Choosing an Air Mover: What Horsepower and CFM Do You Need? December 19, 2016 – Posted in: Air Movers, Blog, Industrial

When you are looking for commercial air movers to assist in your water damage restoration work, you probably find yourself comparing different models that offer different ratings for the work they do. The terms you encounter often include horsepower and CFM. But how do you know what you need? These ratings feel like arbitrary numbers sometimes.

Here at Aer Industries, we want to make your life easier by simplifying the search process. To assist in your search for commercial air movers for water damage restoration or janitorial work, here’s a look at horsepower and CFM — and how to make sense of these measurements.

Defining and Measuring Horsepower

Power is the simply the rate at which work is completed. The term first came into use in the late 18th century when a Scottish engineer named James Watt began comparing the output of steam engines to the power generated by draft horses. At the time, it made perfect sense. It compared the power of a new innovation to the power of an animal whose abilities most people were intimately familiar with. The higher the rate, the more powerful the machine or device that’s being rated. Over time, different types of horsepower measurements cropped up to help measure the power of different new technologies.

In the United States, we use electrical horsepower to indicate how powerful machines like air movers are. Each individual unit of electrical horsepower is equivalent to 746 Watts. Fun fact: The Watts unit is named after the person who first defined horsepower.

Defining and Measuring CFM

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, and it refers to the amount of air a machine moves in 60 seconds. This is essentially the standard unit of measurement for machines like air movers that serve as ventilators in commercial spaces and homes.

A special tool called an anemometer, which measures wind speed, is used to measure CFM for a unit like an air conditioner, air mover, or similar equipment. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the horsepower rating in commercial air movers, the higher the CFM.

What Level Horsepower and CFM Are Best for You?

First, think about the performance you need. Are you typically working in large industrial areas that need intensive water damage restoration work? If so, prioritize a high-horsepower commercial air mover like the B-Air® Grizzly GP-1, a 1-horsepower option.

But if you need air moving performance in an area where people work or study, such as an office building or school, you may find that a quieter ¼-horsepower model like the B-Air® VP-25 Compact is a better fit — one that moves air effectively while operating in near silence.

You can also consider other factors like physical size and cost, and sometimes it is best to find a model somewhere in the middle of the horsepower scale. The Soleaire® Max Storm offers ½-horsepower performance with 2550 CFM, while the BlueDri™ One-29 delivers 2900 CFM through a 1/3-horsepower motor.

As you can see when comparing the Soleaire® Max Storm and BlueDri™ One-29, a higher horsepower doesn’t always add up to higher CFM. That is just another reason to conduct a thorough search to find the product that is best for your work and its unique demands.

On top of CFM and horsepower there are several other factors to consider, such as different levels of airflow available, portability, and ease of storage. Making sure you consider all of these things before purchasing an air mover will ensure that you get the piece of equipment that best meets your needs.

Get What You Need With Aer Industries

At Aer Industries, we work with customers in a variety of industries, which is why we offer a wide range of products to meet their unique needs. We pride ourselves on offering an unmatched selection of quality, durable water damage restoration equipment that includes air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers and much more. We also serve the janitorial, greenhouse, and fire damage restoration industries. We have all the commercial air movers, dehumidifiers, and air scrubbers you need

Do you need help selecting the best air mover for your business or project? Contact one of our experts today!