Published at Monday, March 19th, 2018 - 02:39:36 AM. Ceiling Fan. By John.
Ceiling Fans Leading the Future The Current Market Ceiling fans have been gaining in popularity for the past 20 years. What started as a cost effective alternative to air conditioning to cool your living room bedroom or kitchen has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Ceiling fans are now offered in many styles and price ranges from the very basic to high end designer styles. They can cost from less than one hundred to several thousand dollars and are being made to suit any taste or preference. The ceiling fan manufacturing industry has evolved to provide very high quality fans at reasonable costs and has built the consumer market for these products. This led to explosive growth in the sales of fans through the home improvement retailers like Home Depot, Lowes and others. The days of showroom sales for the mid to high level fans may be in for a change due the marketing efforts of these industry giants. Marketing data suggests that approximately 70% of all ceiling fans are being installed by the homeowner within 2 years of occupying their home. They are replacing the existing lighting fixtures with higher grade fixtures and ceiling fans in the bedroom and kitchen area. The living room is also a popular choice for fixture replacement with ceiling fan and lighting kit combinations being installed in greater numbers. The consumer is faced with so many choices in the market today that it can be a bewildering experience for todays consumer. The average purchaser is going down to their favorite home improvement store to choose their new fan or lighting fixture or even making their choice on the internet. They come to a lighting specialty store or showroom only after being overwhelmed by the choices in the home improvement stores aisles which provide little if any service or assistance. The choice of fans today is greater than at any time in past 5 to 10 years. Many of the major brands are also selling products in the home improvement market. Companies like Hunter are distributing several models in Home Depot this trend is expected to increase as they gain market share. Changing Technology Numerous manufacturers have been paying attention to this trend in the consumer market and are providing fans that meet the needs of todays consumer. The ease of assembly and use of pre-assembled components speed the installation of their products. Westinghouse Lighting Corporation has a line of fans that captures all of these needs and they claim can be installed in 15 minutes on average. The weak link in all of these improvements is the ceiling box itself. This is the component that the fan is attached to and must bear the static and dynamic loads of the fans operation. It also houses the electrical wiring for the fan. This utilitarian component has been under going improvement for the past 10 years or more to make its installation quicker, cheaper and easier than the traditional metal box of yesterday. The electrical contractor of today is using products that increase his productivity and maximize the potential profit of his labor. They have a large choice of nail-on products that already have the fasteners attached to the ceiling box and all they have to do is hold it in place and nail or screw it into a joist or truss for it to be secured. Many of these boxes are thermoplastics which are inexpensive and easy to manufacture. They also have the added advantage of not needing to be electrically grounded so this saves the additional labor that metal boxes require. This fact is not lost on the ceiling box manufacturers that are producing ceiling, outlet and junction boxes that are quick to install and are made of plastics that require less and less labor to install properly. This has gotten to the point that there is now a lighting box that only needs to be pushed onto a wooden stud for it to be secured; no fasteners are needed at all! The ceiling fan manufacturers however may not be keeping pace with the trend in ceiling box installation practices. They advise the consumer of their products to reinforce or replace the existing fixture with a fan-rated ceiling box which is prudent, though are the consumers heeding their installation directives? The installation instructions for many of the fans available today show a metal type box that has screws going through the box and into blocking above the box. This is not what is installed in most of the newer construction homes which use the labor saving nail-on products. As a general rule builders and contractors do not provide blocking above the ceiling box with a nail-on product as the added material & labor is not cost effective. The average nail-on plastic ceiling box is rated for only supporting a 35 pound static load. They are also not fan-rated. This requires that the ceiling box be replaced with a fan-rated box before the installation of a ceiling fan. Fan-rated boxes are capable of holding 70 pound loads and are rated for this application. This is easier said than done! The nail-on products do not lend themselves to be reinforced easily since labor savings have also been applied to the construction of homes themselves. In many circumstance the average home does not have an attic, only a narrow crawl space between the trusses is provided. This combined with blow-in insulation makes the location of the ceiling box difficult if not impossible when a fan is to be hung on an upper floor. For installation of a ceiling fan between floors leaves little choice for this task since it cannot be accessed easily from above or below the ceiling since the upper floor is directly above the ceiling box. Cutting a hole in the floor or knocking out the ceiling is not prudent just to place blocking above a ceiling box. Medallions are available but the added expense, labor and time can be prohibitive, especially if the medallion is painted to match the ceiling. The brace type of products that are sold today are an alternative though they work better in theory than in practice as the old ceiling box needs to be removed before they can be installed. Home Depot has a web page devoted to this process which they claim can take ½ a day to complete. A Better Way Following the trends used in the construction methods of todays homes has led to the development of a new and simple method to reinforce an existing ceiling box to that of a fan-rated box that is consumer friendly. Access is gained through the ceiling box itself with a small bracket being utilized in what is in most cases is wasted space within the ceiling box itself. Two fasteners are driven through the ceiling box and into the joist or truss with the bracket being firmly held in position. This bracket has been shown by independent testing by a leading product testing laboratory to allow the ceiling box to sustain very large dynamic loads. This testing revealed that ordinary thermoplastic ceiling boxes that are reinforced in this manner are capable of sustaining loads that are factors above the requirements of NEC (314.27D & 422.18). These NEC building codes apply to the installation of ceiling fans and fan-rated ceiling boxes. Another added feature is that this product installs in only 2 minutes or less with common hand tools and allows the installation of a ceiling fan to be accomplished in less than an hour from start to finish. If the Westinghouse fans were to be used with this product it could be done in 17 minutes or less! The product can also be also used with metal boxes after 2 holes have been drilled in the ceiling box. Failure modes during product testing revealed that the test plate was being pulled off of the ceiling box. The ceiling box is left intact and firmly secured to the simulated test truss. A grounding lug and screw is provided on the bracket to facilitate grounding of the pierced ceiling box to alleviate any concerns regarding an energized component outside of the ceiling box. This product is manufactured in the United States by EE Products Inc. as FAN-EZE under the following U.S. Patents, 6,881,900, 6,909,045, & 6,965,077 and is available for distribution by retail and wholesale sales outlets. Further information regarding the products can be found at http://www.eeproductsinc.com or contacting the company directly at 801-254-5144.
Ceiling Fans - Get A Head Start On Choosing A Ceiling Fan By Learning The Basics Of Mounting! Mounting: The first step with a new ceiling fan is mounting, which simply refers to the attachment of your ceiling fan to the surface of a ceiling. To make it easier it is a good idea to become familiar with a few terms and options when choosing the right ceiling fan for you. This will ensure that your fan will hang properly and as low as you would like it to. Mounting also effects the operation of a ceiling fan in certain ways. Certain methods of mounting allow for the fan to more closely direct air to the people in a room and some methods allow for more flexibility in movement. Downrod: A downrod is really a very simple piece of equipment. Made of wood, metal, or plastic, the downrod is simply a rod that hangs from the ceiling, allowing your ceiling fan to hang lower from the ceilings surface. Some prefer this only for the look of a lower fan and some would like the breeze of the fan to be stronger, but for either reason a downrod will correctly lower your fan safely and effectively. Ball and socket mounting: This is a type of mounting where a ball-shaped apparatus is attached to a downrod, with the fan body and blades hanging from the ball. This makes it possible for the fan to move easier than it would with other methods of mounting. Hugger Mounting: Hugger model fans are simply fans mounted close to the ceiling, that will seem as though they are clinging to or "hugging" the ceiling directly. This can also be referred to as the close-to-ceiling-mount. Dual Mounting: Fans that feature dual mounting are able to be mounted close to the ceiling or from a downrod. You can decide after purchasing your fan, which is optimal if you would like to see how the fan looks on the ceiling first. Downrods are inexpensive and can easily be applied to dual mounting fans for aesthetic purposes; for cathedral ceilings, a fan lowered with a downrod can provide an appearance of grandeur and luxury. Plus a lowered fan brings the breeze of your ceiling fan closer to you, for a slightly more concentrated or stronger breeze. Blade irons/brackets: Blade irons attach your ceiling fan blades to the motor, connecting the fan together after it is mounted. J-hook and claw hook: With this type of mounting a metal hook secures to the ceiling, so that your fan will be directly attached to the material of the ceiling wall/ Low ceiling adapter: A low ceiling adapter is a kit which accomplishes the same thing as a downrod. Usually made of brass or another metal, a low ceiling adapter kit attaches directly from the ceiling and omits the need for lowering the fan at all as it automatically hangs a little farther down with the adapter. Once your fan is mounted you can add lights to make your ceiling fan serve more than one purpose and be an even better addition to your home. Lights can be added while mounting the fan, and there are three types of lighting methods to choose from: downlights, uplights, or one of the popular light kits. Uplights and downlights are just as they sound with uplights pointing toward the ceiling, and downlights pointing toward the center of the room. Each provides a slightly different effect. Uplights emanate an aura-like gleam to dress up a ceiling, and downlights brighten an entire room with a radiant glow. Light kits also come with many ceiling fans and can be classified as a type of downlight. The light kit replaces any central lighting that was previously hanging from the ceiling. Make sure you decide which type of mounting and lighting you are interested in before you make your final ceiling fan purchase.
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