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  • Writer's pictureRankin Group


The large, open spaces and high ceilings of warehouses make them difficult to heat well. Heat naturally rises, and it tends to fill the upper levels of the warehouse, keeping the lower levels cold and uncomfortable. Add the realities of heat loss through loading docks, and you have a heating nightmare.

Using a permanently installed heating system is often not a cost-effective way to heat a warehouse. Because of this, many warehouse designs rely on portable heating and cooling systems. If you are considering using temporary solutions for your warehouse, here are some tips to help you choose the best design.


First, determine your goals for your warehouse cooling and heating solution. Start by determining the temperature you wish to achieve at the ground floor. This will vary depending on the location, the type of items stored in your warehouse, and the comfort your employees expect. Is your goal to keep the indoor temperature just above freezing, and nothing else, or are you looking to create a comfortable indoor temperature for employees? Can employees perform their jobs with coats on, allowing a lower temperature to save on heating and cooling costs?

Once you have a target temperature, determine the cubic feet — not the square feet — of the space. This will help your team decide which unit size to select for the space you have.


What fuel source do you have for your warehouse heating system? Is propane easily available, or will you need to use natural gas? Other fuel options include electric and diesel or heating oil. Choose an option that is easily accessible and affordable.


Temporary heating comes in one of two types: direct fired and indirect fired. Direct-fired systems work best in areas with limited insulation, directing heat flow exactly where it is needed. Indirect heating heats the entire space, so it works best in well-insulated spaces.

For warehouse cooling, there are two basic options: air-cooled and water-cooled. While both run on electric, be sure to determine which model works for your site. Air-cooled portable cooling solutions require a vent to the outdoors, while water-cooled solutions require access to a water source. Building layout will determine which is right for your space.


Finally, determine the heat loss in the building and the required British thermal unit (Btu) to reach your goals. Heat loss occurs because of the building’s structure, insulation and outside access. If heat will be lost easily, you may need to compensate with a stronger heat source.

The number of Btu required to reach your goal temperature will depend on the size of the facility, insulation levels and heat loss. The Rankin team can help you determine what Btu will be appropriate for your space.

Whether you are buying or renting temporary cooling and heating solutions, Rankin is here to help. We have a number of systems designed for a wide range of needs, and we can help you determine which system would best meet your unique heating and cooling requirements. Contact our customer service team today to start the search for the right heating and cooling solutions for your space.

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