One of the biggest expenses for any business — after labor and materials — is the cost associated with heating or cooling a facility. That's particularly true in logistics, because massive spaces measuring tens or even hundreds of thousands of square feet require a lot of air being warmed or cooled on an ongoing basis.
How do you alter your operations or approach to cut your heating bill? Here are some suggestions:
1) Get your HVAC system inspected and repaired
First and foremost, it's important to make sure your entire HVAC system, including all duct work, is in good working order, according to Cannon Hill Logistics. Bringing in a professional to look over the whole system and repair anything that's wrong will go a long way.
2) Install more windows or skylights
Think of your facility as a greenhouse, Cannon Hill Logistics recommended. Windows and skylights let in light and the heat it generates, then trap it to help you keep the space warm. Just make sure you can cover them again when summer rolls around.
3) Be more conscious about leaving doors open
Many logistics companies leave their loading bays open to the elements for convenience's sake, but that can be quite costly, according to Tri-Lift. Instead, it would be wiser to keep those doors closed until a truck needs to be loaded or unloaded, especially if you can install windows where loading dock workers can keep an eye on activity.
4) Segment the space
There may be some parts of your space that need more heating than others, such as an office or where workers pack orders, Tri-Lift said. Segmenting them off with heavy curtains or other temporary dividers can help keep those spaces warm without costing an arm and a leg.
5) Redo your insulation
If you have any areas of your facility that may have worn-out insulation that's decades old, now is the time to replace them, Tri-Lift advised. This comes with a cost, but it's one that will pay for itself over time.
6) Reseal all doors and windows
Along similar lines, you might want to have an expert go through your facility and inspect all your doors, windows and exterior walls, according to Arista. Any cracks or fissures they find should be resealed. While each individual opening will likely be quite small, they can add up to be massive, especially in a big facility. Think of it like leaving a large window open 24/7/365; you'll quickly realize why this is so important.
7) Fiddle with the thermostat
A simple way to save money on heating your business, just like your home, is to turn the temperature on your thermostat down by one or two degrees, Arista added. The difference may be almost imperceptible to workers, but you'll certainly see it on your monthly heating bill.
8) Set your fans in reverse
Warm air rises, and in warehouses with extremely high ceilings, that means most of the air you're paying so much to heat is not on the same level as your workers, Arista further noted. If your facility's ceiling fans can run in reverse, set them to do so, and they'll push all that warmer air back down to the floor.