Warehouses Ventilation Systems

warehouse ventilation systemsVentilation equipment for warehouses and distribution centers have evolved tremendously. Especially with warehouses being converted into fulfillment centers. Fulfillment centers present unique challenges for warehouses that typical industrial fans don’t solve.

Most warehouses are concerned about maintaining proper temperature. Fulfillment centers introduce a different set of concerns due to the inventory and equipment. 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 they have high ceilings. Heat is trapped around the ceiling and disrupts proper ventilation, regardless of the season. This article explains typical challenges ventilating warehouses, distribution & fulfillment centers and what warehouse ventilation systems are available.

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Warehouse Ventilation Challenges

Climate Control

Maintaining proper ventilation in large areas is difficult. Considering people inside should remain comfortable in order to remain productive as well as safe. 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.


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 distribution center’s structure.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Warehouse equipment also emits smoke, oil and dust. This is especially true if a fulfilment center allows cars to enter the structure or forklifts are gas powered. This affects indoor air quality (IAQ). Therefore, proper ventilation equipment is necessary to increase airflow throughout the structure.

Although many new forklifts are now emissions free. There are still forklifts that are powered by gas and diesel, which emit harmful byproducts. That is why carbon monoxide levels should be monitored and proper ventilation should be achieved.

All of these challenges must be considered when implementing or improving the ventilation equipment in warehouses. The type of warehouse presents unique challenges, especially if there are perishable goods, vehicles entering, employees present, and/or considerable use of heavy duty equipment.

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Warehouse Ventilation Solutions

Proper ventilation in warehouses and distribution centers include:

Whether the warehouse is a distribution center or fulfillment center, air temperature & IAQ is important. In addition to various fans, roof ventilation fans, blowers and makeup air units, separate equipment may be necessary.

Natural Ventilation in Distribution Centers

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 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 for Warehouses

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.

Warehouse Fans

Large and powerful industrial fans in warehouses are essential in order to tackle ventilation challenges. Whether it’s to exhaust air, intake air, or simple axial fans to keep staff cool; there are various industrial strength fans that get the job done properly. There are several industrial and commercial warehouse fans that are suitable for your application.

There are industrial warehouse fans that are engineered to meet pressure and air flow requirements. Whether they are ducted or non-ducted, custom industrial fans are available for any facility and layout. There are various accessories for commercial fans such as louvers and shutters are necessary depending on the environment. Speak to a specialist to determine if they are required in your facility.

Warehouse Ceiling Fans

ceiling fans warehouseWarehouse ceiling fans are one of the most cost effective solutions to cool an area. These large ceiling fans are HVLS (High Volume – Low Speed) fans. Since they are so large and move slower, they are able to cool areas while using minimal energy.

Another benefit of these big fans in distribution centers is that they control humidity. When moving large amounts of air over excess moisture it will stop condensation before it starts. Industrial ceiling fans are a very cost effective way of reducing humidity in distribution centers.

In the summer they are able to be run in reverse, essentially calibrated to preserve warm air. This is done by destratifiying. The warm air is pushed downward and leveling the temperature from the ground up.HVLS fans are 8ft to 24ft.

Air Curtains for Warehouses

air curtains for warehouseWarehouse 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 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 in warehouses help save energy

Warehouse Ducting

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 Distribution Centers

Air curtains for distribution centers have various benefits. Commonly, especially in high volume fulfillment facilities, loading dock doors can not be opened and closed. Due to the amount of traffic, the large bay doors remain open for maximum efficiency. Therefore, industrial air doors are installed either horizontally or vertically around the loading dock doors which creates an invisible barrier around the door.

Learn more about the benefits of air curtains here.

UV-C Disinfectant for HVAC in 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 UV-C lights for warehouses and distribution centers here.

air circulation

hvls Fans
big ceiling fans
heat recovery

general ventilation

wall & roof exhausters

exhaust fans

wall & roof Exhausters

replacement make-up air

heated makeup air
recirculating makeup air

man coolers
people coolers

fans for docks
work stations

environmental separation

air curtains
air doors

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