Type NBF Fan By Sarah Pahnke

The Type NBF fan from American Coolair is a durable,low-maintenance, cost-effective greenhouse ventilation system. Produced since1985, the NBF fan has been perfected to provide consumers with years ofheavy-duty and trouble-free service. This model features rugged, belt-drivenconstruction, permanently lubricated ball bearings and enclosed motors ofdifferent speeds.

Because hot days require effective cooling to properly growcrops, a greenhouse ventilation system is one of the most important investmentsfor growers. To help both large and small businesses choose ventilationequipment that is efficient, economical and long lasting, professional growersevaluate their experience with the NBF fan.


The NBF’s basic components and blade assembly areconstructed from 14-gauge high-strength steel, rather than the lighter, morecommonly used 16-gauge metal. The fan’s unique design reduces radial bearingloading because there is zero offset between the blades, bearings and wheel –the drive load is in the same plane. “The way the motors are mounted inthe NBF fan make the product stand out,” said Jim Woods, greenhousemanager and co-owner of Wood’s Country Store in Rushville, Neb.

The close range in the NBF allows for maintaining properalignment and ultimately reduces belt wearing. “I think the way Coolairdesigned the bearing system on their blade allows belts to last a littlelonger,” said Bryan Lavery, president of Blue Ridge Greenhouse and Farms,Melissa, Texas. “And once the belts are adjusted, they stay tighter.”The NBF’s drive design also has a direct impact on belt life. The larger drivesand pulley diameters might be why Woods has not had to change a belt on his7-year-old NBF fan.

Additionally, the fan is designed to operate in any positionand can be installed as an exterior or interior unit, as well as on a slope.


Running fans all day commonly leads to lackluster airmovement and premature deterioration from bearing overload and overuse. But accordingto Coolair, the NBF is designed to withstand even the most heavy-duty use andprovide trouble-free service for years.

As an owner of multiple NBF fans, Lavery has performed onlyroutine maintenance on Coolair systems purchased over the past 11 years. DentSparkman, owner of Martin’s Nursery, Gray Court, S.C., agrees, “I havesome fans that are 15 years old, and they are still in their originalcondition, except for the occasional belt maintenance.”

In addition to everyday wear-and-tear, extreme weather canaffect a fan’s operation by causing parts to rust and breakdown from corrosion.However, the NBF’s baked-on epoxy coating is designed to prevent weathering.”My fans’ surfaces have resisted weathering, and I’m kind of shocked. Ireally didn’t think they would originally because the spray material in thegreenhouse is more damaging than weather. They are in good shape, even the oldones,” said Lavery.


Proper fan maintenance is essential for efficient operation,but the NBF is designed to be time and cost effective. The fan’s smoothsurfaces and easy-to-remove shutters make it easy to clean and maintain.According to Lavery, only a bucket of soap and water is required to wipe downthe parts. And Woods said, “You can pop the louvers out and get right tothe blades and motor.”

According to Steve Waddell, president of RoundtreePlantation and Waddell Farms, Charlotte, N.C., having the fan’s shutter on theinside of the greenhouse makes a real difference in accessing and cleaning theparts. “Because it is on the inside and you’re not having to deal with theoutside elements, it makes it easy to get in and out,” he said.

Final Word

Lavery, a large grower who utilizes more than 200 fans,said, “I think the NBF is excellent, and I just ordered 11 more.”Davis agrees, “I would not consider any other fan because of my experiencewith the NBF, regardless of price.” Overall, the dependable and durableNBF lives up to its reputation as the “economical solution to fresh airventilation.”

Sarah Pahnke

Sarah Pahnke is editorial assistant for GPN.

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