Despite the best efforts of the last few months, it feels like warm weather has finally returned to most parts of the country.

While the arrival of summer can be a good thing outside of work—cookouts, family vacations, reckless amounts of fireworks—it does mean any warehouse you manage is going to need a little tweaking to help beat the heat.

From keeping your workers safe and cool to keeping products at the temperature they need to be stored, temperature control over the summer months can be just as crucial as it is over the winter. Here’s a few tips to make sure your warehouse stays cool when it needs to:

 

Keep air in circulation

No matter how good your air conditioning is, you can’t just rely on vents to move the air without dealing with some inconsistent temperatures and an overworked air conditioner. Strategic placement of industrial fans on the floor and ceiling, ideally near vents or in high-traffic areas, will help move air better, keep targeted areas cool, and reduce utility bills by not having to crank your air conditioner nearly as hard. Where possible, try to use open shelving like wire shelves and pallet racks to let the air flow more easily than it would with more closed-off storage options, too.

 

Shut that door!

As anyone who’s spent any time near them can attest, the loading docks of a warehouse are constantly in motion, which can create a huge issue for trying to keep the rest of your warehouse cooled. Make sure all doors around a loading area are properly sealed and insulated to keep cold air in while they’re closed (this may require the use of rubber or foam insulation around the gaps in the door to block air from escaping). After this, institute policies to make sure doors are only open as long as they need to be—while this may sound like common sense, setting door timers and creating a specific process for keeping the doors shut when not in use can go a long way towards normalizing this use.

 

Protect your cold-storage goods

If your warehouse deals in food storage, pharmaceuticals, or the like, cold storage protection is going to be critical this time of year. Similar to the loading docks, make sure the doors to your refrigerated storage are as sealed and insulated as possible, and try to create separation between these areas and the rest of your warehouse—where possible, install thick rubber curtains to further divide the areas of coldest temperature from warmer areas (almost like an airlock) and keep a vigilant eye on the thermostat both in the refrigerator and in the surrounding areas.

 

Dehumidify

Even if the temperature outside isn’t particularly oppressive yet, humidity can be a huge contributor to a decrease in windchill and an increase in temperature through your entire facility. Install dehumidifiers near windows and close to the larger vents in your warehouse to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, preventing that sticky humid feeling that nobody likes.

 

Keep your workers hydrated

It may sound like we’re discussing them as though they were plants, but it’s important to make sure your workers get the hydration they need. And we don’t mean a constant flow of energy drinks and coffee, as those have quite the opposite effect—provide water coolers and bottled water for your workers at as many locations as is viable so they can combat dehydration and fatigue as the summer wears on.

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