When you are in a situation where you need to make something better, it can really pay off to understand industrial construction methods. Although it can be intimidating to know that there are a million different ways to accomplish the same kinds of things, the fact of the matter is that an understanding of construction and industrial methods can help. On this website, there are all kinds of interesting posts that discuss the ins and outs of manufacturing, since simple changes can make more stable, reliable repairs and projects. After all, creating change starts with you, and knowledge certainly is power.
Louvers help ventilate closets, labs, and other rooms that would otherwise become very stuffy and prone to associated issues like mold. The added ventilation keeps the space more comfortable, especially if it isn't directly linked to the rest of the building's HVAC system. For example, a supply closet usually doesn't have an air conditioning vent built in, but door louvers increase the supply of fresh air that can flow into the space.
You can find not only small louver additions to install in interior doors but also larger external doors with fixed louvers. These can be a very good addition to your facility if you have spaces that meet specific conditions — and many commercial and industrial spaces do.
Spaces That Aren't Part of the Building HVAC System
It is not unusual at all to find areas like open loading docks and garages that are not connected to the rest of the facility's HVAC system. Normally, this makes sense because any doors to the spaces are left open, making the HVAC system irrelevant. However, that poses a problem on very hot or cold days or very windy days. When the doors do not need to be open, such as when there are no scheduled deliveries to or shipping from a loading dock, closing them could help make the space more comfortable, but then there is less ventilation, even if doors leading into the rest of the facility from the space are left open. Adding fixed louvers to the external doors would increase ventilation and help create a cross-breeze.
One issue using fixed louvers brings up is what to do if there is an air quality issue outside the facility. Wildfire smoke, for example, can travel to areas that aren't under direct threat and thus haven't been evacuated. Fixed louvers would allow the smoke in since they can't be closed. An option is to make the doors with louvers a secondary set; in other words, instead of replacing the doors to the space with louvered doors, install the louvered doors as an additional set, almost like a version of a screen door. It's also possible to keep panels available to block the louvered portions of the doors.
Sunlight Exposure and Insulation
Facilities looking at adding louvered doors to the south and west sides of a building need to keep insulation in mind. Those sides will receive more exposure to direct sunlight, and in summer that can make the doors warm up substantially. While any door should have insulation, those going on the south and west sides need it even more to prevent excessive heat transference into the space the door is supposedly protecting.
Because the louvers are fixed, you want to be sure that what you get is adequate for the ventilation you need. The louvers for doors on the exterior can be as small as those panels you find on interior doors, or they can take up most of the space on the exterior door, and the angles of the louvers can differ between brands. Speak with representatives from different sellers to see which models are right for your facility.