Distribution centers, warehouses, and garages are some of the most difficult spaces to keep warm in the winter. This is because they are large facilities with open bays. While doors make receiving deliveries and loading goods easier, they also easily allow warm air from HVAC systems to escape. This forces facility managers to run their heating at higher levels.
If you want to save money and ensure your HVAC system continues to run smoothly in a facility with large bay doors, it's important to look for alternative options to warm up the space without having to crank your heating. Here are three methods you can use to warm up a facility with an open bay when temperatures drop.
1. Improve Your Bay Doors and Barriers
You should be using some type of barrier or door for your open bay facility. If you are not, it's something to look into. Bay doors are the best bet for keeping warm air inside the facility. However, they can also be expensive and interfere with your day-to-day operations. If doors aren't an option, you can look into curtains or partitions to help control the temperature in your facility. Many barriers are made to easily roll up or slide away when it's time to load a truck or receive a shipment.
2. Keep a Consistent Shipping and Receiving Schedule
You may already have a door or barrier in place for your warehouse. But are you constantly opening or closing it throughout the workday? If so, it won't be very effective in keeping your space warm. Instead of sending or receiving shipments at various points throughout the day, try to schedule one or two specific periods when you handle these tasks. Obviously, this isn't always possible: weather issues and problems with logistics mean sometimes deliveries get delayed or postponed. However, any measure you can take to limit the amount of time your bay doors are open will prove helpful in limiting warm air from escaping your facility.
3. Use HVLS Fans to Distribute Warm Air More Evenly
One of the biggest obstacles to heating a facility with open bay doors is that even when there is sufficient warm air in the space, it tends to rise up to the ceiling. This is problematic because most of the equipment and people who need to be warmed up are at ground level—which can be dozens of feet below the ceiling in a particularly large space.
An HVLS fan helps solve this problem by circulating warm air throughout the space. Instead of warm air escaping through open bays or congregating near the roof, an HVLS fan running in reverse will draw cold air up, forcing warm air down. This destratified the air in the facility and makes it warmer at the ground level.
The Bottom Line
You'll need to think carefully about which strategies for preserving warmth work best for your budget and your space. An HVLS fan can be a great solution for keeping facilities with open bays warm.