Pop quiz: What animal inspired the invention of the HVLS fan?
If you guessed cows, you get the prize! High-volume, low-speed ceiling fans were first created in 1998 and used as dairy farm cooling fans.
Those fans did the trick to boost milk production in dairy cows by relieving heat stress in the animals — and we’ve been improving them ever since. Here’s what you should know about the HVLS cow cooling fans.
What’s So Great About HVLS Fans?
At first glance, an HVLS fan looks a lot like a household ceiling fan, except bigger — a LOT bigger. (Our largest overhead dairy farm fan, the Z-Tech™, measures 24 feet in diameter!) They’re large on purpose; it allows one fan motor to move huge amounts of air far more efficiently than a bunch of smaller fans ever could.
Unlike smaller fans, HVLS fans operate slowly without generating turbulent breezes. That doesn’t mean they’re not effective, though. An HVLS fan creates an evaporative cooling effect that can make the air inside your dairy barn feel up to 10 degrees cooler. That’s because the blades have an airfoil shape that works to push a massive column of air downward. When it hits floor level, this air sweeps out in all directions, providing excellent ventilation throughout the entire space.
7 Benefits of Fans in Dairy Farms
Let’s look at some ways an HVLS cow fan can help your herd — and your bottom line.
- Boost milk production. Heat stress depresses yield. HVLS cow cooling fans help keep cows in top production mode.
- Reduce operating costs. University of Wisconsin-Madison estimates the typical Wisconsin dairy farm would save $658 per year by replacing conventional fans with HVLS dairy farm fans.
- Lower feed costs in winter. Run in reverse, our fans help keep barns warmer by pushing warm air from the rafters to cow level. Warmer cows eat less in winter, saving you money on feed.
- Improve cow respiratory health. Respiratory disease is a serious profit drain for dairymen. HVLS fans keep barn air fresh to keep cows heathier and reduce the spread of airborne pathogens.
- Better hoof health. The evaporative effect of an HVLS dairy farm fan helps keep bedding dry.
- Fewer hazards in the barn. HVLS fans are installed overhead, so no pedestal fans to knock over or cords to trip over. They don’t run as fast, either, so their motors aren’t likely to get hot or create a fire hazard.
- Bye-bye pesky flies. HVLS barn fans provide a steady airflow that helps to whisk away flies without creating noisy or overly windy conditions that might stress the cows.
How to Choose the Best HVLS Fan for Dairy Farm Use
Choosing an HVLS fan is a matter of selecting the right size and model for your space. For a large freestall dairy barn, a good rule of thumb is to place one 24-foot HVLS fan every 60 feet over the feed alley down the center of the barn.
If this arrangement doesn’t suit your facility, we have a wide selection of HVLS dairy farm cooling fans from which to choose. Check them out here! Feel free to call us if you have questions, or to request a quote — we’re here to help!