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Ceiling Fans: Installation / Maintenance

I'd like to get more air movement in my home.

Expert Electric electricians are the professionals when it comes to ceiling fan installation.
Each year we receive hundreds of calls from homeowners in the Lower Mainland who need help installing, re-installing, tightening, wiring and re-wiring fans of all shapes, sizes, and models.
Ceiling fans help circulate air and provide cooler air flow, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting in the summer and decrease it in the winter. For the energy use of a light bulb, the ceiling fan is a very cost effective way to be comfortable and save valuable energy dollars. Expert Electric will install your ceiling fan on your existing pre-installed fan box, or install new wiring, switches, dimmers and a fan-rated brace box for any area of your home as required.

Decor

Ceiling fans will greatly enhance the décor of any room as there a literally hundreds of colors and designs to choose from. Ceiling fans also provide excellent lighting options as well. Simply pick out the ceiling fan that suits your personal style and décor and Expert Electric will be more than happy to install it for you.

Where Should Ceiling Fans Be Installed

Put ceiling fans in all the rooms where your family spends a lot of time. The kitchen, the family room, the den, and the bedrooms are obvious choices. Some people have fans in all the rooms, and even on the patio and in the workshop or garage.

Winter and Summer Ceiling Fan Use

Summer

In the summer, ceiling fans are very effective at lowering the apparent temperature by making use of evaporation. When you are hot, you perspire, perhaps only a small amount. This is the body's way of cooling off - Evaporation of the perspiration pulls heat away from your body. Circulation of the air rapidly increases evaporation. The more evaporation, the cooler the apparent temperature. This means the thermostat on the A/C can be set higher - saving you money.

With the reverse switch set for a downward airflow, in almost all cases this is counter-clockwise (looking up); running your ceiling fan on high speed creates a turbulent column of air. This cone-shaped area of maximum airflow is relative to the area and pitch (angle) of the blades, as well as the RPMs of the motor, hence the three speeds.

Winter

Use of the ceiling fan in winter, well, seems a bit strange to some, but actually it too can save you money on your heating bills. Heat rises. A large amount of heated air can collect in a large room with high ceilings before it can even be felt. In cold climates, where possible, heater vents are put in the floor. This is the most effective way to heat a room, because the air will rise. In a room with a 16' cathedral ceiling and the thermostat set at 68 degrees F - the uppermost 3 feet can be 90 degrees or higher before the heater shuts off. An incredible waste of energy.


With the reverse switch set for an upward airflow (clockwise), running your fan on low speed will force the heat accumulated at the ceiling down along the walls where it must rise again. This mild circulation of air provides a more evenly heated room, shortening the time it takes the heater to work. (Low speed is highly recommended to avoid drafts.)

Ceiling Fan Comparison

Which ceiling fans blow the most air? Which ceiling fans are the quietest? Which ceiling fan is most efficient? Which has the best warranty? Which brand gives you the most for your money?

These and other questions are important to many customers as they attempt to purchase ceiling fans for their home. The answer is compare, compare, compare.

Airflow: ceiling fans of like size or blade length - Largest blade pitch + greatest RPMs = greatest airflow. Normal blade length is 30" to 52". The more blade surface, the more air it will catch. Normal Blade pitch is 8 to 14 degrees. The larger the pitch, the more air it will move. Note; as the pitch or blade surface increases, the motor size must be increased or the RPMs of the motor will drop. Normal RPMs will be 20 to 300 for 36" and 42" ceiling fans and 20 to 220 for 52" ceiling fans.

Motors: Sealed bearings or Oil Bath. The sealed does not require any maintenance. The oil bath type must be serviced occasionally. The normal current draw will range from approximately 15 at low speed and 115 watts at high speed.

Construction: In the cheaper fans, the outer covering or case over the motor, the switch housing and the canopy will be made of very thin material. In the more expensive fans, these parts are castings and approximately 1/8" thick. The thin components will tend to vibrate and rattle more. Also the plating will not look as good as the years pass.

Mounting Type: In Rod Fans, the motor housing is suspended from the mounting bracket by a rod. With Hugger ceiling Fans, the motor housing is mounted directly to the ceiling box. Many ceiling fans now come as convertible (they can be installed as a hugger or rod fan). We recommend the hugger installation for a situation where the ceiling is low and the blades would be not be at least 7' from the floor.

Ceiling Fan Type: Virtually all fans sold today are reversible. Most are 3 speed pull chain fans. You can purchase wall controls or remote units for these fans. Some fans come with a wall control which will have from 3 to 6 speeds. Some come with a remote which will have from 3 to 6 speeds.

Warranty: when you hear "Lifetime", be careful to read the warranty papers. Normally it will be a "Limited Lifetime" warranty and the only part of the ceiling fan that exceeds one year, will be the motor. All the component parts will normally be one year. The ceiling fan motor will almost always outlast the component parts.

Fan Wobbling: Wobbling is not a result of how the fan is mounted. Instead, the one and only cause of wobbling is fan blades being out of weight-alignment with each other. This can happen due to a variety of factors, including: warped blades, bent blade irons, blades or blade irons not being screwed on straight, blades being different weights or shapes or sizes (minute differences matter), and so on.

Although wobbling will not cause a ceiling fan to fall, Ceiling fans are secured by clevis pins locked with cotter pins, so wobbling can't have an effect on the fan's security.