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HVLS Fans: Everything You Need to Know

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Facilities that have wide spaces and high ceilings may have difficulty with air circulation and temperature control. For facilities where moisture buildup interferes with processes or endangers products or livestock, continuously circulating air prevents bacteria and other contaminants from building up on surfaces. Good airflow also helps dry up moisture, even when in unheated spaces.

High volumes of people, equipment, or animals in the location will limit airflow, making it difficult for regular HVAC systems to maintain steady temperatures. While standard floor fans may offer temporary relief at short distances, it will take many fans to adequately increase airflow within the room.

To remedy these issues, high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans provide air circulation and temperature control. Indventech distributes and integrates large, mechanical HVLS ceiling fans used in industrial, commercial, and agricultural facilities, as well as temporary structures. Our HVLS fans offer a wide range of air movement capabilities depending on the facility’s size and operational conditions. 

The experts at Indventech have compiled this helpful guide to provide information about HVLS fans and help readers make informed purchasing decisions.

View Our Catalog of HVLS Fans & Accessories

What is an HVLS Fan?

High-volume, low speed fans come in very large sizes, from seven feet up to 24 feet, with operating speeds ranging from 61-220 rpm. These fans typically come in multiple horsepower (hp) options, including 5/8 hp, 3/4 hp, or 1 hp. Though large in size, HVLS fans are made from lightweight materials and can be conveniently installed permanently or temporarily depending on the application needs. While HVLS fans are typically ceiling-mounted, Indventech can also provide wall-mounted or standalone complimentary fan integrations, depending on the available space and other application-specific considerations.

How Do HVLS Fans Work?

Due to the larger fan size, HVLS fans don’t require high speeds to move air. The slower, steadier speed and longer fan props push large volumes of air from the ceiling and down to the floor. The air moves horizontally until reaching a column or wall, which then projects airflow upward and sideways. When the air rises again, it is pushed down again by the HVLS fan, creating continuous airflow through the space.

This process is called evaporative cooling, which is the principle that explains why a person feels cooler in a breeze. The fan does not actually change the physical temperature of the air flowing down, but will naturally evaporate moisture generated by processes, from livestock, humid weather, or other sources. Humidity makes air feel warmer, so removing it from the air ultimately creates a more comfortable environment. 

Commercial HVLS fans also work to evenly distribute warm air during the winter. When heating a building, there will be different temperature zones within a space localized near heating ducts and up near ceilings. Warm air rises while cold air falls, making it cooler near the floor. An HVLS fan pushes the warm rising air back down and mixes it with the cooler air to create more evenly distributed temperature across the facility.

What Solutions Can HVLS Fans Provide?

HVLS fans are ideal for operations that have equipment or obstacles that may impede proper airflow from a wall or floor fan. Since the fans are typically positioned along the ceiling, the air column circumvents equipment to reach people or livestock. HVLS fans facilitate increased comfort by evenly distributing temperatures in wintertime and making personnel feel cool in the summer without constantly adjusting HVAC equipment.

An HVLS fan also increases energy efficiency, since the fan has larger props to move more air without drawing more power to increase speed. The low-horsepower nature of HVLS fans ensures that a building won’t need to draw excess energy to power the equipment while still creating good airflow.

Additionally, HVLS fans promote better health and wellness. Controlling humidity and moisture can prevent bacteria buildup on wet surfaces. The constant air circulation helps to avoid condensation and dry up moisture, preventing unexpected slick floors. An HVLS fan may also be used to bring in fresh air into spaces that contain air pollutants, or to draw the pollutants from the space and out of the building.

Selection Criteria When Choosing an HVLS Fan

Determining the right size and power for your commercial HVLS ceiling fan requires analyzing several building factors. To invest in the right HVLS fan for your facility, use the following criteria:

  • Product design. HVLS fans come with various processors, motors, and controllers, depending on the manufacturer and model. They may have direct drive motors, on-board processors, variable frequency drives (VFDs), and control interfaces. To determine which features you need on your fan, consider how you would like the fan to integrate into your broader HVAC system.
  • Size and number of fans. The size and number of fans will have an impact on how well airflow is distributed in your space. For reference, Indventech offers fans in sizes ranging from 7-24 feet, with coverage radii of 17-75 feet. 
  • Proper placement. Consider the placement of the fans when dealing with equipment that could obstruct airflow. Ensure that obstructions will not fully block the column of air or redirect it to undesirable places. 

Indventech is always available to discuss your HVLS fan needs or to offer advice on other air movement solutions, such as full-service ventilation and dust management.

HVLS Fans FAQs

Can HVLS fans reduce moisture from under the ceiling?

Yes. An HVLS fan can remove moisture by controlling the humidity in the air. By circulating and redistributing the air, the air doesn’t become saturated by moisture. The HVLS fan may also prevent unwanted temperature differentials that can cause humidity.

How do I prevent light strobing?

Light strobing happens when light dims and brightens with the movement of the fan blades when shining through the fan’s pathway. This effect may cause dizziness or disorient some people. To prevent this issue, increase vertical distance or maximize horizontal separation between the fan blades and the light source. Try to minimize light and fan overlap when possible.

HVLS Fans From Indventech

At Indventech, we offer fans in various sizes, operating speeds, and horsepower levels to suit a broad array of commercial, industrial, and agricultural use cases. If you are looking for an HVLS fan, request a quote today to get started on the next air movement solution.