If you work in a garage, hangar, or machine shop, the heat probably gets unbearable at times. Depending on the type of shop and its location, the heat might only be exceedingly bad in the summer, or it might build up all day so that the last hour of work is always hard.
In response to the heat, you might be thinking an industrial fan is the right solution. If so, here are five things to take into account.
This is the biggest question of all and the one you have to answer first. Unfortunately, the answer is usually “no.” In order to effectively cool you off, you must have the right conditions, such as:
If there isn’t a reservoir of cool air for your fan to draw on, it won’t cool your workspace. Remember, fans don’t cool the air, they just move the air around. So if there’s no cool air, the fan is just moving hot air around. Moving hot air around can work if you have exposed skin. Then the moving air will be able to evaporate sweat off your skin. This can effectively cool your body.
However, if you can’t meet one or both of the above conditions, a portable industrial fan won’t help you keep cool. In fact, it can make you hotter. When you can’t meet the requirements for cooling with a fan, you should consider other options like an industrial evaporative cooler. An evaporative cooler can actually drop the temperature of the air. By lowering the air temperature by up to 30° F in one pass, an evaporative cooler can make your workspace cooler, helping you and your coworkers stay productive despite the heat.
Assuming a fan will truly work for you, you should be looking for a fan that gives at least 10 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of airflow per square foot of floor area. That’s assuming that you’ve got a standard height ceiling (about 9 feet). If the ceiling is higher, you’ll need more cfm.
This is an important consideration. You need to have someplace to put the fan, so it will distribute the air. You want to make sure it’s not blocking critical walkways. You can opt to put it in a door to exhaust hot air from the room or bring in cool air from outside, but make sure it won’t interfere with normal operations. Also, consider that you might want to move the fan throughout the day as you move around the garage doing work in different places. If that’s the case, carefully evaluate how portable the fan really is. Some manufacturers use the term very loosely.
As with anything these days, most portable industrial fans you can buy are made overseas and imported. It’s important to factor this into your decision-making. Not only does an American-made fan support American jobs and meet American standards for treating workers well, but it’s less likely to have a disrupted supply chain in times like a pandemic, during trade wars, and other times when international trade is not running smoothly.
Warranties are a good way to measure the quality of a product. The better warranty that a manufacturer is prepared to put behind their product, the more confidence they have that their product will function for a longer period of time without needing service or replacement.
If you’re considering a portable industrial fan, it’s likely that the above considerations are making you question your choice.
If you’re thinking an industrial fan isn’t going to do the job for you, it’s time to consider a Portacool. Portacool is a portable evaporative cooler that has models suitable for every level of use, from casual patio and RV use up to heavy industrial needs in a garage, machine shop, or more. With impressive airflow up to 22,500 cfm, they can tackle the largest hot spaces to help you stay cool even in very hot weather while doing hot work. Plus, our evaporative coolers have been made in the USA since they debuted in 1990. They also come with a warranty of up to 5 years on the electrical components and a limited lifetime warranty on the housing.