Ceiling fans for home cooling — Diy, Lifestyle

Ceiling fans for home cooling - Diy, Lifestyle

Ceiling fans for home cooling

15 Oct 2010

Despite many recent advances in energy-saving technologies, an invention from the Industrial Revolution is still one of the most sensible solutions to home comfort: the ceiling fan. Ceiling fans have been a simple, but effective supplement to home cooling and heating for more than a century, and thanks to their popularity, homeowners can choose from a wide variety of styles, configurations, sizes, materials and finishes to suit any home interior or architectural style, says Melissa Davidson from leading lighting supplier, The Lighting Warehouse.

How ceiling fans work

There is no doubt that ceiling fans add a certain charm to the rooms they grace the steady, quiet whirl of their blades never fails to evoke the romance of bygone days of sultry summer afternoons. However, Davidson says that more importantly, ceiling fans are incredibly functional and practical fittings: Ceiling fans require a very small amount of energy to run and they can noticeably improve the ambient temperature of any room by forcing warm air downward in the winter and stirring up cool breezes in the summer thereby decreasing the demands on heating and air-conditioning systems and lowering electricity bills.

If, for example, a ceiling fan is used in conjunction with an air-conditioner, you will be able to set the thermostat higher without a noticeable difference in comfort. A fans breeze can reduce the temperature of an air-conditioned room by as much as 4C to 5C. In doing so, homeowners are able to raise the temperature setting on their air-conditioning systems thermostat and save up to 30% on their air-conditioning bills, depending on the size and construction of the home and the weather conditions of the area in which it is located, explains Davidson.

Alternatively, ceiling fans can also be used on their own, without the help of an air-conditioning system. The breeze created by a ceiling fan speeds the evaporation of perspiration on human skin, which makes the bodys natural cooling mechanisms work much more efficiently. Since ceiling fans work directly on the body, rather than changing the actual temperature of the air, Davidson notes that during the summer it is a waste of electricity to leave a ceiling fan on when no one is in the room.

She says that ceiling fans are also useful during the colder winter months: In winter, a ceiling fan can circulate warm air that naturally rises in a room and is trapped at ceiling level. All you need to do is turn the fan on in the reverse direction, so that it can move the warm air down into the living space.

As Davidson explains above, ceiling fans can be used in both summer and winter; however, the direction of the blade rotation is all important. In summer, a fans direction should be set so that the air is blown downward. This is usually in a counter-clockwise direction, with the blades leading with the up-turned side as they spin.

In winter, ceiling fans should be set on a low speed and to turn in the opposite direction usually clockwise, with the blades spinning with the downward side leading. A ceiling fan, with its direction of rotation set so that air is drawn upward, pulls up the colder air below, forcing the warmer air nearer the ceiling to move down and take its place, without blowing a stream of air directly at the occupants of the room, notes Davidson.

A matter of control

Ceiling fans can be operated in a number of different ways, including:

Pull-chain controls: This is a very common method of operation for household fans. This style of fan is equipped with a metal bead-chain or cloth cord, which when pulled, cycles the fan through the operational speeds and then switches it off. For example, if you pull the chain or cord once, and the fan will be switched on to low, pull it twice for medium speed, pull it three times for the fastest speed, and pull it for the fourth time and it will be switched off.

Wall-mounted controls: Some fans have their controls mounted on the wall instead of the fans themselves. These controls are usually specialised and it is essential that the control has a capacitor design and is made by the same manufacturer as the fan to eliminate any humming or buzzing sounds. There are various types of wall-mounted controls, but the most popular is definitely wireless remote controls.

Wireless remote controls: In recent years, remote controls have become an affordable option for conveniently and effortlessly controlling ceiling fans. While some models do employ this as their sole form of operation, homeowners can also purchase after-market kits and install it on an existing fan. These hand-held remote controls transmit radio frequency or infrared signals to a receiver unit installed in the fan, which interprets and acts on the signals. Says Davidson: There is nothing better than to lie back and switch your ceiling fan on using a remote control no need to get up and move, just lie back and enjoy the cool breeze!

A higher power

Knowing the ceiling height of the room a ceiling fan will be installed in will help you determine whether you need a low profile fan, or a ceiling fan with a downrod (a metal pipe used to suspend the fan from the ceiling). With regards to mounting height, most manufacturers agree that there should be a minimum distance of approximately 2,1 metres between the floor and the lowest point of the ceiling fan, says Davidson.

She also notes that the blade span of a fan should be proportional to the size of the room to receive the maximum air movement. The blade span should be determined by what size room it will be installed in the larger the room, the bigger the blade span, or the more ceiling fans that will need to be installed.

Off the wall

Wall-mounted fans are an affordable and practical cooling solution during the hot and humid summer months for rooms with inadequate air-conditioning or poor insulation. With no cords to trip over, wall-mounted fans offer a space-saving and out-of-the-way design that makes for simple installation and easy use. Most wall-mounted fans come with the typical features that you would expect from free-standing fans, such as oscillation features and three-speed configurations. The extra circulation provided by these fans helps to keep you cool, and having one or more wall-mounted fans can play a considerable role in lowering your monthly electricity bills all through the summer months.

For those homeowners who are looking for an immediate and portable solution to the summer heat free-standing fans are the answer. Gone are the noisy and unstable free-standing fans of yesteryear todays fans offer silent operation and solid construction, making them sleeker and more compact than the fans of the past. These fans are designed to provide cool air circulation with no noise and high efficiency. The unique benefit of free-standing fans, is that you can move them to where they are most needed, even in the most small and compact of spaces.

Pictures courtesy of The Lighting Warehouse: www.lightingwarehouse.co.za

Readers Comments Have a comment about this article? Email us now.

Ceiling fans for home cooling

15 Oct 2010

Despite many recent advances in energy-saving technologies, an invention from the Industrial Revolution is still one of the most sensible solutions to home comfort: the ceiling fan. Ceiling fans have been a simple, but effective supplement to home cooling and heating for more than a century, and thanks to their popularity, homeowners can choose from a wide variety of styles, configurations, sizes, materials and finishes to suit any home interior or architectural style, says Melissa Davidson from leading lighting supplier, The Lighting Warehouse.

How ceiling fans work

There is no doubt that ceiling fans add a certain charm to the rooms they grace the steady, quiet whirl of their blades never fails to evoke the romance of bygone days of sultry summer afternoons. However, Davidson says that more importantly, ceiling fans are incredibly functional and practical fittings: Ceiling fans require a very small amount of energy to run and they can noticeably improve the ambient temperature of any room by forcing warm air downward in the winter and stirring up cool breezes in the summer thereby decreasing the demands on heating and air-conditioning systems and lowering electricity bills.

If, for example, a ceiling fan is used in conjunction with an air-conditioner, you will be able to set the thermostat higher without a noticeable difference in comfort. A fans breeze can reduce the temperature of an air-conditioned room by as much as 4C to 5C. In doing so, homeowners are able to raise the temperature setting on their air-conditioning systems thermostat and save up to 30% on their air-conditioning bills, depending on the size and construction of the home and the weather conditions of the area in which it is located, explains Davidson.

Alternatively, ceiling fans can also be used on their own, without the help of an air-conditioning system. The breeze created by a ceiling fan speeds the evaporation of perspiration on human skin, which makes the bodys natural cooling mechanisms work much more efficiently. Since ceiling fans work directly on the body, rather than changing the actual temperature of the air, Davidson notes that during the summer it is a waste of electricity to leave a ceiling fan on when no one is in the room.

She says that ceiling fans are also useful during the colder winter months: In winter, a ceiling fan can circulate warm air that naturally rises in a room and is trapped at ceiling level. All you need to do is turn the fan on in the reverse direction, so that it can move the warm air down into the living space.

Ceiling fans for home cooling - Diy, Lifestyle

As Davidson explains above, ceiling fans can be used in both summer and winter; however, the direction of the blade rotation is all important. In summer, a fans direction should be set so that the air is blown downward. This is usually in a counter-clockwise direction, with the blades leading with the up-turned side as they spin.

In winter, ceiling fans should be set on a low speed and to turn in the opposite direction usually clockwise, with the blades spinning with the downward side leading. A ceiling fan, with its direction of rotation set so that air is drawn upward, pulls up the colder air below, forcing the warmer air nearer the ceiling to move down and take its place, without blowing a stream of air directly at the occupants of the room, notes Davidson.

A matter of control

Ceiling fans can be operated in a number of different ways, including:

Pull-chain controls: This is a very common method of operation for household fans. This style of fan is equipped with a metal bead-chain or cloth cord, which when pulled, cycles the fan through the operational speeds and then switches it off. For example, if you pull the chain or cord once, and the fan will be switched on to low, pull it twice for medium speed, pull it three times for the fastest speed, and pull it for the fourth time and it will be switched off.

Wall-mounted controls: Some fans have their controls mounted on the wall instead of the fans themselves. These controls are usually specialised and it is essential that the control has a capacitor design and is made by the same manufacturer as the fan to eliminate any humming or buzzing sounds. There are various types of wall-mounted controls, but the most popular is definitely wireless remote controls.

Wireless remote controls: In recent years, remote controls have become an affordable option for conveniently and effortlessly controlling ceiling fans. While some models do employ this as their sole form of operation, homeowners can also purchase after-market kits and install it on an existing fan. These hand-held remote controls transmit radio frequency or infrared signals to a receiver unit installed in the fan, which interprets and acts on the signals. Says Davidson: There is nothing better than to lie back and switch your ceiling fan on using a remote control no need to get up and move, just lie back and enjoy the cool breeze!

A higher power

Knowing the ceiling height of the room a ceiling fan will be installed in will help you determine whether you need a low profile fan, or a ceiling fan with a downrod (a metal pipe used to suspend the fan from the ceiling). With regards to mounting height, most manufacturers agree that there should be a minimum distance of approximately 2,1 metres between the floor and the lowest point of the ceiling fan, says Davidson.

She also notes that the blade span of a fan should be proportional to the size of the room to receive the maximum air movement. The blade span should be determined by what size room it will be installed in the larger the room, the bigger the blade span, or the more ceiling fans that will need to be installed.

Off the wall

Wall-mounted fans are an affordable and practical cooling solution during the hot and humid summer months for rooms with inadequate air-conditioning or poor insulation. With no cords to trip over, wall-mounted fans offer a space-saving and out-of-the-way design that makes for simple installation and easy use. Most wall-mounted fans come with the typical features that you would expect from free-standing fans, such as oscillation features and three-speed configurations. The extra circulation provided by these fans helps to keep you cool, and having one or more wall-mounted fans can play a considerable role in lowering your monthly electricity bills all through the summer months.

For those homeowners who are looking for an immediate and portable solution to the summer heat free-standing fans are the answer. Gone are the noisy and unstable free-standing fans of yesteryear todays fans offer silent operation and solid construction, making them sleeker and more compact than the fans of the past. These fans are designed to provide cool air circulation with no noise and high efficiency. The unique benefit of free-standing fans, is that you can move them to where they are most needed, even in the most small and compact of spaces.

Pictures courtesy of The Lighting Warehouse: www.lightingwarehouse.co.za

Readers Comments Have a comment about this article? Email us now.


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