In modern warehouses, establishing optimal working conditions is a key responsibility of every business owner, entrepreneur, or facility manager. In fact, several academic research indicates that unfavorable working conditions can negatively impact the efficiency of your workforce and consequently affect your company’s bottom line.
Moreover, warehouses are often used to store expensive inventories or raw materials, which can be temperature-sensitive or fragile in nature and may get damaged if appropriate storage guidelines are not observed. Maintaining a comfortable and conducive temperature is a key step in the process of creating an optimal workplace environment.
However, conventional fans, air conditioners, and HVAC systems are not well suited to the task of catering to the demands of a warehouse facility as these appliances are not designed with the intention of servicing vast, expansive spaces. Warehouses also have a greater floor-to-ceiling distance than conventional residential spaces, making it difficult to ventilate and effectively regulate these facilities with conventional ceiling or table fans.
Moreover, in most cases, simply equipping your warehouse facility with traditional exhaust fans, intake fans, roof-mounted fans, or wall-mounted fans may not be enough to efficiently ventilate and evenly regulate the internal temperature and environment of your warehousing facility.
Therefore to ensure the safety of the products and materials in your inventory as well as the well-being of your employees, it is advisable that you install industrial-grade, heavy-duty fans. Industrial fans refer to a specific kind of fans that are specially designed to cater to the air circulation and ventilation requirements of factories, warehouses, manufacturing units, and other commercial facilities which have vast open spaces.
What types of fans are suitable for warehouses?
In today’s market, two distinct types of industry-grade warehouse fans can be found: centrifugal fans and axial fans. Although these fans are designed to serve the same purpose, they function on drastically different principles and thus also possess their respective merits and demerits.
The most common type of centrifugal fans available on the market today is called the ‘blowers,’ which operate on the principle of centrifugal force. As the name suggests, blower fans rely on blasting airstreams at a high frequency and velocity, at right angles, to the movement of their fan blades.
Axial fans are the other type of industrial fans widely available today. In these fans, the sizable fan blades pull in high volumes of air and place them parallel to the fan’s central axis. The air is then segmented into voluminous air columns that are pushed through at a steady pace to create a continuous flow of fresh air.
Even though both centrifugal and axial fans are industry-grade fan types, there is a clear downside to installing blower or centrifugal industrial fans in your warehouse facility; noise. Centrifugal fans rely on ‘impellers’ to rapidly push through or ‘blow’ air into a space, and this process is generally noisy, which may impact the concentration and productivity levels of your employees.
Many axial fans are equipped with powerful fan blades and motors, which introduce a considerable amount of air into your warehouse’s indoor environment almost silently due to their lower rotational speed.
As established earlier, warehouses or industrial units require robust and reliable fans that can function even in demanding industrial settings. An ideal industrial fan can efficiently service a large area, swiftly transport high volumes of air as well as remain functional for long time periods. The solution? HVLS fans.
What are HVLS fans?
HVLS fans can be regarded as the ideal type of axial ceiling fans for warehouse or industrial facilities as these fans are equipped with long fan-blades and powerful motors and are consequently capable of moving higher volumes of air in comparison to conventional fans. In addition to adeptly servicing a larger space, these fans are also more affordable and energy-efficient than conventional ceiling or pedestal fans.
How and why HVLS fans are essential for your warehouse
There are several distinct benefits of installing HVLS fans in your warehouse, which range from improving your company’s bottom line to boosting your employees’ morale and performance. Some of them are:
- Efficient ventilation & temperature control: Conventional ceiling fans have small fan blades and rely on rapidly introducing air streams in shorter ‘bursts.’ This means that these fans can quickly cool down the areas near their sites of installation but fare poorly when it comes to effectively ventilating vaster regions.
HVLS fans, on the other hand, possess large fan blades that can push through a significant amount of fresh air with each rotation and add adequate momentum to the air streams so that they get evenly dispersed throughout a large space. These fans function as a great tool to regulate temperature, too, as an HVLS fan can bring down the effective temperature of a space by 15°F.
- Reduces moisture & humidity: Humid environments encourage the growth and proliferation of spores, fungi, and bacteria which can adversely impact the life and quality of your products. HVLS fans can protect or even enhance the overall life of your raw materials or products by reducing temperature differentials and the general moisture level in your facility.
Temperature differentials can essentially result in the creation of regions of high humidity and low humidity in your warehouse facility, which may damage your inventory if your business operates in the field of perishable products. HVLS fans maintain a steady inflow of fresh air, preventing or minimizing the chances of your facility’s indoor air getting stratified into separate layers based on temperature, consequently reducing the role humidity can play in damaging your inventory or raw materials.
- Quality of Indoor Air: If your warehouse houses potentially hazardous substances or if heavy machinery is employed to move goods around in your warehouse, then certain harmful chemical emissions may be omnipresent in your warehouse’s indoor air. Even though these emissions generally remain in the air only in trace amounts, it is advisable to get rid of them regularly to safeguard the well-being of your employees.
Prevention is indeed better than cure, and installing HVLS fans ensures that air streams containing hazardous emissions do not remain within your warehouse facility for too long as they are constantly and consistently replaced by cleaner, fresher air. Moreover, HVLS fans can work in conjunction with your HVAC and air purifying systems to ensure that the overall quality of air within your warehouse is at a good level.
- Long-term Affordability: HVLS fans have longer fan blades (8-24 ft in diameter) which permit them to effectively replace several ceiling, wall-mounted, or pedestal fans. In fact, figures suggest that one large HVLS fan can adequately replace up to 28 ceiling or floor fans. Even though the initial cost of installing a HVLS fan is steep in comparison to the cost of installing ceiling fans, the investment pays off in the long run as HVLS fans are energy efficient and require less maintenance than conventional fans.
- Enhanced energy efficiency: Installing HVLS fans can significantly reduce your power bills due to these fans’ exceptional energy efficiency. Several statistics suggest that HVLS fans consume nearly 30-70% less power than conventional fans.
Additionally, HVLS fans can also play a key role in decreasing the overall load on the rest of your ventilation and air conditioning system as these fans reduce the overall effective temperature of your facility’s indoor environment, thereby easing the pressure on your HVAC system to regulate temperature. Consequently, HVLS fans also end up raising the overall energy efficiency of your entire ventilation and air conditioning setup.
- Employees’ health & productivity: The well-being and satisfaction of employees have become a key objective for most business owners today, as happy and content employees are irrefutable assets for the company. The indoor atmosphere of a warehouse is frequently drastically different from that of a conventional office since it is particularly challenging to successfully air-condition a warehouse facility. Statistics suggest that extreme temperatures can severely affect the mood as well as the performance of employees, with every one-degree rise in temperature above 80°F resulting in a four percent drop in productivity. On the other end of the spectrum, research suggests that in addition to reducing employees’ productivity, colder temperatures can also make them significantly more error-prone.
Fortunately, HVLS fans can use their specific attributes to regulate temperature all year round, making them a key asset in summer as well as winter. As established earlier, during summer, HVLS fans can effectively reduce the perceived temperature of your facility’s indoor environment to a considerable degree.
However, in winter, HVLS fans can play an equally critical role by reintroducing lighter, warmer airstreams trapped near your facility’s ceiling into your indoor environment and spreading them evenly throughout your warehouse space. As a result, HVLS fans also lighten the load on your heating system and lower your heating costs.
HVLS fans: an asset for every warehouse!
Therefore, installing industrial fans in your warehouse is an economically prudent and crucial investment that can pay significant dividends in short as well as long term. However, it is imperative to seek the services of renowned specialists, such as the team here at Refresh Fans, to conduct a thorough and customized warehouse analysis before installing your warehousing facility with HVLS industrial fans, as improper advice or guidance can set you back thousands of dollars.
Get in touch with us to receive effective guidance from our team of HVLS fan experts.