Warehouses are large draughty places, notoriously difficult to heat, and require specialist heating equipment to stay toasty. Doing some research and prep now before you embark on an installation project could save you time and money. We will guide you through the various solutions on offer and what you need to know about how to heat a warehouse.
Questions to Ask Yourself
What is your heating goal? Is it keeping employees warm? Or stopping cold weather damaging your building, facilities, or stored products?
What happens in your warehouse? Do people work there, or is it used purely for storage? How long does it need to be heated? 365 days, seasonally, or only when staff are present? Are the goods stored in racking and/or affected by damp?
Finally, think about the size of your warehouse. Most warehouses are large, with constantly opening and closing doors. The size (and the m3 of air you need to heat) will have implications for cost, heating type, and whether to heat ‘essential zones’ only.
Now you’ve done your research, let’s get to the essentials of how to heat a warehouse.
It might seem obvious, but have you checked your building for draughts, up-to-date insulation, and structural integrity? Blocking holes, installing effective insulation, and updating your windows and doors will have an immediate effect. It will also reduce the operating costs of any future heating solutions you decide to implement.
How to Heat a Warehouse – The Essentials
You can boost your current heating. Temporary heating is great when your system needs a boost, providing cost-effective extra seasonal heat, or heat for those ‘essential zones’ we mentioned earlier.
Various temporary solutions are available to hire from specialist warehouse heating companies, and heaters come in electrical, gas or oil-fuelled units, which you can place as required to keep your staff and stock happy.
Pros: Flexible, portable, creates a micro-climate
Cons: Hire costs, heat a localised space only
You can update your permanent system. For a more long-term solution, your two main choices are warm air or radiant systems. Which one you go for will depend on the research you did earlier, and like temporary solutions, they can be used to heat the whole space or spot heat certain locations.
Warm Air Heating
Most suitable for large spaces, these heaters produce and distribute warm air throughout an entire area. Particularly useful if you have high racks or shelving which house temperature sensitive products, as the heater will circulate warm air everywhere, distributed by its internal fan. They can be powered by your current central heating boiler, or an electrical/gas/oil powered element within the heater. They come freestanding, ceiling suspended, or wall-mounted.
Pros: Heat large spaces, maintain consistent temperature, great for high and/or well-insulated spaces.
Cons: Take time to heat the whole space, must be well-positioned to prevent cold spots, warm air lost to open doors means the whole space needs to be reheated.
Efficient with potentially lower operating costs, this heating works best when people and things are in close proximity to the wall-mounted or suspended ‘radiant tubes’ or heaters. They require the ‘object’ to be in view of the heater otherwise heat will be blocked. This makes it unsuitable for high racks/shelving, but, as it doesn’t rely on heating air, it’s great for areas which experience bursts of cold air – near doors/hatches, for example.
Pros: Efficient, instant, combats cold air bursts
Cons: Creates shaded spots, ineffective for high spaces, proximity only
Whatever your goal for heating your warehouse, hopefully you now feel confident about the options available to you and making an informed choice. If you’re looking for the perfect heating solutions for residential, commercial or industrial properties, give Rowlen a call and we’ll be able to offer even more helpful advice.