By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Sunday, August 19th, 2018 - 01:42:51 AM.
New Energy Star Ceiling Fan is Over 300% More Efficient! Having been in the ceiling fan business for over 20 years, it is rare that a new ceiling fan gets me excited. But while researching the efficiency ratings of the latest introductions this year, one model clearly stood out among all others. The Midway Eco from Emerson Electric, which is an impressive new Energy Star Ceiling Fan that is Over 300% More Efficient than other fans. This represents a major breakthrough in ceiling fan performance and technology, setting a new standard for energy efficient ceiling fans. Emerson developed an entirely new motor for the Midway Eco Ceiling Fans called the "EcoMotor TM". The EcoMotor TM uses up to 75% less energy compared to other ceiling fans. The blades have an airfoil shape for better aerodynamics and move up to 40% more air than typical fan blades. The built-in light uses four 13 watt fluorescent lamps to provide maximum illumination at a very low wattage. With these new innovations, the Emerson Midway Eco far surpassed the Energy Star testing requirements established by the EPA. As a matter of fact, the test results prove it to be over 3 times (or 300%) more energy efficient than any other Energy Star ceiling fans with lights. This means that the Midway Eco will move substantially more air while using a fraction of the electricity making it the ultimate choice for energy conscious consumers who wish to reduce their carbon footprint. Although Emerson does not claim that the Midway Eco is 300% more efficient than other fans, I made this observation myself after reviewing the test results published by the EPA, for ALL Energy Star Ceiling Fans with lights. In order for any ceiling fan to be Energy Star qualified, it must meet EPA standards for quality and durability. But most important, it must undergo a standardized testing procedure adopted by the EPA to calculate the efficiency of the fan. During the test, sensors measure the CFMs (Cubic Feet per Minute) of airflow the fan produces while recording the amount of electricity it consumes. The efficiency rating is calculated by dividing the CFMs produced by the Watts consumed (CFM/WATTS). This information is labeled on the fan packaging of every Energy Star ceiling fan giving consumers a standardized way of comparing the performance between different models. For such a comparison is critical for those who are energy conscious. As you will see in the data below, there are substantial differences in the efficiency ratings of many Energy Star ceiling fans. The data that I used to perform my analysis is published by the EPA and can be found at www.energystar.gov. If you wish to confirm my observations, download the spreadsheet under Ceiling Fans with Light Kits named "ceiling_fan_with_lightkit_prod_list.xls". Here are my findings based that data: There are 126 Energy Star ceiling fans in total, which represents all of the various finishes available for each model. I removed the finish variations to get to the actual base models since each finish is just a duplicate of the actual fan. This brought the total down to 33 Energy Star qualified ceiling fans with lights available in the USA from all brands combined. The table below represents my findings sorted by the most efficient to the least efficient. The Emerson Midway Eco is at the top with an efficiency rating of 620.20 CFM/Watt on Low Speed, 476.6 CFM/Watt on Medium and 289.0 CFM/Watt on High.
Why Do Ceiling Fans Have a Reversing Switch? What is the reason for having a reverse button on ceiling fans? Well "they" say that you cannot stand a draft during winter months, but that you can equalize the air temperature buy using your fan in the reverse direction. I always wondered why the older ceiling fans did not have a reverse button. Were the people who designed those fans, just too stupid to think about using reverse in winter? During winter, when you use the central heating system, the warm air coming out of the registers, in each room, will naturally rise and because the registers are up high already, the hot air will build at the ceiling level and gradually work its way down toward floor level. The heating unit runs until the temperature is comfortable at the lower levels of the rooms. But by the time this happens, it will be very hot at the ceiling level. Many BTUs are wasting heating the ceiling areas of the home, where we dont live our lives. But what if there was a way to get this hot air down off the ceiling, to the lower levels where we live. The heating unit would not need to work as long and the savings on our utility bill could be significant. AHH CEILING FANS! will bring this air down and mix the hot air with the cooler air at floor level. This mixing would basically equalize the temperature at floor and ceiling levels, which means that the heat would not be wasted keeping the ceilings warm. The heating unit would not run as much. The utility bill will be lower while the comfort level will remain the same. But then someone said that the draft created by the ceiling fans would be too much for winter months. So someone else said "well, lets just reverse the ceiling fans and let the air blow up until it hits the ceiling and then it will go horizontal in all directions until it hits the walls. Then it will come down vertically until it hits the floor. Now it will travel, at floor level, back in toward the center of the room and then back up to the ceiling fan. What a genius! Now everyone can use ceiling fans to equalize the temperature without feeling a draft in winter. Oh yea! So what happens when this warm air starts down the walls and hits furniture, bookshelves, etc? It will start a horizontal movement toward the center of the room. Now when it comes out past the obstruction, will it turn and fall toward the floor, where it can mix? If warm air falls instead of rising, then I guess it could. What happens when air from the ceiling fans hits the ceiling in a room with a sloped ceiling? If the ceiling fan is centered in the room, it would be basically half way up the slope. So wouldnt all the air go directly up the slope from where the ceiling fan is mounted? What about the other half of the room? What happens when the room is large? Will the force, coming down the walls, still be enough to get this warm air to the floor, especially when the ceiling is two stories high? What happens when ceiling fans are in a room with a two story high ceiling, which is open to the second floor level of the home? Wouldnt the warm air go off into the second level, instead of coming down to the floor and in this situation, wouldnt the ceiling fan steal the warm air from the first level and take it to the second floor, defeating the purpose for which it is being used? On the other hand, if you blow the air down, the hot air at the ceiling level will be forced down to floor level where it will move in all directions toward the outer walls of the room. The air can now mix and seek its own level. The hotter air will naturally rise to the ceiling level where it will be picked up by the fan to repeat the cycle. So wouldnt this be much more efficient than using reverse, especially in the scenario where the ceiling is two stories high and open to the second floor? But what about the draft? I say just run the ceiling fan at a low speed or the highest speed that you can tolerate and still be comfortable. Could reverse on ceiling fans be a marketing tool to sell fans in winter? You decide. But I do not think that the old folks overlooked something as important as this. I think that they used what was most efficient. I agree and my ceiling fans always blow down, winter and summer. And if you happen to have a room with the two story ceiling where the room is open to the second level, and where you notice the upstairs is always hot while the lower level is cold during winter, try using your ceiling fans in the down direction. You will not believe the difference!
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 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.
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