In the world of centrifugal fans and blowers for industrial process applications, “what’s the difference between a fan and a blower” is a trick question. That’s because there actually is no difference at all. That’s right. Whether you need an industrial fan or blower for your operation, the product designs are the same.
How can that be? Well, the truth is that in industrial process operations, a fan or blower is not defined by the impeller style or design itself. Instead, the difference is generally which side of the fan is offering the resistance that the fan must overcome to keep the molecules moving and the process working.
The Answer to the Question: What’s the Difference Between a Blower and a Fan?
The real answer to the question “what’s the difference between a fan and a blower” is this.
- Industrial induced draft fans generally suck air through a system and discharge it to the atmosphere.
- Forced-draft or pressure blowers generally suck atmospheric air and push or blow that air through a system.
(Side note: There are a few differences between fans and blowers for free-standing commercial and residential applications. We don’t make that kind of product, but you can learn more about those differences here if you’re not using or looking for industrial process fans or blowers.)
Determining Whether you Need a Fan or Blower
To determine whether you need a fan or blower for your operation, think about the function within the application.
If the application requires lower volume and higher pressure, you generally need a forced-draft or pressure blower with volume and pressure focused at the outlet. Applications include burners or combustion air, cooling, and air drying processes, fumes and gas elimination, tempered glass, and other conditioning processes.
When your application calls for other combinations of volume and pressure, you’ll probably be running an induced draft fan with pressure and volume focused at the inlet.
Industrial Fan or Blower Designs
Again, the same products serve as fans or blowers, although of course materials and accessories will vary depending on the application. The basic designs of our fans and blowers include:
- Backward Curved
- Backward Inclined
- High-Pressure Radial Open
- High-Pressure Radial Shrouded
- Industrial Exhauster Air Handling
- Industrial Exhauster Paddle Wheel
- Industrial Exhauster Radial Shrouded
- Radial Tipped
For more information on industrial fans and blowers, check out these additional articles:
- Centrifugal Fans & Blowers
- Forced Draft Versus Induced Draft
- Fan Selection: How to Tell Us What You Need