ENERGY SAVINGS THROUGH DESTRATIFICATION
It’s not just large, industrial facilities that have to worry about the problem of heat stratification. Anywhere with high ceilings can fall victim to higher energy costs spent futilely trying to pump heat into a space where it collects near the roof instead of at the occupant level. Luckily, one of the biggest benefits of a high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fan is that it pushes hot air away from the ceiling and back down where it’s needed most—allowing you to run your HVAC less and save more.
Eric Bassett was dedicated to improving the energy efficiency of Hicksville Village Schools, where he has served as director of operations for the past 15 years. This included installing motion sensors, and LED lights throughout the building, but there was one area that had proved a difficult problem to solve—heat stratification.
Hicksville’s modern design was beautiful, but their high ceilings meant that there were huge differences in temperature between the ceiling and floor that couldn’t be overcome by simply raising the thermostat set point. In the main event hall, for example, the 18-ft ceiling would often result in temperature differences of more than 30 degrees.
“During the day it’ll be 100 degrees up at the ceiling and down on the ground you’re at 67, 68 degrees,” Bassett said.
After experiencing Big Ass fans firsthand during a trip to the Indianapolis Colts stadium, Bassett knew that they held the solution to his problems. To convince his supervisors of the need for Big Ass fans, he took his superintendent up in a lift to feel the 30-degree heat differential for himself. When he returned to the ground floor, the superintendent exclaimed, “Get a quote for those fans.”
Bassett worked with the Big Ass Fans team to design a plan to fix Hicksville’s stratification problem and get their energy efficiency plans back on track. While the school board was initially hesitant to invest in 17 fans, the ROI schedule laid out by Bassett and Big Ass Fans’ energy savings calculator showed that the school would recoup their initial investment in eight or fewer years. With the board on his side, Bassett was finally able to get started on his project.
In total, the project required four Essence® fans, six Powerfoil® X4 fans, and seven Haiku® fans spread throughout the facility. Bassett said working with the Big Ass Fans team was a “smooth” process, and the effect of the fans was immediate. The fans pushed the hot air away from the ceiling, equalizing the temperature difference between the floor and ceiling, and finally allowing their HVAC to switch into fan-only mode for the first time.
Teachers and students quickly felt the impact of destratification as well. Bassett recalls walking down the hall and seeing a third grader in a big winter coat stop under one of the Haiku fans and say, “It’s so warm!”
Reflecting upon the project, Bassett remarked, “If we were going to do anything different, I would add a couple more fans.”
“[The new fans are] making the visitors to our school district happy. People aren’t complaining any more about the temperature at events… Now with the fans helping push the heat down, it’s actually satisfying the thermostat and… causing our heat pumps not to have to run the compressors—which will be a cost saver when it comes to electrical consumption”
Eric Bassett, Director of Operations
Hicksville Village Schools
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