A person can live weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air. It’s not just quantity of air that is vitally important for sustaining life and health — it’s the quality of that air, as well. Indoor air pollution in the workplace poses significant health risks to workers — and that’s bad news for your employees and your business.
How Poor Air Quality Hurts Your Business
Many conditions common in warehouses and manufacturing facilities contribute to poor air quality. Some of these include:
- Engine fumes from forklifts and/or idling vehicles
- Chemical fumes from stored material or manufacturing processes
- Mold and mildew from high humidity or water infiltration
- Poorly maintained HVAC systems
- Poor ventilation
The effects of indoor air pollution can be severe. For instance, carbon monoxide can quickly build up to lethal levels in an enclosed space. Serious diseases such as respiratory illnesses and cancer are common in workers who must breathe polluted indoor air day in and day out. Indoor air pollution can also lead to fatigue, lowered immune response, headaches, moodiness, and reduced mental and physical performance. This can severely impact productivity and morale in the workplace; and contribute to accidents, excessive absenteeism and high employee turnover.
How HVLS Fans Can Improve Air Quality in Your Facility
Many warehouse and facilities managers are turning to high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans to improve ventilation and airflow in the workplace. Here are four reasons why these large industrial fans are so effective at reducing indoor air pollution in these spaces:
- Destratification: Poorly ventilated air tends to stratify into layers where pollutants can collect. HVLS fans effectively mix the air in your entire space to keep pollutant parts per million (PPM) levels low.
- Elimination of dead air space: Poor building design and/or inadequate ventilation can result in “dead zones” or pockets of stagnant air. The steady airflow from an HVLS fan helps keep pollutants from building up to unhealthy levels in any particular work area.
- Exhaust separation: HVLS fans can be used in conjunction with fabric curtains to control and separate exhaust and processing fumes. A similar system can be used to maintain pressure differential where positive pressure is desired.
- Humidity control: The slow, steady mass of air that an HVLS fan generates provides an evaporative effect. This helps to remove excess humidity from the air and inhibit the growth of toxic mold and mildew in your facility.
Strategic use of HVLS fans with these qualities in mind can go a long way toward reducing indoor air pollution and/or the effects of sick building syndrome.
Additional Benefits of HVLS Fans in Warehouses and Manufacturing Facilities
In addition to improving ventilation and air quality, HVLS fans offer many other benefits to warehouses and manufacturing facilities. They help keep these buildings feeling cool in summer (and warm in winter, when run in reverse).
Since HVLS fans run quietly overhead and move air slowly, they reduce workplace distractions associated with small high-speed fans such as noise, strong breezes, and trip hazards caused by electrical cords and fans in entryways. They are also extremely energy-efficient and cost-effective to run.
If you are interested in learning more about how HVLS fans can improve the quality of air in your facility, please reach out to us here.