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Ceiling Fans: Backward, Right?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by martel, Sep 30, 2006.

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  1. martel

    martel Member

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    To accompany my install from last spring I put ceiling fans in my tall ceilings (9' I believe). Just to make sure I have this right, for winter to help with the heating of the house, my fans should be on the lowest setting and moving opposite to summer time cooling (i.e. drawing air rather than pushing down). Is this right? How much difference
    have people seen?

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That'd be right.
  3. Yogi

    Yogi New Member

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    Do you have to change the wirring to get it to go backards? Never heard of this before!!
  4. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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    They most all have a little black slide switch built in from the factory. Have you never installed a fan?
  5. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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  6. Yogi

    Yogi New Member

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    No, I had them put in, I not very mechanicly inclined, I don't seem to do very good at the home repair thing, the last time I tried to fix an outlet I got thrown across the kitchen, I shut off the wrong breaker or something stupid like that!
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Most ceiling fans are designed to be reversed. Sometimes they can be wired to a wall mounted fan switch that allows one to reverse them. The fanciest units have a wireless remote control. But almost all have a side slider switch that allows reversing the fan.

    http://www.ceilingfan.com/Cost_comparison.htm
    http://www.ceilingfan.com
    http://www.ceilingfan.com/images/Minka/640/WC140-WH.jpg
  8. Yogi

    Yogi New Member

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    WOW, learning stuff all the time, never knew what that switch was for!!
  9. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    It all has to do with the layout of your house and the room the stove is in. Normally the draw up and slow is the one most use but again , every house is different. I have been in a few homes that downward force is best. I run mine on draw and slow when the stove is just doing its thing and the outside temp is 10° and higher , under 10° i kick the speed up to medium.
  10. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    I like my fans on Forward (pushing down)
    The reason Im a lazy ass and when Im done with my 13 hours day dealing with stoves I go home and flop my ass on the Sofa. and watch what I have recorded on the DISH.

    If I have the fan on Reverse (pulling up) then I can feel the COLD air from the floor pulling accross my lazzy ass lieing down.
    But with Forward the HOT air from the ceiling it will push down hot air on me and the cold air will go up the wall.

    Just my Comfort.
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    There are two ways to look at this since hot air rises the fan pulling down will push the hot air down the other way of looking at it the fan will act as a mixer of air and create even heat rotating at any direction pick you poison
  12. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    Either way. As long as air is moving you are geting the benefits of having the fan on.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    So in summary, it is a definate maybe.
  14. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    95% of the time..........If just room air mixing ......... down. If you are trying to heat all or most of the house i would say up.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Human skin will sense the air movement and feel cooled. By reversing the flow the air in the center of the room is drawn upwards and out towards the outer walls where is decends to be recirculated again. This is a much more comfortable way to run the fan in winter. Low speed is best.

    Of course, if the room is at 90 degrees then by all means blow downward. The cooling will be welcome. ;-)
  16. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    But only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, after which it's best to alternate direction every 12 hours to keep the air fresh :coolsmile:
  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    That goes with out saying ...........Except if you live in a house with an odd # then its just the opposite of the even # houses. :smirk:
  18. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    On the first week of the month for sure. Thence every 3rd week you begin all over
  19. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Don, The updraft of a ceiling fan is much less breezy feeling.

    Now that said, I want you to realize you left out a lot of variables. There's the kind of house, Which way the house faces, number of windows, color of the paint on the walls, married or not married, coriolis effect in the room, type of wood being burned, holtzhasen in the yard or not....there is just soooo many other things to consider when determining the direction of the ceiling fan.

    If you take into account all possible variables....I say the ceiling fan in Spikes living room needs to be running backward... your's is impossible to determine at this point...better have us stop by for some analysis and feed us Pizza and beer :)
  20. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    My downstairs fans are always set to pull up (reversed) to kind of mix the air, and avoid the direct breeze. However, the big upstairs fan is always set to blow down. This way it pulls air (warm or cool depending on the season) from the downstairs via the foyer and stairwell. Actually works pretty well.
  21. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    To make sense out of this, first one has to realize that Mother Nature makes warm air rise. Then, determine what you want to do with the fan: heat or cool. That's all it can do, except maybe dry out some road kill faster.

    This is what works for me and why:

    To heat in winter: Run the fan on low pulling cool air up. This assists Mother Nature by supplementing the natural convection cycle (warm air rises to the ceiling where it cools then returns to the floor along the walls) and helps warm the room faster than no fan allowing warm air to accumulate at the ceiling.

    To cool in summer (below 90* F, low humidity): Run the fan on low pulling cool air up. But now, to let warm out of the house and pull in cool air , open upper and lower windows.

    To cool in summer (above 90* F, high humidity): A. Sit directly in front of a small accessory fan on medium blowing at you. Get a cold drink. Enjoy. Now, swab yourself with a wet towel. The moving air cools your skin as it evaporates. B. Sit in a cool tub, or lake, with a cold beverage of your choice, with a friend - but don't get too close to their body heat. C. Sail "to weather" in the rain, naked.

    Aye,
    Marty

    Grandma always said, "Always help Mother Nature".
  22. martel

    martel Member

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    did I mention I am in the southern hemisphere? does this change things?

    funny thread- I expected one simple answer... not on hearth.com. thanks all.
  23. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Dylan:

    In the Southern Hemisphere, their summer is our winter and cool air rises, so, I recommend you reverse all you do here in the Northern Hemesphere to keep comfortable.

    Oh, food still enters the body via your pie hole though...

    Aye,
    Marty
  24. kevinlp

    kevinlp New Member

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    I had read that if you have a high ceiling (I forgot the number) you should always have it on down. I leave our on down and at the fastest setting. You feel the hot air being pushed right down at you.
  25. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Kevin:

    If this is what you like, it's OK. What ever blows your hair back...

    But my experience with that is, after a while, head and shoulders feel the warm breeze but the floor (not to mention my feet) stay colder than helping with the air's natural convection cycle by having the fan slowly pull air up.

    My understanding with a high vault ceiling (thus more cu ft of air), one measley fan blowing warm down isn't going to cut it (except to do what I've experienced above); rather, assist Mother Nature by pulling air up works best over time.


    Aye,
    Marty
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