Considering Industrial Fan Noise

Fan noise is an important consideration in the development of industrial applications. The level of noise produced by an industrial fan varies depending on the type of fan as well as its flow rate, pressure, and efficiency. Additional variables that may affect fan noise include floors, walls, ceilings, and other equipment, which may have an effect on noise reflection and absorption.
Aerovent Industrial Fan InstallationAerovent Industrial Fan Installation

An important reason for considering fan noise is safety. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), the permissible noise exposure limit is 90 dBA based on a time-weighted average over an 8-hour day. The NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health) also recommends limiting the 8-hour exposure to less than 85 dBA.

How Are Decibel Levels Measured?

Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, meaning a small variation in the # of decibels will result in a significant change in the level of noise and potential damage to the human ear.

For an idea of what decibel levels actually sound like, see the table below. Values are given for the sound pressure levels of sounds commonly heard in our environment. When comparing noise levels, bear in mind that noise at 120 dBA or higher for an extended period of time can result in pain or potential hearing loss.

Sound Pressure Decibel Level (dBA) Outdoor/Indoor Noise
140 – 130 Fireworks, gun shots, jackhammers
120 (dangerous for over 30 seconds) Jet aircraft at take off
110 – 90 Concerts, car horns, power tools, blenders
80 – 70 Alarm clocks, traffic, vacuum cleaners
60 – 50 Normal conversation, dishwasher, office
40 – 30 Whisper, quiet library conversation
20 Rustling leaves

Industrial fan noise levels range anywhere from 70 dBA to 90 dBA at 10 feet. There are a number of ways to implement fan and other industrial noise control measures to assure safety and regulatory compliance.

Air Solutions has extensive experience and a comprehensive understanding of noise abatement and required noise control standards and regulations. Our approach in developing effective industrial noise control solutions begins with an assessment of a facility and its processes. Equipment replacement and modifications will be done to reduce noise levels and meet OSHA requirements. We will develop an industrial noise control solution that meets the needs of your facility and budget, and achieves OSHA compliance. Contact us to discuss your project!