Importance of Industrial Fans and HVLS Fans During Winter Months.
Industrial fans and commercial fans have become a common part of most industrial and commercial spaces. When summer temps make us uncomfortable, our first reaction is to turn on/up our industrial fans or install additional industrial fans. As we approach the colder Winter months, we need to remember industrial fans and commercial fans also do an excellent job keeping employees warm and saving money on energy bills.
Maintaining a comfortable indoor environment during the winter months comes down to five primary factors:
- Building Volume – The larger a building is, the more heat energy required to reach a comfortable temperature.
- Ceiling insulation – insulation in the ceiling slows heat loss through the roof.
- Wall insulation – slows the heat loss through exterior walls and helps prevent ingress of cold air from the outside.
- Openings – Doors, windows, vents and other openings create opportunities for ingress of colder outside air.
- Heating Source – Most common types of industrial heaters are gas fired, forced air heaters and gas fired radiant heaters.
How to Reduce Heating Costs
The cost of natural gas has increased by over 66% since 2020 and is expected to increase another 34% as we approach winter. This is forcing businesses to explore all options available for reducing winter energy costs. The most common methods for reducing winter heating costs are:
- Significantly lower the thermostat settings on heating equipment – This should reduce the total consumption of heating fuel, but this will come at the cost of colder inside temperatures and uncomfortable working conditions.
- Increase insulation in roof and exterior walls – This is a major project, that could take weeks or months to finish. Also, recouping the costs could take several winter seasons.
- Limit cold air ingress – Such a project will have varying levels of success (e.g. limiting fresh air ventilation, upgrading windows, doors and other openings). This will be a lengthy project that takes several weeks or months to complete; recouping costs may take several winter seasons.
- Upgrading inefficient heating equipment – Another expensive, lengthy project that may have varying levels of success.
Industrial Fans and HVLS Fans Can Immediately Reduce Heating Costs
An option sometimes overlooked is utilizing the circulation capabilities of industrial ceiling fans to redistribute heated air that collects in the ceiling. As heaters warm the air inside a building, the molecules of the heated air move faster and farther apart. This causes heated air to expand and become less dense than the cooler air around it. As a result, the heated air floats to the ceiling and remains there until it cools or transfers through the roof surfaces. An average industrial building will see 1F of temperature increase for each 1 ft. of ceiling height. Industrial fans will force warm air back to the floor level before it has a chance to cool. The continuous process of pushing warm air back to the floor is referred to as heat destratification. When the warmer air is maintained at the floor level, heaters are recirculating warmer air, and cycling off more frequently. The average industrial building owner can save up to 30%(or more) on winter energy bills by using industrial fans to destratify the space.
Keep in mind, each building is different and is subject to varying weather conditions from one winter season to the next. You should contact your industrial fan manufacturer and discuss your situation with them. Most industrial fan manufacturers have experts on staff that can help you identify the best options for your particular situation.