Industrial Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

While every location is different in terms of its needs, there is no denying that a ceiling fan can help keep everyone cool and comfortable. When the setting is an industrial area, the need for a fan becomes more pressing as you strive to create a work environment your employees will enjoy working in every day. This is where our industrial ceiling fan buying guide comes in! Let's take a look at some of the most important aspects to consider ensuring you get the right fan for the job.

industrial ceiling fan over wine vats

Before we get started on how to choose the right one, the first thing to go over in an industrial ceiling fan buying guide is the difference between this fan type and residential or even commercial fans. Many people wonder if they can simply install a residential or commercial fan in their industrial setting because those tend to cost less, but this would be a bad idea for a few reasons. For starters, industrial fans are made with larger blades and a larger diameter, as well as offering more powerful motors and even different materials, such as steel, aluminum, or composite material over typical plastic or wood blades, to help the fan last longer in tougher environments or from the constant use required of an industrial fan. The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for an industrial fan is that you choose one designs for industrial use.


The matter of size when shopping for a fan is the biggest factor to keep in mind. Industrial fans can run anywhere from 56 inches in diameter to an impressively large 24 feet but a unit that large is only used in especially larger locations under certain circumstances. For the most part, 56 inches-74 inches is an acceptable size for industrial settings such as warehouses, hangers, fabrication shops, and other industrial settings. When deciding which size is best suited to your space, the size of the room is worth noting. For most spaces, a room that is smaller than 350 square feet needs a fan of 52-56 inches while any space over 350 square feet should upgrade to 60 inches for the best airflow. Of course, this is assuming you will only have one fan per room of that size. If you are looking to add more airflow to a room, you can also choose to install two fans at a safe, equal distance to help create better airflow.

Factors to Consider

It is important to note that the size is only one factor you need to consider when buying a fan. Let's take a look at a few other important aspects to keep in mind.

  • People working in the space. If there are a lot of people working in the space, you may want to consider installing two or more fans. This is because the more people you have in a space, the warmer it tends to get. It's important to note however that fans are not a replacement for proper air conditioning, but rather a means to move the cool air from the ceiling down to the rest of the room where workers are present.
  • Type of work being performed. The type of work being performed may also dictate the size, type, or number of fans in the space in an industrial setting. For example, if the work involves a lot of fumes or heat, you will need a higher-powered fan or multiple fans on the space to accommodate for the nature of the work.
  • Mounting hardware. Fans are designed to take the air from the ceiling and circulate it down to the rest of the room. If a fan doesn't have enough room to work between the ceiling and the fan, it makes it harder for the air to circulate. Most fans are mounted on a rod extending down from the ceiling to the motor and blades, however, you want to keep in mind the size of the space and the cooling needs when looking at this aspect. A fan with a longer rod will have an easier time circulating the air over one with a shorter mounting rod which keeps the blades too close to the ceiling.
  • Motor. Motors in industrial fans are either AC or DC and the difference is an important factor to consider. An AC motor or alternating current plugs directly into a power source or plug which allows it the ability to reverse currents so the current runs between the power source and the fan motor. A DC or direct current are plugged into a transformer which then connects to the power source or plug. An AC motor is less efficient in terms of energy consumed over DC motors which is why many businesses choose DC, but if there are other reasons associated to your decision, an AC motor is still a reliable choice provided you are only looking to install a few fans rather than a few dozen fans.
  • Airflow rating and CFM. The air flow rating is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM. This figure indicates the volume or amount of air the fan can move per minute. It's important to keep this in mind because the larger the space, the lower the time frame should be to ensure it is capable of moving the air around for proper air circulation. To find the right airflow rating for the size of your space, divide the size of the room in cubic feet by the suggested CFM of the fan as specified by the manufacturer. You want it to be less than 5 minutes for the air to circulate to avoid the space becoming hot and stagnant.
  • Wind Speed. The wind speed is essentially how fast a fan can move air down to the ground and this factor needs to be considered. While this is also partly calculated into the CFM, you still need to consider it based on the work area. For example, a fan with a high wind speed wouldn't be ideal in a location where a fast fan could cause things to blow away such as papers whereas a fan in an area with a lot of fumes or heat would benefit from a faster wind speed.