big help here. They speed up the evaporative cooling process by blowing the more volatile hot molecules away from the body and leaving the cooler ones behind. Industrial pedestal fans or smaller personal fans provide a welcome breeze while encouraging this process to happen. Which brings us to…
Factor 3: Air movement
This involves more than a direct breeze designed for worker relief.
Studies show that stratification is the single biggest waster of energy in buildings today. Layers of air are formed in a high-ceilinged building because warm air is lighter than cool air. Temperature differences of 1.5° c per linear foot are common. This means that a man’s feet could be a comfortable 24°c while his head is stewing at 30°c!
By applying thermal destratification techniques significant savings can be made on your heating and cooling costs.
Destratification systems circulate cool air from ventilation systems evenly throughout the building reducing cold and hot spots. The air movement created by the destratification process also creates an evaporative cooling effect. Air can be destratified by:
- High volume low speed (HVLS) ceiling fans. They direct a massive amount of gently moving air to the floor. As it contacts the floor, the air disperses as a horizontal floor jet in a 360-degree circle.
- Wall-mounted industrial fans are another option. They can be mounted in singly or in banks. Our fans move up to 300m3/m so can create a serious downward draught to break up the stratification.
Factor 4: Ventilation
Ventilation brings in ‘fresh’ outdoor air and removes ‘contaminated’ indoor /air. A good system controls exposure to airborne contaminants. An industrial environment is teeming with contaminants – paint fumes, lift-truck exhaust and dusts of every description.
While all ventilation systems follow the same basic principle of exhausting and bringing in a specific amount of air at a specific speed, each system needs to be designed to match the type of industry, what the contaminants are and how much contamination there is.
In some cases, creating a through draft by opening windows or doors might be enough. People often use our versatile SpanSafe barriers to secure the doorway when they need to leave it open to let the breeze in.
More often, you need the help of some good heavy-duty fans or blowers to force the air to get moving.
Either way, if you need help getting this all together, we’re looking forward to hearing from you. 09 275 5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org