Exhaust Fan Sizing for Commercial and Industrial Applications

Industrial The Workplace

Finding high-quality, low-maintenance exhaust and air movement equipment can save money for agencies and business owners. Commercial and industrial ventilation can be expensive to install or update, and finding the right type and size of fan will keep companies and industries in compliance with codes and regulations and make working conditions safe for employees. Whether an industrial exhaust fan is used in a school, commercial kitchen, storage facility, gymnasium, factory, or outbuilding, getting the right equipment can make a difference.

There are different types of fans to consider for ventilation and exhaust. Local exhaust ventilation fans, for example, can help prevent indoor air contamination by capturing fumes and pollutants before they are spread. These type of hooded systems can be found in restrooms, commercial kitchens, chemical industrial environments, wood-working factories, and metal shops, just to name a few.

Size exhaust systems based on room or area dimensions, the type of environment, and the acceptable temperature and humidity range. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) defines acceptable indoor air quality by: (1) the dilution of odors, (2) the concentration of airborne pollution, (3) heat, and (4) humidity. Exhaust fans and equipment can help provide ASHRAE-acceptable indoor air quality in terms of ACH (air changes per hour). According to ASHRAE standards, a rate of .35 or 3 CFM (cubic feet per minute) per each 100 square feet in a space is an adequate rate of airflow.

Along with sizing, ventilation exhaust should be designed and fitted with pollution control in mind. Exhaust ducts should be laid out in the most direct route possible to outdoor vents. Exhaust vents should never be located near supply air vents to avoid contaminating fresh outdoor air with polluted exhaust air. Improper design and installation can cause static pressure imbalances, indoor air contamination, odors, drafts, and inefficient environmental control.



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