Are Industrial Ceiling Fans Worth The Cost For Your Shop?
One of the biggest challenges shop owners face is finding an efficient way to keep their space comfortable. Personal industrial fans are great, but they’re also noisy, inefficient and take up a lot of floor space.
Wouldn’t it be easier to trade your big air fan for a big ceiling fan?
Commercial ceiling fans have improved significantly in recent years. They’re more efficient, quieter and can keep even smaller shops cool and comfortable.
When Should You Consider Buying A Large Industrial Style Ceiling Fan?
Let’s be honest: industrial ceiling fans are expensive.
If you’re running a business, you may wonder why you’d want to make such a big investment. When is it a practical decision to consider commercial ceiling fans?
It really depends on your industry and needs. It is not something to take lightly.
There are many businesses that benefit greatly from large industrial fans, such as:
- Industrial sites
- Big box retail stores
- Outdoor shopping areas
- Outdoor dining areas
Commercial ceiling fans start at 52” and go all the way up to 100” blade spans, so they’re really only suited for large, open spaces. Small offices, retail stores and even small gyms may not have the space or capability of installing such large ceiling fans.
But if your shop has a big, expansive space, it’s worth considering installing a commercial ceiling fan. In fact, you’ll likely find that your investment will save you money in the long-run and provide other immediate benefits.
What are the Benefits of Commercial Ceiling Fans?
With their expansive size and ability to efficiently cool a space, commercial ceiling fans offer a number of benefits, including:
#1 – A More Comfortable Environment
The most obvious benefit to installing a large ceiling fan is comfort. We’re used to the idea that fans keep us cool, but big ceiling fans can also keep us warm.
Because of their size and location, industrial ceiling fans help balance the room’s temperature. It works by redistributing the air that gets trapped at ceiling level.
Heat rises. In the cold winter months, your fan will help redistribute heat trapped near the ceiling down to ground level where it’s needed most. That warm air will also mix with the cooler air below to reduce the strain on your heating and cooling system.
In the summer, when temperatures soar, the fan’s large blades move air over a massive area to cool the space by up to ten degrees.
To understand just how effective commercial ceiling fans are at making spaces more comfortable, take a look at the case study from Big Ass Fans for Hoist Fitness Systems.
Hoist Fitness Systems produces strength training and indoor cycling equipment. The company wanted a more efficient way to make their space more comfortable for employees. Previously, the company was supplying individual shop fans that were loud and expensive to run. The installation of Big Ass Fans helped keep the assembly and showroom spaces comfortable while saving the company money on energy costs.
If you’re having trouble keeping your shop a comfortable temperature, an industrial ceiling fan may be a wise investment.
#2 – Cost Control
It’s easy to assume that such large fans would cost a fortune to run, but in reality, industrial ceiling fans improve a building’s energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.
These large ceiling fans produce high volumes of air while running at low speeds. This allows the fans to make the space more comfortable without consuming a lot of energy in the process.
Let’s not forget that reducing energy consumption also reduces your environmental impact.
Along with energy costs, large ceiling fans can save you money in other areas, depending on your business.
Take a look at the Flying Leap Vineyards case study from Big Ass Fans.
The distillery, located in the desert, needed a solution that would prevent the expensive evaporation of their brandy and whiskey. They installed a humidification system to combat the problem, but the space had differing levels of relative humidity from floor to ceiling, which led to greater evaporation in some areas.
The installation of a Big Ass Fan blended the air to keep the humidity level and evaporation rate consistent throughout the space, saving the company money.
#3 – Quieter, Productive Workspace
Because large ceiling fans move such a large amount of air, one fan can easily replace dozens of smaller industrial fans.
Along with lower energy costs, fewer fans also means having a less cluttered and quieter workspace. Studies show that clean, clutter-free workspaces improve productivity and focus while reducing stress. Quiet industrial fans keep the work environment calm, helping everyone stay focused.
Who Makes The Best Industrial Ceiling Fans?
Now that you understand the benefits of commercial ceiling fans, you may be ready to dive right in and buy one. But which brand and fan should you choose?
The industry leader in quality and value is Big Ass Fans.
And right now, their 2025 model is truly one of the best industrial ceiling fans for a garage or shop. Their ShopFan line is another great option but our experience with the 2025 has been one of the single best purchases we’ve made.
Big Ass Fans
2025, 3025 & 3600 Models
The 2025 is whisper-quiet, efficient and offers fully adjustable airflow with 7′ blades. This model is ideal for smaller workshops and industrial spaces up to 2,025 square feet.
They also offer 2 larger sizes for larger spaces, the 3025 with 10′ blades for spaces up to 55′ x 55′ and the 3600 with 12′ blades for spaces up to 60′ x 60′.
Thanks to its highly efficient, sensorless direct drive motor, this fan can move some serious air to keep your shop comfortable. It’s also lightweight, so installation is easier than you think. Big Ass Fans includes all the hardware you need to install your fan, including a 24” downrod.
- Diameter: 7’
- Max Speed: 198 RPM
- Weight: 70 lbs.
- Sound at Max Speed: < 35 dBA
- Airfoil Clearances: 10 ft. above floor, 2 ft. below ceiling deck and 2 ft. on sides
- Dry rated – not suitable for outdoor use
The 2025 has six anodized Mini-Ellipto airfoils outfitted with yellow tips to prevent wind noise.
The direct drive motor is gearless, so this fan is nearly silent while remaining efficient.
The permanent magnet design lowers power consumption.
The onboard controls allow for variable speeds and smooth operation. The wall controller mounts allow you to adjust the speed of your fan with the flip of a switch, and it’s easy to connect to the fan.
The 2025 is highly efficient, providing enough cooling power for a 45 ft. X 45 ft. space, or the same coverage as 29 standard ceiling fans. On its lowest setting, this fan reduces energy consumption by an impressive 30%. The motor is also reversible, making this fan ideal for year-round use.
Due to its smaller footprint and unique design, this fan can be installed on sloped ceilings.
The 2025 has an industrial look, which complements most metal buildings. The fan is made of aluminum and has a contemporary style.
What about performance?
The 2025 7’ fan, according to Big Ass Fans, provides year-round energy savings and can produce up to a 10-degree cooling effect in hot weather. In cold weather, the company says this fan provides up to 1% energy savings per foot of ceiling height.
We should note that this model has other blade span options:
Each of these options has their own specifications and requirements for height clearance and space. The 7’ option is the best choice for a smaller shop, but if you have a larger space, you can go for a larger blade span.
The great thing about this fan, especially the 7’ option, is that you can install it yourself. That will save you more money on costs. Even if you do have to hire someone for the installation, you won’t spend an arm and a leg because the fan is compact, lightweight and easy to install.
The 2025 is one of the most compact commercial ceiling fan options available, making it a great choice for small shops and even small retail spaces.
If your building is larger than 2,025 square feet, you’ll need to go with a bigger, more powerful fan. In this case, the ShopFan may be a good fit for you. It’s similar to the 2025, but it has a larger blade span to cover more area in an efficient way.
Shop Fan – Our Second Pick
The ShopFan is an economical commercial ceiling fan, and just as its name suggests, it’s ideal for workshops or small industrial spaces. Like the 2025, it’s lightweight and easy to install.
It even has that industrial look, which will complement your shop and looks great in metal buildings. The mount and blades are made of steel, with yellow cuffed winglets for noise control and aesthetics.
Many industrial ceiling fans require a huge amount of ceiling space, but this fan can easily be installed in smaller commercial areas and shops.
And here’s the really impressive part: This fan can cover the same areas as 70 regular 52” ceiling fans. You’ll save money on energy costs, and installation is surprisingly easy. There’s no need to have dozens of fans when one large one will get the job done more efficiently. The ShopFan is quiet, too, which isn’t something you can’t say for most floor industrial fans.
The ShopFan is lightweight and has a 14’ diameter, so it’s not overwhelmingly large. It also comes pre-wired to make the installation process even easier.
Big Ass Fans includes detailed installation instructions and provides technical support if you’re having trouble setting up your fan. The Mount Kit is included, so you should have all the hardware you need to mount your fan.
Before we talk more about this fan’s features and benefits, here’s a quick rundown of its technical specs.
- Diameter: 14’
- Max Speed: 101 RPM
- Weight: 145 lbs.
- Max Amps: 11 A
- Motor: 1 HP
- Sound at Max Speed: < 55 dBA
- Airfoil Clearances: 10 ft. above floor, 5 ft. below ceiling deck and 2 ft. on sides
The ShopFan has six patented airfoils with yellow cuffed winglets to eliminate wind noise.
The motor and gearbox are both industrial-grade with inline helical-cut gears to improve the efficiency, durability and reliability of operation. The motor and drive are lubricated for life using synthetic oil.
The hub system features machine-cut precision components for even load distribution.
As far as safety is concerned, the ShopFan has:
- Double safety cable system
- Hub safety clips
- Airfoil retainers
- Grade 8 hardware
- Fire relay
Mounting is relatively simple, and Big Ass Fans provides a mounting kit for your convenience. The standard upper mount just installs to bar joists and I-beams. Optional kits are available if you need to mount your fan to purlins or solid beams.
What about the fan’s controls?
The ShopFan has a NEMA 4x variable speed drive that’s pre-wired to the motor using a 50 ft. cord. Big Ass Fans includes a 10-ft. AC supply power cord.
The ShopFan is:
- Economical and efficient
- Ideal for smaller commercial or industrial areas
- Easy to install
- Energy efficient
If you’re looking for a practical way to cool your shop without spending a fortune, the ShopFan is a great choice.
Who Sells Commercial Ceiling Fans?
If you’re ready to invest in a commercial ceiling fan, you may be wondering where to buy one. You probably won’t find these large fans at your local home improvement store. Some Home Depots do carry them but mostly in large cities.
The two best places to buy commercial ceiling fans are:
Amazon offers fast, free shipping for Prime products, and Build.com has great prices on commercial ceiling fans. Both are trusted online stores that will ship your fan right to your doorstep.
If you’re buying a Big Ass Fan, installation should be simple and straightforward. However, if you’re buying from a different brand, you may need to hire a professional to get your fan up and running.
A commercial ceiling fan will keep your shop comfortable all year-round while saving you money on your energy bills. It’s a worthwhile investment whether you use your shop for commercial purposes or as a serious hobbyist.
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