By John. Ceiling Fan. Published at Sunday, August 19th, 2018 - 02:31:02 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.
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.
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.
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.
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