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Keeping Your Warehouse Cool: A Guide To Improving Thermal Comfort And Productivity

Properly managing the temperature of your facility is not only important for maintaining the integrity of your products, it’s also important for maintaining your employees’ health, safety and productivity. Extreme temperatures, whether they’re hot or cold, can negatively impact your team’s efficiency and pose potential risks to their well-being. Plus, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of their workers and provide an environment without risks, as far as is reasonably possible, meaning your business could be liable for not maintaining proper temperature control in your facility.

Luckily, we have a few solutions to help make sure your warehouse stays comfortable, even in the peak heat of summer. But before we get into the solutions, let’s talk about thermal comfort.

What is ‘thermal comfort’ and why is it important?

According to WorkSafe New Zealand, thermal comfort describes whether a person feels too hot, too cold, or just right. While it may seem obvious, people aren’t usually at their most productive if they’re too hot or cold and prolonged exposure to temperatures that are too high or low can impact their health.

WorkSafe has identified the following temperature ranges as a guide to maintaining thermal comfort. These temperatures will be comfortable for most people in an indoor environment.*

Summer Winter
Sedentary Work         19-24°c 18-22°c
Physical Work         16-21°c 16-19°c

*These values assume:

  • Workers are wearing seasonally appropriate clothing
  • The air speed is about 0.1–0.2 metres per second (without creating a draught where sedentary work occurs)
  • Humidity levels are normal (40-70%)
  • Workers are not directly exposed to any radiant heat sources

So I think we can all agree that properly managing the temperature of your facility is good for everyone – but the real question is how?

Are heating and cooling systems the answer?

The obvious solution many people turn to for maintaining thermal comfort is a heating and/or cooling system. While these are an important piece of the puzzle, in large areas such as warehouses, maintaining consistent temperatures is incredibly difficult. In addition to a heating/cooling system, large areas require good ventilation, insulation and layout planning to properly maintain thermal comfort.

That’s where HVLS Industrial Fans Come In

HVLS fans are designed to circulate the air in your facility more efficiently, moving large volumes of air at an optimised low speed to help maintain a consistent temperature across your facility. They create an airspeed of only 3-5 km/h but due to their size (up to 7.5m in diameter), they still move large amounts of air without creating a draught.

The top 5 benefits of HVLS Industrial Fans

1. Keeps things cool in summer

As we’ve already discussed, an HVLS Industrial Fan can lower the overall temperature of your facility by 3-6 degrees. And due to their low speed, they don’t create uncomfortable draughts. They support existing air conditioners by moving the air around more efficiently so the air conditioning system itself doesn’t have to work as hard, creating a more comfortable environment for your employees.

2. Keeps things warmer in winter

While it may seem counterintuitive, HVLS Industrial Fans also help keep your facility warmer in the winter, too, by minimising the stratification of the air. Stratified air is the cool, dense air that sinks, pushing warm air up. HLVS fans disrupt this by cycling the warm air down.

3. Enhances air quality

Poor air circulation can not only cause temperature differences throughout the facility, putting products at risk of spoilage, it can also encourage bacteria growth and mould in some areas. HVLS Industrial Fans move a high volume of air consistently through the facility, reducing these risks and keeping your staff healthy.

4. Combats moisture and humidity

Similar to the way they enhance air quality, HVLS Industrial Fans also help combat moisture and humidity by moving high volumes of air around the facility. This keeps moisture in the air from settling onto surfaces, which if not dealt with can lead to product damage, rust on equipment or bacteria growth.

5. Keeps staff comfortable

As we discussed earlier, thermal comfort is an important part of Health and Safety in the workplace and as part of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, you can be held responsible for not maintaining proper thermal comfort. HVLS Industrial Fans give your heating and cooling systems a boost to maintain a consistent temperature and keep the thermal comfort of your facility in check.

As you can see, investing in a proper system to help maintain temperatures in your facility is good for business in several ways. An efficient system keeps your people safe, your products safe, and saves you money on excessive energy waste. While having the proper heating and cooling equipment is important, an HVLS Industrial Fan could be the missing piece in helping you maintain thermal comfort.

Talk to our experts today and find out if HVLS Industrial Fans are right for your facility.


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