Maximizing Warehouse Efficiency: Benefits of High Volume Low Speed Fans

It’s not uncommon for a facility to battle undesirable climates. Due to both indoor and outdoor conditions, work environments can quickly become uncomfortable for employees and potentially hazardous to inventory and equipment. When facing a facility maintenance issue of this sort, a high-volume low-speed fan can be the ultimate solution.

Here’s what a high volume low speed  fan can do for you:

They warm you up…

During the coldest times of the year, a building with tall ceilings can feel pretty chilly. If a building is poorly insulated, the rising heat will dissipate into the air outside, with no benefit to the people or products indoors. Not only does this result in uncomfortably cold employees and poorly performing equipment on the ground level, but it’s also wasted money that’s passing through the facility ceiling.

The solution to this problem is to not allow that heat to leave the facility. Warm air that makes its way to the top of a building needs to be pushed back down to where it’s most helpful. An HVLS fan performs this job easily.

Slow-moving blades destratify air composed of hot and cold pockets, giving the entire space a comfortable, consistent climate, Plant Engineering pointed out. Facilities that frequently welcome in shoppers, such as an auto dealership, need to keep their space attractive to the average consumer. If it’s unreasonably cold in certain areas of the car showroom, for example, the customer likely will be more focused on going somewhere to warm up rather than the latest car models.

… And cool you down

Fans don’t cool the air. A 78 degree room will be 78 degrees with or without a fan. However, Facility Executive pointed out that the room with the fan will feel closer to a comfortable 70 degrees. This is because the circulating air encourages evaporation, which can make people’s bodies feel around 8 degrees cooler.

When it’s sweltering outside, a person’s first reaction might be to crank up the speed on a fan. But this usually is for naught. Slow-moving air is actually better at keeping a space cool compared to air moving at high velocities, which is why the “low speed” component of HVLS fans is key. Additionally, cooling capabilities usually cap out after around five miles per hour, Plant Engineering reported.

One industry in which heat control is especially critical is commercial farming. Livestock is naturally warm to begin with, and when they’re resting or eating under shelters, it’s easy for the temperature to creep up. Hot cows aren’t happy cows, to say the least, and often struggle to produce milk when they’re uncomfortable. An HVLS fan can help cool down livestock to increase comfort as well as profit.

They control moisture…

Moisture control is a critical component to facility asset management. Rain during the fall or spring is irritating to the average consumer, but to someone tasked with keeping a large warehouse of supplies and equipment safe and dry, precipitation is more than just an annoyance.

Excess moisture is a disruption that has the potential to slow production, at best, and ruin inventory and machinery at worst. Damp environments are also a breeding ground for bacteria, which presents a health risk that can become expensive to remedy. Food production facilities in particular need to keep a watchful eye on humidity levels. A bacterial outbreak can spoil a batch, slow down the production and delivery process and even cause strife between the company and its consumers.

According to Food Manufacturing, there are two essentials needed to control humidity:

  • A barrier surrounding the space.
  • A mechanism to move and cool air.

HVLS fans are perfect for this task, as they encourage evaporation and circulate air efficiently. Additionally, humidity and temperature are closely related. Since HVLS fans are effective in keeping a space cool, they are also effective in keeping it dry.

… And energy costs

A facility manager’s top priority is to keep everything running smoothly and ensuring the environment is right for the supplies, equipment, and employees. Closely following this objective is keeping operating costs at a minimum without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

A facility manager’s initial reaction, when tasked with cooling down a space, might be to invest in a robust heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. One of the biggest pitfalls to this investment is the cost. It’s expensive to heat or cool a large space.

“Energy use can be reduced about 1 percent for every vertical foot with an HVLS fan.”

According to Touchstone Energy’s Business Energy Advisor, the average warehouse spends about 70 cents per square foot on energy costs. That means that a 25,000 square foot warehouse will spend about $17,500 per year, usually divided evenly between electricity and natural gas.

Almost 90 percent of natural gas usage is dedicated to space heating. Meanwhile, just shy of one-fifth of electricity usage goes toward cooling or space heating.

HVLS fans can reduce this spend significantly.

Facility Executive pointed out that, by destratifying the air during the colder months of the year, energy use can be reduced about 1 percent for every vertical foot in a space, up to 30 feet, with an HVLS fan. This provides the potential for as much as 30 percent energy savings.

When an HVLS fan and HVAC system are paired, the fan cooling and circulating the air can reduce the strain on the HVAC system, helping it run more efficiently and last longer.

As wonderful and extensive as the benefits of investing in an HVLS fan are, they are of little use if they’re running inefficiently or suddenly break down. Because of this, it’s critical they are inspected and tuned up by experts on a regular basis.

Additionally, in the event that  HVLS fans fail, it’s important to reactivate uptime as quickly as possible. Often, this is the key component to a building’s climate and humidity control. The best way to get your HVLS fan repaired and back to churning air is to reach out to an expert who can identify and remedy the issue promptly. Reach out to Miner to address maintenance issues when they occur.