Winter is nearly here, and every property manager knows what that means: It’s time to budget for heating!

While buildings require minimal heat to prevent structural damage in cold weather, it’s another story for their occupants. The ideal temperature for human productivity is 71.6 degrees, according to one Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study. More than a couple of degrees colder, and the body prioritizes keeping warm over fueling the brain. Simply put, chilly workers make mistakes, which impair productivity, raise labor costs, and can potentially compromise safety.

How can building managers maintain interior temperatures within a range that will keep employees safe, comfortable and productive — while still keeping heating costs within a reasonable budget?

Using HVLS Ceiling Fans in Winter

HVLS ceiling fans are well known for their ability to effectively and cost efficiently cool large spaces in warm weather. But did you know that when run in reverse, they help to keep those spaces warm as well? Using ceiling fans in winter is a smart strategy that can reduce winter heating costs in commercial spaces while improving comfort for building occupants.

HVLS fans have been used successfully to lower heating costs in all sorts of commercial buildings, from office buildings to places of worship to classrooms to warehouses. In order to understand how using ceiling fans in winter works, let’s look at the way air behaves in large spaces.

Air stratification is the tendency of air to settle into distinct temperature layers within a space. This is due to the well-known principle that heat rises. Cool air thus tends to stay near floor level, while warm air gets trapped near the ceiling. Since people usually work at or near floor level, this leaves workers sitting in the coldest air in the room while heating systems work overtime to heat the air above their heads — especially in rooms with high ceilings.

To illustrate just how extreme this phenomenon can be, consider that, on average, buildings exhibit a temperature differential of 50 degrees Fahrenheit over 32.8 vertical feet. That’s more than a 1.5-degree change per foot — and it can be far higher in some buildings. No wonder air stratification has been identified as the single biggest energy waster in buildings.

Indoor Air Destratification for Winter Savings

The solution is, of course, to keep the air circulating with destratification fans. Ceiling fans set to run in reverse work to pull cool air away from the floor and send warm air near the ceiling down to floor level. Mixing the air in this way maintains a uniform, comfortable temperature throughout the space.

Go Fan Yourself HVLS fans are perfect for this purpose. Their large blades slowly but steadily move large masses of air, providing effective destratification without chilling workers with the unwanted breeze effects smaller fans produce. Our destratification can reduce air temperature differentials to 5-10 degrees or less from floor to ceiling. That means you can get the same floor-level temperature at a far lower thermometer setting, while eliminating hot and cold spots in the room. HVLS destratification fans thus deliver significant winter heating savings — and improved comfort, to boot.

To learn more about how using ceiling fans in winter can save you money and turn your employees into raving fans, contact us here — or give us a call at 847-648-4920.