Keeping Your Warehouse Warm

In November 29, 2010

The cold winter months are upon us, and with them comes the potential for bottom-line profits to seep out your warehouse doors in the form of higher utility bills. Fortunately, there are several low-cost solutions to help keep warm air inside your warehouse and direct it where it is needed most: where your employees operate!

Three components of temperature management deserve special attention.

  1. Heat generation
  2. Circulation
  3. Retention

Heat Generation

Whatever thermal system you use, now is the time to make sure it is up to date with regular maintenance. Keeping your system in good operating order extends its life and ensures that it operates at optimal efficiency. In addition, a poorly maintained system—particularly a gas-fired one—can pose a significant safety risk.

Another area of concern is the quantity, type and location of your heating units. If you have made any changes to your warehouse configuration since your HVAC system was installed, now would be a good time for consultation.  Technology advances quickly and you want to be sure your HVAC system is up-to-date with current technology to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Circulation

We all know that heat rises, and 20-degree temperature variances between the warehouse floor and the typical 40-foot ceiling are not uncommon. Circulating warmth to the floor can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each winter month, and there is no better means to accomplish that than large industrial ceiling fans.

Determining what size, how many and where to install industrial ceiling fans is our specialty. Cardinal Integrated Systems features Envira-North fans as a high-quality solution to warehouse heating and cooling challenges. The fans can save up to 30 percent of your heating costs and deliver positive ROI in less than two years in many applications. Visit our “fans” webpage to watch an informative video, and then call Cardinal Integrated Systems to meet with one of our professionals for consultation and a proposal to create an optimal system for your warehouse.

Retention

If you operate a warehouse, you have doors. Very large doors. While it is impossible to eliminate heat exchange with cold outdoor air, there are several things you can do to meaningfully reduce it, and they are more cost-effective than you probably expect.

Insulated dock panel doors can help retain warm air. Depending on the number of dock positions, however, investment in them can be prohibitively costly. In that case, consider an insulation kit for each door. Insulation kits are less expensive, provide an R-Value of 6.81 and are easy to install.

Gaps around your dock doors can cause significant heat loss. Inspect the top, bottom and both sides of each door. If you see daylight, you are losing energy. Cardinal Integrated Systems installs complete weather stripping kits at a very affordable price. The kits include weather stripping for the perimeter of the door and a 5-inch double loop bottom rubber astragal to ensure doors close tightly at the bottom. In addition to preserving heat, the seals keep bugs and other debris on the outside of your warehouse facility.

Dock seals or shelters are imperative to prevent tremendous heat loss during trailer loading and unloading. If you are running a high-traffic operation without seals or even with worn seals, tens of thousands of expensive BTUs can blow out the door each winter day. If your seals or shelters in good condition, be sure each tractor trailer is backed up tight against them before the dock doors are opened. There are many types of dock seals and shelters, and your local Cardinal Integrated System’s warehouse professional can help you choose the right ones for your doors and budget.

A final area we recommend assessing is your dock leveler. If you use pit-mounted levelers, it makes sense to ensure the side and rear seals are in good condition. Worn seals on your dock leveler result in air infiltration. Cardinal Carryor can inspect your levelers and seals, and service or replace any that are worn.

Winter can be an expensive time for warehouse operators, but the right steps taken the right way can significantly reduce the negative impact on your bottom line. Cardinal Integrated Systems has professionally trained staff who can help assess the condition and efficiency of your heat generation, circulation and retention hardware.

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Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Cardinal Integrated Systems specializes in warehouse planning, material handling, systems design & engineering, installation, project management, preventative maintenance and repair.
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