By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Friday, August 17th, 2018 - 18:57:37 PM.
Tips On Installing A Ceiling Fan I assume you are a DIY and have decided that putting ceiling fans in your home makes good sense. Youve probably researched the advantages of installing ceiling fans and have learned that besides the aesthetic appeal that is part and parcel of a ceiling fan, there are a number of benefits that impact your wallet in a positive way. The industry has determined that the cooling effect of a ceiling fan can make a room feel at least 7 degrees cooler than it really is and the consequent adjustment to your thermostat can cut your air conditioning related energy costs by as much as 35% to 45%. In the cold months, reversing the fan blades so they push warm air down from the ceiling can reduce your heating expenses as well. Some experts maintain that you can save between 8% to 12% on your heating bill. So, youre sold on the idea of installing ceiling fans. The next step is to decide what brand, style, etc. youre going to invest your money in. Do the research. Find out who the major players are in the manufacture of ceiling fans and how long theyve been at it. Its not necessarily who sells the most ceiling fans but rather, what consumers say about the various brands. The Internet can help but you have to be wary about sales pitches that are disguised as testimonials. My personal preference is Westinghouse because of a multitude of factors that Im not going to get into since this article is intended to focus more on the installation end of the ceiling fan rather than what to buy. However, before I get off the subject of what to buy, a word or two to the wise. This is not a purchase that you want to make with the idea of saving as much money as you can on these units. Manufacturers of inexpensive units have become more and more clever at making their products look great. However, a ceiling fan needs to pass the test of time and extensive use and many if not most of the cheaper units simply dont pass this test. Inexpensive fan casing is often made from thin material that may not be of the best quality. So, after a few years, you may begin to notice the motor housing beginning to show signs of wear with vibrating and other noise being the telltale signs. Theres nothing you can do to fix these problems besides investing in another fan (throwing good money after bad). Also, cheaper fans often have blades that are made of inferior material which may begin to warp or go out of balance. While you can do a temporary fix for this kind of problem, youre going to end up with a chronic headache since the basic cause of the problem just wont go away no matter how many times you try to fix it. Here are a few more tips to consider while youre shopping for the right fan(s). The size of the room determines the span of the blade you should be looking for. Youll find blade spans that range between 29" to 56". The smallest blade span will work for a room that is no bigger than 50 square feet while a 36" blade span will service an area of approximately 70 to 80 square feet. Larger rooms, such as 100 square feet need at least a 42" blade span and a room that is larger than 100 square feet should have a fan with the longest blade span you can find. Make sure the pitch of the blade is approximately 14 degrees for the most efficient air movement. Many fans are equipped with lighting. Consider the size of the room and what the room will be used for when deciding whether or not to buy a fan with lights. Most manufacturers make ceiling fans that can be adapted to lighted fixtures with a lighting kit designed specifically for a particular model. Finally, buy a ceiling fan that is reversible so that you can run it in one direction for cooling and in the other direction for heating. Keep in mind that the fan blades should be at least seven feet from the floor and a foot below the ceiling. For lower ceilings, choose a hugger type fan. With higher ceilings, you can purchase what is called a down rod for purposes of extending the fan closer to the floor. Okay. Its time to get down to some of the basic issues related to getting these things up where they belong and doing what theyre designed to do. Youve purchased the fan(s). As you unpack the first one, make sure you check the parts you take from the box against the listing (usually an exploded drawing) of the parts shown in the manufacturers literature. Lay out the parts and then check them off to make sure that youve got everything youre supposed to have. Keep the parts away from the area where you will actually install the fan to keep from creating a mess as you begin the actual job. Be sure youve got all the tools you need before starting the job. This includes a stepladder, the right kind of screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, something to strip the wires with, a circuit tester, a ceiling box, a hammer and a saw to make the opening in the drywall. Its probably a good idea to have your toolbox handy just in case you need something you havent anticipated. The best way to make sure youve got everything you need is to read the installation instructions from beginning to end before you do anything else. If youre among the fortunate, the room will have a ceiling box that is being used for a light fixture already mounted in the center of the room. Generally, the existing ceiling box will need to be replaced with one specifically designed for mounting a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans weigh considerably more than light fixtures and may require additional support. If the material that came with the fan doesnt include a new ceiling box and mounting brackets, you will have to purchase these separately before proceeding. You may need to hire an experienced, licensed electrician to do this part of the job if you dont have the expertise yourself. The primary consideration is to make certain that the ceiling box provides adequate support for the weight of the ceiling fan. A brace (mounting bracket) mounted between ceilings joists will provide the necessary support. On the other hand, if you dont have a ceiling box mounted in the center of the room, you will need to undertake the necessary renovations to run electricity from the closest source to the center of the room. The steps required to do this are beyond the scope of this article and will usually require the services of an experienced and licensed electrician. Most manuals that are packed with the ceiling fan will provide considerable detail regarding what it will take to adequately support the ceiling fan. Make sure the electricity to the room is turned off at the box (circuit breaker or fuse box). Test the wiring with a circuit tester to make sure its off. If the room has inadequate natural lighting, you may need to run an extension cord with a lighting fixture from another part of the house to provide you with adequate visibility. Carefully read the installation manual and follow the step-by-step instructions for installing the fan. Keep in mind that this is usually at least a two-person job. Even though the instructions may not tell you this, be sure that there is sufficient clearance between the blades and the ceiling to attach the blades after installing the motor. If not, install the blades to the motor arms before attaching the motor to the electrical box. Its common sense so it may not be mentioned in the manual but make sure the screws that are used to attach the blades are evenly tightened. Now that your fan is installed, its time to test its operation. Turn on the power and switch on the fan. Although the manufacturer should make certain that the blades are evenly weighted and that their angles are all the same, it may still wobble somewhat once it begins to rotate. If this is the case, turn the fan off and check to make certain that the screws that attach the blades are all tight. Use a yardstick held vertically at the edge of one of the blades and manually rotate the blades to make sure that they are in alignment. If there is any misalignment, gently bend the blade up or down to get the blade aligned properly. If the wobble persists, it usually means that one or more of the blades weigh more or less than the others. Many manufacturers include weight-balancing clips with the ceiling fans. These clips install on the top of the blade and add weight. Less weight is added the closer to the motor housing the clip is installed. Adjust the clip(s) until the wobble stops. If weight-balancing clips were not included, they can be purchased at a lighting store, home center or at many hardware stores.
Ceiling Fan Frequently Asked Questions I. What is the purpose of a ceiling fan? A ceiling fan serves two purposes 1. To provide a breeze thereby creating the "wind chill factor" 2. To circulate the air throughout a room or area II. How do ceiling fans lower the temperature? They dont, at least not literally. Unlike an air conditioner, ceiling fans do not directly affect the air temperature. That does not mean, however, that ceiling fans are not effective in cooling. As pertaining to the two purposes listed in question (I): 1. The moving air from a ceiling fan will help you feel cooler regardless of the temperature of a room. It is much the same as being outside in the summer-- it can be 80-90 degrees, and if there is a breeze, it is very pleasant. 2. The circulation from a ceiling fan can disperse the cool air from lower areas (and air conditioning) into the central, inhabited areas of a room. IIa. How do ceiling fans help heat in the winter? Much the same as they help with cooling in circulation. Running your heat in the winter, hot air rises to the ceiling, and so much of the heat is wasted. Running a ceiling fan during the winter, to push down warm air from the ceiling and eliminate cold spots, can save a great deal of heating energy. III. What rooms should have ceiling fans installed? EVERY room. Depending on your personal preferences, any and every room can benefit from a ceiling fan installed. The more time people spend in a given room, the greater the benefit of a ceiling fan. For circulation, especially large rooms, and/or those with high and/or vaulted ceilings. People will have their preferences on where they most prefer the benefits, but ultimately any room is a good idea. IV. What size fan is needed for a particular room? Ceiling fans commonly come in two sizes: 52" for larger rooms and 42" for smaller rooms. Many companies offer 30-36" fans for exceptionally small rooms, and 56-60" fans for larger and/or commercial settings. The most common size by far is the 52" fan, which is typically appropriate for most rooms. V. My ceiling is lower, do I need a hugger fan? Hugger fans are designed to provide the minimum distance between the ceiling and the fan blades. This is ideal for lower ceilings as it provides the maximum clearance between the blades (and other lower parts of the fan such as lights) and the floor. The downside is that the shorter distance between the blades and the ceiling impedes circulation to a degree. Hugger ceiling fans are less effective than regular ceiling fans regardless of ceiling height. VI. My ceiling is higher, how long of a downrod do I need? For maximum circulation, the blades should be positioned 8-10 from the floor. However having the blades too far away from the ceiling can sometimes lessen the effectiveness of heat destratification. Not to having the blades 9 from the ceiling on a 15 ceiling may look a little imposing. VIa. I have a vaulted ceiling, do I need a special kit? Usually not. It is standard for fans to include hardware that will allow the fan to be mounted on a ceiling up to a ~30 degree incline. Hugger fans are not designed to be mounted on a vaulted ceiling. There are other rare exceptions, these are usually noted by the manufacturer and can be adapted. VII. What sort of control options are available? Most ceiling fans made in recent years have a built in three-speed pullchain control. Regardless of whether or not the fan is wired to a separate switch, you have full control of the fan from the chain. Off-high-medium-low. Most fans are also reversible and have a reverse switch built into the fan body. If the fan has a light, the light will have its own on-off pullchain. The entire fan assembly can be controlled without the benefit of a remote switch. Many companies now offer fans with remote speed control options that allow for independent fan and light control without additional wall switches and wiring. These can include wireless remote controls, replacement wall switches, and computerized options that involve one, the other, or both. This allows a fan to be installed in a conventional two-wire hookup and benefit from the control options of a 3 wire (two switch) hookup without installing a third wire. The mobility of a wireless remote and the features of the computerized controls are additional benefits. Ceiling fans with conventional pullchain controls can be retrofitted with remote speed control options such as those mentioned above. The retrofit kits include the wall or wireless remote control, and a receiver that is attached inside the ceiling fan canopy and wires between the fan and the power source. The receiver requires only a two-wire power source, switched or unswitched. VIII. How many blades is best? These days ceiling fans are available with any number of blades from one to eight, although any number below 3 and above 6 is for novelty or decorative purposes only. Most fans have 4 or 5 blades, some are adaptable to take either. Most people assume that more blades move more air, i.e. a fan with five blades moves more air than a fan with four blades. This, in fact, is incorrect. More blades results in a greater load on the motor, and a greater load on the motor causes it to operate at a slower speed. A fan with less blades operating at a faster speed will more more air than a fan with more blades operating at a slower speed. This is why most commercial fans have three blades and a high speed motor, to provide the greatest amount of airflow efficiently. IX. What are the quality differences between fans on the market? Many different fans are available these days, with a great degree of different options, styles, designs, and prices. Often times people buy a fan for appearance-based reasons. But most consumers, about to spend a significant amount of money on a ceiling fan (or fans) are concerned about getting the best quality product, or at the very least the best quality product within their price range. It is a commonly held theory that you get what you pay for: the more something costs, the better quality it is. As with many products, that is generally true with ceiling fans, but there are other factors. When you buy a ceiling fan you are paying for three things: 1. Quality and features 2. Design/style 3. Name recognition The most expensive fan may be the best quality, or it may be the most expensive design, or it may be the best known brand name. IXa. What makes a ceiling fan Energy Efficient? How do I consider this when choosing a fan? There are three factors: 1. How much air is moved 2. How much current is drawn 3. The quality and construction of the fan Obviously the most efficient ceiling fan would be that which has the best #1/#2 ratio. However #3 is also a very important factor in buying a ceiling fan, and just because a fan has the best ratio does not mean it moves the most air. A fan that draws very little power but moves very little air may be considered very efficient. Additionally, if the fan has a light kit, the light kit is much more crucial to energy consumption than the fan motor. Ceiling fans typically draw ~100 watts or less on the highest speed setting, however the typical four socket light kit draws 240 watts consistently. Much more important than finding the most efficient motor, in this case, is maximizing the efficiency of the light kit. Compact Fluorescent light bulbs are ideal for this purpose-- the same light kit will then draw 60 watts or less. X. Fan Operation: What speed and direction settings should be used? This is a very subjective topic, and for most it was probably answered by parts I & II above. There are a number of factors that vary by setting and situation-- fan location, ceiling height, fan model, and most importantly, what purpose is intended. A few suggestions that may or may not apply: 1. It is unlikely that a fan would be used on high except to create a significant breeze. When you wish to do so the fan would be used in the downdraft setting. Depending on how much of a breeze is wanted medium speed may also be acceptable. 2. For a gentle breeze and circulation, in most cases the fan would be used on low in the downdraft setting. 3. To destratify heat (and for circulation) the fan would be generally set to updraft mode in low or medium speed. Heat can also be recirculated with low speed in the downdraft mode, depending on which produces more of a notable breeze. XI. How effective are ceiling fans with heaters built in? The most important thing to remember about any electric heater is that they use a great amount of electricity. This includes ceiling fan heaters as well as space heaters, etc. They are available with a variety of different sizes and settings, but the average uses ~1000 watts. It is not wise to use an electric heater unless it is absolutely necessary, using a heater ceiling fan (for example) in conjunction with an effective furnace etc will NOT save energy. So it would be a fair assumption that you should only consider a heater ceiling fan in a situation where you would also consider an electric space heater or the like. XII. What is the use for a fan mounted outside, such as on a porch? What sort of fan is recommended? If a fan is going to be exposed to rain and snow and such, youll want to make sure it is sealed so water cannot get into electrical parts. If its not actually going to be getting wet, just somewhere exposed to changes in climate (a covered porch, etc) you generally look for a fan with a finish that wont rust and blades that wont warp. Many companies offer fans that are specifically rated for these situations. These fans will have Underwriters Laboratories certification for damp or wet locations. If a fan is going to be subjected to these conditions it is important that it is able to do so safely. XIII. Ceiling fan lights-- what options are available? Ceiling fans being used with light attachments have become more and more common as years progress. It is significantly easier to install a ceiling fan where there is an existing light fixture than where there is nothing, but if you are removing a light source you will need to replace it. As a result, the majority of ceiling fans sold include light kits already attached.
Ceiling Fan Ratings - How to Choose the Best Ceiling Fan for Your Needs? A ceiling fan can be used year round-to cool off your home in the warmer months and to circulate the warm air to keep your home livable in the winter months. Another good reason to buy a fan is to save some money on your utility bills-ceiling fans cut down a great deal on heating and cooling costs year round. When choosing a ceiling fan for your home it is important to develop a rating system for yourself and then decide which fan to buy by the ceiling fan ratings you have assigned. When deciding on your ceiling fan ratings, you should make a list of qualities you want in a fan. You should think about the look of the fan, the features of the fan, how the fan is made, etc. Size The size of the fan is very important. You dont want to get too big of a fan for the room and you definitely dont want a fan that is too small for the room. A good rule of thumb is that a one hundred foot square room, the fan should have blades of thirty six inches. If the room is between one hundred fifty and two hundred twenty five square feet should have fan blades that are forty eight inches long. Type Low ceilings require a different type of fan than a high ceiling fan. High ceilings require the fan to have down rods because down rods will circulate the air to the living space. Low ceilings should be fitted with a fan that is flush mount or hugger. A sloped ceiling needs to have an angled mount and you need to make sure that, no matter what type of fan you get, that the blades are at least seven feet up. Components You want a fan with high quality fan components. For example, the die cast motor housings are far better than stamped motor housings. This is because the die cast motor housings reduce the fans noise and keep the fan stable. You will also want your fan to have bearings that are permanently lubricated and it should have an oil reservoir that is sealed. Pitch Pitch refers to the angle at which the blades sit on the fan. Typically, the pitch of the fans blades will range from eight up to fifteen degrees. Air moves far better under a fan with a high pitched blade. Special Features Do you want your ceiling fan to have room lights? Do you want decorative blades that you can change out to change the look of the room? These special features will be a prominent part of your ceiling fan ratings. After you have shopped around, compare your ceiling fan ratings. Obviously the fan with the highest rating should win-but that could also depend on how heavily you weigh each category. Once you have compared the ratings you will be set to buy the perfect ceiling fan for your home.
How to Choose the Best Ceiling Fan for Your Needs! So, you may be wondering which ceiling fan is going to be the right one for you. There are a variety of different choices when it comes to ceiling fans, that it can be quite a task to pick out the one that is best for you and your home. If you are planning on purchasing ceiling fans in the near future, there are many things you need to consider. So, here are a few tips to help you pick out the best ceiling fans for your home. Fan Size First of all, when you are trying to find the best fans for your home, you will want to consider the size. Ceiling fans can be found in a variety of different sizes; however, the size of the room you are buying for will definitely influence this decision. If you are buying fans for a smaller room, then youll want to go for a smaller fan. However, for larger fans, youll need something that moves a bit more air, so a large fan, like a 50-54 inch fan, is a great choice. Noise The last thing you want in a ceiling fan is a lot of noise. Before you purchase a new ceiling fan, be sure to take the time to check the noise ratings. If you can actually test the fan and see how noisy it is. The best ceiling fans will be so quiet that youll barely even know that they are running. The Motor Type You will also find that the motor type is important when you are trying to pick out the best fan. There are two types of motors that are usually used in ceiling fans - friction driver motors and direct drive motors. Usually a direct drive motor is the best choice, since they last longer and have fewer parts that are separated. However, they do tend to be a bit more expensive, but are well worth the extra money youll pay. Lighting When picking out ceiling fans, youll need to consider whether or not you want lighting to come with the fans. Some fans come with light kits on them, while other fans do not. In some cases you may have to pick out the light kit separately as well. There are a variety of different light kits that you can choose from, and youll want to pick one that will look nice with the fan and offer plenty of light. Price If you are looking for the best ceiling fans, price is also going to be important. While you no doubt want to get a good deal, it is important to realize that you get what you pay for. Going with the cheapest fan will probably not be a great idea, but a fan that is a bit more expensive will have better features, such as remote controls, variable speeds, and a higher grade. So, you are often better of to spend a little more money for a fan that will be reliable and long lasting. No doubt choosing for the best ceiling fans for your home is important to you, and these tips can help you make the best possible choice. So, next time you are shopping for new ceiling fans, keep these simple tips in mind to help you pick out the very best.
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