Painters, carpet cleaners, and home renovators have one thing in common: they deal with wet surfaces and moistures regularly. The classic way of drying carpets and painted wall is by using your breath or a fan, or simply just waiting it out and coming back the next day. However, as you already know, this means you’re spending a tremendous amount of time doing nothing when you could be applying a second coat of paint on your walls within the hour. “How do I do this?” you askWith an air mover, of course!
What is an air mover?
An air mover – also known as an industrial air blower, an inflatable blower, and also an air dancer blower – is a lesser-known tool that performs one of the most basic – but crucial – tasks: blowing air. The air shot out of the chute is meant to dry wet objects and surfaces in a fraction of the time it’d normally take.
Why do I need one?
Professional workers such as painters, carpet cleaners, and construction workers know the struggle of waiting for web substances to dry. You could sit around twiddling your thumbs all day or rely on an air mover to air-dry your surfaces ready for further processing. Essentially, with an air mover, you could reduce downtime to a minimum and complete tasks way before your deadline.
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Types of air movers
There are three distinct types of air movers to choose, namely axial air movers, centrifugal air movers, and compact air movers. Each type of air mover offers different ranges of speed and airflow direction.
Axial Air Mover
This is the largest, most powerful type of air mover. This type is designed specifically to move a tremendous amount of air in wide spaces. However, the airflow direction of this tool is limited to horizontal movement. Painters and carpet cleaners can find value from this type of air mover for drying paint and top-down drying carpets. In a pinch, you could even use axial air movers to help with cooling and ventilation.
Centrifugal Air Mover
Unlike the previous type of air mover, centrifugal air movers can blast air in many directions. This tool sucks up air from several sources and aims at a single spot before expelling the air. The fans installed in this type of air mover are considerably smaller than in axial air movers, meaning that they move smaller quantities of air per minute. This can be an advantage when working in tight areas like closets, cabinets, and crawlspaces.
Compact Air Mover
As its name suggests, compact air movers are the smallest type of air mover, usually with motors of ¼ HP. Despite being compact, they can be used to blow-dry large areas like walls and floors. Their small size has its benefits as well, such as giving them the ability to spot-treat corners, beneath counters, and other hard-to-reach spaces. Furthermore, their small motors and fans help in keeping noise levels down to a minimum. There are several compact centrifugal models to check out.
What to Consider When Purchasing an Air Mover
Like any other versatile tool, it’s not a wise choice to pick up the first air mover you see. There are several specs you need to take into consideration, meaning that you’ll need to put in some time to do research. Lucky for you, we’ve done the research for you. You can read our brief guide on what specs and features to look at when searching for the right air mover.
When searching for an air mover, the first thing you need to consider is how powerful a motor it comes with. Air movers generally feature motors ranging from ¼ HP to 1 HP, where the higher the HP rating is, the more air it can move and the quicker it can complete large-scale tasks – e.g., drying painted walls and large carpets – quicker.
In addition, the location in which you plan on setting up and running an air mover should also affect how many HPs your air mover needs. If you need to ventilate large rooms, a larger air mover would be more appropriate.
You should also consider how much noise an air mover produces. In general, large, 1-HP motors will produce greater levels of noise compared to their ¼-HP and 1/3-HP counterparts. There’s really no way to reduce the noise levels of an air mover that’s set on a single setting without sacrificing airflow, such as placing a muffling object in front of the chute. Choose a model with the most appropriate power, but that produces tolerable noise levels.
You can forget about noise production if you get an air mover with multiple speed settings. Basically, if your air mover has different speeds, you can set it up to move huge amounts of air at high noise levels as well as reduce the speed and volume of airflow. With a variable speed dial, your air mover becomes increasingly more versatile since it can be used in all sorts of environments such as in quiet offices and in loud workshops.
Volume of Airflow
Airflow is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute) which indicates how much air is moved every 60 seconds. Ventilating large rooms and drying large objects will require more airflow for better efficiency. Keep in mind that the HP rating of an air mover doesn’t always translate into more air movement.
If you take a look at the different types of air movers, axial air movers should be able to move at least 3,000 CFM, whereas the airflow rating of centrifugal air movers usually ranges between 2,400 and 2,700 CFM.
Some air mover models let users redirect airflow where it’s most needed. This is especially handy if you need to dry large objects like painted furniture or vertically hanging carpets and don’t have multiple or stackable air movers. Most of the models that let you redirect airflow come with three different angle settings: horizontal, 45°, and 90°. You can set up the blowing position of your air mover by pulling out a retractable stand and by tilting it upwards for a 90° angle.
Built-In Power Outlets
There are several air mover models that come with built-in power outlets. It’s a nice feature to have since it lets you plug in different electronics through the air mover, but it’s not exactly needed to solve the problem of a lack of power outlets. With a multi-plug extension cord (something you might already have at home/the office), you can plug in your air mover and several other electronics simultaneously.
Air movers are compact appliances that you can take with you wherever it’s needed. Because of this, there’s a high risk that you’ll accidentally drop the machine or they tip over when stacking them on top of each other. If you plan on frequently moving your air mover from place to place, you might want to consider purchasing an air mover constructed of durable materials like polyethylene and polypropylene.
It’s important to consider how much electricity is consumed to run an air mover for hours at a time. It becomes especially crucial if you want to save energy but need to run multiple air movers at the same time. In general, larger machines and quicker fan speed use up more energy per hour compared to smaller machines and low-speed mode.
Top 5 Best Commercial Air Movers
After reading our brief buying guide, hopefully, now you have a general idea of what to look for when searching the market for a quality air mover. However, as we mentioned before, there are several types and features to take into account and doing the research might be a bit time-consuming. Lucky for you, we’ve done the research, and we’ll provide you with our picks of the five best-performing commercial air movers to use at home or at a job site. Coincidentally, the five air movers we’ve rated as the best of the best are centrifugal models.
5 XPOWER P-80A Mini Mighty Air Mover
The first product on our list is the P-80A from XPOWER. Don’t be fooled by its compact size; its 1/3-HP motor has enough power to deliver 475 CFM of air. This unit features three different speed settings where each setting produces different amounts of air movement and noise production. In addition, the P-80A comes with two electric outlets in exchange for one outlet that this unit plugs into.
Professionals should definitely consider getting a P-80A for their drying needs. This tool comes with four different blowing positions – 0°, 20°, 45°, and 90°. We’ve found that while in the 45° and 90° there may be some slight balance issues, especially when the unit is working on its highest speed, but placing objects on either side of the air mover can solve this issue completely.
If you need multiple air blowers working simultaneously and in the same location, the P-80A is an excellent product to choose. The lightweight build on this air mover (7.9 pounds) allows you to stack up to P-80As on top of one another. Furthermore, each P-80A draws only 1.2 amps on its highest fan setting.
Even though this tool is a great option for commercial use, many users have found multiple uses for the P-80A around the home. It provides enough power to blow away stray animal fur after grooming and blow-drying painted walls and furniture. However, there have been some complaints regarding the quality of the build and longevity of the unit, and the 40-day warranty itself isn’t entirely reassuring.
4 MOUNTO 3-Speed 1Hp 4000 Plus CFMfm Monster Air Mover
The MT4000 from MOUNTO is another excellent centrifugal air mover to consider. It comes with a large 1-HP that produces up to a 4,000 CFM of airflow. From these two specs alone, we can tell that this machine is designed to give professional workers tremendous drying power for quick-drying any and all surfaces in no time. This unit doesn’t come with any outlets so be sure to take a multi-plug extension cord with you if necessary.
What separates this unit from the others on our list is its size and weight. Due to its large motor and massive airflow delivery, this unit isn’t made to be lifted by a handle but rather tugged or pushed around. Its two rear wheels help maneuver the air mover to and from job sites with no issue at all. The MT4000 also features a telescoping handle that you pull out for transport and push back in for storage.
The MT4000 can be set to three different blowing positions: 0°, 20°, and 90°. Users should ensure that the telescoping handle is fully retracted before tilting the unit to the 90° position to prevent tripping.
There’s absolutely no reason to worry about the durability of the MT4000. The body is made out of polypropylene for extra durability for when the unit tilts on its side or bumps into obstacles. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the wheels. Some users found that the plastic wheels scratch easily and can explode unexpectedly when dragging the unit across paved surfaces.
3 CFM Pro Air Mover Carpet Floor Dryer
There is one crucial point about the 4200 Series from CFM Pro that we need to address. Despite its name, this tool’s 1-HP motor produces only about 3,500 CFM at most. Yes, it’s confusing and misleading, but we feel that it’s not a deal-breaker. In fact, considering the size of the unit and its motor, we’re rather surprised that this compact air mover can achieve such a massive airflow per minute rating. This is also a 3-speed setting that produces various CFM and noise production levels.
The 4200 Series comes with built-in stands to redirect air wherever it’s needed. There are three angles to choose from 0°, 45°, and 90°. After testing this unit out, we haven’t found any balance issues at all so you can lean the unit back to its 45° without worrying about it falling or scratching.
Speaking of scratching, the 4200 Series from CFM Pro is constructed from an extremely durable polyethylene composite which can withstand drops on its sides and bumps against hard surfaces. The feet work excellently in ensuring stability, and they’re anti-mar and anti-skid to keep your tiles and tables mark-free.
This is also a lightweight (30 pounds) model that can be stackable up to 3 units high (each unit draws 12 amps on its highest setting). Daisy chaining might be an issue since the 4200 Series doesn’t come with a wraparound handle to link chains/ropes through.
2 Soleaire Super Monsoon SA-SM-1HP-GY Grey Air Mover
The next product on our list of the five top commercial air movers is the Super Monsoon SA-SM-1HP-GY from Soleaire. As you can already guess from its name, the Super Monsoon features a beefy 1-HP motor for tremendous airflow delivery. It has three speed settings, and the highest speed produces up to an astounding 4,050 CFM of airflow. Needless to say, professional cleaners could definitely find value in its amazing airflow delivery.
Similar to the other models on our list, the Super Monsoon has three angle positions – 0°, 45°, and 90°. If you need to blow air into higher spaces, you can stack up to three Super Monsoons on top of each other (each Super Monsoon weighs 36 pounds).
This is a super-durable air mover that is molded out of polyethylene. Its materials prepare the Super Monsoon for all sorts of trouble at the job site, including drops, bumps during transport, and moisture in damp environments (e.g., garages and basements).
There have been complaints about the longevity of the Super Monsoon, especially after continuous running. It’s a good thing that the manufacturer provides a 1-year limited warranty. Another complaint common among some users is the noise levels that come out of this machine, even when set to its slowest fan speed.
This machine is perhaps better-suited for use in areas where noise isn’t a problem, or you should have a reliable pair of ear defenders on the ready.
1 CFM Pro Air Mover Carpet Floor Dryer
The final product on our list is the HDX-3300 from CFM Pro. It appears that the company has some problems with marketing their products under misleading names. Although this tool is named the HDX-3300, its maximum CFM output is only around 1,100 CFM. Still, considering its motor (only 1/3 HP), this is still a surprisingly powerful air mover with two built-in outlets that users would be happy to utilize at home or at the job site. It’s a 3-speed air mover so you can decide how much air to expel from the chute, depending on your specific set of needs.
The HDX-3300 uses built-in feet to keep it in one of three positions – 0°, 45°, and 90°. Like the 4200 Series, the HDX-3300 has no problem maintaining balance at any position when running at its highest speed.
It’s also a lightweight tool – around 30 pounds – and can be stacked on top of each other. It’s recommended that if you’re going to stack HDX-3300s, the tallest tower you can build is three units high. Anything higher might cause damage to the polyethylene casing.
Users and commented on the HDX-3300’s somewhat loud noise levels, even when running at its lowest setting. However, they’ve also mentioned that based on the amount of air it moves, the level of noise is definitely tolerable. This machine is better suited for use at professional job sites and away out of the home or office if you need your peace and quiet.
Air movers are excellent tools that professionals use to quick-dry painted surfaces, wet rugs, or keep a room ventilated so cement and wood dust doesn’t reduce their vision. It’s not just professionals who can utilize air movers, but also the average Joe can find huge benefits of owning one of these tools.
If there’s a leak in your home, you can direct your air mover towards the moist area to exponentially reduce the risk of mold growth.
Looking online, you might notice that there are several different types of air movers to choose from. The available types are centrifugal, axial, and compact air movers. You should select the type of air mover based on what you need, e.g., axial for top-down drying carpets and walls, centrifugal for general drying and ventilation, and compact air movers as a versatile way of creating air circulation.
Other than looking at the types of air movers available, it’s important to check out their specs and compare different models to each other.
The most important features and specs to pay attention to include how powerful its motor is, how much noise it produces, whether it has different speed settings, how much air it can move per minute (CFM), whether it can lean over to redirect its aim, whether it comes with built-in power outlets, how durable it is against drops and humidity, and how much energy it consumes (especially if you’re running multiple air movers at once).
In our article, we’ve provided you with five of our favorite centrifugal air movers. At first glance, most of the small-sized centrifugal air movers will look similar in build, but we’ve selected the most versatile, best-performing air movers available today.
Of the models we’ve picked, the MT4000 from MOUNTO is the only air mover with a different design. It’s not a compact model like the rest, but instead, it features rear wheels for carting the 45-pound machine from place to place. For heavy-duty air-moving and blow-drying tasks, we highly recommend considering the MT4000.
From the compact models on our list, we suggest that you, a commercial worker, consider purchasing the HDX-3300 from CFM Pro. The most surprising thing about this machine is that its 1/3-HP motor can produce up to 1,100 CFM. This type of airflow is usually produced by ½-HP air movers, but CFM Pro found a way to harness the full power of a smaller motor. And you get two handy built-in power outlets to plug any other electronics you need while at work.
Whether you decide to go with one of our picks or go with another brand and model, just know that as a commercial worker (plumber, painter, carpet cleaner, pet groomer, etc.) having an air mover will help tremendously by keeping your drying surfaces quicker and keeping your workstation spotless.