Big Ass Fans, the World Leader in High-Performance Ceiling Fans for Industrial and Agricultural Spaces

 What’s in a Name? 

Founded in 1999 by President and CEO Carey Smith, the large-diameter, low-speed fan manufacturer’s memorable name came from customers who began referring to it as “the company that makes those big ass fans.” It didn't take long for the organization to embrace the name and become Big Ass Fans®.  In fact, the official mascot for Big Ass Fans is a donkey named Fanny. 

Today, Big Ass Fans are still designed and manufactured in Lexington, Kentucky, where the company was founded, and sold worldwide for year-round use.  

Resetting the Paradigm

Big Ass Fans is the world leader in high-performance ceiling fans for industrial and agricultural spaces.  Its LEED® Gold state-of-the-art 44,000 square foot research and development facility is the first and only laboratory devoted to fan research in the world.  Established products include the Powerfoil®X, Yellow Jacket®, Pivot® and AirGo®.  Driven by innovation and backed by some 80 patents, these fans are the most energy-efficient, toughest, longest-lasting and safest on the market.

Responding to customer requests, Big Ass Fans expanded its focus from factories and barns, developing the still large, but also lovely and quiet Element® and Isis® fans for commercial markets, including retail, hospitality, schools, churches and other public spaces as well as residential settings.

The new Haiku® fan launching in May 2012 met customer requests for a smaller fan suitable for a variety of residential spaces as well as commercial applications.  This category had remained basically unchanged for more than a century and traditionally sized residential ceiling fans were overdue for more than a makeover – they needed a reinvention.  The sleek, silent, sustainable Haiku, confirmed by ENERGY STAR® as the most energy-efficient ceiling fan, is the answer.

Diverse Installations

Nearly 65,000 Big Ass fans are in operation in hundreds of different building applications around the globe, from agricultural and industrial settings to hospitality and luxury residential spaces.  Customers include Crate & Barrel, Coca-Cola, Sephora, IKEA, Harley Davidson, Whole Foods Market, Stanford University, the University of Kentucky and The Home Depot. 

Along with offering its full line of products, Big Ass Fans also responds to special requests with the innate sense of adventure that typifies the company.  Always up for a challenge, the company’s engineering group has created a number of customized fans for use around the world.  

Big Ass Fans partnered with the Boston-based MASS Design Group, which leverages the design and building process for social change, to supply customized 12-foot Isis fans for the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda.  Using low energy, the fans improved ventilation rates 26 percent above the World Health Organization’s standards without creating a draft, moving the germ-carrying air from the floor to ceiling where ultraviolet bulbs kill airborne pathogens.  These fans collectively with other design elements prevent disease transmission and make Butaro Hospital a safe, comfortable haven for patients.

Aerodynamics and Precision Engineering Lead to New Heights in Sustainability

Big Ass Fans are designed to move the maximum amount of air with minimal energy consumption.  Precision-built, the fans include patented winglet technology, vertical tips on the end of the fan’s airfoils. These aerodynamic airfoils were modeled after airplane wing designs, which reduce air resistance and make it possible to run the very large-diameter fans on small, efficient motors.  

As a result, the fans can run on low settings to gently move large amounts of air near the ceiling with very little draft below.  In the winter, warm air trapped near the ceiling is pushed downward and can reduce heating costs by as much as 30 percent.  In summer, the fans run at a higher speed to provide continuous circulation, making people feel cooler and less reliant on air conditioning. The large-diameter, low-speed fans have aided many facilities in reaching LEED certification by decreasing the need for HVAC and extensive ductwork.

In addition to its award-winning design, Haiku is also a model of sustainability, utilizing ultra-renewable Moso bamboo and exceeding ENERGY STAR® requirements by 450 to 750 percent. 

Big Ass Fans takes environmental responsibility to heart in its own operations as well, with a rigorous water conservation program, reuse of scrap materials, purchasing of up to 50 percent Green Energy and printing 90 percent of literature on FSC paper with soy-based inks.

Locally Made and Responsible

Big Ass Fans strives to create value for its customers, its partners, its employees and the community every day, in everything it does.

Big Ass Fans is committed to keeping its materials and manufacturing practices local.  A locally based supply chain allows the company to control its manufacturing and distribution processes while guaranteeing quality, minimizing waste and providing meaningful jobs to more than 200 Lexington-area residents.

A New Way Forward

Big Ass Fans’ unwavering focus on product innovation, quality and customer satisfaction has resulted in the company’s double- and triple-digit growth over the past 12 years.  Every year for the past five years, the company has experienced a 30 percent growth in overall profits.  Big Ass Fans has also been recognized on Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies for the last five years running.

Big Ass Fans attributes its success not only to its technologically advanced product line and unconventional marketing approach, but also to its dedicated, enthusiastic workforce.  From assemblers to the research and development engineers, Big Ass Fans employees are committed to making continuous improvements in every aspect of the business, while having fun at the same time.

For more information, visit www.bigassfans.com or call 877-BIG FANS (877-244-3267).877-244-3267



Sarah Fletcher/Kimberly Babcock                                              

LOU HAMMOND & ASSOCIATES                     




Sherrell Watson

Public Relations Manager