Hot air rises.
Galileo knew it. We know it. And staff at a Dorset soap factory certainly knew it when they shivered in their boots at work each day.
That was until someone thought to install a destratification fan which recirculates the warm air that collects at the ceiling, pushing it back down to mingle with the cooler air that settled below.
Now staff at the natural soap manufacturers, LUSH work in an ambient 18-20 degC every day – and the factory has saved an impressive 61 per cent, or £17,500, on its heating bills.
The newly installed Airius destratification fan has taken the edge off both LUSH's bills and chills.
“Despite the factory being filled with gas burners cooking up all of LUSH's lotions and potions, the staff reported that the factory never got above 16degC in the winter," said Airius boss Stephen Bridges. "Now their factory is warm and pleasant to be in throughout the year."
Destratification fans prevent hot air from accumulating at the ceiling by recirculating it down to floor level where it is needed. They also prevent cool air from becoming trapped in low points or poorly circulated areas.
Destratification fans are recommended by the Carbon Trust as one of the three key heat saving measures in commercial and industrial buildings. The flagship Debenhams store on London's regent street uses an Airius destrat fan to redistribute heat thoughout it's five-storey escalator well, while many RAF aircraft hangers also employ the system to redistribute heat produced from their radiant tube heaters.
In the LUSH factory, which measures, 4,500 square feet with ceilings that are 8m high, the installation of the Airius system cost £2,967.50. Heating costs were £26,638 pre installation and £7,333 post installation. The system has an annual running cost of £68.75.
The LUSH system was particularly successful because the fans were able to recirculate a significant amount of the heat produced by the gas burners.
The Carbon Trust other key heat-saving recommendations are replacing inefficient gas boilers and lowering the thermostat. Lowering set points by just 1degC can produce annual heating bill savings of up to eight per cent, it claims.