Warehouse Fans & Ventilation Systems
Fans for warehouses and distribution centers have evolved tremendously. Especially with warehouses being converted into fulfillment centers. It presents a unique challenge for warehouses that require industrial fans.
Most warehouses are concerned about maintaining proper ventilation. Fulfillment centers introduce a different set of concerns due to the inventory and equipment.
Warehouse ventilation and climate control systems are required to remain energy efficient. Pair this with vehicles entering the building and now the indoor air quality is a concern.
Warehouse structures not only span a vast space but have high ceilings. Heat is trapped around the ceiling and disrupts proper ventilation, regardless of the season. That is where warehouse fans facilitate the distribution of stale air.
This article explains typical challenges ventilating warehouses, distribution & fulfillment centers and what warehouse ventilation systems, along with HVAC equipment, are available.
Table of Contents
Warehouse Ventilation Challenges
Poor ventilation creates a risk to employee’s health, which in turn negatively impacts productivity.
Keeping inventory and products stored within the proper temperature parameters is important. Especially if there is any amount of perishable inventory. For this reason, along with maintaining the appropriate temperature, the humidity should be carefully monitored.
Equipment such as forklifts, sorting machines, and other distribution equipment commonly found in fulfillment centers produce heat as well. Heavy duty equipment must be kept within predetermined temperatures to ensure optimum performance. To complicate matters, these machines typically run hot and further increase the indoor temperature.
Warehouse climate control systems and roof exhaust fans are useful to tackle this matter.
Humidity may also be a concern for several reasons. Especially if there are large refrigerated storage areas in the warehouse. Humidity breeds mold and bacteria. Excessive humidity on the warehouse floor increases the chances of employee injury and a reduction in productivity.
The built up condensation impacts the product’s quality, distribution equipment within the warehouse and increases the possibility of damage to the warehouse structure.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Warehouse Ventilation System
Proper ventilation system in warehouses and distribution centers include:
In addition to various fans, roof ventilation fans, blowers and makeup air units, separate equipment may be necessary.
Natural Ventilation in Warehouses
The equipment used in natural ventilation can be used in conjunction with mechanical ventilation equipment. For example, the large bay doors that are consistently open at the loading dock can allow air in, while roof exhaust fans placed can expel the dense hot air. Natural ventilation in distribution facilities and warehouses can reduce the amount of condensation on the concrete floor with air flow.
This air flow reduces the moisture and dampness and improves the IAQ (study).A trained specialist should assess the layout of the facility to determine which equipment is necessary to achieve optimal performance.
Make-Up Air Units
Make-up air units can push tempered air into a warehouse facility or create a pressurized environment in order to circulate air in a distribution facility. This is especially complex due to the large loading dock doors, high ceilings, and insulation issues that are commonplace within these types of structures.
In the winter a warehouse make up air unit can create a slight positive pressure. When dock doors are open, instead of cold air moving in, the positive pressure pushes air outward. This reduces cold air infiltration and minimizes stratification. The combination of these benefits help operate a distribution center with lower costs.
Industrial Fans for Warehouses
Large and powerful industrial fans for warehouses are essential in order to tackle ventilation challenges. Whether fans are to exhaust air, intake air, or simple axial fans to keep staff cool; there are various warehouse fans that get the job done properly.
There are several commercial and industrial warehouse fans that are suitable for this application.
There are industrial warehouse fans that are engineered to meet pressure and air flow requirements. Whether they are ducted or non-ducted, industrial exhaust fans for warehouses are available.
There are various accessories for commercial fans such as louvers, dampers, and shutters are necessary depending on the environment.
Speak to a specialist to determine which industrial warehouse fans are required in the facility.
HVLS Fans for Warehouses
Trying to cool large industrial and commercial spaces with a high ceiling, like warehouses and distribution centers is not easy (HVLS wiki). Especially when trying to be as efficient as possible.
Keeping the air conditioned in warehouses or large structures propose challenges because HVAC operation, maintenance and equipment can weigh heavily on a company’s bottom line.
One of the most cost-effective solutions is a HVLS fan (High volume, Low Speed), which is essentially a big ceiling fan that circulates slowly. These industrial ceiling fans control the climate by generating a huge amount of airflow, however, because of the large propellers they use relatively much less energy.
HVLS ceiling fans in warehouses move large amounts of air to control humidity. In the winter they can be easily calibrated to conserve warm air.
That way you can enjoy the efficiency of a warehouse fan year-round.
HVLS fans are available from 8ft to 24ft.
Air Curtains for Warehouses
Warehouse doors are particularly large. Which means a great amount of temperature controlled air is lost when the doors are opened.
Roll-up and swing type doors tend open and close slowly. This allows a lot of time for air to escape the facility. That’s why air curtains for roll-up doors in warehouses are a common choice to save on energy costs while improving productivity.
Creating a barrier with a warehouse air curtain keeps temperatures stable by not allowing tempered air to escape. It keeps pests and bugs out of the warehouse. Air curtains also keep harmful fumes contained, and dust from coming in.
Transporting goods using trolleys, forklifts and other transportation equipment needs to move about unhindered and efficiently around the loading bay. Therefore, air curtains allow for the warehouse doors to remain open.
Most importantly air doors for warehouses help save energy
Ducting allows tempered air to flow to specific areas of the warehouse. This prevents waste since a majority of supplies and inventory are not required to have tempered air constantly introduced into the zone. Simply circulating the air will suffice.
Finding the quality sheet metal ducts, airflow ducts for duct fitters is important since every application requires custom materials.
Air Curtains for Loading Docks
Loading dock doors, high bay doors or any type of over sized roll-up door in warehouses make it difficult to control indoor temperature. A great amount of temperature controlled air is lost when the bay doors are opened.
Bay doors tend to be slow to open and close. This factor alone reduces productivity and wastes energy.
It’s not practical to constantly open & close the large bay doors in order to save energy. Transporting goods using trolleys, forklifts and other transportation equipment need to move about unhindered and efficiently around the loading bay doors. Therefore, air doors allow for the bay door to remain open.
Distribution Center Air Curtains
Air curtains for warehouses have various benefits. Commonly, especially in high volume fulfillment facilities, loading dock doors can not be opened and closed.
Learn more about the benefits of air curtains here.
UV-C Light for Warehouses
UV-C germicidal lamps, and UV-C emitters, UV-C sterilization wands sterilize and disinfect like no other. Not only do UV-C lights protect employees from viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, they also prevent mold from occurring.
Industrial UV-C air and surface disinfection systems protect beyond typical HEPA filters. Media based filters are able to collect dust, bacteria and particles. However, when an industrial strength UV-C light is installed at the source, which is in the HVAC equipment, then mold will be eliminated along with the other proven benefits of disinfectant lights.
Learn more about the effects of UVC lights for warehouses and distribution centers here.
We’ll be happy to help explain which warehouse fan is best for your application.