What is an HVLS Fan?

By July 2, 2020 January 17th, 2024 No Comments
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When most people think of a fan, they think of cooling down.

This is likely because the types of fans most people have at home are designed to generate a cool breeze. The type of small oscillating fans most people most people are familiar with usually make their first appearance during the summer, taken out of the closet to lower the indoor temperature on a hot day.

However, HVLS fans they are not.

In fact, small, indoor oscillating fans are the opposite. They are considered low volume, high speed fans. The term “HVLS” stands for high-volume, low-speed. This term is almost exclusively used when describing large fans with a diameter of at least seven feet.

This variety of fan is almost always installed in large indoor spaces with high ceilings, and is used very often in industrial, commercial, or agricultural spaces. HVLS fans are incredibly versatile, environmentally friendly, and can save you money by lowering operating expenses. HVLS Fans can even contribute to increased worker productivity!

If you’re the owner of a just such a space (industrial, commercial or agricultural) and you want to know more about HVLS fans, read on below to learn about how they can benefit your business.

Advantage 1:  Save Money on Heating

HVLS fans are great at creating energy savings during the winter, but not simply because they are so good at circulating large volumes of indoor air. HVLS fans help because they are excellent ways of destratifying the air.

In large buildings – especially ones with high ceilings, air naturally becomes stratified. That is, the warmer air tends to float up towards the ceiling. To heat the space near the ground (where most people, animals or equipment are usually located) heaters have to work overtime, which costs money.

Using an HVLS fan draws an incredible amount of warm air down from the ceiling, helping to recirculate it all over the building, normalizing the temperature, and taking the onus off of your HVAC system and your pocketbook. Just one HVLS fan can contribute to significant energy cost savings during the winter months, or in naturally colder climates.

Advantage 2: Save Money on Cooling

At first it may seem counter-intuitive, but just because HVLS fans are great at keeping a building warm doesn’t mean that they are not also great at cooling a building down! How is that? The key to understanding this has to do with physics.

The large columns of air generated by industrial fans travel much further than the more turbulent, fast-moving air generated by smaller fans because of processes related to air friction and fluid dynamics. The reason high-velocity air dissipates so quickly is due to the friction between the stationary air at the edge of the moving air column created by the fan. That is the key to the HVLS fan: the low speed.

Larger, slower-moving columns of air experience so much less friction that energy savings become apparent almost immediately. In fact, the power required to drive a fan increases at the cube of the rate of air moving through the fan. If you’re not a mathematician, this means that a fan moving air at 12 kilometres per hour requires 64 times more energy than a fan moving air at 3 kilometres per hour.

From this perspective, it is obvious that any business with a large enough indoor space can experience an economic benefit during the summer by using HVLS fans. That said, it is worth noting that the energy savings won’t necessarily manifest themselves in rooms below a certain size. For that reason, it’s always best to consult with an expert to verify that an HVLS fan is right for your business prior to installation.

The point is, it already costs an arm and a leg to air condition indoor areas, so why spend more when you don’t have to? Using an HVLS fan will help you distribute that cooler air to every part of the facility, from the ceiling to the floor.

Advantage 3: Help the Environment

We’ve shown above that there are significant savings available during both the summer and winter through the use of HVLS fans. However, particularly in the context of climate change, businesses are no longer judged by their bottom line alone. They are also judged by their ability to act as environmental stewards.

Being a successful business also means being a responsible business. Ownership means you are not only responsible to your customers, your shareholders, your employees or your suppliers, but to the planet as well. By reducing the amount of energy you use, you limit the amount of fossil fuels burnt to generate that energy.

It may seem like a small step to take, but it is an important one. In the aggregate, installing an industrial ceiling fan in your facility can go a long way to making the world a better place.

Advantage 4: Increase Productivity

A happy employee is a productive employee, so it pays to keep your facility at an ideal temperature. According to a 2004 study from Cornell University that measured the relationship between temperature and productivity, there is a sweet spot that exists. It showed that output and efficiency drop when employees are either too hot or too cold.

Other studies have shown that for every degree increase in temperature over 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), there is an associated drop in productivity of up to 2%. The effect is more pronounced in agricultural settings, where an animal’s comfort can make a huge difference in their output.

However, industrial ceiling fans don’t just keep warehouse workers or barnyard animals cool and energized, they also ensure that clients visiting your facility, customers browsing your aisles, and the equipment and goods you store on your shelves remain at an ideal temperature.

Industrial fans can help contribute to customers browsing longer, goods staying fresher, and machinery lasting longer and performing better. In some cases, business owners have felt that there is little use of the HVAC system at all during certain parts of the year, as the power of an HVLS ceiling fan is enough to keep everyone comfortable and focused on their tasks.

Take the Next Step

If you own or lease a large, indoor commercial, industrial or agricultural space, you should absolutely be thinking about purchasing and installing an HVLS fan. And if you’ve decided that you want one, then it’s always best to comparison shop in order to find the highest quality industrial fans at the best price.

At Refresh Fans, our team of innovative craftsmen and technicians will help you choose and install the right fan for your environment, lowering your overall costs, increasing the overall comfort levels of the people in your building, up your business’ productivity and help protect the environment.

Want to learn more about what might be the best choice for your building? Contact us anytime, or drop us a line toll free at (800) 450 2388. At Refresh Fans, we’ll help you solve your problems with simple and effective solutions. Call us today!