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What are the Different Types of HVAC Fans

There are different types of HVAC fans and it's important to understand the basics so engineers can choose the most cost-efficient fan for the job.

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In APAC and Middle East regions, commercial and industrial units are steadily growing and the demand for HVAC products in the area is remains high. To be able to supply the needs of different industries, many HVAC companies make sure that they deliver high quality products, and one of the most important HVAC products are the different types of HVAC fans used.

In HVAC equipment, there are different types of HVAC fans that are used. According to HVAC engineers, it is important to understand the basic fan types to be able to choose the best and most cost-efficient type that is suitable for the job.

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All types of fans are designed for the sole purpose of delivering air. In an HVAC unit, most furnaces contain one or more fans, and different HVAC fans are used for different applications. There are three basic fan types that are usually encountered in the HVAC industry. The Axial Fan, the Forward Curved Centrifugal Fan and lastly, the Backward Inclined Fan.

Axial Fan


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Axial fans, also known as propeller fans, are engineered to move a low volume of air under low static conditions (static pressure is the resistance to air flow). These types of fans are low cost, and don’t work well when it faces resistance. Since propeller fans are low cost, most are built to run on Single Phase Voltages. These types of fans are more suited for applications with lower air volumes and pressures.

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Axial HVAC fans can usually be found positioned on top of an HVAC Rooftop or home compressor that is outside a house. A basic HVAC system which doesn’t run a heat pump is designed with condenser coils which remove heat from an area. These coils have fins that need air to move through them so as to remove heat. Since these sections don’t require a high power fan, an axial fan is the best and most cost efficient solution.

Centrifugal Fan


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Centrifugal fans look similar to hamster exercise wheels. These types of fans produce more pressure for a given air volume than axial fans. They are usually noisier as compared to axial fans and are suited for applications with higher air flow volumes and pressures. It has 3 types of drive mechanism: direct, belt, or variable drive.

Inside the HVAC Rooftop system, you will find a centrifugal fan. These HVAC fans should be strong enough to overcome all the resistance of the room’s duct-work. This is where axial fans are inadequate. Centrifugal fans move a large quantity of air while overcoming all the resistance or static pressure of the duct-work so that it can provide adequate air flow throughout the facility.

Backward Inclined Fans


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The backward inclined fans are designed to handle large volumes of clean air as needed in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. These are also used in many industrial air supply and exhaust applications.

There are some HVAC Rooftop units and HVAC accessories that may contain one or a series of backward inclined fans.

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Engr. Alaric Saltzman
Rugby is life. Studied electrical engineering at Imperial College London. Lives in Peoria, Illinois. Follow me


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