What is a HVLS fan?
HVLS fans can control environments to help prevent issues like sweaty slab syndrome, help extend shelf life of products, lower your energy bill costs, and provide more comfort and productivity for your employees and patrons. Applications include everything from agriculture, manufacturing and distribution warehouses, maintenance shops, public spaces, restaurants, fitness clubs, education auditoriums, sports facilities, and more.
Where did the term HVLS come from?
The term High-volume, Low-speed fan was originally created by the inventors of the industry, MacroAir. The original concepts stems from a need to cool dairy cows. When dairy cows are hot, they produce less milk. The MacroAir HVLS fan design has since taken off and other competitors have entered the market, like Big Ass Fans. While Big Ass Fans, with a heavy presence in marketing, tends to be the market leader in sales, MacroAir is the leader in terms of quality, cost, warranty, support, and ease of install.
What should I consider when purchasing an HVLS fan?
When you are looking to make an investment in an HVLS fan you should be looking at a couple key factors:
- Warranty - How long and what are the terms? Some require a factory installation to get a full warranty, while MacroAir guarantees our fans for 50,000 hours (average, 16 years) even with a DIY installation.
- Gearless direct drive vs. geared - Fewer parts means less opportunity for breakdown and longer equipment life.
- On demand reverse application - this is important for the winter when trying to push warm air off the ceiling. Some require you to use a switch on the fans themselves, which may require a ladder or lift. MacroAir has the ability to turn the fans in reverse on demand, using the standard digital touchscreen controller.
- Installation - Is it easy? Who is allowed to install it? Will factory install cost more? If a third party installs your fan, is your warranty still valid? Powerfoil 8 will only be backed by a limited warranty unless factory installed. MacroAir supports third-party or DIY installation and still delivers a full warranty.
- Cost and return on investment - Finally, compare apples to apples pricing and look at which fan is a better value. More importantly look to see which fan will cost less to operate in the long-run.
*This data was obtained and derived from publicly available information as of May 26, 2017.
Installing the HVLS fan
When looking to install your HVLS fans, think about cost, ease of install, hardware required, who can install or manage the install, and weight.
- Installation Management - Ask if you are required to use a factory certified installer. Some companies, like Big Ass Fans require their fans are installed by the factory to get full 5-year warranty, which may cost you more. MacroAir, and EnergyLogic’s knowledgeable team, make DIY installation a breeze.
- Extra Equipment - Be sure to ask about the mounting equipment required. Big Ass Fans may tack on additional charges for their mounting kits while MacroAir includes our Universal Mounting hardware with all HVLS fan purchases. Guy wires may be required at certain heights depending on models. Fans like Powerfoil 8 may require guy wires on typical applications up to 4 feet, while the MacroAir AVD-550 has the option of up to a 10’ drop length without guy wires (optional Rapid-Mount Industrial hardware).
- Weight - These are really big fans! Pay attention to weight in accordance with how you are going to install and secure your fan. The Powerfoil 8 ranges from 203 - 329 lbs depending on diamet. A comparable MacroAir AVD comes in at just 144 lbs - 239 lbs.
Big Ass Fans Winglets vs. MacroAir No Winglets
Here’s a few things that are important to note about the very noticeable winglets featured on Big Ass Fans’ Powerfoil 8:
- Winglets don’t necessarily mean more air. In fact, the DoE has come out with new rulings for 2020 that may make Big Ass Fans rethink the validity of using these winglets beyond pure aesthetics.
- Winglets can increase the torque of the fan which can decrease the life of the fan.
- Winglets can create disruption in the airflow and ultimately decrease the efficiency of the HVLS fan.
Who has a better warranty?
This part of the comparison is pretty straightforward when it comes to identifying the front runner. MacroAir AVD 550 offers a full 50,000-hour warranty no matter who does the installation. Other fans just can’t keep up.
Here are a few additional resources you might find helpful when choosing an HVLS fan: