By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Saturday, September 15th, 2018 - 08:05:01 AM.
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.
Buying the Right Ceiling Fans For Your Home The two primary concerns to address when looking for the right ceiling fans for your home are style and function. A related concern is the quality of the ceiling fans because these fixtures have a wide range of prices available and the price usually reflects the quality. Even if your home has central air conditioning, ceiling fans can be an attractive, elegant, and cost-saving addition. If your home is constructed with wood as the primary material and you have wooden flooring, ceiling fans with wooden blades that complement the type of wood used as flooring can add a real touch of class. A lighted ceiling fan mounted over the dining room table with wooden blades that match the table can provide the right decorating touch to make the dining experience more comfortable and relaxing. The light breeze generated by the fan can provide additional comfort when you are serving a number of people in a small area such as the dining room. Ceiling fans can be used throughout the house. In a family or living room they can provide a soft breeze and even additional lighting to make reading or other leisure activities more enjoyable. Bedrooms are ideal locations for ceiling fans. A soft, comforting breeze can help you relax and fall asleep and can provide an enjoyable experience when you wake up in the morning. Look in a variety of home and garden magazines for ideas regarding where and how to use ceiling fans throughout your home. Check the Internet for ceiling fan manufacturers websites. Many offer "tours" though a home that highlight the multitude of uses for ceiling fans. Let creativity and personal taste be your guide when deciding how to equip your home with these elegant fixtures. Air conditioning provides cooling but it doesnt give you the cool, comforting breeze you get from a ceiling fan. A reversible ceiling fan will provide a cooling effect in the hot summer months and push warm air down from the ceiling in the cold winter months, helping you save on heating costs. As you survey each room you are considering for a ceiling fan, keep in mind several factors. Make sure the size of the room dictates the blade width of the ceiling fan selected for that room. A lighting store, home center or Internet website that sells ceiling fans will be able to guide you in selecting the right size fan for the square footage of a particular room. Decide if you need the additional light that is provided by a ceiling fan that includes lighting fixtures. When in doubt, select a fan that has a separate lighting kit available that can be added at a later time should you decide that you need more light. Check out the ceiling height of the room. Low ceilings will limit the type of ceiling fans you can choose while high ceilings may require some modifications such as a down rod to install the ceiling fan so it is only 7 or 8 feet from the floor. Make sure that the style of ceiling fan complements the décor of the room. Ceiling fans come in a wide variety of styles and themes and you should have no trouble narrowing down your options. Finally, seriously consider a fan that can have its rotation reversed. The benefits include better cooling in the summer and better heating in the winter. Once you have made the necessary decisions with respect to the type of ceiling fan(s) you need, its time to go shopping. There are a number of places that sell ceiling fans. First, there are brick and mortar stores that specialize in lighting. Many carry only one or two brands and this will limit your choices. In addition, lighting stores usually arent large enough to have all the models displayed, which further limits your choices. Also, keep in mind that many lighting stores need to sell at or close to retail in order to pay for the overhead it takes to operate a store. Finally, you need to be cautious when dealing with salespeople. While many are conscientious and put the customers needs first, there are some that will try to push an overstocked model on you or sell you a fan that gives them a higher commission. On the positive side, when you are dealing with a local brick and mortar store, customer service is usually good and you can often get some pretty good advice from employees that are familiar with these products. I have mixed feelings about buying ceiling fans from home centers. Many home centers appeal to buyers because they believe that this is the place to get discounts and save money. While this may be true, the quality of the merchandise that is available may be the trade-off. Home centers often buy in large lots and get a good wholesale discount from the manufacturer. However, many specialize in the lower cost (and perhaps lower quality) fans. The selection is often limited and the expertise of the salespeople is often limited as well. You might get lucky and find just what youre looking for at one of these centers, but my guess is that what they have available will dictate what you will more than likely end up purchasing. The Internet has some definite advantages when shopping for ceiling fans. It also has some disadvantages. On the positive side, you can find just about every make and model on any number of websites. Because its relatively easy to list an item, many websites display everything the ceiling fan manufacturer has to offer. Most good websites will also provide specifications and other relevant information about each listing. Being sensitive to the overhead issues at brick-and-mortar stores, some manufacturers and drop shippers who wholesale to websites, add a percentage onto the wholesale prices they offer to make the website pricing somewhat more competitive. Still and all, you can usually get the best price for a specific ceiling fan on a website. Most websites make it easy to buy and many transactions can be finalized in just a few minutes. On the somewhat negative side, when you are dealing with a website, you have no face-to-face contact with the seller and so that intuitive sense of trust or not to trust is missing. In addition, while most websites have come a long way in trying to build buyer confidence in their integrity and reliability, this is sometimes still a factor. Also, it may take a week or so to get what you paid for when you order a ceiling fan online. Customer service is the final issue. When you have a problem, how do you know whether or not the website vendor will be responsive. Make sure there is a telephone number on the website that will allow you to talk to a live person. This will go a long way in building trust and getting problems resolved to everyones satisfaction.
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.
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.
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