Despite the looming Energy Act, 2011, that comes into force next year the UK warehouse industry as a whole still needs to take more responsibility for its energy consumption because they could be missing out on savings of up to 80% on their energy bills. But to do that they first need to do an energy consumption audit broken down by operational areas. In this respect the leading warehouse door manufacturers can help with free audits but it may be necessary to call in energy consultants, a task where the Carbon Trust can be of help.

Doors are obviously a key area for energy loss but industrial premises’ operators need a holistic view of energy consumption throughout their buildings and this may require a single centralised control unit of the kind supplied by Vickers Energy Systems which regulates the heating across different temperature zones to the nearest kilowatt, but without the need for different systems, clock settings or equipment, and which is approved by the Carbon Trust.

Industrial doors come in various guises and their benefits extend far beyond energy-savings, though energy is probably the most important benefit for many users. But how does one decide the most appropriate type for their specific operation? Much will depend on how frequently the doors are used. Some have such high traffic rates that the doors are left permanently open during working hours. A suitable candidate for such a scenario could be the noncirculating, air curtain heaters which enable lower energy usage, manipulate internal temperatures, clean the air and maximise worker comfort, and a comfy workforce improves productivity and cuts absentee rates. They can also keep out dirt, exhaust gases, smoke, odours and annoying insects. However, they would not be rodent and bird proof.

By fitting an air curtain over frequently opening entrances whole building heating costs can be cut by up to 30% and they can also help keep cool air in. An efficient air curtain system like those from JS Air Curtains and Airbloc can cut carbon emissions and so reduce the tax burden on the business. With the air curtains contributing to a better carbon footprint there is less demand to buy carbon credits. There is also the possibility of generating revenue from selling carbon allowances no longer needed. Air curtains also have a considerable safety advantage over the fastacting roller and spiral doors, which are prone to hits from forklifts and knocking people about unless they are fitted with safety sensors provided by market leaders like Hormann and Efaflex.

As with any hard-worked industrial products that could have costly repercussions during breakdowns, like production stoppages, it is critically important to choose quality products backed up by first rate after-sales service. On the latter, guidance can be obtained from visits to users’ sites, a list of which all leading kit suppliers would be happy to supply. If moving into a preequipped site with more than one type of door make installed it would make sense to ensure that your door repair servicer can cope with all door makes on site. Varying degrees of after-sales service offers are available but where premises operators feel the need for minimising service callouts then some of the leading door suppliers offer a training scheme for on-site staff with recommendations on spare parts to be kept on site. Always remember, however, that to keep door downtime to a minimum customers should give prospective suppliers full information on expected daily operating cycles, which will help both parties choose the most suitable door.