Heating a warehouse or factory in an efficient manner presents some unique challenges due to the nature and layout of the buildings in question. Factories are often large, open spaces, and it can be difficult to circulate heat around the building in a way that ensures every spot within the space is heated to the same, comfortable temperature.
Sufficient heating is important in any workplace. Workers are required to be provided with an adequate working environment, and that includes ensuring that the temperature of their workplace is maintained at an acceptable level. In a factory environment, heating inefficiently can negatively impact the heat distribution throughout the space, making it detrimental to working conditions. Here we take a look at some effective heating solutions for a factory or warehouse environment.
Warm Air Heating
There are two main forms of heating suitable for a factory: warm air heating and radiant tube heating. Warm air heating works by warming the air in the space, which in turn warms the workers in the building. The warm air is distributed throughout the space by a fan, so to ensure a consistent temperature, the warm air will need to be distributed evenly throughout the space.
There are many different types of warm air heaters to choose from. They can be suspended from the ceiling, mounted on a wall or can stand on a floor. The chosen model will depend on the specifications of your factory, and your available space.
A well-designed warm air heating system keeps the air distributed evenly throughout the space. The key to allowing the heaters to work to full efficiency is to make sure that the air is free to travel; this eliminates cold spots. If some areas are not being heated, you may need to reorganise the layout of the space to ensure no warm air is being trapped. Alternatively, if this is not possible, you could invest in multiple warm air heaters to be placed strategically throughout the space to ensure full coverage. Just ensure that they are all set to the same temperature.
Where there are high ceilings, like in buildings such as factories and warehouses, there will be heat loss. Warm air rises, so with conventional gas-fired warm air heaters, destratification systems should also be used to maximise their effectiveness.
Through destratification, warm air is re-circulated from the roof to the occupied space at floor level. Large volumes of air are moved at a low velocity and at a controlled temperature; fans are used to circulate the air, creating an even temperature distribution throughout the space. With destratification, one heater can be used to heat a large space, lowering costs and producing a more energy-efficient solution.
The other kind of heating system suited to a factory environment is radiant heating. Radiant plaque heaters do no heat the air directly, but rather they produce infrared heat that directly heats surfaces, people and objects in its path. In this way these heaters create a more all-round radiant warmth. Radiant heaters provide rapid, almost instant heat at a lower running cost to other types of heaters.
The limitation of these heaters is that they need to be directly over the area that requires warmth; tall structures, such as racking, may block out the heat source from the workers below. However, in a building with no tall structures to act as a block, heating the space in this way is incredibly efficient. Radiant heaters are also a good option for areas frequently open to outside air, such as a loading bay.
To ensure efficient factory heating, effective control of an appropriate choice of heater needs to be achieved. In areas not as frequently used, it would be more energy-efficient to not heat these areas as often. Timer controls give you the benefit of warming up the space before the workers arrive, ensuring that the building is at a sufficient temperature from the get-go.
It is important to have an understanding of your factory layout and needs before you try to implement efficient warm air heating systems into your business. At Heritage Heating and Cooling, we have a fantastic range of heaters available to suit your needs.