MRO Magazine

Not Just Hot Air: High-volume low-speed fans provide more than just cooling


August 30, 2012
By PEM Magazine

High-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans were designed to create a more comfortable environment, cooling work places down in the summer and keeping them warm in the winter.

Undoubtedly, this is what the HVLS fan was designed to do when first breaking into the material handling market in the mid-1990s. By creating a slow moving breeze at two to three miles per hour, facilities have reported a reduction in perceived temperature equivalent to seven to 11 degrees. But over the past decade, these fans have become more versatile than ever imagined.

The blades of these large fans produce a massive column of air that flows down toward the floor and outward in all directions before being drawn back vertically toward the blades to create what is known as a horizontal floor jet. But in addition to improving temperatures in buildings like warehouses, distribution centres, manufacturing plants and food/beverage facilities, these fans can help enhance energy efficiency, sustainability initiatives, air quality and employee safety.

Suitable for just about any environment, the next generation this fan is here.


Protect product integrity
Air circulation from the floor jets helps to keep not only food and produce fresh to prevent spoilage but also assists in protecting non-perishables by keeping them clean and dry. In addition, many users in refrigerated applications have also seen improvements in their indoor environment’s air quality from running their fans in reverse to destratify the air and create a more even distribution of oxygen.

Improve working conditions
Increasing air circulation and quality helps minimize floor condensation, keeping loading dock areas drier and ultimately safer for foot and fork lift traffic. Additionally, the improved air circulation created by the HVLS can enhance indoor air quality in dry storage and other distribution applications by dispersing the harmful fumes produced by the trucks and forks lifts at the dock door during loading and unloading.

Reduce energy consumption
HVLS fans are an excellent addition to any overworked HVAC system. They can help to regulate a facility’s temperature year-round from floor to ceiling, permitting an increase or decrease in thermostat temperature setting between three and five degrees without realizing any negative temperature changes in either direction.

Managing the internal temperature of a building creates the opportunity to realize energy savings of up to four per cent per degree change.

LEED the way
HVLS fans also help companies qualify for and earn credit toward LEED Certification in energy efficiency and atmosphere, indoor environmental air quality and innovation and design. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, which are highly focused on energy savings and increasing air quality.

This fan was designed to create a comfortable work environment while keeping facilities running as energy efficiently as possible. Today, these fans are seeing new and improved uses every day, from product sustainability and employee safety to improved air quality.

Steve Kalbfleisch is sales manager with Dock Products Canada. For more information, visit