Maintaining an energy-efficient operation is becoming increasingly important in today’s competitive global market. Two of the best ways to
do it — while simultaneously saving a few bucks — is with
the right combination of loading dock seals and high-volume,
low-speed (HVLS) fans.
Loading docks are critical conduits for receiving and
distributing products, but they also present multiple energy
challenges. Facility managers of manufacturing plants can
address many of these hurdles using a system product at the
loading dock that can end up saving companies thousands of
dollars a year in wasted heating/cooling costs.
Loading Dock Energy Losses
Openings at the loading dock can allow conditioned air to
leave and foreign contaminants like dust, water and even rodents
to enter. From an energy standpoint, these losses translate into
hundreds of dollars of conditioned air flying out the door.
Even when trailers are at the loading dock, 1- to 2-inch gaps
often exist between a swing-open trailer and the edges of the
dock opening. While an inch might seem insignificant, it equates
to a 2.5-square-foot hole at just one dock opening; something that
would be completely unacceptable if it were so obvious. These
gaps can represent anywhere from $600 to $1,200 worth of lost
energy every year. Multiply this over multiple dock doors and the
financial loss is significantly more profound.
But the sides of the dock opening aren’t the only gaps in
the building’s perimeter. Many facility managers forget about
the “fourth side” of the dock — the bottom end, where the
leveler, trailer, and dock seal or shelter all meet. Depending
on the size of the opening, that gap can result in another $200
to $900 lost annually.
Look For Daylight
In nearly every case, the first rule of thumb is to look for
light along the dock door perimeter. Anywhere there’s light
coming through, there’s energy leaving the facility and an
opportunity for contaminants to enter. These light leaks
often appear on the sides and tops of trailers, but they can be
present at any point around the perimeter.
Sealing The Perimeter With
A System Of Products
The key to getting an environmentally secure, energy-efficient dock is to get a consistent, gap-free seal along trailer
sides, tops and corners, as well as at the bottom of dock door
openings. An effective system of sealing products starts with
a dock shelter that is specifically designed to overcome the
most difficult sealing challenges.
Starting from the top, dock shelter head curtains help
seal gaps by creating a seal at the top of the trailer. This
is a common challenge made worse at facilities serviced
By Walt Swietlik
Loading Dock Shelters, HVLS
Fans Save Energy And Money