THERMAL DESTRATIFICATION: THE KEY TO LOWERING HEATING COSTS IN THE WINTER
Effective heating is a challenge for facilities with high ceilings. High ceilings can mean high heating bills in the winter months. But you’re not feeling the benefit of all that wasted money: Because hot air rises (called stratification), all that warm air is at the ceiling level and not where your employees are working.
Heating costs account for more than 35 percent of a commercial building’s annual energy consumption, according to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey. It can quickly cause budget headaches, but there is a cost-effective way to save on those heating costs.
Air destratification recirculates the warm air trapped at the ceiling level down to the level where employees are working. It creates a productive work environment and results in lower heating costs. High volume, low speed (HVLS) ceiling fans are the most cost-efficient heating and thermal destratification method.
Air Stratification Problems
Hot air naturally rises to the highest point in your facility, but your thermostat is located at the occupant level. Therefore, the heating system will work to reach the desired temperature at the occupant level. While it’s doing that, it’s overheating the ceiling.
While it is important for facility doors to continue to open and close as productivity continues, it doesn’t help with airflow throughout your facility. The DeKalb Fire Station in Northern Illinois experienced before installing their two Hunter Industrial XP HVLS ceiling fans.
The weather in northern Illinois is frigid cold in the winter. When they’re consistently responding to calls, it means their doors are continually opening and exposing their workplace to cold temperatures. It made the facility cold and the heaters run regularly. The two small residential ceiling fans they had were not pushing enough warm air back down and around the facility.
At the DeKalb Fire Station, after they installed the Hunter Industrial XP fan, they quickly noticed their heaters didn’t run as long, their heating bill decrease in the winter, and it’s made for a more productive work environment.
“It’s getting that warm air around, which for us is effective especially in the winter time because we want to make sure that our equipment is at the ready,” said Firefighter Paramedic Patrick Erikson, “When we have to wash and rinse off the rigs, we want to be cranking that heat up with the fan on and blowing the hot air around so it makes that rig dry that much faster and they’re not freezing up in the environment.”
In the winter, Hunter Industrial HVLS fans should operate at the lowest speed and rotate in a counterclockwise direction to help with destratification without creating a draft.
Regardless of the type of facility you manage, tall ceilings combined with cold temperatures lead to high heating bills and uncomfortable employees. HVLS fans are a cost-effective way to heat a room and lower heating costs throughout winter.