A recent study comparing heat abatement from high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) ceiling fans with more traditional high- speed, low-volume (HSLV) 36-inch wall fans found that almost any fan is better than no fan. However, HVLS ceiling fans accomplished favorable cooling action while using considerably less electricity than wall-mounted counterparts.

Researchers from the University of California-Davis, the California Energy Commission and Southern California Edison tracked fan effectiveness on several large commercial dairies. When they compared 5-foot HVLS ceiling fans, 20-foot HVLS ceiling fans and 36-inch HSLV walls fans, cow performance response was equal. However, when electrical cost was factored into the study, the ceiling fans boasted significant savings.

The 5-foot fans had the lowest equipment and installation cost, estimated at about $330 per fan and an annual energy cost for 100 fans of approximately $1,800. Thirty-six-inch wall fans also had a low initial cost estimated at $700 per fan. However, annual energy cost for 100 fans was pegged at $10,760. Results for 20-foot ceiling fans indicate a higher estimated initial investment of $5,325 per fan. But, the 17 fans used in the study had an annual energy cost of $1,496.

Report authors suggest that ceiling fans warrant consideration in new construction and in retrofit situations, adding that the smaller fans may offer options in locations where larger fans do not fit.

To see the complete study, go to the Web site at: http://envirofan.com/af_dairy_research.htm