Industrial Fan Selection 101

Choosing the right industrial fan for an application involves a variety of considerations. Whether your process requires high or low airflow, high or low pressure, or presents particular environmental challenges, your decision requires a well-considered process involving many things, only one of which is the price. It is important to keep in mind that identifying and selecting an industrial fan that is designed for your application needs will ultimately be the most cost-effective option for your bottom line.

Many factors influence fan specification relating to applications that demand certain air movement attributes for cooling, exhausting, aerating, ventilating and drying should be assessed. When all of the factors are evaluated, maximum efficiency and reliability of both the fan and the equipment involved can be achieved.

Areas of industrial fan consideration include:

Type of Fan

An axial fan draws air in using a propeller, and discharges air in the same direction; it should not be used to convey material. A centrifugal blower wheel draws air into the housing and discharges it out at 90°.


Earlier in the design process, ducting should be considered for performance and efficiency. This will influence the final design in terms of overall cost, the compactness of the fan, and the operational costs.

Total Airflow

Airflow is rated in cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). When conveying material, make sure there is adequate CFM for the duct pipe or hose size.

Static Pressure

The resistance to the airflow, or static pressure, is caused by air moving through the pipe, hose, duct, filter, hood and other factors. Static pressure is rated in inches of water gauge (SPWG).


Density changes resulting from temperature, altitude, negative pressure at the fan inlet and/or barometric pressure variations should be corrected to standard conditions.

Air Temperature

The temperature of the air going through the fan or blower will affect the performance of the fan or blower.


The altitude at which the fan or blower will be operating also impacts the performance of the fan or blower.

Material Handling

If the material will be conveyed through the fan or blower, the material characteristics should be considered.

Ambient Temperature

The temperature of the air outside the fan or blower, or ambient temperature, can affect the operation of fan or blower.

Safety Conditions

Special accommodations may be required if any material going through the blower is flammable or combustible.

Looking for additional guidance in the industrial fan selection process? Contact the specialists at Air Solutions to discuss your application.