Heating and cooling your building can be a huge drain on your financial bottom line, especially if you are wasting energy in the process. While there are a lot of ways to prevent unnecessary energy usage, such as installing weatherstripping, updating your heating and cooling systems, and adding insulation, one of the most important things you can do is implementing thermal destratification. Below is more information on thermal stratification and how you can combat this problem in your facility:
Thermal stratification - What it is and why it is so costly
It is common knowledge that heat rises, but many people don't realize how drastically this physical phenomenon can affect temperature gradients inside a building. Amazingly, the temperature thirty feet above the floor of a building can easily be nearly 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than at ground level. This relationship is linear, so even within a 10-foot vertical rise, temperatures can vary by approximately 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
This everyday occurrence is known as thermal stratification; it explains how air temperatures are stratified, or layered, from the floor to the ceiling of a room. Stratification is not merely a matter of comfort, though that is important to consider when addressing a problem. Instead, it costs business owners a significant amount of money by wasting electricity, gas or heating oil to eliminate this problem. In the winter, heated air rises to the ceiling and is not utilized properly to warm the remainder of the facility. In summer, excessive amounts of cold air pool near the ground level, and it isn't distributed fully to where it may be needed.
What can be done about thermal stratification?
The key to eliminating thermal stratification is to plan and implement appropriate strategies. One of the most effective means is to blend air volumes throughout a building. This action will mix the warmer and cooler air together and solve the problem.
Destratification fans - an elegant, simple solution
In the world of heating and cooling systems, a destratification fan is any kind of electric fan that exists for the purpose of blending air. These fans are often found in taller warehouse settings, and they rely on fairly low speed to keep air circulating without disturbing others. Giant destratification fans are fairly simple devices, and they share much in common with their smaller cousins, such as oscillating fans or easy-to-install ceiling fans. Their key to operation is maintaining balance in a room by restoring the cold/heat mixture of air, and below are several things you can do with existing fans in your business:
Hints for destratification:
Run ceiling fans on low forward speeds in winter - Despite the fact that your ceiling fans may come equipped with reverse switches designed for use in winter, you can find best results by keeping them turning in a forward direction at their lowest settings. Reversing the fan rotation only hinders destratification by pulling warm air toward the ceiling.
Use dedicated destratification fans in larger spaces - If your facility is open and has a high ceiling, then you can reduce the amount of stratification by installing and use a specially-designed destratification fan. These fans use long, thin blades that circulate at a low rate of speed and are able to move a high volume of air. Turning over the volume of air inside an enclosed area is key to making destratification work; otherwise, you will never be able to know the full result of your efforts.
Reduce ceiling heights if feasible and desirable - Should your facility have high ceilings, but you do not find a compelling reason to keep them at their height, the installation of a suspended ceiling can reduce the interior air volume. As a result, your need to constantly recirculate air to break up stratification layers should be reduced or even eliminated.
For more information, check out a website like http://www.mercurytecinc.com.
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