What Is a Squirrel Cage Fan?


There are different types of fans. The most common are centrifugal (also called radial or squirrel cage), mixed flow, cross flow, axial and propeller fans.


  • The squirrel cage fan looks like a hamster exercise wheel or a water wheel with blades connected to a center hub. It is called centrifugal, which means thrown away from the center, because air goes into the center of the hub, flows over the blades and is spun out away from the hub.


  • Squirrel cage fans are effective for air pollution and industrial systems because they can produce high pressure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. They have many uses including home, airplane, automobile and industry cooling and heating systems, and dehumidifiers.


  • Squirrel cage fans have different wheels. The F-wheel has curve forward blades and the T-wheel has straight radial blades. Curved backwards blades are on the B-wheel and straight backward blades are on the P-wheel.

Blade Air Flow

  • Squirrel cage fans blades have various air flow outputs. According to The Engineering Tool Box, the forward blades give the highest air flow, straight radial blades next and backward turbo-vane blades the least amount of air flow.


  • Squirrel cage fans are inside housing units that vary depending on their function. Some housing may include filters or heating and cooling elements.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Alberto P. Veiga
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