Skip to content

The Difference Between a High-Speed Fan and a Low-Speed Fan

Most people know how great it feels to have a fan blowing across your sweaty face on a hot day. The breeze brings sweet relief, helping to lower your body temperature and keep your energy up.

When it comes to providing relief in a hot and stuffy warehouse, the same principle applies. But there are some key differences between the small, high-speed fan in your bedroom and the huge, low-speed fan in a massive building. Knowing the distinctions can help you find the best solution for a more comfortable, worker-friendly environment.  


BAF_Blog_Buttons_ContactUs (1)



About High-Speed Fans

High-speed warehouse fans are the type of device that most, if not all, of us are intimately familiar with. From hand-held models to desk fans, table fans, and ceiling fans, you can find just about any kind of fan to match your needs and tastes. 

The purpose of these types of fans is to blow a focused amount of air directionally and most often can benefit only one or two people at a time. Most have either three or four blades and tend to be used in close proximity to the user—typically within a few feet. Even household ceiling fans are usually less than ten feet away. 

Speeds vary significantly, but most high-speed ceiling fans spin anywhere from 200 RPM (revolutions per minute) to around 380 RPM. In general, smaller fans spin faster, and larger fans rotate slightly slower as they increase in size. 

Why does speed matter? For smaller, high-speed fans, a higher RPM will blow air a longer distance and provide circulation for a larger area.

About Low-Speed Fans

It should go without saying low-speed fans operate at a lower speed. Just how much slower? Big Ass Fans HVLS fans have a range of speed between 40 RPM and 200 RPM. 

This reduction in speed allows for lower use of energy, as well. With less power needed to spin the airfoils, low-speed fans are a great option for anyone who wants to keep their utility bills low while keeping production high. 

Low-speed fans are almost always associated with HVLS fans (high-volume, low-speed). HVLS fans are bigger (much bigger), stretching in size from 8 feet to 30 feet (2.4 to 9.1 meters) in diameter. They require a larger motor; however, they can be extremely energy efficient.

Their larger airfoils (also called blades) are able to circulate massive volumes of air through huge spaces such as warehouses. Because of their design, they don’t need to spin as fast in order to create airflow. 

The Differences Between a High-Speed Fan and Low-Speed Fan

Higher doesn’t necessarily mean better. The needs of a particular space will determine whether a high-speed or low-speed fan is the better solution. 

Aside from the obvious difference in speeds, the main distinction between a high-speed fan and a low-speed fan is the coverage in air circulation they provide. The smaller, high-speed fans can create airflow for a space up to about 200 or 250 square feet (18 to 24 square meters). In contrast, the bigger, low-speed fans can circulate air up to around 25,000 square feet (2,300 square meters). 

Which FAn Is Right for You? Ask Our Experts!

The airflow professionals at Big Ass Fans know all about fans at any speed. They can guide you through your options, create a simulation of how our fans will perform in your building, and provide detailed information about each of our low-speed fans. 

Contact our team today for your free SpecLab® analysis of your warehouse and see for yourself just how much better your work environment can be.


BAF_Blog_Buttons_CallUs (1)



Contact us to get a custom quote