Are ceiling fans only useful for residential spaces? While bedrooms and living spaces are often the most common place to see fans in use, they are far from the only areas fans can contribute to cooling a space and making it more comfortable. In fact, oversized commercial and industrial fans continue to grow in popularity as more businesses recognize and embrace big ceiling fans as an alternative part of their overall HVAC strategy. Whether you’ve already installed or you’re considering moving in that direction in the future, it’s crucial to develop an understanding of how to take full advantage of the benefits they offer. How can you do that? Try these tips on for size.
Choose a Fan Sized Appropriately for the Space
Just as with air conditioning units, sizing plays an essential role in the effectiveness of a ceiling fan. Cooling with fans requires moving and mixing the air in a space, and the larger a room, the higher the volume of air there is to move. In warehouses and industrial settings with very high ceilings, large fans are a necessity — otherwise, they would not be able to circulate enough air for employees to feel a difference.
Big ceiling fans on the market today feature some incredible blade lengths, with massive fan diameters up to 24 feet available in some cases. While that’s certainly an outlier, it speaks to the importance in appropriate sizing. While EnergyStar suggestions provide some basic guidance on how large your fan (or fans) should be, a conversation with your contractor will yield more concrete answers. Correctly sized, your fans can drop the perceived temperature of a space by several degrees.
Aim for Efficient Fans Designed with Strong Materials
Not all fans are the same, and some are more valuable as investments for your business than others. Remember, while fans may not use as much power as an air conditioning unit might, there will still be variations in terms of efficiency between different motors. When you intend to run fans for long periods, an efficient motor is not an option — it’s a necessity. Look for the EnergyStar rating and don’t forget to ask questions about what kind of power consumption you can expect during normal operation.
To make the most of your investment, choose fans that use designs and engineering geared towards longevity. Aluminum is a lightweight and reliable choice used in many industrial sized fans today, and a solid choice for many businesses. Avoid cheap wooden blades that can warp and wear out, especially in more challenging work environments.
Balance Your HVAC System Settings with Fan Speeds
While fans can provide adequate comfort in completely unconditioned spaces, they perform their best when they can help to mix air already cooled by your HVAC systems. Consider that fans work by helping improve the efficiency of the human body’s natural cooling processes. Running your HVAC at your normal settings with fans can produce a space that feels too chilly — which is to your benefit.
Bump the thermostat up by several degrees and turn your fans up, and you’ll find the space remains perfectly comfortable. Meanwhile, your air conditioner runs less frequently, resulting in less wear and tear and a greatly reduced level of energy consumption. Finding the right balance can take some trial and error, but your chosen HVAC professional can help locate the correct settings to achieve equilibrium between the fans and the AC.
Turn Your Fans Off When Leaving Spaces
Fans don’t actively cool a space like an air conditioner does; in fact, the experience is largely subjective. People under fans will feel more comfortable, but they will feel just the same, whether the fans ran for two hours or two minutes before they entered the room. That’s because of the wind chill effect. With that in mind, remember to shut fans off when employees aren’t occupying and using spaces. This will help to maximize the savings generated from the balance you’ve created with the HVAC system while also preserving the life of the fan motor. Though they are often rated for many thousands of hours of continuous operation, spare the expense of the extra electricity and turn them off. Want to go high tech? Ask about putting your fans on timers, so no one needs to remember to hit the switch at the end of the day.
Explore What Big Ceiling Fans Can Do for Your Space
With the ability to recognize tangible savings by using ceiling fans, especially in spaces that are difficult to cool strictly with HVAC units, businesses can improve day to day operations without a substantial additional expenditure. Are you interested in further exploring how your space might benefit from the installation of one or more big ceiling fans? Connect with a qualified HVAC contractor in your area and explain your interest. Helpful answers — and better efficiency — are right around the corner.