How to Create an Energy Efficient Warehouse
“Nonrefrigerated warehouses in the U.S. use an average of 6.1 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 13,400 Btu of natural gas per square foot annually. Lighting and space heating account for approximately 76 percent of total use (Figure 1), making these systems the best targets for energy savings.”
–Business Energy Advisor
A large portion of operational costs in distribution centers can be traced back to energy use–or misuse, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. But companies can take steps to contain costs with a range of energy efficient options.
Re-evaluate lighting. What and how much light is needed where? With such a broad space, you may not need full light throughout the entire warehouse, but lower wattage or controlling on/off use for underused spots helps shave electricity costs–as will more efficient LED bulbs. It’s possible to save as much as 80 percent on energy with LEDs, and they are bright, quick acting and long lasting.
Weatherproof transition areas. It’s hardly worth heating or cooling a large space when large open doors let the air out. That’s why sealing passages to the dock and using shelters is so important; even when loading and unloading, you are able to maintain a climate controlled space.
Draw from alternative energy sources. You may be able to experiment with renewable energy sources and integrate them into current systems, which might be a more ideal way to test options. Skylights, solar panels, and geothermal heating/cooling systems are a few to try.
Circulate the air. High volume low speed fans can help cool the space, just by aiding movement and circulation, using less power than a hair dryer. It’s an effective way to keep temperatures down without breaking the bank.
Install insulated, energy efficient doors. It’s a win on all fronts: insulated doors protect employees from hot and cold discomfort, prevent products from breaking down and shield vehicles from early wear and tear due to moisture and humidity. Because they are manufactured in varying R-Values or thermal efficiency, insulated doors can provide various degrees of insulation–which gives you more choice. These doors have added benefits: they block noise and contain added strength and shock absorption.
Interested in additional ways to make your warehouse more energy efficient? We’d be happy to inspect your door and other sources that could be sabotaging your efforts. Contact Midwest Garage Doors today.