By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Sunday, August 19th, 2018 - 07:04:08 AM.
Save Home Energy With the Wise Use of Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans are a popular room addition; comfort can be easily obtained with a flip of a switch. An immediate cooling breeze is created by an electric motor with rotating blades. That motor uses electricity. Ceiling fan motors are not large, but energy can be wasted. Read on for tips on operating your ceiling fans so that you can be comfortable and save home energy. Ceiling fans have a cooling effect, but do not cool. Ceiling fans do not directly change the temperature of the air; therefore, they do not cool or heat. The benefit comes from how the human body cools itself. As air velocity increases across the skin, moisture (sweat) on the skin evaporates quicker. This cools the body faster; we feel cooler. As you increase you activity, you need to evaporate more sweat. The air blowing from a ceiling fan can provide great help. Turn off air conditioning when using ceiling fans. The majority of energy cost savings comes from using ceiling fans instead of the air conditioner. Ceiling fans use from 50 to 90 watts (not including lights). Compare this to a central air conditioner using 2000 to 3000 watts; a window air conditioner can use 600 to 800 watts. The ceiling fan uses far less energy. As the temperature in your house rises, try to use ceiling fans to keep comfortable. But at some point the fans will not be able to keep you cool. Turn off the ceiling fans and start the air conditioner. The longer you can delay turning on the air conditioner, the more energy you save. Exceptions to the above rule. Many websites suggest running the ceiling fan along with the air conditioner. This may or may not save energy. The thermostat must be set at a higher temperature when using ceiling fans. The exact amount is difficult to calculate due to many variables, but savings high enough to notice kick in at about 5 degrees. If you keep your cooling setting at 78 degrees without fans, then it would need to be set at 83 degrees. Is this acceptable? Only you can decide. Also you must continually turn fans on when walking into a room, and turn it off when leaving. See tip below. Keeping either the fans or air conditioner off may be the more practical action to insure minimal energy use. During any situation you need short term cooling, the ceiling fans can help. When company is over, turn on the ceiling fan instead of turning down the thermostat. Reduce fan speed when possible. If you have several people playing WII, you may need the fan blowing as much as possible. But if there is one person sitting reading a book, only a gentle breeze is needed. Many ceiling fans have multiple speeds. Adjust the speed depending on the activities in the room. Turn off ceiling fans when not in the room. Only people are cooled by ceiling fans. Ceiling fans should be off when nobody is in the room. There is a surge in energy when starting the fan motor, but it quickly drops as the fan blades reach their full speed. However, leaving the fan on when not needed still uses far more energy than that short burst of startup energy. Air should blow up in the winter. The only benefit to running the fan in the winter is to breakup warm air collected along the ceiling. In the winter, lighter warm air rises to the ceiling. If this air cannot go anywhere, it becomes a still layer of warm air. You are paying to keep the space near your ceiling warmer than the rest of the room. This is a waste of energy. Running the ceiling fan, blowing upwards, will drive that warmer air back down to the portion of the room you want warm. At the first bead of sweat run to the fan switch and get a quick blast of air. Or just run the ceiling fan to eliminate a warming stuffiness. The use of ceiling fans can enhance the comfort in your home. By using the above tips, you can also save home energy.
You Can Have a Ceiling Fan With Low Ceilings There are times when the weather just isnt quite hot enough to merit turning on the expensive air-conditioning, but you still need a little air movement in your home to make it feel more comfortable. Thats when a ceiling fan is perfect. If you dont have air conditioning at all, then youll be even more appreciative of a quiet, unobtrusive way of cooling off. Although the interior designers on home improvement shows tend to scoff at having ceiling fans, they are a practical and comforting addition to any room. Low profile ceiling fans have made it possible for anyone to have a ceiling fan, no matter how low the ceilings are. Since so many people want to have ceiling fans in every room, this has opened up the possibilities. If you own a smaller home with lower ceilings, and youve always wanted to add the enhanced air circulation and extra light a ceiling fan will provide, your dreams have come true with these low profile models. In addition, if you have standard-height ceilings but someone very tall in your family, low profile fans would be a great solution to their head-banging problems. If you have decided to downsize, you might think you want to take your lovely ceiling fans with you when you move. Before you go to all the work of taking them down, however, check to make sure that theyll actually fit into your new home. Chances are that if the fans were purchased for larger rooms with higher ceilings, they arent going to fit the smaller space in your new residence. Even if the light fixtures in your new home look lovely, they arent going to make up for the lack of your favorite ceiling fans. However, theres just no way you can use the old ones. If you hung one of them people would be sure to run into it, so you might as well be nice and leave the old fans in your old house. Putting them into storage wouldnt solve a thing. There are much more appropriate fans on the market, and youre going to find some to love in more low profile models. Take a walk-through of the nearest Home Depot. By walking up and down the aisles and looking at the various fans that are displayed on the ceilings above, youll be able to see how much lower some fans hang than others do. By sticking with the options that hug the ceiling, youll have your light and air circulation back and in working condition in no time. Many times you can get really good deals on low profile fans. When ceiling fans first came back into vogue, they were quite expensive. Now, however, they have come down in price even though their overall quality has markedly improved. Youll find that with a low profile fan youll even have room to add a light kit if you choose. They also make types of lights that dont hang down nearly as far as other models do. Once you get your new fan home and installed, youre going to love it. Youll get the same great style and versatility that you had with your old fans. People have commented that although they were loath to give up their lovely, old ceiling fans, they like the new ones just as well, or sometimes even better. You may well find that after trying a low profile fan in one room in your house youll want to go out and purchase them for all the other rooms, too. They just seem to add a special touch to the décor of any room, and they certainly make your living environment a lot more comfortable. After you have fans in all of your rooms, who knows where youll go next. Do you have a sun room? A roofed patio or deck? A gazebo? People have been known to put ceiling fans in anywhere they have a ceiling to fasten them to. You will find a selection of fans that are made for outdoor use and resistant to dampness and inclement weather. As you know, it can get too hot outdoors to enjoy sitting on your deck. With a fan, youll be able to use your deck any time you like and enjoy it more.
What You Should Know About Installing Ceiling Fans Installing ceiling fans in your home is simply a good idea. Advances in ceiling fan technology over the last 10 years have expanded their money-saving benefits. In the summer, the cooling effects of ceiling fans can reduce temperatures as much as 7 degrees - and your energy bill by up to 40%! And the effects of pushing warm air down from the ceiling in the winter can save you 10% on your heating costs. Ceiling fans are a money-saver Ceiling fans are not only a wise investment financially, but can really add to the look of a room. There are so many styles of ceiling fans these days that it may be difficult to choose. Here are some helpful tips Ceiling fans come in a range of prices. But beware of the cheaper ones. They may look great when theyre new, but over time they are more likely to warp, become off-balance and wear out. Also, the casing on cheaper fans is made of very thin material which tends to vibrate and rattle. You will enjoy the benefits of a ceiling fan for many years, so be prepared to pay for quality. Choose a fan according to the size of the room. A 29" fan is good for a room up to 50 square feet; a 36" fan for rooms up to 75 square feet; a 42" fan for rooms up to 100 square feet; and 50" to 54" fans will work best in rooms up to 400 square feet. For maximum efficiency and safety, place the ceiling fan in the middle of the room and at least 8 feet above the floor. For best results, place the fan 9 or 10 feet above the floor. Most ceiling fans are about 12" from the ceiling to the tops of the blades. Hugger fans, which have blades very close to the ceiling, are less efficient at moving air, but may be necessary if you lack the required height clearance. The motor is one of the most important components of ceiling fan efficiency, yet many motors are undersized or poorly constructed, which can lead to higher operating temperatures, humming and clicking. Look for high-quality motors with heavy-duty windings and sealed bearings that are permanently lubricated. And let the warranty guide you. Better ceiling fans with heavy-duty motors will come with a lifetime warranty on the motor. Fan blade brackets should hold the blades at a 12-15 degree angle for optimal circulation. The greater the angle, the more air circulation you get. Fans with less than a 12-degree angle are less efficient. Blades are available in plastic, metal, acrylic, faux wood, cloth, palm, and many types of wood. Blades should be sealed and treated to resist humidity, which can cause them to warp and make your fan wobble. A high quality finish will resist against blistering, tarnishing, fading and corrosion, while less advanced finishes can peel, bubble and corrode quickly. Virtually all ceiling fans have reversible blade rotation, but many homeowners are unclear on which way the blades should turn. In warm weather, the fan should rotate counter-clockwise to create wind to cool you down. In colder weather, the blades should spin clockwise at low speed to push the warm air near the ceiling down (heat rises, remember?). Ceiling fan blades should be evenly weighted and balanced by the manufacturer prior to shipment to avoid wobble. However, if the fan is wobbly after installation, make sure that all connections are properly aligned and tightly fastened. Hold a yardstick vertically along the edges of the blades to check their alignment. If a blade is misaligned, try gently bending the misaligned blade holder into proper position. If all blades are aligned, use a balancing kit to correct the problem. These kits are either provided with the fan or can be sent by the manufacturer. Ceiling fans can weigh as much as 50 pounds, so most ceilings need to be braced to support the additional weight. Ceiling fans need additional support from above and need to be anchored solidly to a ceiling joist. But if the joist is not located in the center of the room where the fan is to mounted, a special ceiling fan mounting bracket with spiked ends should be installed between joists. A licensed electrician will be able to install the fan securely and take care of the wiring. Installing a ceiling fan is much more complicated than installing light fixture. It is advised to use the appropriate UL-listed metal outlet box marked "For Use with Ceiling Fans." The box is mounted above the ceiling and houses all wiring needed to operate and connect the ceiling fan. If you are replacing a ceiling fixture, most likely you will need to replace the electrical box. To avoid complications, it is best to hire a licensed electrician to install the ceiling fan. Be sure to check references, and make sure the contractor is properly insured and holds the proper certification.
Outdoor Ceiling Fans If you are planning on installing a ceiling fan in an outdoor location, it is important to purchase a fan that is designed specifically for that purpose. If you install an indoor fan in an outdoor area it is likely to short out (which can be hazardous) or simply break down prematurely. Outdoor ceiling fans are designed differently than indoor ceiling fans because they need to be able to the forces of mother nature. Here are some of the ways that outdoor ceiling fans differ from those made for indoors: The decorative motor casing is either sealed or designed to prevent water or moisture from coming in contact with the actual motor inside. The wiring is a higher grade with additional shielding. Screws and other components are typically made of stainless steel. The finish on the motor casing and hardware is usually a weather resistant powder coat, stainless steel, or has some additional protective coating that can handle exposure to the elements. The blades are likely made of ABS plastic rather than plywood. ABS is a very strong durable material that resists warping and discoloration from moisture or UV exposure. Light fixtures are sealed on top and designed for outdoors The mounting hardware is either water tight or designed to prevent water from entering from above. There are 2 types of outdoor ceiling fans, those rated for DAMP locations and those rated for WET locations. There is a notable difference between the two and it is important that you choose the right type for your application. In either case, make sure the fan you purchase is UL Listed for the application you need so that you know it can be safely installed without creating a potential electrical hazard. Here are the differences between the two types of outdoor fans: Damp rated outdoor fans are designed to handle moisture but not direct contact with rain or running water. Therefore, a damp rated outdoor ceiling fan can be installed in a covered area such as a patio or screened in porch or other areas that are protected from rain or dripping water. Wet rated outdoor fans are designed to handle direct exposure to rain. They can be installed in virtually any indoor or outdoor location, covered or uncovered. So you can install a wet rated outdoor ceiling fan in an open gazebo, lattice covered lanai or other similar shade structure as well as under a covered porch or patio. Because wet rated outdoor fans are pretty much water tight, you can actually clean them by hosing them off...which is a great reason to buy a wet rated fan even if all you need is a damp rated model. Commonly asked questions about outdoor fans: Can an outdoor ceiling fan be installed indoors? Yes, you can install an outdoor fan in your living room or any other room in your home where you want a fan. Many people will do this simply because they like the look of a particular outdoor fan. Also, outdoor fans are highly recommended for laundry rooms and bathrooms or any other room inside your home that that tends to have excessive moisture. In more humid climates, outdoor fans are a great choice for every room in the home. I live in a very windy area and have had problems with blades breaking off...are there any outdoor fans that are made to handle high winds? High winds can in fact sheer the blades off a ceiling fan, particularly cheaper models that use lightweight materials. Usually it is the metal blade holders that attach the blades to the fan that break rather than the blades themselves. So if you are in an area prone to high winds, outdoor fans that do not have blade holders are your best choice. If the fan is to be installed in an area that is 9 feet high or less, a hugger style outdoor fan is even better. A perfect example of such a fan is the Minka Aire Concept II Wet, which is one of the very few outdoor fans that meet this criteria. Are there any outdoor fans that are designed to be taken down easily or that have blades that are easy to take off when a storm is coming? This is a very common question. Unfortunately the answer is no. There are no ceiling fans designed with a "Quick Disconnect" mechanism or with blades that snap on and off. However, I suppose that if any fan manufacturer came up with such a fan it would be a big seller. Running wires and installing a junction box can be difficult in many outdoor applications. Are there any outdoor ceiling fans that are battery operated? Although DC powered ceiling fans are now in fact available, they are not yet powerful enough to handle the needs of outdoor applications, nor are they being designed to work from batteries. Currently, most DC powered ceiling fans use an AC/DC converter, so they still require electrical wiring. However, I would look for this to change in the near future...most likely in the next year or two. Can a remote control be added to an outdoor ceiling fan? Most add-on remotes or wall controls are not rated for use outdoors, so unless the control is specifically designed for the fan you are considering and is rated for the correct application (Damp or Wet), then you should not use it. If a remote control or wall control is important to you, look for outdoor fans that have such a control included with the fan. Can any light fixture be added to an outdoor ceiling fan? No. Just as ceiling fans are rated for Damp or Wet locations, so are the light fixtures that are used with them. Make sure you purchase a light fixture that is made by the manufacturer of the fan and that has the same rating. If you want an outdoor fan with a light fixture, your best bet is to purchase one comes with one, this way you can be certain they are compatible.
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