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Overlooked Way of Winter Heating...

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By Jeff Eller 10 months ago 1444 Views 3 comments

Need More Warmth During the Winter Cold?

One of the Coldest Winters to Date

This winter has been very cold. Someone I know that keeps track of temperatures from year to year was quoted saying, “Thus far this winter, it is the coldest one on record in over 50 years.” Now, that is cold! I have not personally researched this to verify, but when I walk outside my body tells me that what he said is correct.

Now that we've established the fact that this has been a cold winter, did you know a ceiling fan can really help to regulate inside temperatures? While trying warm your home during these cold snaps we are having, if you reverse your fan into the clockwise direction, and only operate it on low speed, it will does help.

It’s as Easy as Reversing Your Ceiling Fan

Many people tend not to believe that reversing ceiling fans in the home really help to stabilize and cause room temperature in the home to become more even throughout. But it is true, if operated correctly, and if the correct ceiling fan is being used this really works.

Most people who do not believe ceiling fans help with heating have tried them, but have tried incorrectly.

When using a ceiling fan in reverse, for the purpose of keeping room temps warmer, remember, the fan has to be spinning clockwise, and the slower the rotation the better. Even when running in the reverse mode, if a fan is running too fast, it may still create wind-chill. The wind-chill effect is how a fan cools. Therefore, wind-chill is not good from a fan if using it during the winter months. For this reason, you will need to run your fan as slow as possible during the winter, if you're expecting to benefit from their room warming capabilities. The reverse mode works by gradually keeping heat from rising and being wasted at the ceiling.

Some Do this Better Than Others

Some fans just simply turn too fast, even on the lowest speed setting. This is very typical with smaller ceiling fans. If this is your fan, and you don’t want to replace it, skip to “How to Slow Your Fan Down” in this article.

Large ceiling fans and nautical ceiling fans with sailcloth blades tend to create more overall CFMs of airflow, but they do it by spreading more airflow over an entire area, versus being very concentrated into one small portion of a room, as with smaller fans. By spreading the airflow over a larger space, these ceiling fans will produce much less wind-chill on low speed than other fans, thus being the better choice to use during the cold months.

Bottom line, if you are still feeling wind chill from your fan, even on its lowest speed, it's because your fan's RPM rate is too fast. However, do not fret, you can either replace the fan with a ceiling fan better suited to do the job correctly, or you can modify your existing fan and slow it down.

How to Slow Your Fan Down

If your fan will not operate slow enough on low, and it has a pull chain control switch that changes the speeds, there is an easy fix for this problem. By adding a remote control to your existing ceiling fan you will be able to use the pull chain speed settings in conjunction with the remote control speed settings. This will allow for several speeds below the fan’s normal low, allowing for slower rotation and less, if not zero, wind-chill effect.

Here is how it works: After adding an universal ceiling fan remote, and by pulling the pull chain switch on the fan onto the highest setting, the remote will give your fan it’s normal high speed, and then the medium and low settings will be based on how the remote itself is set up to operate. Sometimes this alone will slow an existing fan down enough to work properly during the winter.

If not, by pulling the pull chain control on the fan to the medium setting, the high speed button on the remote will actually turn the fan onto its medium setting. So, when you press the medium button on the remote it will cause the fan to spin at a speed equivalent to the normal low the fan had, and then by pressing the low speed button you will find a speed slower than the normal low speed your fan has.

If that still isn’t slow enough, simply pull the chain on your fan to set the fan pull chain speed switch to the low speed. Afterwards, pressing the high button on the remote control will actually only allow the fan to operate on what used to be the low speed the fan provided before adding the remote. By pressing medium you will find the fan slows by roughly 30% below it's original low, and by pressing low speed on the remote control the fan will slow by about another 30%.

As you can see, by adding a remote control, to a standard 3-speed pull chain operated ceiling fan, you will be able to achieve a low speed of at least 60% below the normal low. By doing this, it will definitely allow this type of ceiling fan to operate as needed during the winter to help regulate heat inside of your home, and eliminate cold spots.

Best Ceiling Fans for Winter Use

If you are considering purchasing a new ceiling fan, the best fans to shop for these days will use DC motors, which is short for direct current motors.

A ceiling fan with a DC motor uses less than 1/3 the energy on high speed, when compared to a tradition ceiling fan. On low speed, most DC ceiling fans use 1/10 the energy of standard ceiling fan on the same speed.

On top of the extreme energy savings, these type of ceiling fans always come with remotes, and have a minimum of five speeds, but usually six. Whether a 5-speed or 6-speed remote is included with the DC ceiling fan, both will provide much slower low speed settings than normal fans are able to offer. Ceiling fans using a DC motor are always the prefect choice to help reclaim lost heat in your home.

When the summer heat arrives, these modern ceiling fans provide much better airflow on the higher speeds than normal ceiling fans, and the airflow efficiency rating with a DC fan is usually quadruple that of fans with standard alternating current motors. They are quieter, and last longer too.

If you decide to replace your existing ceiling fan, instead of trying to modify it to get a fan that works properly year round, it’s a no brainer to buy a fan with a DC motor instead of a ceiling fan with an AC motor.

To Sum it All Up…

Fan’s work great in the summer, but during the winter you will need a ceiling fan with a slow enough low speed to really get feel the reclamation of lost heat benefits, by keeping the heat from rising and being trapped against the ceiling. Without a slow enough low speed you may get wind-chill, and if so your fan will not be beneficial for even heat distribution.

The higher your ceiling is, the more your need for a ceiling fan to help heat your home will be. If you have rooms with ceilings of 12 feet or higher, and you do not have a ceiling fan installed in that room (or rooms) I would strongly recommend adding one. If not, you’re throwing your money away to the energy companies, and your room will be less comfortable to live in.

Quality Ceiling Fan Name Brands

  • Minka Aire
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    Jason Hockett 10 months ago at 2:10 PM
    Excellent reminder. I have a 16 foot ceiling in my great room and use one of your 72" Titan ceiling fans. In reverse mode and on speed 1 I find it keeps the room much more evenly heated than before I used it.
    Allen 10 months ago at 12:55 AM
    Same here. My fan isn't as large as yours, but I do have a high ceiling family room and I find the fan helps much for heat purposes.
    Snowboarder 10 months ago at 3:03 AM
    I like that cabin. Do you know where it is?