August heralds the dog days of summer when temperatures reach and exceed 100 degrees in many parts of the country. While most hope for the cooling breezes of fall, September often arrives as an Indian summer with temperatures higher than normal. How is it possible to stay cool and comfortable in weather like this? How is it possible to keep a warehouse or shop cool in summer for the employees?
The knee jerk reaction and answer to this question is to turn on the air conditioning and turn it on high. However, this isn’t always practical for the work place or the bank account. Keeping a small office cool is one thing, but cooling a giant warehouse where doors are opened and closed repeatedly is quite another. However, there are things that can be done to help keep everyone cooler, and not go broke in the process.
Insulation plays a huge role in heating and cooling. Having the proper amount of insulation in the walls and ceiling will work to your advantage in both the summer and winter. Painting the roof of a warehouse white will reflect the sun’s rays and reduce the amount of heat buildup within the building.
Ceiling and floor fans are another option. Both will keep the air circulating and moving air feels cooler than stagnant air. Ceiling fans have settings for summer and winter. In the summer, the air should be blowing down, and in the winter, it will pull air up. Industrial ceiling fans that use high volume and low speeds (HVLS) are especially useful in warehouses where doors are opened and closed frequently.
Dock doors are one of the biggest contributors to an overheated warehouse. Rather than allowing heat to enter, use vinyl strip doors to allow easy in and out access without letting in the heat or letting cooler air escape. Windows are another source of heat that can be tamed with solar film overlays.
Reducing the amount of humidity in the air, will make it seem cooler. Use exhaust fans to pull moisture out of the air. While adding water to the air may seem counterintuitive to the humidity problem, misting fans, evaporative coolers, and misting systems will also help control the heat.
Employees should drink lots of water in order to remain well hydrated. If you wait until you’re thirsty, it’s too late. Drink lots and drink often.