High Volume Low Speed fans (HVLS fans) are great options for large indoor spaces like warehouses, airport hangers, distribution centers, malls, barns, and just about any industrial or commercial location.
During the summer, an HVLS fan will help keep your industrial or commercial locations cooler by providing a consistent flow of air, all while minimizing the power consumption and related cost associated with air conditioning. By contrast, an HVLS fan can also reduce your heating bills during the winter by destratifying and redistributing the warm air that typically collects near the ceilings.
However, even if you’ve already decided to purchase an HVLS fan for your property or business, there are still many important aspects to consider prior to installation. For example, you might wonder exactly how many fans are necessary for your space, how big the fans should be, or where they should be placed.
You might also ask yourself how many blades are ideal for your purposes, or be curious about how much noise the fan will make when in use. When installing the fan, what about angled ceilings? What type of power supply is necessary? What material is best for the blades?
By consulting with an experienced professional that knows the HVLS business inside-out, you’ll not only find the answers to your questions and be able to properly ventilate your space, you’ll also help your business save energy, cut costs, and do so in an environmentally friendly way!
Aspects to Consider
To know exactly what type of HVLS ceiling fan is right for your situation, an expert will consider a number of factors and recommend a product (and an installation plan) that works best for you based on their consideration of the following:
Room Size and Room Use
Regular ceiling fans, like the ones you would see in residential spaces, are not one-size-fits-all. For the best performance, you need one that fits the room.
Finding a fan appropriate for a residential space requires a knowledge of the square footage of the room, the height of the ceilings (and thus the volume of air in the room) as well as factors like the use of the room and the placement of furniture, etc. A garage, a bedroom and a large dining room will all have different requirements.
The same is true for HVLS fans. Deciding on the right model will depend on:
- The size of the industrial or commercial space
- The ceiling height
- The use of the room
- The placement of equipment
- The normal flow of goods and people
- The indoor climate (e.g. dry, wet, humid, etc)
The answers will affect the ideal choice of product as well as location of the fan (or fans).
HVLS Fan Size
The diameter of a fan, the number of blades it has, the angle of those blades, and the speed at which it rotates will all contribute to its overall effectiveness. A fan’s effectiveness is directly related to the volume of air that it can displace per unit of time.
Because the volume of air that a ceiling fan can move per minute is the most common way of measuring how well a fan can ventilate, cool or warm a given industrial or commercial space, it informs the choice of HVLS fan that should be installed, including factors such the number of blades, the length of those blades, the angle, and the ideal speed at which the fan turns.
The volume of air moved per minute is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). By comparing the CFM to the total volume of air in the room, you’ll be able to easily calculate how long it will take to cycle all the air (ventilate) a room.
For example, if a room is 40 feet long by 50 feet wide and the ceiling is 20 feet high, the volume of the room would be 40 x 50 x 20 = 4,000 cubic feet. If a fan has a CFM of 1,000, then it would take four minutes to cycle all the air. The higher the CFM rating on your fan, the more air you fan will move.
Because the key factors affecting a fan’s CFM are its blade size, blade angle, and rotation speed, only an expert will be able to use their understanding of the size and layout of your industrial or commercial space to adjust their product recommendation accordingly. They know, for example, that an HVLS fan that is too small for the room in which it has to work will require the motor to work twice as hard, resulting in extra maintenance – something to avoid if at all possible.
Blade Material and Motor
In dry, residential environments without too much exposure to humidity and moisture, ceiling fan blades made of wood or medium density fibreboard are acceptable.
However, in different environments such as wet, humid or outdoor spaces, you’ll need tougher products specifically designed to battle the elements. This is doubly true of HVLS fans that are expected to face heavy, near continual use in what are sometimes difficult conditions.
As a result, the ceiling fan blades that work best in industrial or commercial environments are usually made of resilient metals or a combination of anti-corrosion metal and high-grade plastic. When making your choice during the purchase of an HVLS fan, it’s always best to trust a vendor that shares all the specs, features and benefits clearly on their website.
As for the motor, it remains the heart of your fan, and is the single most important factor with respect to efficiency and proper airflow. Ideally, what you want is a maintenance-free motor, near-silent operation, and a robust structure for a long life, as well as plenty of safety features and simple electrical components that allow the product to work in any environment, and at any temperature.
The decision of where to set up your HVLS fan, how many to purchase, how they should be installed, and what kind of power requirements they will need will always be unique to the room in which they are placed. One easy-to-remember rule of thumb is that larger fan blades mean that the fan will cover more area, and the closer to the fan you are, the cooler you will feel.
That’s why it is always recommended to consult with an expert during the research stage, and definitely before you purchase one. Sharing information about your building, the local environment and the needs of its residents will help you receive the best possible advice.