Little Known Benefits of HVLS Fans

HVLS Fans can be applied to the following industries:

Little Known Benefits of HVLS Fans:

Successful facility managers make smart decisions. They make them hourly and often in the face of big challenges. That’s why they like processes, systems, and products that they can count on. Reliability, cost-effectiveness, and utility are major deal breakers for them. However, sometimes it’s the little things that can add up to big savings.

High Volume, Low Speed (HVLS) fans are widely used solutions for facilities and warehouses around the world and are steadily growing in popularity. HVLS fans move more massive amounts of air, resulting in better air distribution with less noise and less energy consumption. To add insight into the benefits of HVLS fans, we spoke with warehouse cooling expert,  Jim Stahl, who identified 3 unique benefits of HVLS fans that are often unknown before installation.

1. Human Comfort

Much of what employees call “discomfort” is a perception of discomfort. But, it is still very real to those affected. Discomfort, heat, humidity, or cold is stressful. And, when people are stressed, the quality of their work declines.

Jim Stahl, our subject matter expert observes,

“At some point, if the employees don’t have something to alleviate the stress, accuracy drops off considerably. When people lose their focus, their productivity declines and the risk of accidents increases.”

The now outdated ventilation thinking, according to Jim is, that y ou stick a fan on one end of a building, you turn it on, and it pulls air in from a grill. This brings air from the outside into the ceiling area, and it may flush out some stale air. But, as Stahl points out,

“Nobody at floor level benefits from the air that can’t reach the ground level.”

HVLS fans distribute that incoming air, driving it quietly but forcefully to the floor where it jets to the walls before it rises to blend with the incoming air. HVLS fans not only move the air, but they also effectively de-stratify the air.

2. Energy Savings

For most facility managers, the cubic feet per minute per power watt (CFM/Watt)metric is an important benchmark. With strategically placed HVLS fans, fewer fans move unprecedented volumes of air at lower cost. Integrated with existing HVAC systems, they increase the effectiveness while reducing HVAC energy demands.

A single 24-foot diameter fan can run for eight hours at 31¢ per day. The aerodynamic blades even cool the fan motors to reduce temperature and stress.

Jim points to MacroAir’s decision to “always strive to reduce its carbon footprint in terms of developing product that reduces energy costs, minimizes cooling chemicals and refrigerants, and chooses materials that lower shipping costs.”

3. Risk Management

Moisture presents a risk to materials and employees. Even seemingly dry air contains water. Because water is heavier than air, it will settle. As Stahl points out,

“Moisture always migrates to the coldest point. If that point and temperature is at dew point, condensation will form on any exposed material.”

Using the example of a steel mill, Stahl explained how HVLS fans reduced the humidity to keep the air “thermally equalized” to prevent degradation of the stored metals.

Without this thermal equalization, condensation also coats concrete slab floors. When the conditions are “right”, employees will slip and fall and forklifts will fishtail and crash. With the HVLS fans in place, the risk-inducing humidity does not disappear so much as disperse.

The fans have the power to restructure the air so that it evaporates moisture and disperses it within the volume of the space. Describing the physics of it, Jim Stahl notes that,

“HVLS fans keep the building thermally equalized top to bottom.”

HVLS fans don’t waste energy trying to dry things or reduce humidity; they make humidity within that space remain equally dispersed opposed to migrating down onto the things that might be at dew point.

How it works: