Warm air rises and cold air sinks – anyone who’s taken a middle school science class has probably heard this fact at one time or another. For now, we’ll skip over the details as to why this happens, because really, who wants to relive those awkward middle school years?! But all jocularity aside, it’s this concept (commonly referred to as thermal stratification, or simply stratification) that’s straining the budgets of organizations like yours each and every winter. Why?
Regardless of how you might heat your facility, the sad truth is much of that heat is lost to the ceiling space. Because of this, heaters are forced to run more often in order to maintain their thermostat set points. The colder it gets, the more they run, and the more you spend. The end result is an uneven temperature profile (or gradient), whereby warmer air becomes trapped at the ceiling and the cooler, denser air sinks to the floor. Depending on ceiling height, the temperature difference, floor to ceiling, can be as much as 15-20°F!
So now that we’ve identified the problem, can anything be done? Thankfully the answer is yes, and the solution is yours with one of our tried and true "year-round" fans: the High-5 HVLS Ceiling Fan and the Power Tube Fabric Air Duct System.
The High-5 HVLS (High Volume Low Speed) fan... think of this like the ceiling fans in your home, but on a much, MUCH larger scale.
The idea, known as de-stratification, works like this: strategically place a number of High-5 fans throughout your facility, and turn them on at a slow speed in the FORWARD direction*. The fan should move air, but not create a breeze you can feel (a bit of experimentation will help you find the “sweet spot” for your building). This will facilitate a mixing of warm and cool air in a vertical, circular pattern. Over time, a continuous mixing of air will promote a more uniform temperature profile from floor to ceiling.
So how does this lower energy bills? The key is the redistribution of warm air from the ceiling. More warmth at the floor level means thermostat set points are maintained for longer intervals. Heating cycles shorten in both frequency and duration, adding dollars back to your bottom line. Realized savings could be 25-30% or more!
*Best results are achieved with the fan running slowly in the forward direction. A common industry misconception is that these fans must be run in reverse for destratification. While air mixing will occur in reverse, it is much less efficient.
Patterson Fan has been utilizing its fan and Power Tube combination for years to deliver cooling to a large area, while using only a single fan. But this same configuration can be used during the winter months as well. Fan/Power Tube combos placed near the ceiling can help transfer heat from elevation back down to the working level, where it’s needed most. The same concept can be applied to open-ended Power Tubes, which can move and distribute heat from one area of your facility to another. This fan/Power Tube setup is a great option for smaller facilities, low ceilings, or areas that might not otherwise accommodate a much larger HVLS fan.
Whether heating or cooling, our "year-round" fans are economical, yet effective ways to deliver employee comfort 12 months a year!
To learn more about this and other quality air movement solutions, contact your Patterson sales representative today or share a little information with us below and an air movement expert will be in contact with you shortly!