By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Monday, June 11th, 2018 - 02:04:12 AM.
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.
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.
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 Fan Frequently Asked Questions I. What is the purpose of a ceiling fan? A ceiling fan serves two purposes 1. To provide a breeze thereby creating the "wind chill factor" 2. To circulate the air throughout a room or area II. How do ceiling fans lower the temperature? They dont, at least not literally. Unlike an air conditioner, ceiling fans do not directly affect the air temperature. That does not mean, however, that ceiling fans are not effective in cooling. As pertaining to the two purposes listed in question (I): 1. The moving air from a ceiling fan will help you feel cooler regardless of the temperature of a room. It is much the same as being outside in the summer-- it can be 80-90 degrees, and if there is a breeze, it is very pleasant. 2. The circulation from a ceiling fan can disperse the cool air from lower areas (and air conditioning) into the central, inhabited areas of a room. IIa. How do ceiling fans help heat in the winter? Much the same as they help with cooling in circulation. Running your heat in the winter, hot air rises to the ceiling, and so much of the heat is wasted. Running a ceiling fan during the winter, to push down warm air from the ceiling and eliminate cold spots, can save a great deal of heating energy. III. What rooms should have ceiling fans installed? EVERY room. Depending on your personal preferences, any and every room can benefit from a ceiling fan installed. The more time people spend in a given room, the greater the benefit of a ceiling fan. For circulation, especially large rooms, and/or those with high and/or vaulted ceilings. People will have their preferences on where they most prefer the benefits, but ultimately any room is a good idea. IV. What size fan is needed for a particular room? Ceiling fans commonly come in two sizes: 52" for larger rooms and 42" for smaller rooms. Many companies offer 30-36" fans for exceptionally small rooms, and 56-60" fans for larger and/or commercial settings. The most common size by far is the 52" fan, which is typically appropriate for most rooms. V. My ceiling is lower, do I need a hugger fan? Hugger fans are designed to provide the minimum distance between the ceiling and the fan blades. This is ideal for lower ceilings as it provides the maximum clearance between the blades (and other lower parts of the fan such as lights) and the floor. The downside is that the shorter distance between the blades and the ceiling impedes circulation to a degree. Hugger ceiling fans are less effective than regular ceiling fans regardless of ceiling height. VI. My ceiling is higher, how long of a downrod do I need? For maximum circulation, the blades should be positioned 8-10 from the floor. However having the blades too far away from the ceiling can sometimes lessen the effectiveness of heat destratification. Not to having the blades 9 from the ceiling on a 15 ceiling may look a little imposing. VIa. I have a vaulted ceiling, do I need a special kit? Usually not. It is standard for fans to include hardware that will allow the fan to be mounted on a ceiling up to a ~30 degree incline. Hugger fans are not designed to be mounted on a vaulted ceiling. There are other rare exceptions, these are usually noted by the manufacturer and can be adapted. VII. What sort of control options are available? Most ceiling fans made in recent years have a built in three-speed pullchain control. Regardless of whether or not the fan is wired to a separate switch, you have full control of the fan from the chain. Off-high-medium-low. Most fans are also reversible and have a reverse switch built into the fan body. If the fan has a light, the light will have its own on-off pullchain. The entire fan assembly can be controlled without the benefit of a remote switch. Many companies now offer fans with remote speed control options that allow for independent fan and light control without additional wall switches and wiring. These can include wireless remote controls, replacement wall switches, and computerized options that involve one, the other, or both. This allows a fan to be installed in a conventional two-wire hookup and benefit from the control options of a 3 wire (two switch) hookup without installing a third wire. The mobility of a wireless remote and the features of the computerized controls are additional benefits. Ceiling fans with conventional pullchain controls can be retrofitted with remote speed control options such as those mentioned above. The retrofit kits include the wall or wireless remote control, and a receiver that is attached inside the ceiling fan canopy and wires between the fan and the power source. The receiver requires only a two-wire power source, switched or unswitched. VIII. How many blades is best? These days ceiling fans are available with any number of blades from one to eight, although any number below 3 and above 6 is for novelty or decorative purposes only. Most fans have 4 or 5 blades, some are adaptable to take either. Most people assume that more blades move more air, i.e. a fan with five blades moves more air than a fan with four blades. This, in fact, is incorrect. More blades results in a greater load on the motor, and a greater load on the motor causes it to operate at a slower speed. A fan with less blades operating at a faster speed will more more air than a fan with more blades operating at a slower speed. This is why most commercial fans have three blades and a high speed motor, to provide the greatest amount of airflow efficiently. IX. What are the quality differences between fans on the market? Many different fans are available these days, with a great degree of different options, styles, designs, and prices. Often times people buy a fan for appearance-based reasons. But most consumers, about to spend a significant amount of money on a ceiling fan (or fans) are concerned about getting the best quality product, or at the very least the best quality product within their price range. It is a commonly held theory that you get what you pay for: the more something costs, the better quality it is. As with many products, that is generally true with ceiling fans, but there are other factors. When you buy a ceiling fan you are paying for three things: 1. Quality and features 2. Design/style 3. Name recognition The most expensive fan may be the best quality, or it may be the most expensive design, or it may be the best known brand name. IXa. What makes a ceiling fan Energy Efficient? How do I consider this when choosing a fan? There are three factors: 1. How much air is moved 2. How much current is drawn 3. The quality and construction of the fan Obviously the most efficient ceiling fan would be that which has the best #1/#2 ratio. However #3 is also a very important factor in buying a ceiling fan, and just because a fan has the best ratio does not mean it moves the most air. A fan that draws very little power but moves very little air may be considered very efficient. Additionally, if the fan has a light kit, the light kit is much more crucial to energy consumption than the fan motor. Ceiling fans typically draw ~100 watts or less on the highest speed setting, however the typical four socket light kit draws 240 watts consistently. Much more important than finding the most efficient motor, in this case, is maximizing the efficiency of the light kit. Compact Fluorescent light bulbs are ideal for this purpose-- the same light kit will then draw 60 watts or less. X. Fan Operation: What speed and direction settings should be used? This is a very subjective topic, and for most it was probably answered by parts I & II above. There are a number of factors that vary by setting and situation-- fan location, ceiling height, fan model, and most importantly, what purpose is intended. A few suggestions that may or may not apply: 1. It is unlikely that a fan would be used on high except to create a significant breeze. When you wish to do so the fan would be used in the downdraft setting. Depending on how much of a breeze is wanted medium speed may also be acceptable. 2. For a gentle breeze and circulation, in most cases the fan would be used on low in the downdraft setting. 3. To destratify heat (and for circulation) the fan would be generally set to updraft mode in low or medium speed. Heat can also be recirculated with low speed in the downdraft mode, depending on which produces more of a notable breeze. XI. How effective are ceiling fans with heaters built in? The most important thing to remember about any electric heater is that they use a great amount of electricity. This includes ceiling fan heaters as well as space heaters, etc. They are available with a variety of different sizes and settings, but the average uses ~1000 watts. It is not wise to use an electric heater unless it is absolutely necessary, using a heater ceiling fan (for example) in conjunction with an effective furnace etc will NOT save energy. So it would be a fair assumption that you should only consider a heater ceiling fan in a situation where you would also consider an electric space heater or the like. XII. What is the use for a fan mounted outside, such as on a porch? What sort of fan is recommended? If a fan is going to be exposed to rain and snow and such, youll want to make sure it is sealed so water cannot get into electrical parts. If its not actually going to be getting wet, just somewhere exposed to changes in climate (a covered porch, etc) you generally look for a fan with a finish that wont rust and blades that wont warp. Many companies offer fans that are specifically rated for these situations. These fans will have Underwriters Laboratories certification for damp or wet locations. If a fan is going to be subjected to these conditions it is important that it is able to do so safely. XIII. Ceiling fan lights-- what options are available? Ceiling fans being used with light attachments have become more and more common as years progress. It is significantly easier to install a ceiling fan where there is an existing light fixture than where there is nothing, but if you are removing a light source you will need to replace it. As a result, the majority of ceiling fans sold include light kits already attached.
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