June 07, 2017

Paris or Pittsburg? 


I’m no scientist (although I have studied a lot of science).  And I’m no politician (although I have spent some time volunteering in local government).  So I am going to leave the big climate change issues to others.

What matters most immediately to our customers are Bottom Line and Benefits.

With HVLS Fans they get -

  • Cooling comfort more effectively and efficiently than other solutions.
  • Huge savings when used as Destratification Fans in heating seasons.
  • Even more savings when supplementing A/C and other HVAC and ventilation equipment.
  • Safety, IAQ, and other benefits from drying effects and elimination of birds and bugs.

All of which equals lower utility costs, greater productivity, happier employees, and, yes, substantial reduction in energy resource usage, carbon emissions and other environmentally damaging impacts.

They get to do well by doing good.

Regardless of what energy prices are for oil, gas, and electricity from coal, nuclear, solar, wind or other sources - and whether or not there a taxpayer or ratepayer funded subsidies or rebates - they still save big while making a smaller footprint.

From my non-scientific observations over the years I cannot say there has been a clear pattern of less or more snow cover and frozen skate ponds in winters in New England.  It does seem that the Nor’easters kick up more frequently and wash over the sea wall more often where we have been coming for many years.  And as a boat owner I think I have been losing more sleep in recent years worrying about the track of hurricanes.

One thing I do monitor and have noticed for sure is these Keds shoes and plastic rakes I picked up nearly 30 years ago that come from containers washed overboard do wash up on the beach more frequently than they did in years’ past.  (Why I keep them I cannot say - nor can my wife understand - except I guess as a symbol of the power of the ocean.)

Sure, greater industrialization around the world has many economic benefits but the related pollutants and emissions cannot be good for our small planet.

I bet, though, that one can correlate temp increases caused by CO2 emissions with the population growth trends over the last 50 - 100 years.  All of us humans do exhale a lot.  And perhaps too many of us like our big cars and big comfy houses.  Oh, and we need a lot of livestock to feed us.  Think lots of methane…

All I know is less can be more.  With or without subsidy, HVLS fans are a great way to make the world a better place. Get Comfort and Save Energy. Whether one is in Paris or in Pittsburg.


Peter Caruso | T 508-653-3500 | info@airmotionsciences.com | www.airmotionsciences.com

March 25, 2017

Municipal Madness


OK, I will admit it, like any good marketer, I am not ashamed to bundle messaging opportunities with the March Madness college basketball tournament currently taking place.

Only here I am talking about how HVLS fans are ideal for Municipalities – and Colleges and Universities.

If you think about it, they, and those entrusted to lead them, have many of the same objectives -

  • They provide critical services to many. 
  • They have recurring budget challenges with generally limited and/or fixed resources available.  While spending other peoples’ money wisely, their financial challenges only get more challenging as time goes on.
  • They want to be good stewards and set good examples for their constituents and stakeholders, especially students and residents.
  • They take a long term view, ensuring their charges will continue for decades and even centuries to come.

As part of all this, and consistent with all of the objectives noted above, Municipalities and Colleges are openly committed to sustainable energy efficient practices.

Enter HVLS fans.  Perhaps one of the most impactful energy saving tools they can adopt.  In so many places -



















  • Put them in the DPW garages, fire stations, and equipment maintenance buildings.
  • Put them in the gymnasiums.
  • Put them in the big halls and atriums.
  • Put them anywhere they use energy to heat or cool large spaces.

There are few other solutions as effective at achieving their energy use reduction goals.
The Madness is really in not investing in the future with HVLS fans.


Peter Caruso | T 508-653-3500 | info@airmotionsciences.com | www.airmotionsciences.com

January 20, 2017

HVLS Fan Applications - What to wear depends on where…


As I get out visiting customer sites, my wardrobe selection can be quite varied.

A suit and tie is generally in order if it is a visit to the headquarters of a large big box retailer or multi-site manufacturer.

Khakis and a sweater with a collared shirt is generally the attire for a visit to a clean distribution center or gymnasium.

Jeans and a company logo polo work best when it is a visit to an auto repair or municipal maintenance facility.

For sure it is jeans and rubber boots when visiting a dairy barn.  I can tell you from experience the farmer knows you are just city slicker if you show up in dress shoes and pants.  And boy does the dairy barn “atmosphere” linger on the drive home!

One of the benefits of the HVLS fan business is I get to learn about a whole bunch of different industries.  In the process of educating a customer about the features and benefits of our fans I get an education on their business.

The point is anywhere there is a large space with people or livestock that need cooling in summer or heat in the winter, HVLS fans will make sense.


Here is a broad overview of the many different types of applications that can realize improved comfort, energy savings, and other benefits from installing these big fans -

  1. Warehousing and Distribution - includes locations where goods are stored and/or moved around, delivered and shipped, including the DC/wholesale part of retail, apparel companies and other entities regardless of their sic code (key benefits are comfort, energy and cost savings, increased productivity, and reduced product spoilage). 
  2. Manufacturing/Assembly - includes factory locations where products are made by people regardless of industry sic code (e.g. ranging from boat manufacturers to high tech factories)  (key benefits are comfort, energy and cost savings, increased productivity, and ventilation). 
  3. Agricultural - dairy, farm, feed, and other food related production or processing situations (key fan benefits are being - human and animal - comfort, energy and cost savings, productivity increases, ventilation, and reduced spoilage from humidity and pests). 
  4. Automotive and Consumer - includes auto dealers, repair, and service as well as sports complexes, retail stores, churches, and other locations where the general public may experience the benefits of HVLS fan capabilities (key benefits are comfort, energy and cost savings, and increased sales and productivity). 
  5. Military and Major Airline Hangars, Terminals, and Aviation Repair Centers - many government, quasi-government, and commercial carriers opportunities (key benefits are comfort, energy and cost savings, ventilation, safety, and productivity). 
  6. Municipal - includes DPW facilities, gymnasiums, and public transportation terminals (key benefits are comfort, energy and cost savings, ventilation, safety, and productivity). 

The above is not meant to be a complete list but does show that HVLS fans make sense across so many different industries, limited only by one’s imagination.

The only problem I have is the need for an extensive wardrobe!


Peter Caruso | T 508-653-3500 | info@airmotionsciences.com | www.airmotionsciences.com

January 09, 2017

This Winter Save Energy by up to 50% with HVLS Fans

[ Heat Destratification: the Hidden Saver ]



What really is Heat Destratification?  You don’t see it, you don’t feel it, you don’t hear it.

But done right it really makes a difference.

In your heating bill.

In your comfort.

In your carbon footprint.

I would argue that HVLS fans are the best way to get just the right amount of air moving and mixing to get uniform temperature in large and tall spaces.  They can move the masses of air with just enough force that you don’t feel a breeze, but it is mixed thoroughly.  At all levels and in all the nooks and crannies of the space.

Suh that if you want 65 degrees at the floor level, you also get 65 degrees essentially everywhere else. As opposed to what is far too often the case 65 degrees at the floor, but 85 degrees or more at the ceiling.


Think about that.

Without heat destratification, the heaters are running far too often just to keep the floor level at a desired set point.  But up (and often out) goes the heat nobody is getting to enjoy (and for those working at higher levels they can be working up a needless and uncomfortable sweat).

So the big fans get the air mixed.  The heaters run less often - hence the silence - and the savings.  Usually big savings.

Take the 65/85 temperature difference scenario above.  With heat destratification eliminating the 20 degree difference, that is effectively a 10 degree average effective temperature change in the heated space.  As a typical rule of thumb, one can expect a 3% to 5% reduction/saving in fuel energy usage for every degree change.  By my math that can be a 30% - and yes - even up to 50% savings – even more with greater temperature differences!

It’s the lower utility bills where you can see heat destratification working!


Peter Caruso | T 508-653-3500 | info@airmotionsciences.com | www.airmotionsciences.com

December 13, 2016

Alternative Energy vs. HVLS Fans – Subsidy vs. Immediate Savings


There are basically two ways to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases: either Alternative/Renewable Energy or Energy Efficient solutions.  The latter has an additional benefit of reduced energy costs and often numerous other benefits.  Not sure about Renewables.

In fact I would argue if you look closely, Renewables make little or no economic sense - at least in the short term. Of course argument can be made as to long term impacts that no doubt have financial and other benefits e.g. cleaner air, stemming the impact of climate change etc.

But Renewables are not currently economically possible without substantial taxpayer and/or ratepayer subsidy.  And in reality they are, and are projected to continue to be, a small fraction of the supply of usable energy.

Somebody pays. 

I recently attended a Massachusetts energy conference.  Speakers included the Lieutenant Governor and the State Energy Secretary.  It was a great event, I learned a lot, and it was clear the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, like so many other states, is serious about reducing energy use and greenhouse gases.

One of the speakers worked for one of the larger utilities.  Her topic was a layman’s breakdown of a typical consumer utility bill.  Sure the major components were fuel and power transmission (including amortization of the substantial capital costs as well as the administrative overhead).  But what really stood out was the breakdown of the pieces of the bill that went to subsidize the cost of Renewables, the cost of utility rebates, and the cost of state and local energy saving grants and other initiatives.

All of these things added up to 23% of the total bill!

Somebody pays.

Take Windmills.  They are engineering marvels (maybe not to the birds).  And they do generate electricity when the wind is blowing (but not when blowing too much…).

Yet just imagine the real cost without subsidy. For the blades and the power unit, and the shipping, and the site purchase and prep, and the installation, and the future repairs whether under warranty or not, and the legal costs of issues that always seem to surface.

Somebody pays.


Let me describe three windmill scenarios with which I am familiar.

One involves a windmill that was installed near where a friend lives in another state. In the first year its main gearbox failed.  So to fix it they had to gain access (after installation) by acquiring land rights and building a roadway to get to it so they could replace the bus-sized gearbox.  I asked my friend who paid and he said it was under warranty.  Well I have no doubt substantial warranty costs are built into the purchase cost.

Somebody pays.

Another example is my local municipality put one in.  It was a big deal. Plenty of back patting press.  But in reality it took a lot of DPW and other municipal leadership time and resources to get it done. Plus lots of legal costs to try to address various concerns, some of which are yet to be resolved.  Sure it offsets the town’s electric costs when it is running (it has been down a lot).  But in the meantime while folks were dealing with this the local roads have been going to pot.

Somebody pays.

My last example is I used travel to Scandinavia and Europe where windmill farms have been operating for many years in the energy resource challenged parts of the world.  Those governments put lots of financial resources into making those farms feasible. Where do you think those resources came from.  All I can say is have you ever paid for a gallon of gas over there? Or even a beer?

Somebody pays.

Don Quixote may be a big fan of these big fan-like things, but I don’t think the real payback for these will occur in my lifetime.

Somebody pays. 


What about Solar?  

Sure under the right conditions and the right structure, and especially if the capability for storage of the energy generated can occur, these too can be a great source of renewable energy.

But even with a finance/accounting MBA and a CPA, I have yet to figure out the economic benefits and related attractiveness of payback periods without significant subsidy of some sort.

Somebody pays.

Having served on a local decision making board or two I have had the opportunity to look very closely at the economics of several solar installation opportunities.  In all cases the payback periods were many years.  And that was ignoring the fact that whatever was going to be installed would likely be obsolete within a few short years.  Also ignoring what would be involved with future panel replacement including any facility issues like roof replacement/repair. Ratepayer and taxpayer subsidy was the only way it would work.

Somebody pays.

Then there are the low hanging fruit of energy efficiency initiative like lighting replacement, smarter thermostats, VFDs on equipment, usage monitoring and smoothing, and other smart efforts. Usually done thanks to utility rebates and other financial grants and incentives.

Somebody pays.

So where am I going with all this? Simple.

HVLS fans are smarter than alternative and renewable energy sources. 

I believe the smartest and most economically feasible way to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions is by installing HVLS fans. They are truly the low hanging fruit in the energy saving world.

Whether it’s in new facilities or as retrofits in facilities that already have other solutions that will either be used less or made more effective.

Sure there are upfront costs – which by comparison are relatively very low.  And there are often utility incentives available (thanks to somebody else paying).

But in reality, the economics are there with or without any incentives.  The payback periods are very short.  And the ongoing financial benefits from lower energy use coupled with the comfort and many other benefits realized will enhance the bottom line and the work environment for many years to come.

Somebody pays – but with HVLS fans the secret is it is the utility that pays via less revenue!

When I exhibit at energy conferences among all the latest energy saving and usually taxpayer or ratepayer subsidized widgets, I tell people we have the greenest thing in the room that can go to work saving energy costs and providing benefits right away.

We came up with the following rendering that I think says it all:


HVLS fans are the smartest way to go green.  Get comfort.   Increase productivity and safety.  Save lots of dough on energy bills.  All while making the world a better place! 

Peter Caruso | T 508-653-3500 | info@airmotionsciences.com | www.airmotionsciences.com

November 04, 2016

HVLS fans: Why you should not assume anything


You know what they say. If you assume something you are only making an a## out of u and me.

That old adage rings true in the HVLS fan industry.

Let me give you three examples.

Years ago when I was running the other guys we had a customer that was a nationwide big box retail chain.  They had two 140,000 square foot distribution centers in the northeast that were nearly identical.  They ran multiple shifts in these DC’s.  Each one had 7 big HVLS fans.

One of the facilities ran the fans 24/7 365 days a year.  And loved the summer cooling and winter comfort.  The facility guy didn’t see the heating bills but knew from his boss they also enjoyed significant winter heat savings.

Well we assumed the same was happening at the other facility with the same basic climate and operating conditions.  But lo and behold, we learned they only ran the fans during the heat of the day in the summer.  It was eye opening for us to think that place had not been getting the most out of their fans.  And so a quick tutorial was in order.

In another example of this old axiom, when we first came out with our new variable pitch fan, I was amazed at the number of folks who would ask if they had to go up and change the pitch manually.  We assumed it was obvious in our literature and our design that the pitch was adjustable from the low voltage wall box while the fan was running.  So in future discussions with potential customers we needed to adjust our own “pitch” to be sure the customer understood the features available.

My favorite example from which we really learned the perils of making assumptions was a customer in the northeast who had put two of our fans in a 30,000 square foot high bay helicopter repair hangar.  We went to visit after they had had the fans as while.  It was late winter and a cold day. The place had ceiling heaters and poorly insulated walls and bay doors – perfect for HVLS fans and their heat destratification benefits.

The facility guy told us that he was tracking heat cost savings on the order of 25% from the prior year, which he thought was great.  We actually expected higher savings…

We also met the head mechanic who told us how great the fans were in the summer and how they really made a difference in the winter where it was warm and much more comfortable at the concrete floor level but also no longer hot and sweaty when he was up working on top of a chopper.

Clearly they were enjoying the benefits of heat destratification.

But then we took a look at the wall boxes where we saw there was still quite a bit of difference in temperature between the floor and the ceiling, which didn’t make a lot of sense.  Then we noticed they were running the fans at low pitch angles.  I changed the pitch to 20 degrees and within minutes we saw the difference in temperature going down quickly.  They were now going to find even greater savings and comfort by making the best use of their variable pitch fans.

So boy oh boy, here we were dealing with helicopter folks – of all people we expected they would truly understand and appreciate how the variable pitch of our fan works.  Yet they needed to be educated further.  We had assumed too much.            

The moral of these stories is that we want to be sure folks take full advantage of the features and benefits of their HVLS fans.  We can’t just assume they know how.


Peter Caruso | T 508-653-3500 | info@airmotionsciences.com | www.airmotionsciences.com

October 25, 2016

Heat Destratification: Why it's important to blow air upward with HVLS fans 


One of the biggest reasons to use HVLS fans in colder seasons is to achieve heat destratification.  I am not sure you can find that word in the dictionary, but it sure is a good one to understand if you are spending any money heating a large facility.

In its essence, heat destratification captures heated air that has risen towards the ceiling and gets it back down to floor level.  It also helps ensure that the hot air that rises doesn’t get wasted by escaping through the ceiling and roof.

HVLS fans accomplish this by moving and mixing the air masses within a space such that the temperatures are more uniform at all height levels.  In doing so thermostats set at certain temperatures to control heaters get bathed in the mixed and warmer (and more comfortable) air such that they call on heating systems to run less frequently.  With heaters running less frequently big savings can be realized.

But what’s the best way to destratify the air in a space?

Some HVLS fans are designed to just blow the air downwards in an air column that purportedly then moves along the floor and circulates back upwards when it hits a wall or the air flow created by another fan.  Often these fans have blades with airfoil shapes that the manufacturer has design from model airplanes, sailplanes, truck spoilers and other such shapes where the original foil design was for maximum flight lift with least air resistance.  Most of these fans operate in one direction to blow the air down.

Some do have reverse capability, but as aviators often say, you can’t fly a plane backwards, or in the case of these HVLS fan solutions the air movement effectiveness of the airfoil is considerably diminished when operating backwards and upside down.

I am a firm believer that blowing air upwards for heat destratification is the better way to go.  The US Patent Office and the MIT trained engineers I work with seem to agree.










Obviously one avoids a chilling breeze that HVLS fans typically cause when blowing downwards.  A simple comfort benefit can be realized by mixing the masses of hot air without feeling it happening.

More importantly, particularly in high ceilinged spaces, blowing upwards gets the heated strata of air captured toward the ceiling more effectively than trying to pull it down.  The objective is to “destratify” the different “strata” of stacked air up there.  I often liken it to old submarine movies where the skipper takes the sub below the thermocline to hide from the enemy.  Hot air strata are sort of like that – layers of heated air with their own characteristics that can be difficult to get at and mix. Thus much of the heated air can be more likely to be wasted if not moved and mixed by pushing air upwards.


And in really big spaces where you are trying to move and mix lots of air it can be advantageous to alternate blowing upwards and downwards for more complete mixing of warm air.


















So I think it is a better feature of HVLS fans that can blow air upwards, and even more so if they are designed to be just as effective blowing up and down.

Oh, and while at it, rather than having a narrow column of air trying to do the work of air mixing as can be seen with older fan designs, I also believe using greater pitch enables broader areas of impact and larger volumes of air moved and mixed for the same effort. Picture a larger area of impact from a conical dispersal of air versus a straight down column of air. But that’s for a future post.

Clearly HVLS fans are ideal for year round comfort and energy savings and efficiency.  Having upward air flow capability designed in, maximum effect can be more readily realized.  It’s the smarter way to destratify.


Peter Caruso | T 508-653-3500 | info@airmotionsciences.com | www.airmotionsciences.com