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Handling the heat on warehouse floors

4 min read
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In this article, we cover the challenges of keeping warehouses cool and explain why so many facilities choose portable evaporative air cooling to boost productivity and create safe, comfortable working environments for their employees.

Keeping a warehouse cool in a warm environment can be a difficult and potentially expensive task. In addition to the volume of the space taking longer to cool, large doors are likely to be opening and closing throughout the day, letting hot air flood in from outside.

There is also the heat created by forklifts and other machinery, as well as from employees themselves. Moreover, older warehouses with poor insulation are not designed for intense modern working conditions and struggle even harder to keep cool air in and warm air out.

In most cases, air-conditioning an entire warehouse is neither viable in terms of cost or practicality. Instead, portable evaporative coolers allow for ‘spot cooling’ where cold air can be brought to areas that are particularly susceptible to heat. And, unlike AC, the area doesn’t have to be sealed for evaporative coolers to be effective, on the contrary. They can even be placed outside to cool lorry loading bays, for example.

Why do warehouses need air cooling in the first place?

Physically intensive jobs like picking and packing, moving heavy items, and loading or unloading lorries are even tougher in the heat. Without effective air cooling in place, employees are not just uncomfortable, but also at risk.

For staff working long hours in a hot climate, without regular breaks, heat stress is inevitable. This is a dangerous condition where the body is unable to cool itself down quickly enough, escalating fatigue and disrupting cognitive thinking skills. Without immediate attention, heat stress can lead to life-threatening cases of heatstroke.

As cases of heat stress become more common, laws and regulations across Europe are becoming more strict, with frequent breaks required when temperatures exceed certain levels.

As temperatures rise, productivity drops

Notwithstanding the health risks, engaging in physical work while feeling too hot will tire out staff and lead to mistakes. These symptoms will cost time and money in the long run.

High temperatures can also affect the equipment and machinery that keeps warehouse floors running like clockwork, causing breakdowns, failures and malfunctions.

Evaporative cooling vs. air-conditioning

Traditional air conditioning systems do not perform well in warehouses and come with significant installation and running costs. In contrast, evaporative air coolers find the balance between cost and cooling efficiency. And, with portable solutions from Master, you can take cold air to areas that need it most.

Key benefits of portable evaporative coolers:

  • Spot cooling
    Create fresh and comfortable working conditions in areas with high activity or that are particularly susceptible to hot temperatures.

  • Energy usage
    Because they harness the natural process of evaporation, Master evaporative coolers offer outstanding energy efficiency. On average, the running costs are just 10% of a traditional air-conditioning system.

  • Convenience
    While buildings need to be relatively well sealed for air conditioning to be effective, evaporative cooling units can operate at maximum efficiency while doors and windows remain open.

  • Hygiene
    Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Master evaporative coolers have been equipped with UV lights to kill any viruses and bacteria that may be in the water used to cool the air.

How evaporative cooling works

As water evaporates, particles with the highest energy leave the moisture first, leading to a drop in temperature. Evaporative cooling systems take advantage of this natural process to cool down a space.

  1. A fan draws hot dry air across cooler pads which absorb water from a reservoir.

  2. When the hot air crosses the cooler pads, the water molecules on the surface evaporate and lower the air temperature inside the system.

  3. This fresh air is circulated around a building, forcing hot stale air outside.

For more on the power of evaporative spot cooling and finding the best solution for your warehouse facility, fill out the form below to get in touch with our team.

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