By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Sunday, August 19th, 2018 - 07:01:01 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.
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.
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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