Add Ceiling Fans to Reduce Winter Heating Bills and Avoid Rust on Steel Sheet and Coil

October 1, 2012

Large-diameter low-speed overhead fans are paying big dividends at the North Kingstown, RI, manufacturing plant of HVAC-equipment manufacturer Siefert MTM. During cold winter months, the firm’s non-air-conditioned 19,000-sq.-ft. warehouse—ironically full of air conditioners and heat exchangers—traps hot air near the roof, leaving cold pockets at the workers’ level below. 

“Knowing what we know about thermal technology, the heaters in the building are poorly placed,” says logistics and operations manager Rob Granai. “Even when we cranked the heat up to 80 deg., the heaters would just pump the hot air straight up to the ceiling.”

Granai solved the warehouse-heating dilemma by installing four 24-ft.-dia. fans (from Big Ass Fans) in the facility, and relief came immediately to workers on the floor. Warehouse employees began shedding some of the heavier clothing they had been forced to wear, and Granai began thoroughly tracking energy bills. Throughout the winter season, Seifert MTM saved 30 to 35 percent on its heating bills. At that rate, the fans will pay for themselves within two years.

The story is equally intriguing at Metalwest, a metal service center in Garland, TX, where extreme temperature swings and high humidity can lead to severe condensation.

Rust on the firm’s material inventory would routinely cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in scrap—until, that is, it installed large-diameter, low-speed overhead fans. Now, four 20-ft.-dia. fans reduce condensation problems by moving stagnant warm air off of cold surfaces before the air can cool and leave telltale puddles and droplets behind.

Thoroughly mixing the air within the space also helps to more quickly raise the temperature of the stacked metal-alloy sheets and coils, shortening the season for condensation. As a result, condensation headaches disappeared, saving the company more than $250,000 in devalued inventory.

Big Ass Fans: 877/244-3267;
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See also: Big Ass Fans

Technologies: Other Processes, Safety


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