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Proper ventilation, particularly for warehouses, goes far beyond just having access to working heat and central air.

While good temperature regulation is key to keeping your workers comfortable and productive (as well as protecting many of the goods you store), there’s more to it than just making it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Any enclosed area like a warehouse or distribution center needs proper air ventilation to keep products, workers, and installations safe from damage, contamination, and other potential issues. Here are a few areas to inspect if you think your warehouse isn’t being ventilated the way it should be:

Computers & digital equipment

Even in warehouses that don’t need their temperatures as strictly regulated (dry goods storage, non-perishables, etc), computers are still a constant source of heat build-up. If left improperly ventilated, the heat from computers, servers, and other electronic equipment can build up and cause damage. Make sure any of your server farms, offices, and areas where computer work is performed is ventilated to the outside and equipped with their own temperature-controlled vents to help regulate the temperature in these areas, even above and beyond the temperature in the adjacent areas. Wire shelving is a good choice to store server stacks and computer towers on as they promote a better airflow to cool these devices off further.

Fumes from gas-powered equipment

As with any car, the fumes from motorized warehouse equipment like forklifts can be dangerous if used in an improperly ventilated area. In any part of the warehouse where forklifts come into play, line the area with portable fans to distribute fumes away from your workers and make sure to keep all vents cleaned and open so these fumes can be carried safely outside.

Heat circulation

A common issue with warehouses is the improper circulation of heat. Depending on factors like outside temperature, placement of warehouse storage relative to your vents, and how clean/well-maintained your vents are, you may wind up with temperature inconsistencies throughout your warehouse. This can begin to affect the comfort and productivity of your workers and potentially damage your products if proper temperature regulation isn’t maintained. Make sure to keep all of your vents clean, maintained, and make sure they’re not being blocked by heavy storage to ensure proper air flow at all times.

Humidity build-up

No matter what you’re storing, humidity can begin to wreak havoc on your products if left unchecked due to the amount of moisture in the air. While there are no direct federal safety standards for moisture and humidity build up, there is always a need for indoor air quality, and many studies and guidelines exist to help you find a comfortable humidity level. A good rule of thumb is to prevent moisture from forming on the inside of windows – if your windows are starting to get a little foggy, you’ve got a moisture problem. Many types of metal shelving are specifically designed to resist corrosion in humid environments and/or warehouses with a lot of temperature changes, and can be used in humid environments to prevent the growth of mold or mildew on your products.

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