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Posted by Stephanie on July 1, 2024

Owning or managing a warehouse requires providing your employees with a comfortable and safe working environment. Once the summer begins and the temperatures rise, working in a warehouse can be uncomfortable without proper ventilation. If the temperatures are too high and the work is too demanding, your personnel could be at risk of heat stroke, cramps, and exhaustion.

You can, however, mitigate these issues by introducing high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans to your warehouse. These are ceiling fans that are considerably larger than most other types. They provide a substantial improvement to energy efficiency, productivity, and employee comfort. In this guide, you’ll learn about the many benefits of HVLS fans when installed in warehouses and distribution centers.

warehouse fan

What are HVLS Fans?

An HVLS fan is a device that can move high volumes of air at low rotational speeds. For a ceiling fan to be classified as an HVLS device, it must be larger than seven feet in diameter. Depending on the size and type of HVLS fan, it can spin at anywhere from 71-200 rotations every minute. In comparison, smaller residential fans spin at around 230 rotations per minute.

To understand how powerful HVLS fans are, you should first know how the cubic feet per minute (CFM) measurement works. It shows the volume of air that’s moving through the fan each minute. A standard ceiling fan that runs at one horsepower can generate a CFM of 29,000. In comparison, HVLS fans can generate as much as 140,000 CFM with a one-horsepower motor.

While HVLS fans need to have a diameter of at least seven feet, they can be as large as 24 feet. These fans are able to cover an area in your warehouse that’s as large as 22,000 square feet. Temperatures in your facility should drop by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you’re considering HVLS fans warehouse, there are many applications that they can be used for. Businesses across a wide range of different industries use these fans to reduce energy costs, increase productivity, and improve safety. For example, auto manufacturing facilities install these fans to help with heat dissipation from the machinery. In warehouses, these fans are placed around the facilities to manage temperatures for the safety of the employees who are loading and unloading items.

Benefits of HVLS Fans in Warehouses

There are many reasons why warehouse managers and owners use HVLS fans, which include everything from better air circulation to lower energy consumption. For example, energy consumption can be reduced by around 20%-30% depending on the time of the year.

warehouse supply planning

Enhanced Air Circulation

These industrial fans are able to enhance air circulation by moving large volumes of air at very low speeds, which ensures that the facility receives a gentle breeze. Because of how large these fans are, they can circulate air in spacious industrial facilities, which helps to get rid of hot spots, prevent dust buildup, and lower humidity. Once you install these fans, you should notice an immediate improvement in your indoor air quality.

Temperature Regulation

These fans also assist with temperature regulation. By circulating air in larger spaces, an HVLS fan can distribute heat evenly. In this scenario, you may be able to maintain the temperature in your facility without needing to install an expensive heating and cooling system. They can even help you during the cold winter months because of destratification. When the air in your facility circulates in a conical shape, the heat will move down to your products and employees.

Energy Efficiency

HVLS warehouse fans are much more efficient than residential ceiling fans. Since they run at lower speeds, they don’t need to consume as much energy to circulate the air in your building. Even though more air is being circulated, your facility should benefit from ample cost savings on monthly energy bills. To maximize your savings, make sure you select fans that are equipped with controls. You can use these controls to make sure the fans only operate when they’re needed.

Employee Comfort and Productivity

Better indoor air circulation in your facility should bolster employee comfort and productivity. HVLS fans increase circulation and ventilation, which minimizes condensation and mold growth. When your employees are more comfortable, their productivity should be higher, which will help your business increase its revenues.

Warehouse Ventilation Solutions

There are many types of ventilation solutions that you can install in your facility. The various factors you should consider when searching for the right ventilation system include the following:

  • Climate conditions in your facility
  • Warehouse size
  • Current budget
  • Energy efficiency

When you’re looking to add ventilation to your warehouse, the methods at your disposal are:

  • Natural ventilation
  • Exhaust fans
  • Intake fans
  • Commercial floor fans
  • Air curtains
  • Blower fans
  • Dampers
  • Louvers
  • HVLS fans

While all forms of ventilation can help you create a comfortable and safe warehouse, HVLS fans are the superior choice. They circulate a large amount of air without using up much energy. Once these fans are installed, you can be more confident that your employees will remain healthy while completing their tasks.

Keep in mind that HVLS fans are designed to be easily integrated with existing ventilation systems. If you already have exhaust fans and intake units in your facility, you can integrate HVLS fans into the system without issue.

ventilation

Installation and Maintenance

Once you buy HVLS fans for your facility, you’ll need to install them. Depending on the size of the fans you purchase, this process can be complex and time-consuming. Your fan should come with installation instructions. First, make sure you choose the right location for the fan. You should already have airflow mapping available to help you pick the best spot.

HVLS fans should typically be placed around 20-30 feet above the floor. While you can install them outside of this height range, they won’t perform as well. Make sure the fan is never installed near a wall or similar obstruction that could inhibit the airflow. Before you install your HVLS fans, consider the following suggestions:

  • Run the fan’s control cable in a conduit to avoid signal noise with other lighting fixtures
  • The blades on the fan should have more than two feet of clearance in all directions
  • Don’t place the fan below a light source

Make sure the facility’s circuit breaker is shut off before the installation process takes place. The types of tools you’ll likely need for the installation are:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Allen wrench set
  • Ratcheting wrench set
  • Tape measure
  • Magnetic level
  • Variable-frequency drive hardware

To ensure your fans last for many years, you must regularly maintain them. For example, all fans should be dusted and cleaned at least once every month. You should also routinely inspect the mounting hardware to make sure none of the components have been damaged.

Environmental and Economic Impact

By significantly boosting air circulation, you’ll be able to reduce your facility’s energy consumption by as much as 30%, which means that your energy bills will be much lower. If your warehouse uses less energy, it should have a more positive environmental impact. If you can reduce your energy bills by up to 30% every month, you’ll benefit from a long-term cost reduction that can help you increase your company’s cash flow and gain higher profits.

Your facility may also have sustainability goals that it needs to reach. If you need to reduce your building’s energy consumption considerably over the next five years, HVLS fans can help you reach your goals. Pair these fans with natural ventilation for the best results.

distribution center

Choosing the Right HVLS Fan for Your Warehouse

When you’re selecting an HVLS fan for your warehouse, there are numerous factors to consider, which include the following:

  • Size of your warehouse
  • Specific cooling and ventilation needs
  • Fan blade design
  • Safety features

For example, larger facilities may benefit from multiple HVLS fans to ensure the entire floor space is properly regulated. If you store refrigerated products or produce in your warehouse, you might have specific cooling and ventilation needs that the HVLS fan must accommodate. There are many reputable HVLS fan brands on the market, the best of which are:

  • ETM
  • Rite-Hite
  • SkyBlade
  • Refresh
  • Heli
  • AirMax
  • G-X

Consider models like the Rite-Hite Revolution 25 or the AirMax Hunter ECO.

Conclusion

HVLS fans provide more air circulation for warehouses and other large industrial facilities. Since these fans run at a lower speed while also circulating more air, your facility will benefit from high energy savings and better temperature regulation. To keep your employees safe and healthy, it’s highly recommended that you invest in HVLS fans for better warehouse management.

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With over 32 years of experience in material handling, QMH is committed to providing end-to-end solutions for companies with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs. From permit approval management to full-service execution from the ground up, QMH delivers unique solutions providing distinct value in record time.