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What Fan Do I Need To Cool My Commercial or Industrial Space

A popular question we are asked is how to help cool a commercial or industrial space during the hotter months. To answer that question we need to look at a multiple factors including the size of the space, if the space has any type of air conditioning, what the function of the space is and so more. When choosing a fan for a commercial or industrial space it is important to look for a few simple safety features such as if the fan has a grounded cord (three-prong) and if the grill complies with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards and if the fan has a certification like ETL or UL. Lets look at a few scenarios starting with small commercial spaces and working up to larger industrial spaces.

Cubicles, workstations and other personal locations

We refer to these locations as personal spaces where you are only looking to provide air movement for one or maybe two people. In general this would be at a desk or workstation that is probably located inside an already air-conditioned space. The fan will provide a little extra relief. For this location a fan with a 6” to 9” blade will be beneficial. These types of fans provide the balance of enough airflow to help cool you off but not so much that your papers and everything else is blowing away. Many are going to operate in the 100 CFM to 400 CFM range and are going to have plastic blades.

Small retail spaces, open studios and similar spaces

In these spaces you are generally looking for more generalized cooling rather than cooling individual people. These spaces typically have air conditioning but might need a little extra boost or provide a way to reduce the usage of the air conditioning. Moving up to a 12” to 16” fan will provide the extra airflow you require. These fans are going to operate in the 500 to 1,700 CFM range and are going to have plastic blades. Another consideration is to utilize a fan that has an oscillation feature (fan head moves side to side) for more widespread coverage.

Larger retail spaces, offices, music studios, restaurants and similar spaces

These spaces are generally a little larger and require more airflow. Many will be air-conditioned but still need additional air movement to make them comfortable. This is a category where you might consider transitioning from a commercial grade – plastic blade fan to a metal bladed light industrial fan. A fan with an 18” to 20” blade will provide the needed airflow. For plastic bladed fans, that will be in the range of 2,000 to 2,500 CFM. For metal bladed fans, that bumps up to between 2,500 to 3,700 CFM.

Industrial spaces such as warehouses, shipping docks, gymnasiums and similar

Due to the size of these spaces, they require the largest amount of airflow. Unlike the previous categories, many of these spaces will not have air-conditioning so fans will be the only way to cool them. These spaces are going to require metal bladed fans with higher CFM in the range of 3,500 to 8,500 CFM. An oscillating fan is also a consideration depending on how much area each fan needs to cover.

Additional Considerations

Now that we have gone through some general guidelines for the airflow needed in different scenarios we need to move on to a couple other considerations. The first consideration is space and portability. Fans come in a wide range of mounting options – floor fans, table fans, wall mount fans, ceiling mount fans and so on. Do you have space on the floor or would a fan that is mounted to a wall be helpful? Does the fan need to be moved from room to room so should you look for one with a handle or that is lighter weight? A second consideration is sound. Generally a metal bladed fan is going to have a higher sound level. Sometimes you just need the extra CFM of a metal bladed fan but if you are between a metal bladed fan and a larger plastic bladed fan and you need it to be quieter, the plastic bladed fan might be a better option. While there are more consideration with features and functions, these are generally the two that get the most attention.

To learn more about the Air King line of Industrial and Commercial Air Circulators and how they can help cool your commercial or industrial space, click on the link at the top of the page.

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