industrial fan

How Effective Are Industrial Fans?

Do you have an industrial space like a factory, warehouse, or shop floor that you think would benefit from an industrial fan? If so, you might be wondering whether an industrial fan will be effective for the space.

The answer is: it depends on what you want the fan to do. Industrial fans are effective in some situations that require only moving air. However, industrial fans are not effective at cooling.

Industrial Fans Are Effective for Some Purposes

Industrial fans have essentially one function: moving air. The good news is that they can do it very well. Industrial fans come in many shapes and sizes so that they can move air in all different situations. You can always find an industrial fan for your setting that will create airflow.

Moving air makes industrial fans very effective for purposes like air destratification, ventilation, pressurization, and drying.

Air Destratification

When the air is still, it can create zones of air that are very different from one another. It is common to have zones of hot air accumulating above zones of cool air. However, it can also occur that cold air discharged from overhead vents can be held aloft by rising hot air. Stratified air can lead to buildings overheating and considerable energy waste.

Industrial fans can break up stratified air to make the temperature more uniform in large spaces with high roofs. The result can be good energy savings and more efficient functionality of already-installed cooling systems.


Many industries work with solvents, paints, and other chemicals that give off dangerous, even deadly fumes. To maintain safe working conditions, it’s important to exchange the air in the workspace regularly. Industrial fans can draw air into the workspace, discharge it out of the workspace, or both, to create the necessary airflow to maintain safe air in the workspace.


Fans can also be used to draw air into a space to create positive pressure. Sometimes additional pressure is necessary for specific chemical reactions, but usually pressure is used to help keep contamination out of certain workspaces.


Moving air can facilitate the evaporation of water and other liquids. By moving air around the workspace, fans can expedite drying paint or help to mitigate sweating slab syndrome.

Industrial Fans Are Not Effective at Cooling

hot industrial workerHowever, as a general rule, industrial fans are not effective at cooling a workspace. They can be used to cool a workspace if:

If there is a reservoir of cool air available to draw from, an industrial fan can cool a workspace. This is effective if, for example, one corner of a machine shop generates a lot of heat, but other parts do not. An industrial fan can help distribute heat among the different parts of the shop so that the one part doesn’t concentrate dangerous heat levels.

Fans can also help cool people if they can have exposed skin. In that case, a fan can make a workspace feel 6°-8° F cooler. Without large amounts of exposed skin, the cooling effect from fans alone is negligible.

If you can’t meet one or both of these conditions, then an industrial fan is unlikely to provide reasonable cooling. But there is an alternative: industrial evaporative coolers.

Industrial evaporative coolers not only move large amounts of air, achieving good ventilation in many situations, but they also cool the air. How much can they cool it? In ideal conditions, an industrial evaporative cooler can drop the air temperature by 30° F. This can provide a comfortable environment in even hot, demanding industrial work environments.

Are you looking for an industrial evaporative cooler? Portacools have been made in the USA since 1990, and we are the industry leader in large-scale movable evaporative coolers. To find a Portacool that’s right for your industry, please visit an online or local retailer today.