Moving Air Cools. Moving Air Saves.

June 17, 2014 by Patrick Munar

ASHRAE has officially recognized that the cooling effect of air movement can be used to save energy and money. For years MacroAir has helped businesses save money by proving to them that air conditioner set points can be set higher when HVLS fans are in use, while achieving the same comfort level for building occupants. MacroAir customers have reported the ability to increase air conditioner set points by more than 5 degrees, while achieving the same comfort level. This directly results in a savings of up to 20% in cooling costs.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2013, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, combines the 2010 standard and 18 published addenda into a consolidated standard. The core of the standard in Sections 4 and 5 specifies methods to determine thermal environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, air speed and radiant effects) in buildings and other spaces that a significant proportion of the occupants will find acceptable at a certain metabolic rate and clothing level.Other noteworthy additions to the standard include an allowance for the cooling effect of air movement as a way to extend the upper limit of the comfort zone in naturally conditioned spaces and addition of a predictive model for occupant clothing behavior based on extensive field research. These additions provide new methods for improving occupant comfort while minimizing energy use, according to Gwelen Paliaga, chair of the committee that wrote the standard. Specifically, the new standard, in its calculations, anticipates maximum air speed of 240 fpm if air speed can be controlled by occupants equating to a 6 degree F cooling effect.

MacroAir High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) fans produce what is best described as a cooling, light breeze for occupants on the floor. For most MacroAir fans, average air speed ranges from 180 fpm to 240 fpm, although actual air speed can be calculated for your specific space. This type of air movement is exactly what is contemplated to help you save money and energy by the new ASHRAE standards. The cooling effect of moving air is what drove Walter Boyd to invent the HVLS concept in the first place. The NASA inspired aerodynamic fan blade design, and the 8’ to 24’ diameter fans, produce a massive column of gently moving air to cool room occupants, while also helping to control and minimize humidity.

MacroAir fans have long been used in a wide variety of building spaces to both cool the building occupants and save business owners money and energy. Now designers and architects, using the new ASHRAE 55-2013 standards, can effectively design, whether alone or in conjunction with other traditional HVAC components, thermal environmental conditions by incorporating HVLS fans. This can be done at the outset, or as a later addition to the cooling system. It’s what MacroAir has stood behindand proven all along: Moving air cools, moving air saves.

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