By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Friday, September 21st, 2018 - 08:06:59 AM.
Ceiling Fans - A Green Way to Heat and Cool Ceiling fans can help alleviate both the heat and the climbing energy bill. By circulating the air ceiling fans move warm air toward the ceiling and into attic vents while creating a "wind-chill" effect, which adds to the cooling sensation. Air conditioners are not known to be very energy efficient. Even the most advanced units use more power than other appliances in most homes. Annually air conditioners use almost 20% of the kilowatt-hours produced in the United States. In other words, air conditioners alone in the United States are responsible for the consumption of 207,0692,000 tons of coal, 23,074,000 barrels of oil, and over 137,924,800,000 cubic feet of natural gas (based on 2006 national statistics). That staggering figure translates directly to an increased energy bill and money out of your pocket. Most ceiling fans use the same amount of power as a 75-100 watt light bulb. For such a small power usage a fan can make a home or office feel 8-10F degrees cooler. According to Florida Power and Light, ceiling fans throughout a home can reduce energy bills by up to 40%. While serving an energy saving function, fans can also accentuate the style and decor in your home or office. Ceiling fan innovation and style have come a long way. What to look for when buying a Ceiling Fan: At first glance it may be hard to see why one fan costs $50 and another costs $600. Part if it may have to do with style and appearance, but beyond that the quality of the higher priced fans are generally superior. Quality fans pay attention to blade angle, use higher quality internal components and are better engineered. Cheaper fans will probably function reasonably well at first, but they can quickly begin to generate noise, and wobble. Wobbling in a fan further speeds up the wear and tear on a fan. Higher quality fans also move more air than a low quality fan of the same size. Ideal blade angle for a traditional ceiling fan is 12-16 degrees. Most cheap fans have a blade angle of 10 degrees or less. On the same size fan this small difference can make a difference of the cheaper fan moving 40% less air. In other words, a cheap fan with 10 degree blades designed to cool a room effectively cools a room roughly half as large. Fan Sizes and Location: Traditional fans should be hung in the center of a room. Fan blades should be 7-8 feet from the floor for optimum air circulation. Low profile fans, for lower ceilings, and lengthening stems, for higher ceilings are generally available with fans to ensure they are mounted at their ideal height. Below a chart shows the approximate size fans should be based on room size Room Size-------------------------Fan Size 64 square-feet or smaller---------32-inch or smaller 100 square-feet or smaller--------34-inch or 36-inch 144 square-feet or smaller--------38-inch to 42-inch 225 square-feet-------------------44-inch to 46-inch 400 square-feet-------------------48-inch to 54-inch 485 square-feet-------------------56-inch 600 square-feet-------------------58-inch to 60-inch Nontraditional Fans: Directional fans, as the name implies, are stationary fans designed to cool a specific location or area. Some directional fans swivel to cool a greater area. Generally directional fans have stronger motors and sharper blade angles to move air more aggressively, but otherwise follow the same general quality guidelines as the traditional fans. Directional fans can be great to further cool a room that already has a traditional fan or on its own. Rotational Fans are a hybrid of Traditional and Directional fans. The fan is ceiling mounted like a traditional fan, but in place of fan blades a horizontal stem is attached to directional fans on either end. These directional fans rotate around the ceiling mount and are adjustable to different angles as desired. It has been claimed that rotational fans move the air most effectively, however the movement of air is the objective and which fan is the right fan is a matter of personal choice. Lastly, an often-overlooked benefit to ceiling fans is they also help with heating. Most fans have a switch that will change the direction of the blade rotation from pulling air from below toward the ceiling (usually clockwise rotation) to moving the warm air from the ceiling toward the rest of the room (usually counterclockwise direction). Generally the fan will be set to a slower setting to accomplish this without any "wind chill" effect, but it is a proven and undeniable benefit. This article was provided courtesy of 1STOPlighting, which is an online shop for all your lighting and ceiling fan needs.
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.
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.
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