Worker discomfort due to high levels of heat not only decreases their productivity, but the fatigue associated with heat stress from an uncomfortable and hot work environment can lead to inattentiveness and potentially dangerous mistakes. According to a NIOSH publication, "Occupational Exposure to Hot Environments,
" workers can acclimatize themselves to different levels of heat, but everyone has their limit.
Warehouses, with or without HVAC systems, benefit the most when they incorporate high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans into their overall cooling system.
HVLS fans can help reduce effective temperatures between 7°F to 11°F. A single Rite-Hite Revolution Fan can replace up to 20 floor or smaller ceiling fans while lowering energy consumption by at least 20% when used as a supplement to traditional air conditioning. This all happens because HVLS fans are specially created to circulate air evenly throughout the facility, allowing you to experience a decrease in the perceived temperature with no change in the thermostat set point. Ultimately you can increase your AC’s targeted temperature without a change in worker productivity or comfort due to their perceived temperature.
This ingenuity also has added benefits of reducing condensation on floors, known as Sweating Slab Syndrome (SSS), by minimizing ceiling-to-floor temperature differences and increasing surface evaporation. This will increase worker safety by minimizing the risk for falls while also removing the excess moisture and humidity that can rust metal products and damage other warehouse contents.
Beyond comfort, HVLS fans also improve air quality by providing movement which aides in removing hot and cool spots while also dissipating stagnant air that can lead to hampered air-quality from the growth of mold and mildew.
We’ve now concluded that HVLS will do wonders for keeping your warehouse cool during the scorching summer months, but there’s an additional step you can take that will help supplement your HVLS fan and air conditioning system.
Loading Docks and Keeping Cool
Many warehouses and industrial facilities spend a large amount of time loading and unloading at the dock area. When it comes to keeping the warehouse cool, those docks are a gaping hole allowing all that good air to escape. Combat this by first making sure dock doors are efficiently sealed, a proper dock seal can help in this situation. Additionally, industrial curtain walls can help keep hot air in one area from moving to another area.
Finally, it’s important to keep employees hydrated and listen to concerns regarding their work environment. They are your biggest asset! Their health, safety and comfort directly relate to the level of work performed and its efficiency – all impacting your bottom line.
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