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Airmovers – What are they and how to use them

Date posted: 20 February 2017

Air movers have a very wide range of applications, particularly at industrial sites, and are often regarded as an essential piece of equipment because of their amazing versatility. They are perhaps best known, however, for their use in floor or water damage restoration, and for carpet drying after cleaning

Even those who regularly use an air mover may not have considered all of their possible uses, so being a bit creative will help you to maximise the potential of this handy piece of equipment.

Main Uses:

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways in which you can use an air mover, but it does include many of the most common applications.

Drying: Air movers will accelerate the drying process in many industrial situations - whether it's drying carpets after cleaning; drying paints, ink or other coatings; or drying water off surfaces, such as after a flood. They force air at high velocities to push any residual moisture up off floors or out of carpets – helping to prevent the development of serious problems such as mould growth or structural damage that can be caused by long-term moisture. 

Fume removal: In industrial environments, one of the main uses of air movers is to safely remove toxic or unpleasant fumes or gas from a work area.

Blowing: Air movers can blow air to cool motors, ventilate workspaces, or humidify an area by spraying a mist in front of the stream of air.

Air movement: As the name suggests, air movers move air, and therefore they are capable of transporting lightweight objects (such as leaves, dust, paper scraps, and other small debris) away from a work area. This is handy for anyone whose job is is to sort/separate small, lightweight objects from other smaller, heavier items which would remain unmoved by the air. 

Key Features:

  • Air movers have a number of features that contribute to their versatility and mean they are more suitable for many tasks than other similar pieces of equipment with a similar function.They are portable, so can be used wherever you need them on site.
  • They do not have any moving parts, which means they do not require regular maintenance, – and yet they are highly reliable. 
  • In environments where there is a risk of explosions or fires, air movers run on compressed air are safer than similar equipment that is run on electricity.
  • You can instantly start and stop the air flow whenever you need to - whereas with a fan, for example, you would need to wait a short time while the fan blades reach their maximum speed, and again when you switch off for the fan blades to slow down and stop altogether. In some scenarios, this kind of timing may not be critical, but in others – where very controlled and precise air movement is required – you would need an air mover to do the job properly.
  • They are also quieter to run than most industrial fans.

Main Types:

There are a variety of different types of air movers, but the most commonly used types - particularly for popular applications such as carpet drying - are centrifugal and downdraft systems, although in big industrial environments axial air movers are often the top choice.

Centrifugal Air Movers: Low to the ground, this common type of air mover is excellent for floor-drying because the air blows directly over the surface of the floor. They are ideal for drying solid floors as well as many types of carpet. They do not use much energy, so you can have several operating in different positions across a waterlogged room in order to accelerate floor drying.  They usually offer an adjustable airflow (e.g. two or three speed settings) – a lower setting is better suited for harder floors, whereas a higher setting may be better for carpet-drying. Some also allow you to choose the angle at which the air blows. Once the floor is dry these lightweight units are easy to move elsewhere. 

Downdraft: This type draws drier and often warmer air from above and forces it down, hence the name, across the carpet or floor surface. The air is released in a 360-degree pattern, covering a large area and often drying an entire room in a matter of minutes rather than hours.

Axial Air Movers: This type is often the choice in large industrial spaces, whether they are once again being used to dry floors, or for ventilation and other applications. In the case of fire damage restoration, for example, you can set up the machine as an extractor to blow out via a window, removing smoke and other harmful fumes from the indoor space. For hot or poorly ventilated work zones you can position the air mover in an entrance to the space, facing it into the workspace, to create a cooling breeze.

Compact Air Movers: This small type of air mover is designed for use where larger models such as axial air movers would be unable to reach – whether it's in small rooms, in cupboards, or under cabinets, and so forth. They do not use a lot of energy, therefore you can set up multiple units to run simultaneously if you wish.


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