Sweating Slab Syndrome (SSS) is a common problem in buildings with concrete surfaces. All kinds of...
How to Reduce Humidity in a Warehouse
High humidity levels and excessive moisture in your warehouse can lead to serious problems. According to the World Health Organization, high humidity levels are associated with increased growth of mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms that cause human illness. This is a significant problem, and it prompts us to find out how to reduce humidity in a warehouse. What’s further, your warehouse inventory, including products and containers, can be damaged due to humidity. Ideally, indoor humidity levels should range between 30-50%.
Industrial and warehouse spaces have a high risk of accumulating moisture. In addition to the possible inventory damage mentioned above, accumulated moisture can damage the interior building structure as well as the machinery. Not to mention, mold growth due to humidity poses a major health and safety risk to working environments which affects employee performance.
The Source of Humidity & Moisture
How does moisture accumulate in your warehouse facility? Typically, air fluctuations are caused by open windows, doors, and warm air seeping into the building. Without proper circulation, the temperature difference between the outside and inside air can cause condensation.
What’s more, when the temperatures cool at night, humidity is typically worse. The warm air cools, and surface materials such as floors and machinery begin to sweat. Humidity can cause rust, rot, and impose major risks on concrete floors (more on this later).
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH HUMIDITY
STAGNANT AIR AND BACTERIA GROWTH
Some of the worst areas for airborne bacterial growth are stagnant zones that have excess humidity. Stagnant air is simply air that has no movement. It just sits there. When you have stagnant air, the excess humidity makes surfaces damp, which facilitates the growth of bacteria, mold, and viruses. Mold is not always visible, but spores are present and will germinate when conditions have sufficient moisture. As spores germinate, they multiply and significantly reduce air quality. With this in mind, you should know that stagnant air is unhealthy and unsafe for your employees.
HEALTH RISKS AND CONSEQUENCES
The growth of microorganisms, such as mold, can increase the risk that individuals will become sick. We know that excessive humidity can also lead to many respiratory issues, and can even cause interruptions in sleep patterns.
When employees become ill, their morale and productivity will decrease. This affects your bottom line. The best way to discourage the growth of mold and bacteria is by keeping humidity levels low and by circulating air.
Sick Building Syndrome
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a condition that causes discomfort and sickness for workers in a particular area with an excessive humidity problem and lack of proper ventilation. The United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) says that some common symptoms of SBS include: headaches, dizziness, coughing, difficulty concentrating, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and fatigue. Although the specific cause of SBS is unknown, research has shown that buildings with stagnant air, poor ventilation, and higher humidity are much more likely to suffer from SBS.
Sweating Slab Syndrome
Sweating slab syndrome (SSS) is another serious repercussion of high humidity levels. SSS is basically the excess moisture sitting on the surface of a floor/slab of concrete. SSS occurs when humid air comes across a cold surface and attempts to lower its temperature to match the temperature of the surface. Since cold air holds less humidity than warm air, the air has to deposit its excess moisture on a surface, often a concrete floor or shelf. The excess moisture sits on the surface causing a serious slip hazard that can also be dangerous for forklifts, carts, and other equipment that moves across the floor.
Options to Reduce Humidity in a Warehouse
1 - COMPLEMENTARY DEHUMIDIFICATION SYSTEMS
A mechanical dehumidifier and a desiccant heat pump system can be integrated to reduce the humidity and condensation in the building further. Eliminating moisture will also reduce the spread of airborne bacteria since high volumes of bacteria are found in water vapor and droplets suspended in the air. An industrial dehumidifier can remove up to 160 pints of water depending on the model and the square feet of coverage. Be aware that a warehouse dehumidifier can be noisy, so take note of that before proceeding.
2 - BRING IN THE OUTSIDE AIR
Sometimes just opening windows and doors will help reduce humidity levels in a warehouse and increase ventilation. Even more effective is having a good cross-breeze. Open the doors or windows on both sides of the facility to get air flowing through the space. Having proper ventilation a few hours a day can help reduce humidity in a warehouse greatly, giving you a better handle on humidity control.
3 - HVAC SYSTEMS
If you have an HVAC system, turning on your air conditioner will help reduce indoor humidity during humid weather as well as cool down your employees and products. Make sure to clean furnace and AC filters regularly so that the airflow does not get clogged. Clogged filters can actually contribute to a larger humidity problem.
Even if you have an HVAC or air conditioning system and open windows or exhaust fan ports in your warehouse facility, it’s possible that air in your space isn’t mixing properly. Therefore, the humidity will remain an issue.
4 - HVLS Fans
Humidity plays a major role in the perception of heat in a building. Cutting down on humidity is one of the best ways to keep a building comfortable. Those working in rooms cooled by HVLS fans perceive the temperatures to be 8 to 9 degrees cooler than what the actual temperature is. HVLS fans can cut down on humidity, moisture, and bacteria while also operating more efficiently than conventional fans. By removing moisture and humidity, HVLS fans are able to improve air quality and make individuals feel more comfortable.
The World Health Organization states that one of the best ways to lower humidity and control indoor humidity levels is by increasing ventilation. HVLS fans will improve air quality by increasing the ventilation in your space. They will also help to reduce bacteria growth and improve your control over excess humidity levels.
Running your HVLS ceiling fan along with the other tips mentioned above is an effective, inexpensive way to reduce humidity in a warehouse. It will also save you money on energy and operating costs. HVLS ceiling fans are a straightforward, economical solution that enhances better indoor air quality.
How HVLS Fans Improve Humidity in a Warehouse
HVLS fans control humidity through ventilation. By creating a large column of airflow that affects a huge area, they improve ventilation in your building. Larger HVLS fans can affect areas as big as 22,000 square feet!
An HVLS fan can actually reduce humidity in a warehouse by continually redistributing the air. Doing so prevents the air from becoming saturated with moisture. An HVLS fan circulates at a low speed creating a column of air much larger than that created by a conventional fan.
The massive column of airflow produced by the HVLS fan leads to increased ventilation and equalizes the room’s temperature. When the warmer ceiling air mixes with cooler floor-level air, it minimizes ceiling-to-floor temperature differentials. Because HVLS ceiling fans help bridge the gap of temperature differences, it increases the surface evaporation rate, reducing condensation.
As a result, there is a lower risk of bacteria and mold growth in your facility. With simple indoor air movement from your HVLS fan, you not only create a cooling effect but also control humidity levels through increased ventilation.
Benefits of MacroAir HVLS Fans
Cutting down on bacteria and mold in your facility is not the only benefit of using HVLS fans to reduce moisture and humidity indoors. HVLS fans can also effectively treat Sick Building Syndrome and Sweating Slab Syndrome.
With an HVLS fan, you cut down on SSS by redistributing the air in your building and homogenizing its humidity. Industrial ceiling fans help maintain an even temperature with essential air circulation throughout your facility during the day and at night when moisture becomes a concern. More air circulation in your space means a lower risk of SSS.
Other Benefits of HVLS Fans
- Better air quality
- Lower moisture
- Less harmful bacteria
- Better productivity
- Less humidity
- Energy Efficient
- Cleaner and healthier indoor air quality
- Lower energy cost in comparison to air conditioning
- Enhanced heat and cooling effect
- Effective for large-space thermal comfort
- Multiple sizes of fan blades
Final Thoughts on Warehouse Humidity Control
Every building has a certain level of humidity and moisture, especially in parts of the world where humidity is naturally high. But if the humidity in your space becomes excessive, it can pose a danger to your employees, equipment, and inventory. Choose a dependable HVLS fan to improve airflow, decrease the number of bacteria and mold in your space, and make your employees happier and healthier with better indoor air quality.
Download your FREE Warehouse Humidity Control Checklist by clicking the link below.