factory warehouse heating - Warehouse Heating and Cooling System Installation

 A Quick Guide To Warehouse Heating Installations In The UK

Warehouses play a key part in the UK supply chain, storing a huge range of products that are ready for distribution to retail outlets or direct to the end users. Maintaining the correct temperature may be crucial to the successful storage of certain products, such as pharmaceutical and medical supplies or fresh produce. 

It’s also important to maintain an acceptable ambient temperature for the comfort and health of workers, and to ensure that equipment and machinery performs reliably and is safe to use, particularly in factory warehouses. An unheated warehouse can present health and safety hazards, such as the risk of slips and falls on icy patches. 

Being exposed to cold temperatures for prolonged periods also puts staff at a greater risk of developing illnesses, because our bodies have to work harder to stay warm. Working in a cold environment is unpleasant and demotivating, leading to worse morale and productivity and a high turnover of staff. Conditions under 13°C may also be in breach of regulations. 

An unheated building is also at risk of frozen pipes that can rupture, causing flooding when the water defreezes. This can damage stored goods and lead to costly disruption to the business supply chain. It may cause mould and mildew to grow on the structure and storage systems, leading to an unhealthy and unsightly working environment.

Over time, an unheated building can be prone to deterioration caused by damp, rot, and concrete cancer. Warehouses present a particular challenge to heat because they frequently have open doors and loading bays, and high ceilings where any warm air migrates to, taking it away from the workers on the ground and most of the stored products.

Furthermore, warehouses are usually poorly insulated and will not retain heat for long periods. They are often large spaces, typically between 10,000 and 50,000 sq ft, and some can be significantly larger than this if they are located in a major logistic hub.  All these reasons can make heating warehouses in the UK particularly challenging.

When considering the most appropriate method of heating, it’s important to assess the particular needs of the warehouse. Consider factors such as the size and layout of the warehouse. Is it large with high ceilings, or a more compact space? What materials is it constructed from and what is its current condition?

How well insulated and ventilated is it? What type of goods are stored and how sensitive are they to fluctuating temperatures? What type of equipment and machinery do you use in the warehouse, such as forklift trucks, conveyor belts, lifting equipment, and so on. How is it used on a daily basis, and are there seasonal variations in use?

There are several types of heating methods available for warehouses. Here are some of the most common solutions. 

Warm air heaters

A popular solution includes warm air heaters, which work by pulling in cold air to a heat exchanger, and then distributing the heated air outwards. This process may be aided by a destratification fan. 

There are several types of warm air heating systems, including free-blowing heating units, which can be wall mounted for optimum heat distribution around the building. Alternatively, the heat can be distributed via ductwork evenly throughout the building, or they can be fixed to the roof for a space-saving solution.

Radiant heaters

Radiant heating systems provide direct heat to surfaces, solid objects and people rather than just heating the air. They are typically more energy efficient than other heating methods as they run at lower temperatures and thus use less energy. 

They are quiet and provide a consistent ambient temperature, making them ideal for warehouses where doors and loading bays are frequently used. Radiant tube heaters can be installed at almost any point in the warehouse, such as walls or ceilings, to help save space. 

Key considerations

When making your final decision, consider the energy efficiency ratings of the appliances and how you might reduce your environmental impact. Cost is another important factor, both in terms of installation and long-term running costs. 

The heating system should be well-maintained with regular services to ensure that it is operating safely and efficiently. The system should also comply with the relevant building regulations, energy efficiency standards and health and safety requirements.

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