When winter comes, the temperature naturally gets colder outside. Because of this, it’s only right to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. To do this, we would have to close off any ventilation. This applies to warehouses as well. which contain a large volume of air that needs to be heated. Warehouses, in general, can have a series of problems for their employees. And having not-so-ideal ventilation is one of those problems.
Wintertime is probably the most important time of the year for your warehouse ventilation. While hazards in hot weather may be a focal point for ventilation in warehouse environments, cold weather is no different. There are things to consider during the colder months due to heightened risks as well. Suppose you want to prevent the damage of property, the safety of personnel, and the quality of indoor air in your warehouse. In that case, this article can help you learn more about proper warehouse ventilation.
Common Issues and Solutions of Warehouse Ventilation
As stated earlier, you will probably encounter some issues with your warehouse ventilation. Here are some of the problems you might face:
It’s general knowledge that heat is valuable during times of freezing temperatures. Employees need the comfort and protection of heat. Buildings will need heat too for the cold outside. And you might be needing brand new heaters. Not to mention, your existing inefficient equipment will also raise energy bills. To solve this issue, adding a make-up air unit such as a gas-fired Weather-Rite TT Series, electric unit heaters can provide aid. Another common solution is to also install heaters at truck bay door openings like a Hartzell Model 78. Overall, these solutions can help heat things up.
These can have an issue if they are not working properly. Sometimes it won’t even work at all. Examples like this include fans and blowers. Associated dampers and louvers fall under this as well. They can either be integral to an air handler or make-up air unit or even stand alone. For proper operation, the fans, blowers, make-up air units, and air handlers need to have a regular check. These usually require checking belts, adjusting dampers, closing adjustable louvers, and checking actuators.
Indoor Air Pollution
Smoke, dust, and fumes can accumulate when buildings are “buttoned-up”. While it can be exhausted, some particulates and oils can still spread out on the floor and overhead rafters. Indoor air quality can plummet for a couple of reasons. These include closed doors and windows or misplaced and mismanaged air cleaners or dust collectors. This can lead to dust accumulating on horizontal surfaces. Not to mention smoke and fumes building up at the ceiling. It will require the same unit we use for heating to bring in outside air. This will help in countering the exhaust of dust collection systems or other processes of pollution control. During the year-end maintenance, usually, it’s required to replace the filters in air handlers and dust collectors. To minimize capital expenditures, consideration is usually given to smaller air cleaners. This applies if you have a localized pollution source.
For when there’s a need for parts. End-of-year shut down for annual maintenance procedures will usually need either part for equipment in need of repair, or new filters need to be installed. The year-end shutdown is for correcting issues and preparing for the upcoming year. These include replacing filter elements in dust collectors and air handlers, critical spare parts for shutdown work, and interruptions with getting things with the holiday period. Having vacations at the manufacturers, extended shipment times, and depleted inventory is what your end-of-year holidays will look like. So instead of waiting around, tackle straight ahead with the issue that’s coming later in the year. It’s better to be proactive about it. The sooner done, the better.
How About Any Natural Ventilation Alternatives?
What does natural ventilation mean? It is the process of bringing air from the outside into the warehouse to maintain a good amount of fresh air. The fresh air should have a steady flow to it.
However, issues of a buildup of fumes and chemicals in the warehouse’s air supply can arise when closing off outdoor airflow. This means you need good alternative ventilation systems for natural ventilation.
One good option for this is the use of indoor fans. Industrial air conditioning systems are another popular option as well. Both of these are good alternatives for warehouses nowadays.
Reminder: Never Compromise Battery Room Safety
There is a good reason why OSHA’s battery room ventilation requirements are in place. Chemicals are released into the air during the forklift battery charging process. Hydrogen gas is included in these chemicals. In high enough concentrations, these are very harmful when exposed to personnel. Because of this, all battery room exhaust systems need to be in constant operation.
HVLS Fan System Can Be a Good Investment
Probably the best wintertime ventilation system is HVLS fans. HVLS fans work to regulate indoor temperature while maintaining high air quality. However, this can only be done by working in tandem with a warehouse’s heating and air conditioning.
Another pro about these fans is that they can reduce HVAC costs, boosting energy efficiency in the warehouse. This can create a safer and more stable environment for the personnel. The warehouse equipment will be able to work at a maximized capacity.
AKCP HVAC Monitoring
Air Handling Unit Monitoring
The efficiency of air handling units (AHU) greatly impacts a building’s energy use. They are responsible for the control of the temperature, humidity, filtration, and building pressurization.
Monitoring temperature of the return air, outside air, mixed air, and the supply and discharge lines. A basic AHU monitoring system will analyze the thermal performance. Additional sensors for measuring static pressure, airflow, fan, and compressor kW give a more detailed analysis of the system.
Wireless Tunnel™ sensors have a long-range and low power for battery life of up to 10 years. Distribute sensors around your warehouse and on racking. Sensor data is logged and broadcast at regular intervals to the nearest Wireless Tunnel Sensor Gateway. View all your warehouse temperature sensor data on the AKCPro Server.
Set thresholds that alert when temperature or humidity is outside of required parameters. And the sensors will immediately broadcast immediately when the threshold is exceeded.
It is advisable to regulate warehouse temperature based on occupancy, building utilization, and product needs. To improve efficiency, install programmable thermostats with timers. These thermostats can be set to control HVAC functions based on varied needs and can monitor and regulate multiple HVAC units.
AKCP Wireless Air Differential Sensor
In a warehouse, quality control is fundamental. Pressure sensors closely monitor pressure changes and indicate if a predicament arises. Pressure drops across rooms or across a filter can alert service technicians for maintenance. Pressure transducers monitoring differential pressure in HVAC systems are especially important for critical applications such as stairwell pressurization, clogged filter detection, or cleanrooms.
AKCP Wireless Air Differential Sensor radio module with differential air pressure. Monitor cabinets for pressure differential to ensure adequate airflow. Air Pressure Differential Sensors can also be utilized in hospitals or clean rooms where positive pressures are maintained inside rooms to keep them clean, or negative pressures to contain contaminants. Works with all Wireless Tunnel™ Gateway.
- 4x AA Batteries
- External 5VDC or 12VDC power
- LED indicators for power, status, and RSSI
- Optional DIN rail or pipe mounting
AKCP Wireless Air Quality Sensor
Air quality sensors prevent harmful gases built up and unpleasant odors that can get into the warehouse. The sensor signals the fresh air inlet door/ventilation flap to close when undesirable substances are detected.
Detection for 5 different sizes. PM0.5, PM1.0, PM2.5, PM4 and PM10. The sensor is able to measure the mass concentration of particles in the PM1.0 to PM10 range and particle number concentration in the PM0.5 to PM10 range. The typical particle size is also measured. This measurement is based on the average size of the current sample.
An air particle sensor is utilized during indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments of clean rooms and workplaces. The specific type of particles is not detected, but it identifies the quantity or mass of airborne particles. These air particles could be sourced from :
- Exhaust smoke
- Airborne dust particles
Airborne pollutants can be a health hazard, and result in sneezing, headaches, asthma, and so on. In addition, during many agricultural and industrial processes, airborne dust can be a serious hazard forming combustible dust clouds.
AKCP Wireless Temperature and Humidity Sensor
HVAC units produce temperature change, so that’s an obvious thing to monitor. Install one sensor in the output stream of each unit. A change in running temperature indicates a compressor failure or similar problem. One global temperature sensor for the site gives you the “big picture”.
Wireless Tunnel™ NIST2 sensors feature 2x NIST traceable, calibrated temperature sensors in a single stainless steel tube. Working as a pair they check each other’s values once a second for accuracy. If we detect the sensors are out of acceptable tolerances an alert is sent warning that the sensor requires re-calibration. NIST4 sensors come with 3x NIST traceable, calibrated temperature sensors in a single stainless steel tube. They work in pairs, with the averages of each pair averaged to give an overall reading. Improved accuracy and calibration checks with failover. Should any pair be out of calibration that value is ignored and an alert generated to warn that a pair is out of calibration?
- 4x AA Battery powered, with 10-year life*
- USB 5VDC external power.
- 12VDC external power.
- Custom sensor cable length up to 15ft to position sensor in an optimal location.
- NIST2 dual-sensor calibration integrity check.
- NIST3 triple sensor calibration integrity checks with failover.
To summarize, the whole process during winter can be challenging at times. Regulating temperature and encouraging optimal airflow can be difficult matters to deal with. Not to mention, this can be quite expensive too. The constant change in the air with stock movement and distribution and the overall size of some warehousing facilities can be daunting to deal with.
The ventilation system must fit the warehouse when installing. It should make sure that your employees are comfortable while making your work health and safety guidelines complied with. If you have good ventilation in your warehouse, your warehouse will be healthy, comfortable, and energy-efficient.
An overall better environment will come when you control moisture and have fresh air. Remember, if you do not have a sound ventilation system during winter, you won’t control the airflow in your warehouse.