Why Were Air Circulator “Fan Filters” Introduced and Do They REALLY Benefit the User?

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All large, non air-conditioned facilities in North America use air circulators for people cooling. These fans typically may run, sometimes nonstop, for 5-8 months a year (and there could be 1000 or more fans in a facility). With this much use, they naturally pick up dust and oil from the air that passes through the guards and blades. Maintenance programs exist where by the fan head, consisting of the motor, guards, and blade, are cleaned using a variety of different methods.

Why They Were Introduced

Filter media was introduced to these air circulator users about 15 years ago as a means to eliminate the need for periodic physical cleaning of each fan. In theory it makes sense, but in practice, it is really very counterproductive and costly. A filter is designed to trap dirt and oil particles that are floating in the air. As a filter loads up with contaminants it becomes more and more restrictive to air flow.

Air circulators, by design, operate using what is called “free air.” They are not designed to operate under any restrictions. Free, unobstructed air flows over the motor keeping all internal components operating at the designed temperature, allowing the fan to move a large volume of air at a high speed. Any media that blocks the free flow of air will cause lower air volume and air speed dramatically affecting their cooling ability compared to a fan operating at free air. (There are fans or blowers that are designed to move air through ductwork or between different areas that can operate under “static pressure” but air circulators do not. These blowers can handle the combined restrictions of a filter and ductwork, such as your home furnace or other forms of industrial ventilators).

Increased Motor Temperatures

Our studies have shown that new and clean fan filters cause our Jan Fan motors (totally enclosed air over) to exhibit a rise in internal temperature of between 8°C and 11°C depending on the filter brand. As a filter loads with contaminants and it becomes more restrictive, the temperature increase will rise much higher. A motor’s operating life will be dramatically shortened due to this high temperature operation, unfortunately causing premature motor failure.

Also, we found that with a clean filter in place, power consumption increased 5-6%! And as a filter becomes loaded up with contaminants, Amperage and Watts further increased between 1.5 – 2.5% per month! In today’s competitive environment, we are all trying to become more productive and efficient, however, using fan filters on air circulators will only guarantee shortening the life of your fan motors while they operate at a much higher power consumption, and this is not a “win-win” situation.

Don’t Void Your Warranty

To clean a Jan Fan and to keep it operating at peak efficiency, simply clean off the “felt like” dirt build up on the leading edge of our blades. Opening our Jan Fan guard to do this procedure is quick and easy. However, as a result of the negative effects of using fan filters, their use (or any other restrictive air situation or media), will void Jan Fan’s 5 year industrial warranty.