HVLS fans are in a class of their own when it comes to airflow, energy efficiency, and operational costs. But not every fan in this class is the same. Two of the most common types of HVLS fans are 6-blade and 3-blade fans.

Which type is best for your space? The only way to find out is to compare the two HVLS fans head-to-head and see which one has the characteristics that fit your needs.

HVLS Fan Application

These two fans are designed for different spaces. While a 3-Blade HVLS fan can go into all the applications that a 6-Blade HVLS fan can, a typical 20 foot 3-Blade HVLS fan performs well in medium to large spaces including:

  • Car dealerships
  • Retail stores
  • Manufacturing centers
  • Distribution warehouses

On the other hand, the 20 foot, 6-Blade HVLS fan is best at handling cooling applications in the largest industrial spaces, such as:

  • Large warehouses
  • Airplane hangars
  • Airports
  • Stadiums
  • Arenas
  • Lecture halls

Product Differences

It’s best to compare the performance of 3-blade and 6-blade HVLS fans by considering the amount of air they displace, how much space they cool, and the amount of energy the fan will use. We will also compare their weight and installation requirements. To illustrate this, let’s look at a 3-blade and a 6-blade HVLS fan from the same manufacturer.

  3-Blade 20’ AirVolution-D3 6-Blade 20’ AirVolution-D780
Air Movement    
Forward Displacement 211,000 CFM 250,000 CFM
Reverse Displacement 156,000 CFM 187,000 CFM
Space Cooled  
Building Sq. Ft. 15,400 sq. ft. 20,000 sq. ft
Energy Usage    
Max Usage 780 W 1,180 W
208-240 VAC 1-Phase fuse 5.7A / 10 12.5A / 15
Mounted Fan 112 lbs. 189 lbs.
Mounting Requirements
 Included Hardware Standard Mount Rapid Mount & Standard drop length extensions
Guy Wires Required (unless Simple Mount hardware kit is used) Only required for drops 10’ and above
Optional Drop Lengths Available in 1” increments Available in 1” increments


Gears are Added Weight

Because MacroAir is one of the only manufacturers who produces fans without a gearbox, these two HVLS fans are lighter than the gearbox driven 3 and 6-blade fans from other companies. Not only are gearless HVLS fans lighter, they are less expensive to ship, easier to install, and have the highest performance rating in the market.

To learn more about the benefits of gearless HVLS fans, read our blog post: Top 10 Benefits of Gearless Motors in HVLS Fans.


Final Comparison

6-Blade HVLS Fan: If you have a very large space and are focused on maximum fan performance (air displacement and space coverage), a 6-blade HVLS fan might be your best option.

3-Blade HVLS Fan: If you need a lighter, less expensive, and exceptionally energy efficient fan for your medium-large space, a 3-blade HVLS fan could be the better choice.

The Bottom Line

Both types of HVLS fans have some great things to offer, but facility managers must weigh the benefits of both the 3-Blade and 6-Blade solutions and make theier decision based on their facilities needs and budget.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Not sure which fan you need?

Find a Fan