I changed my fan direction and it made ALL the difference in the world!

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Aug 24, 2007
111
So, since we first fired up our Summit in our very open floor plan....it would be nice and toasty in our living room where the stove is locaed then coo in the kitchen, dining room, and entry. This pretty much stumped me. The whole area is completely open with lightly vaulted ceilings. I have a ceiling fan pushing the heat down so it doesnt all gather at the top but still.....I would find cool spots. Well, I sat there looking at it thinking back to all of the ceiling fan diagrams that shows air movement in each operation of the fan. So I turned it off and put it on the updraft direction thinking that it will pull the heat up and then it will follow the cathedral ceiling down to the walls, across the floors and then back up to the fan again. Of course this seemed completely backwards....why would anyone want to suck the air up????? I tried it and COULDN'T BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!! It moves the heat thru the whole house keeping it nice and toasty throughout. Who'd a thought it would work let alone make a night/day difference. So for all of you having a hard time moving your heat, ..........try turning your ceiling fan to upward draft, it worked for me :)
 

thephotohound

New Member
Apr 19, 2007
332
Central Massachusetts
Michigan -

We made the switch at the beginning of this season, and it truly does make a difference. I also have a very open floor plan with 12 ft ceilings, and it keeps 80% of the floor at a regulated temperature. Now try blowing air DOWN in the summer to create the "Wind-chill" effect. This one will blow your mind too!
 

jqgs214

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2006
685
Riverhead, NY
I thought that was common knowledge. Guess I'm just ahead of the curve :p
 

SlyFerret

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2007
1,534
Delaware, Ohio
It stands to reason. It does seem backwards, but it actually seems to fit with what has been discussed in other threads on trying to move air around the house. Move the cooler more dense air to displace the warmer less dense air. I'll make sure I remember this when I get my stove going. I have a similar setup. Vaulted ceiling in a fairly open floor plan. Good to know!

-SF
 

JimWalshin845

New Member
Nov 6, 2007
599
S. Jersey
Is that what that little switch is for... who ever thunk? :roll:
 

JimWalshin845

New Member
Nov 6, 2007
599
S. Jersey
topcat said:
is the fan moving clockwise or counterclockwise?
Depends upon whether you are looking from above or below the fan! :down:
 

JimWalshin845

New Member
Nov 6, 2007
599
S. Jersey
topcat said:
standing directly below fan looking upwards
For most fans...Mickey Mouse goes in the oposite direction.. counter clockwise. You should not feel a breeze from above.
 

yurij

New Member
Nov 4, 2007
53
Catskill Mtns, NY
This fan reversal is news to me. So the consensus is to set the fan to draw the air up to the ceiling? I'd like to know why that works better than the other way. I would think that whatever the circulation pattern established, reversing the fan should reverse the pattern making no real difference.
Maybe since the cold air is denser and hence forms a boundary layer closest to the floor, blowing warmer air straight down on it from above does not appreciably disturb that cold boundary layer (maybe the velocity of the air slows down so much because of buoyancy, but if I can feel the breeze then it still must be moving at a good clip). But by pulling the air up, that breaks up the cold boundary layer and allows necessarily new, warmer air to occupy that space, or at least mix with it and so wam up the lower levels.
But when trying to figure out things like this (and hence which way to rotate the fans), its easy to ignore or forget something which is critical and changes the entire outcome. Like if the cathedral ceiling opens up to a balcony, etc... So real data is always better.
My ceiling fans require flipping a switch to reverse them. The switch is on the fans so I need to climb up there to do this. Its a tall ladder (the fans ar at the 20' level). I want to set it and forget it. I'd definitely like to hear more experiences with some description of the ceiling/floorplan. Very interesting and relevant for me. Thx
 
YES reverse is good to move air around the house.
but if you are right under the fan and low to the ground you will feel cold.

There is one problem for me with Reversed fan

When I get homeafter 13 hours dealing with STOVES and HEAT
I lay my lazy butt on the sofa.

when The fan backwards it sucks COLD air from the floor across me. and the hot air down the wall
 

yurij

New Member
Nov 4, 2007
53
Catskill Mtns, NY
hearthtools - just to clarify, so "revese" means suck air up to the ceiling. and the effect will be to force the hot air down along the walls with the cool air coming up underneath the fans? -yurij
 

topcat

New Member
Mar 14, 2007
26
burrilville,Rhode Island
topcat said:
thanks,this whole time i've had the fans rolling the wrong way.i'm such a noob.
let me just add a quick note:I changed the fan to counterclockwise and it did make the stove room hotter rather quickly.However upon waking up a noticed a huge difference in the upstairs,brrrr.With the fan in it's previuos state.counterclockwise.the upstairs of the house would be pretty much inline with the stove room.any theory why this is.
 

yurij

New Member
Nov 4, 2007
53
Catskill Mtns, NY
are you saying the upstairs for much coolr that what you normally would expect for moving the warm air back down?

and could you please just say the fan is pushing the air down/up underneath it. clockwise/counterclockwise does uniquely identify the direction since it depends on the tilt of the blade as well as the observer. thx -yurij
 

dtabor

Member
Feb 8, 2007
187
Lake Elmore, VT
Topcat, only going for simple here but I would assume its colder now in the room above the fan since you are pulling the cold air up and moving the warm air away from that, so your radiant heating is gone?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,728
South Puget Sound, WA
michiganwinters said:
So, since we first fired up our Summit in our very open floor plan....it would be nice and toasty in our living room where the stove is locaed then coo in the kitchen, dining room, and entry. This pretty much stumped me. The whole area is completely open with lightly vaulted ceilings. I have a ceiling fan pushing the heat down so it doesnt all gather at the top but still.....I would find cool spots. Well, I sat there looking at it thinking back to all of the ceiling fan diagrams that shows air movement in each operation of the fan. So I turned it off and put it on the updraft direction thinking that it will pull the heat up and then it will follow the cathedral ceiling down to the walls, across the floors and then back up to the fan again. Of course this seemed completely backwards....why would anyone want to suck the air up????? I tried it and COULDN'T BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!! It moves the heat thru the whole house keeping it nice and toasty throughout. Who'd a thought it would work let alone make a night/day difference. So for all of you having a hard time moving your heat, ..........try turning your ceiling fan to upward draft, it worked for me :)
Yep, this is what I have been saying for quite awhile. At first it seems counter-intuitive, but works. It's is also something hvac designers have known for awhile. Move the hot air to the outside walls. That's why you'll see the floor heat registers installed on the perimeter of the house. Put the heat to the source of the cold, the outside walls, for draft free comfort.
 

Kilted

Member
Shortly after getting my first woodstove insert my now ex-wife rode my butt to put in a ceiling fan. Since I sit where the down draft is, the fan was always run in up-draft mode. I was very surprised how well this worked, 99% of the time I run my ceiling fan in up-draft mode. This was almost 25 years ago. I never told her she was right.

-- Brandy
 

topcat

New Member
Mar 14, 2007
26
burrilville,Rhode Island
yurij said:
are you saying the upstairs for much coolr that what you normally would expect for moving the warm air back down?

and could you please just say the fan is pushing the air down/up underneath it. clockwise/counterclockwise does uniquely identify the direction since it depends on the tilt of the blade as well as the observer. thx -yurij
i guess you could say the air is blowing down.The swith is in the down position.As i stand under the fan i can feel the air.this is how i was using the ceiling fan last winter and the heat seemed to move up the staircase and heat the upstairs.Last nite i switched as previous posted. with switch in upward position and when i woke in the morning the upstairs was much cooler than normal.I hope this explains what happen.
tom
 

ansehnlich1

Retired Hearth.com Member
Dec 5, 2006
1,601
Adams County, PA
I've been running my 2 ceiling fans in the great room in the "pulling air up" mode, NOT the "pushing air down" mode. I think for my application pulling cool air from the floor up does two things. It displaces the warm air at the ceiling, forcing it downward, along with heating the cool air being pulled up, causing a steady circulation of air in the home. Secondly, I think the fans pull cool air along the floor from the farther reaches of my one story home, the back bedrooms for instance. I have thought of setting one fan go blow down, the other to blow up, turn 'em both on high, have the Jotul at about 500 degrees, and see what happens, hmmmmmmm.
 

SlyFerret

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2007
1,534
Delaware, Ohio
"Displacing the warm air" seems to be exactly the answer.

When I was trying to figure out where I was going to put my stove, among other things in my split level house, I did a lot or digging to learn as much as I could about how to move the heat around the house.

Simply put, the answer was to move the cold air, not the warm air. Move the cooler more dense air and it will easily displace the warm air to somewhere else. If you plan your fan placement, you can make the warm air displace to where you want it.

Think of cold air like a truck and warm air like a car. If the two collide, the truck is going to win out.

-SF
 

CK-1

Feeling the Heat
Feb 10, 2006
259
michiganwinters said:
So, since we first fired up our Summit in our very open floor plan....it would be nice and toasty in our living room where the stove is locaed then coo in the kitchen, dining room, and entry. This pretty much stumped me. The whole area is completely open with lightly vaulted ceilings. I have a ceiling fan pushing the heat down so it doesnt all gather at the top but still.....I would find cool spots. Well, I sat there looking at it thinking back to all of the ceiling fan diagrams that shows air movement in each operation of the fan. So I turned it off and put it on the updraft direction thinking that it will pull the heat up and then it will follow the cathedral ceiling down to the walls, across the floors and then back up to the fan again. Of course this seemed completely backwards....why would anyone want to suck the air up????? I tried it and COULDN'T BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!! It moves the heat thru the whole house keeping it nice and toasty throughout. Who'd a thought it would work let alone make a night/day difference. So for all of you having a hard time moving your heat, ..........try turning your ceiling fan to upward draft, it worked for me :)
What fan speed do you usually keep the fan at?... The ceiling fan where my stove is has a temp. setting on the remote, which regulates the speed depending on temps.
 

n1st

New Member
Jun 3, 2007
121
Enfield, CT
My fan has a little black slide switch. It works to move the air down, but when I put the switch in the up position, the fan just hums quietly. I think it used to work while in this position, but it's been a while, so I'm not positive. Any idea why the fan doesn't rotate to move air upwards?
 
Aug 24, 2007
111
Im sure everyones application is different. My house is a ranch with open floor plan and vaulted ceiling. When I had the fan pushing the air down I noticed the cold spots along the floor and other parts of the room being cooler. Once I reversed the fan to the upward position THAT is when I was able to get rid of the cool areas along the floors, in other parts of the room and in my application created a much more even, more enjoyable heat. I run my fan on medium. It may be much different if you have a 1 1/2 story home with a loft above.......I figured it was worth the mention. Good Luck.

Personally, ----I thought it was pretty insightful for a gir :D
 
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