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Warehouse Energy Efficiency Assessments

Loading Dock Energy Efficiency Assessment

If loading dock openings are not sealed properly, they can leave facilities vulnerable to infiltration of insects, water, dust, dirt and other contaminants. Here are some steps on how to get a complete seal at the loading dock to help protect against these potential hazards:

1) Look for light
The first rule of thumb in getting a complete seal at the loading dock is to look for daylight. When a trailer is in place and the dock door is opened, examine the perimeter around the trailer and dock leveler and look for areas where you can see light. If there’s daylight, there’s a gap to be filled. Different gaps will need to be sealed by different products. Understanding what kinds of gaps exist will lead to more informed decisions on properly sealing them.

2) Examine different sealing options
Not all seals and shelters work for every situation at the loading dock. Foam compression style dock seals generally offer a greater deal of energy efficiency, but can suffer significant wear-and-tear due to constant friction. Additionally, foam and other material can protrude inside of the trailer when compressed, interfering with forklift loading. In contrast, perimeter-sealing dock shelters offer full access loading since they seal along the side of the trailer, but unless the right model is selected, sealing efficiency tends to be significantly lower than that of a compression style seal.

3) Remember the fourth side
While it is critical to effectively seals gaps at the top and along the sides of the dock opening using a dock seal or shelter, don’t forget the “fourth side” – the bottom. Gaps typically exist below and around the dock leveler and bumpers, and present stubborn challenges for sealing out contaminants. Installing an under-leveler pit seal provides a barrier against dirt and rodents, in addition to reducing energy loss. Inside the facility, lip corner seals, filler pads and other components help fill tough-to-seal gaps where the dock enclosure, leveler, and bumpers all meet. 

4) Consider vertical-storing levelers
The gold standard in environmental protection of dock openings, vertical levelers differ from pit-style levelers in that they allow the loading dock door to close directly onto the pit floor, minimizing outside air (and pest) infiltration. This configuration also allows trailer doors to be opened inside the facility, which further enhances environmental and product control inside the loading dock area.

Food facility managers looking to keep their buildings clean can’t neglect the loading dock. Using a system of products including the right dock seal or shelter, an under-leveler seal and a vertical leveler, a complete seal can be achieved. This tight seal keeps the wind, rain, dust, bugs, and pests outside and valuable conditioned air inside. It’s critical to consult a reputable loading dock equipment provider who is trained to provide expert environmental control analysis and recommend the most effective system of product solutions.

Industrial Door Energy Efficiency Assessment

For businesses with warehouses, energy efficiency is a critical component to success. On average, energy costs for some warehouses are more than 10 percent of total revenue (Source: E Source Companies, LLC). Fortunately, warehouses offer a number of opportunities to reduce annual energy costs.

One of the greatest sources of energy loss for heated or refrigerated warehouse spaces is air infiltration during loading and unloading operations. Refrigerated areas within warehouses lose a lot of energy when doors open to allow forklifts to enter and exit. Energy savings can be found from the reduction in heat transfer between two conditioned spaces, which is a primary function of energy-efficient industrial doors.

Using ASHRAE methods for measuring air infiltration and wind speed, and national weather data specific to your location, our exclusive, engineered assessment tools use your facility’s specific variables to calculate potential cost savings. Based on information about your specific door openings and traffic, Arbon representatives can demonstrate precisely how much energy is escaping at every opening, the associated energy costs and how much you can save by boosting the energy efficiency of your door openings.

Request an Industrial Door Energy Efficiency Assessment and see how you can save tens of thousands of dollars each year by boosting the energy efficiency of your door openings.

Industrial HVLS Fan ROI

Facility temperature is of great concern to building managers – maintaining comfortable temperatures for large spaces can be difficult and expensive. Beyond traditional refrigeration units and conventional heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems, more and more facilities are considering alternative ways to control temperature, while also controlling costs. One such way is by circulating air in a working environment to provide stable temperatures from ceiling to floor. A growing number of decision-makers are implementing high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) ceiling fans into their facilities to achieve this goal and system efficiency.

Because HVLS fans are efficient and cost just pennies an hour to operate, their return on initial investment often ranges from six months to two years. Excessive energy is often consumed by an abundance of ineffective floor and ceiling fans. Just one HVLS fan can replace up to 20 traditional high-speed fans. Payback on an HVLS fan varies according to a number of application variables. As shown in Table 1, winter energy savings are substantial. Users can reduce their heating bills by 20 to 30 percent when using an HVLS fan to gently mix warm air trapped at the ceiling with the cooler air below.

Table 1
Winter Savings

  Location Winter Energy Savings*

Edmonton, Canada $3,620

Minneapolis, MN $2,845

Toronto, Canada $2,485

Cleveland, OH $2,395

Boston, MA $2,190

Kansas City, MO $2,125

Indianapolis, IN $2,080

Salt Lake City, UT $2,050

Seatlle, WA $1,520

*Typical annual winter energy savings possible based on 22,000 sq. ft. building with 30' ceilings a 70 degree temperature set point and natural gas at $0.11 per cubic foot.

Contact your Arbon representative for an energy assessment today.

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