Loading docks can contribute to increased warehouse energy costs during the warm summer months. However, there are some steps you can take to make your loading dock more energy-efficient and potentially lower those costs.
Before doing anything else, check your loading dock doors to ensure that they are perfectly aligned and fit tightly into their frames. Wear and tear from raising and lowering the loading dock doors continuously during operating hours will eventually create cracks and gaps that allow cold air to escape, making the inside hotter and sending cooling systems into overdrive to try to regulate the temperature. Depending on how extensive the damage is to your loading dock doors, you can choose either to repair them or replace them altogether.
Once you have addressed any issues with the dock doors, there are additional options can make your loading docks even more energy efficient during the summertime.
One energy-efficient option is the installation of a compression seal. Loading dock compression seals are an economical solution to preventing hot air from entering and cool air from escaping at the dock doors. A dock compression seal is installed around the outside opening of the loading dock door. After the driver opens the trailer doors, the trucks are backed in until the trailer presses against the seal. This creates an airtight seal between trucks and the inside of the warehouse. Dock compression seals can increase your loading docks’ energy efficiency in the summer by up to 90%.
An extremely effective (but more expensive) option when dealing with more varied trailer sizes is the installation of a loading dock shelter. Loading dock shelters create an airtight seal around the entire perimeter of a truck’s trailer as the truck is docking, allowing full access to the container from the inside. In addition to completely preventing cold air from escaping and hot air from entering the loading dock area, a loading dock shelter also allows faster unloading and loading because drivers can stay in their trucks and loading docks workers can open the trailer doors from inside the shelter.
A final tip for increasing the energy efficiency during the summertime is to change your lighting in the load dock area from incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs generate quite a bit of heat while LED light bulbs do not. Incandescent light bulbs also use much more energy and have a significantly shorter lifespan. Additionally, LED bulbs will not compromise the lighting in the loading docks, but instead will enhance it because the LED lighting is brighter than incandescent light.
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At PartsBrite.com, we specialize in providing top-quality aftermarket loading dock parts. We carry a full line of dock parts that can satisfy your particular loading dock needs. Although our sales office is located in California, we have two distribution warehouses – one in Wisconsin and one in California – that give us the ability to ship dock parks throughout the United States quickly. Call us at 1-855-PARTSBRITE (1-855-727-8727).