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Reducing Heat Stress with XL3 HVLS Fans

High-volume, low-speed fans boost employee comfort, safety, efficiency

Extremely hot weather has always presented problems for industrial facilities, but never more so than today. Excessive heat issues can directly affect an organization’s bottom line, causing legal and insurance headaches, not to mention lowering employee productivity and morale.

Types and causes of heat stress

Heat stress can manifest itself in a variety of forms. While some are less severe than others, all are potentially dangerous. The mildest forms are heat fatigue, in which workers begin to lose concentration and perform erratically, and heat rash, which occurs when sweat ducts get plugged and skin becomes agitated and painful. Heat stress may also cause heat cramps in the back, arms, legs and abdomen. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance caused by prolonged sweating are typically its causes.

Factors affecting heat stress control

Warehouses and loading docks are inherently fast-paced and dangerous environments. Unfortunately, most loading docks are not air-conditioned and most dock staging areas have tall ceilings, making them hard to cool even if they are air-conditioned. The frequent opening and closing of doors is another added challenge to heat moderation.

Long-term weather patterns and the growth of online retailing are two other factors that exacerbate this problem. Most countries have seen their annual average summer temperatures rise in the last decade and scientists expect the uptick to continue.

How Rite-Hite HVLS fans help control heat

While adding air conditioning is the best-case scenario, it isn’t always practical due to cost considerations and building configurations. With or without air-conditioning, though, most heat stress-prone facilities will benefit immensely from HVLS fans.

Although smaller, floor-mounted fans can be helpful in limited spaces, their high wind speed and noise levels may cause problems. They also use a relatively high amount of electricity. HVLS fans, on the other hand, use relatively little energy and provide a gentle, quiet breeze that is very comforting to workers. According to a research a 3-5 km/h air speed creates an evaporative cooling of 4-6 degrees Celsius. By mixing air, Rite-Hite XL3 fans also help air-conditioning systems work more efficiently, allowing them to be operated at a set point up to 5 degrees lower.

A healthy decision

HVLS fans are rapidly gaining recognition as an efficient way of improving air movement, reducing heat stress, lowering energy costs and creating a better overall environment. Creating a more comfortable, healthier workplace clearly signals that a company’s management is willing to invest in employees and is serious about their safety – as well as the integrity of the products it manufactures, warehouses or ships. All can have a direct and significant impact on the organization’s bottom line.

Would you like to schedule a free HVLS application review? Your local Rite-Hite representative can identify factors to help make valuable airflow improvements in your facility.

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