Winter Is Coming! Is Your Warehouse Ready?

Photo courtesy of Andreas Tille courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Andreas Tille courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

While meteorologists and even the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” are predicting another colder and snowier than normal winter, now is the time to get your warehouse or dock ready for the cold months ahead.

Energy expenses are usually one of the biggest costs for any manufacturing warehousing operation. So protecting your facility against heat loss while maintaining a warm, comfortable environment for workers is essential.

Here, then, are five ways you can reduce your energy consumption without turning down the thermostat this upcoming winter:

1. Check Your Furnace Now

Fall is the time to make sure your furnace or another thermal system is performing optimally. If you wait until the coldest weather hits, not only will a poorly performing unit affect your productivity, but you also can expect to pay a premium to bring in repair and maintenance workers.

And if you are using a gas-powered heat source, a breakdown can be both costly and dangerous.

Another thing to consider is any changes you may have made to the layout of your facility since the previous winter. Do you still have enough heating units in the right places to keep your operation warm and productive? If not, now’s the time to assess your needs and install additional units, if necessary.

2. Optimized Air Flow

Hot air rises, so there sometimes is a temperature variance of up to 20 degrees F between the floor of a facility and the ceiling. Moving that warm air so that it circulates into inhabited areas can save you a lot of money on your energy bills.

Consider installing large industrial fans that can easily optimize your air flow without adding significantly to your electricity costs.

3. Insulate As Much as Possible

Warehouses typically have large overhead doors. When they are wide open, all of the cold winter air can enter into your workspace, causing your heating units to work even harder to heat up the space all over again.

Installing insulated dock panel doors can help retain warm air and prevent this cold air exchange from occurring.

Another option is to purchase an insulation kit for each door which can increase the R-value to up to 6.81. Plus, they are simple to install.

Another significant cause of heat loss are gaps under and around your dock doors. Conduct an inspection to see if you can observe any daylight, which indicates potential heat loss.

Weatherstripping kits can fill these gaps to ensure that your doors fit snugly all thew way around. They also help keep bugs and other pests out of your dock during the warmer months.

Dock seals and shelters can help prevent heat loss during trailer loading and unloading. And making sure the seals on your dock leveler also can help keep warm air in and cold air out.

4. Use More Natural Light

To cut down on your lighting costs, consider installing more windows or skylights on your dock or warehouse to take advantage of natural light.

5. Install Air Curtains or High-Speed  Doors

Areas that aren’t used as often can be equipped with air curtains or high-speed doors to prevent heat exchange from occurring.

Winter can be a costly time for warehouse and factory owners. But taking the right steps now — before the cold weather arrives –can help you from having to worry about big energy bills later.