High Volume Low Speed Fans: A New Way to Heat and Cool

Facility managers are looking to cut back on spending while maintaining quality with today’s huge energy expenses due to increased environmental accountability. Controlling the temperature in a large space can be difficult, but air conditioning is not the only way. If cutting costs without losing comfort is what you are going for, a HVLS or high volume low speed fan along with your preexisting HVAC system can help you control your energy expenses without sacrificing your comfort.

Similar to a regular household ceiling fan, HVLS fans help increase air velocity in order to make the space more comfortable for those in it. With the ability to cover almost 30,000 square feet with a single fan, HVLS fans are very different from your common household ceiling fan.

During the warmer months of the year, large HVLS fans help create a more comfortable atmosphere with their evaporating cooling effect. These MacroAir industrial ceiling fans along with the cooling effect, help to allow facility managers to turn their air conditioning temperature up to what would normally be uncomfortable levels and still save on cost. With increased circulation provided by the high volume low speed fans, the resistance put on the HVAC system is significantly less and therefore will require much less ductwork and ventilation to distribute cooler air.

High volume low speed fans have the ability to keep you warmer during the winter months by helping to circulate air and prevent loss of energy through your roof. The air that we consider to be room temperature is much more dense than the force heated air through a furnace of HVAC system, so it rises to the ceiling of most buildings. When you slow down a HVLS fan during the winter, you can redirect heated air that has been trapped at the ceiling back down toward the employees at ground level.

When these fans were created, they were originally meant for extra large industrial facilities for manufacturing and distribution. Many retail chains are now using HVLS fans to help save money in this tough economy.

The reduction of noise was a main concern with the scaled down versions of the HVLS fans, so they needed to be scaled down immensely to meet retail restrictions. Noise reduction from electromagnetic interference is also greatly reduced thanks to the technological advancements in the variable speed drive and size of the motor in HVLS fans.

To give a direct example of the use of industrial warehouse ceiling fans, think about a school library. Depending on the season and number of occupants, the speed of the fan can be varied in order to provide the most efficient usage. In order to heat the library without disrupting the quiet or shuffling papers around, the fan could be set to low in order to push the heated air back down toward the students. HVLS fans are a great way to cut back on your spending without losing your comfort and piece of mind.

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HVLS Fans

For hundreds of years, people residing in warm weather areas have utilized the cooling abilities of slow-moving air. In British India, servants would manually propel overhead circling fans called punkas; large ceiling fans were used in pre-Civil War southern mansions. Southern mansions before the Civil War used large ceiling fans, and servants in British India would manually operate overhead fans called punkas. Fans quickly became motorized as electric motor technology improved. Engineers first increased the speed the fans would move at, trying to increase cooling power by increasing air displacement. However, any speed faster than a gentle breeze could be unpleasant, drafty, and even disruptive. There isn’t much cooling benefit to air propelled faster than five miles an hour. And actually, in hot conditions with low humidity, slow-moving air is the best for ventilating and cooling.

For a long time, cooling large spaces required multiple, smaller high-speed fans that individually weren’t capable of enough coverage for a wide area. The high-speed fans required ongoing maintenance and were not very energy-efficient. Things changed in 1995, however, after a race car designer and mechanical engineer named Walter Boyd developed the High Volume Low Series fans, or HVLS fans. Commercial, industrial, agricultural or other large spaces now had a more efficient alternative.

Relying on HVLS warehouse ceiling fans for cooling large spaces may still be a lesser known option for designers who are overly reliant on HVAC systems. Because of their cleverly designed aerodynamic blades, they are both efficient and very effective. A fan’s efficiency is measured by the time it takes to move a certain amount of air,measured in cubic feet, and comparing it to what other cans can do for the exact same time.

HVLS fans are suitable for use in places with large, open spaces; ceiling heights should be at minimum, 15 feet tall. Studies show that HVLS fans are the most energy efficient among the air circulating fans on the market. While HVLS fans use their size to increase air displacement, a traditional high speed requires increasing its speed to move more air. The power needed to drive the fan is equal to the cubed value of the speed of the fan.

So 8 times the amount of power must be provided in order for a fan to double its speed; in the case of high speed fans, that means 8 times the amount of electrical power. For a quick example, consider a high speed commercial fan capable of delivering air at 20 miles per hour; it requires 64 times the electrical power than a fan delivering air at five miles per hour. The large size of the industrial shop fans make it possible to move sizable amounts of air at low speeds, without requiring the additional power or speed. Additionally, for warmer months in places without air conditioning, the slow-moving air created by an HVLS fan is more apt to break up the moisture-rich layer that can surround people, leading to a cooling evaporation.

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How To Ensure Happier Employees By Investing In High-Volume Low-Speed Fans

Once upon a time, it was not uncommon for employees inside large factories to have no choice but to work through unbearable temperature because their employer could not regulate it effectively. The conditions inside of numerous factories began to drastically improve following the 1995 invention of something called a high-volume low-speed (HVLS) fan. Interestingly, the man who invented these fans did so in an effort to cool down buildings for dairy cows, but his conclusions reached before inventing the device is what is important here. High-speed fans do not accomplish their intended purpose of cooling down the air, and in a factory environment this meant productivity was slowed. This conclusion made sense to a variety of different industries, and as a result HVLS fans began to replace high-speed ones.

To be truly effective, these industrial cooling fans are necessarily much larger than the high-speed fans that they replaced. Generally, they can be expected to be a minimum of 8 feet in diameter, while commonly extending to 24 feet. While true that an HVLS fan is quite large, it is most effective when mounted onto the ceiling and so there is no worry about finding a place to put it.

Reports have shown a significant increase in the happiness of employees within a short time of having these fans installed in their workplace. The increased airflow that HVLS fans provide mean improved temperature conditions inside the building, and employees often feel up to 10 degrees cooler than before. Factories are prone to be especially dusty workplaces, but with an HVLS fan the dust remains in place instead of being blown all over the employees. Employers benefit as well when employees are more comfortable while working, because it tends to coincide directly with an increase in productivity.

It’s not just employees that are happy with Commercial ceiling fans though. Use of these fans means improved temperature conditions for employees and reduced energy costs for building owners. HVLS fans require a much smaller motor than high-speed fans even though they are larger in size, and this ensures a more efficient use of energy. Companies which rely on a lot of heavy duty equipment will be pleased to learn that the increased airflow which is created by this type of system has the tendency to make equipment run more efficiently for longer periods of time.

Because of the numerous benefits provided by high-volume low-speed fans to both employees and employers alike, it is not hard to understand why they have become essential to many companies. Clearly, this is a worthwhile investment to make for any company located in a large open-air building, and the savings provided are sure to add up quickly. For any company, these fans can help.

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How Your Business Can Benefit From a High-Volume Low-Speed Fan

Everyone is familiar with fans, and in fact you probably own one as well, but you may not be aware of the recent advancements available for commercial users. A relatively new, but very effective, method of cooling large warehouse type environments is the utilization of high-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans. The first thing you will notice about this type of fan is that they are much bigger than any you have probably seen before, with the smallest available usually coming in at 8 feet tall. Unlike fans that you might own in your home, the blades on these commercial cooling fans move much more slowly, and yet move much more air.  With pressure to reduce costs at an all time high for many business owners, they turn to these fans as way to reduce their energy consumption.

Simply stated, HVLS fans provide a low cost way to increase energy efficiency. You can get the most utility out of your new fan by purchasing one that mounts directly to the ceiling. HVLS fans that have been mounted on the ceiling work by circulating the air of the room in such a manner that a draft is created. The end result of this is that thermostats can be set at a higher temperature than usual, while still maintaining the same overall comfort level of the air. An additional benefit of these slow moving fans is that they will not produce the typical kick up of debris that traditional high-speed fans cause.

If you live in a climate that experiences a long winter, be advised that HVLS fans do not lose their utility during the colder months, however. During the winter months when heaters are in use, these fans can be turned on in reverse, effectively moving warm air hiding near the ceiling down by the workers on the floor.

Even better than a lower energy bill is no energy bill at all, which is something that could happen to you with the use of new models of solar powered high-volume low-speed fans. It is hard to tell where this development in technology will lead to, but so far, this new option of HVLC fans has had success rates comparable to traditional models. With the use of these solar panel and a HVLS industrial fan it is possible that rooms once requiring an expensive generator to ensure temperature remained cold in a power outage can instead rely on stored up, free, energy from the sun.

An HVLS fan is a viable cost cutting measure for any facilities currently wasting large amounts of energy through inefficient use of their air conditioners. If you have decided to finally make the switch to an HVLS fan you should have no trouble locating a supplier that can fit your specific needs.

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Use HVLS Fans to Regulate a Warehouse’s Temperature

Warehouses are generally massive, drafty structures where people frequently enter and leave, allowing hot or cold air from outside into the building. The temperature inside the warehouse can have a noticeable impact on the efficiency and work ethic of the building’s employees. If the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold, employees are more likely to focus on their work instead of the fact that they are either freezing or sweltering. Workers who are worried about being too warm or too cold are unlikely to give their jobs they attention they should.

It is not a paltry expense to implement central heating and cooling systems in a structure the size of a warehouse, especially when you consider the amount of empty space that is, essentially, wasting energy. Many companies are turning to HVLS big industrial ceiling fans to keep their warehouses comfortable. Despite the fact that ceiling fans are often overlooked initially, they are an extremely useful choice to regulate temperatures. People frequently use ceiling fans to reduce energy costs in their own homes, and the same principle applies to warehouses.

No matter what season it is, HVLS fans are able to keep the temperature inside your warehouse at a comfortable level. These industrial fans force air down, instead of out. This feature eliminates excessive amounts of warm or cool air escaping to uninhabited corners of the warehouse. Therefore, in hot summer weather, your warehouse workers will experience a cool breeze almost non-stop. The cool air moving constantly will help to keep workers’ bodies from sweating, thus helping them to feel comfortable.

HVLS fans are just as useful in the winter. One of the major problems of a central heating system in a warehouse is that heat rises. Because of this, the majority of the warm air that is produced by a central heating system rises to the ceiling, leaving your employees on the floor freezing. Using large warehouse fans in the winter, though, will force all of the trapped warmth on the ceiling to flow to the floor. Even on frigid days, this means that your workers will be warm and comfortable in the warehouse. Furthermore, you will no longer be wasting money on a central heating system that primarily warms the building’s ceiling.

HVLS fans can be priced rather high if you purchase them new, so it is not unusual for business owners to consider used options. This can be a successful way to save money, but only if you purchase the fans from a reliable source. If you choose to purchase second-hand HVLS fans from a seller you are unfamiliar with or who does not have proper licensure, you may find that the fans have major mechanical problems. Because HVLS fans will save you vast amounts of money in energy costs once they are installed, it is often worth the premium to purchase new fans.

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