As August begins, temperatures are soaring across the country, with daily readings easily surpassing 90 on a regular basis. In workplaces large and small, that's not only a comfort issue, it's a safety problem - and that can be especially true in warehouses. As you likely know, large facilities of this type are difficult to air condition and promote good air flow, so now is the time to redouble your efforts to keep your workers in good shape.
The following tips should help keep your employees cool:
1) Keep the air flowing
Perhaps the simplest way to increase the apparent power of your air conditioners is to install fans at strategic spots throughout your facility, according to Buildings.com. Your employees can tell you where it's a little too common for air to become stagnant; putting a powerful fan in those places can be a game-changer. Similarly, you might want to consider installing ceiling fans in the future.
2) Get the moisture out
Another major issue in warehouses throughout the summer - in almost every part of the U.S. - is humidity, Buildings.com advised. Air conditioning is designed to reduce this issue, but it might not do the full job, so putting in dehumidifiers throughout your warehouse is another great way to make sure your employees are happy and healthy throughout the work day.
3) Check your HVAC systems
Over time, your air circulation systems are likely to lose some their effectiveness through wear and tear, according to Smith Corona. That will cost you money and keep your warehouse warmer and more humid. For that reason, it might be wise to have your HVAC system inspected and, if necessary, repaired to maximize its efficiency once again.
4) Don't air condition areas where doors and windows have to stay open
You may be losing a lot of cooled air in your facility without realizing it, simply through carelessness, Smith Corona added. If doors and windows are left open, that could lead to a lot of cold air getting out, especially if it's because your employees are propping them open for convenience. For instance, installing some plastic sheeting around your loading dock can help keep comfortable air where it's supposed to be without creating an extra obstacle for workers loading and unloading trucks.
5) Remember the effect your machines can have
The machines you rely on for various activities in your warehouse - such as forklifts - tend to throw off heat and exhaust, counteracting your cooling efforts, according to Go Fan Yourself. That may be especially true if they aren't being well-maintained. For that reason, putting them on a better maintenance schedule will both avoid breakdowns and keep your facility just a little bit cooler.
6) Reconsider insulation
Finally, there may be parts of your facility where cooling isn't effective because the area isn't well-insulated, Go Fan Yourself said. That could be because there was never insulation installed there, but also due to the fact that these materials break down over time. Now just might be the time to put in new insulation.