How to maximize airflow in your workplace

How to maximize airflow in your workplace

  • Sarah Villane

Airflow control is a critical factor in facility and warehouse thermal comfort. The perfect temperature can almost seem impossible with some employees who are always hot and others who are always cold.

ASHRAE Standard 55 estimates that for thermal comfort, the indoor temperature could range from between approximately 67 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They say there are six factors that play into achieving thermal comfort:

  • Metabolic rate: The energy or activity level generated by the body
  • Clothing insulation: The level of insulation provided through a person’s clothing
  • Air temperature: The temperature of the air surrounding the person
  • Radiant temperature: The weighted average of all the temperatures from surfaces surrounding a person
  • Airspeed: Rate of air movement given distance over time
  • Humidity: Moisture content in the air

Design an ideal workplace by utilizing an airflow control system and you’ll see employee satisfaction and workplace dynamics improve. The simple solution is to invest in industrial ceiling fans that can create year-round comfort.

Best airflow method for cooling

HVLS fans move large amounts of air down at a low speed. When the air column hits the floor, it moves the air outward in a 360-degree direction throughout the workspace. The wind created by the industrial ceiling fan feels like a natural breeze on the skin, making it feel like it’s 10 to 12 degrees cooler. By utilizing this wind chill effect, one HVLS fan can replace as many as 10 to 20- floor fans or twelve 48-inch barrel fans.

At Musler Motorsports in Ashland City, Tenn., the brutal summers forced the facility to start their workday early in the morning and close in the afternoon due to the heat. To combat the heat inside of his shop, Hal purchased some four-foot residential fans which failed to push air throughout the entire 6,000 square-foot facility. Disappointed with the results, Hal researched industrial ceiling fans to best help with their airflow control.

They installed two 14-foot Hunter XP industrial ceiling fans and immediately noticed a difference in the shop. “The fan is centered over the primary work area, but you can feel the cool air circulating in the far corners of the shop,” said Owner and Driver Hal Musler.

Industrial fans for airflow heating

In the winter, buildings with high ceilings often experience significant heat stratification where warmer air rises to the ceiling while cooler air remains at floor level. Therefore, the heating system will work to reach the desired temperature at the occupant level. While it’s doing that, it’s overheating the ceiling.

This phenomenon – known as air stratification - forces a facility’s heaters to work two to three times harder to keep employees and building occupants adequately warm while most of the heat continues to be trapped above their heads. It’s been estimated that air temperature can increase almost two degrees Fahrenheit per foot in ceiling height––meaning if it’s 65 degrees on the floor, it could be 85-90 degrees at the roofline.

HVLS fans, however, can essentially stir the pot, circulating air so that warm air trapped at ceiling level is cycled down to the floor. This allows HVAC systems to work more efficiently and effectively, potentially saving up to 30 percent on heating costs.

It’s a key factor in why the DeKalb Fire Station in Northern Illinois installed industrial ceiling fans at their station. During the cold winters with the garages doors constantly opening when they leave on calls, it made the facility cold and the heaters run constantly. They installed two Hunter XP industrial ceiling fans and within weeks they noticed their heaters are running less frequently, making it a more productive environment.

“It’s getting that warm air around, which for us is effective especially in the winter time because we want to make sure that our equipment is at the ready,” said Firefighter Paramedic Patrick Erikson said, “When we have to wash and rinse off the rigs, we want to be cranking that heat up with the fan on and blowing the hot air around so it makes that rig dry that much faster and they’re not freezing up in the environment.”

DeKalb Fire Station installs Hunter XP industrial ceiling fan for best airflow control system

An industrial ceiling fan is a facility upgrade that will bring year-round airflow control. It’s the best airflow method for cooling your facility in the warm months while also helping with thermal destratification in the winter to keep everyone warm. Let us help you choose the HVLS ceiling fan that’s right for your facility by visiting our website.

With so many options on HVLS fans, our free checklist makes it easy to evaluate all the options you need to consider before making the smart move of installing a HVLS fan in your facility.

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