Moving to a bigger warehouse provides an opportunity for improved operations and lower operational costs for your business. However, depending on how you handle the air conditioning system in your store, the advantage of lower operational costs might as well be a mirage. According to experts, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning alone account for about 30% of the overall energy costs in a standard warehouse. Add this other overhead costs, and your energy bills would be shooting through the roof in a matter of months. Below are a few strategies you can employ to reduce AC running costs.
Use Cool Roof Systems -- One feature in a warehouse that is considered the biggest source of energy inefficiency is the roof. Irrespective of size, warehouse roofs are vast and notorious for soaking up heat from the sun. Such heat gain usually translates into high energy costs as the air conditioning system struggles to balance the climate inside the warehouse. Therefore, before you enter your new storehouse, make sure that you use cool roof systems due to their high solar reflectance. Cool roofs work by absorbing less solar heat and radiating a large percentage of the absorbed energy back into the atmosphere. Consequently, these properties reduce the power requirements of the air conditioning system.
Heat Recovery -- Warehouse temperatures can be quite expensive to maintain due to the constant amount of fresh and hot air drawn into the storage. However, you can reduce the costs by recovering heated air, for instance, from machinery exhaust. Since you will be using mechanical equipment such as forklifts, it is possible to capture the heat from their exhaust to improve space heating. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is the best equipment for such a strategy. The ERV functions by conditioning the exhaust air before it is absorbed into the air conditioning unit. All you have to do is have an HVAC technician attach an ERV to the warehouse's air conditioning system.
Use High-Speed Low-Volume fans – Typically, warehouses have large spaces and high ceilings. As such, the HVAC system has to pump excessive amounts of heated air near the roof to achieve the required temperature on the floor, which uses a lot of energy. The situation is made worse during cold seasons where pumped air near the ceiling loses heat before it reaches the ground. However, high-speed low-volume (HVLS) fans mounted on the ceiling force hot air to the floor much faster. The components reduce heat loss over the height of the warehouse especially during cold seasons, thereby lowering heating costs by approximately 20%.