Looking for simple efficient DC pull chain ceiling fan (50-60”)

georgepds Posted By georgepds, Apr 9, 2018 at 5:33 PM

  1. georgepds

    georgepds
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    I’m looking for a really simple DC ceiling fan. They tend to be a lot more efficient than the AC ones, typically pulling 20 watts to the AC 60 watts at high speed. In my application, I’m going to run it at low speed all winter to circulate the air in the house, in places there is significant stratification

    I’d like to just swap it out with the existing ac fan that’s already wired in. It seems the models I look at come with wall controls (*). In short.. most of the DC fans come with way more crap than I need.. I just want to turn it on at the beginning of winter and let it run till the spring on low speed

    Any suggestions?..


    (*) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DVSBQZA/?tag=hearthamazon-20
     
  2. woodgeek

    woodgeek
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    I got this one for the same reason....tri-level house with one heating and cooling zone.

    https://aeratronfans.com/shop/ae3/

    Its been running for like 5 years continuously, but it is starting to make little clicking sounds at some speeds. Otherwise silent for the first 40,000 run hours.

    I actually got a second one cheap on fleabay, and will likely swap it out soon.

    https://www.ebay.com/i/323196101037?chn=ps&dispItem=1

    At the time I was surprised how few offerings there were...mebbe there are better ones now.
     
  3. fbelec

    fbelec
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    your talking 40 watt difference the ac motors gen last 20 years if you keep the thing clean at 6 months running for 24 hours at 15 cents a kilowatt hour your looking at 26 dollars of electric. i don't think it will pay off. both fans use sleeve bearings so they should last about the same time. if they were to use ball bearing it would not be silent. hunter used to make ball bearing sitting in a cup of oil i was not quiet but i know of one that was put up in the 20's and is still running now.
    the difference in the cost of electricity would not pay off the 600 dollar fan. not trying to be a jerk but 600 for a fan.
    funny thing i just looked at a fan made by hampton bay that was used in a wood stove room and was put up in 1985 still running good
     
  4. festerw

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  5. semipro

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    @georgepds I get your frustration. We have an array of fans ranging from the cast iron Hunter originals that @fbelec mentions (though mine are nearly silent other than air noise) to the latest high-efficiency DC models. I've been looking for an high-efficiency fan that will allow simple wall switch control and options seem very limited. Some DC models (e.g. Fanimation) do allow the fan to operate in the same state as it was when the wall switch was turned off.
    One thing I would recommend is to compare the actual efficiency ratings of the fans: power consumed versus air-flow produced rather than just assuming that DC will be high-efficiency. In general they are but...
    I'd also make sure any DC unit you buy is brushless. I believe most are but I think some earlier models used brushes
     
  6. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Ok

    Found a good way to look. There is a place called hansenwholsale that allows you to select dc fans only. You can then select by cost A raft of fans shows up. The lease expensive of them are ~ $300. Not quite as low as woodgeeks find on fleabay.. but close

    They’ve got some good info on operating speeds and other maters

    https://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceiling-fans/ceiling-fans-low-rpm
     
  7. georgepds

    georgepds
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  8. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Simple solution


    Well, in one location, the fan I’ll be using is on a plug. The simplest way to lower the average power is to put it on a timer ($10, amazon) . I think that’s what I’ll try first. I’ve got a spare AC fan I can use.


    One thing I always wondered was how much the power draw varied from low to high settings on the AC fan. I hear it stays the same. When I’m fiddling, I’ll try to measure
     
  9. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Got the power levels on the aerotron that woodgeek has.. impressive, at low speeds it is below 5 watts. hnasenwholesale says their most powerful fan uses 120 watts

    I also worked out the cost , at my rate of $0.2/kwh, for several fan wattages. A $600 fan does not make sense, but a $260 one might, if the operating difference is $80/year, you make it up in 2 years ( assuming a standard fan cost ~$100)


    watts kwh/year cost/year at $0.2/kwh
    5 22 $4
    10 43 $9
    50 216 $43
    100 432 $86

    from the aerotrom manual

    Operating speed (rpm)/
    Power Usage (Watt)
    e503
    Speed 1: 51 rpm/ 3.8 W
    Speed 2: 70 rpm/ 4.5 W
    Speed 3: 103 rpm/ 7.5 W
    Speed 4: 119 rpm/ 9.5 W
    Speed 5: 139 rpm/ 13.6 W
    Speed 6: 158 rpm/ 18 W
    e502
    Speed 1: 52 rpm/ 3.9 W
    Speed 2: 73 rpm/ 4.5 W
    Speed 3: 113 rpm/ 7.7 W
    Speed 4: 131 rpm/ 9.6 W
    Speed 5: 153 rpm/ 13.6 W
    Speed 6: 177 rpm/ 18.2 W
     
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  10. fbelec

    fbelec
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    george that is impressive if i'm remembering the fan on ac power amps wise was .5 high .3 low. are there any cfm ratings? if the air movement noise is to loud look for more blades. in the fans that i have put up in my life the 2 blade fans were loud on high
     
  11. georgepds

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    Re noise..... @woodgeek, can you tell us if your aerotrons are noisy at speed?
     
  12. woodgeek

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    Sorry, I have the three blade version....and it is supposed to be the quietest fan ever made per cfm in its size class. I don't run it on high, where there is an air noise (whether from the blades or air moving around the room I can't tell). The DC motor is silent...every other fan I have ever had has 'hummed' which 24/7 started to grate on my nerves.

    I was paying a couple hundred dollars not to save a couple hundred dollars on kWh, but to get rid of the continuous hum that was making me crazy.

    The high CFM/Watt rating is due to careful airfoil design with low turbulence...vs a flat blade...and naturally makes for lower air noise.

    The three blade versions used to come up on Fleabay too, if you care to wait. The second fan I bought was the cheaper two-blade version, because the blades are interchangeable...I can use the new 2 blade motor with the old three blade prop if/when the first motor dies.

    Problems:
    During install, a wire harness connector was hard to connect, and then later the motor would make intermittent loud 'clunking' sounds (like once every couple hours, can be heard through whole house). We lived with that for a while, until my wif liked to joke that it was the loudest silent fan ever made. (She never liked the design).

    I finally traced this to the wire harness being loose...somehow. With the DC connections properly made, the fan went silent.

    The original remote (the only way to change speed/direction) cr@pped out after a few years (kids might have dropped it a few times playing around?) and needed to find/source a new one...for like $40.

    that is all.
     
  13. peakbagger

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    I have my Hampton Bay (listed on the Energy Star website as Emerson Electric). It made a big splash when it came out as they went with energy efficient air foils and at the time was considerably more efficient than other models. Its been running around 10 years with no complaints. Its definitely not the best anymore but still makes the listing. I do like a 5 blade unit as its less likely to get out of balance than 3 blade unit.
     
  14. georgepds

    georgepds
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    I have an existing fan up stairs ( 5 blade, 54", AC motor). It is in the center of a cathedral ceiling room ~30Lx15Wx15H. The room is heated by a 1 ton fujitsu heat pump, located ~ 9 ft from the floor, slightly off center, set to 72 F, This morning, after a 30 degree night, the room temp at seating level was 68. Turned on the fan and the room temp was 73F within a couple of minutes. For 5 degrees there is not much point in running the fan (correct me if I'm wrong). My guess is the fan in teh heat excahager is providing some, but not enough, mixing

    So there is some stratification there, but not much. It's much greater in the downstairs room with the wood stove (~30Lx15Wx9H), and really large in the front hall (10Lx10Wx24H). It's cold in the front hall.. probably 20 to 30 F stratification, and that's where the fan is needed

    A tip of the hat to woodgeek.. lots of refurbished DC motor fans on ebay, roughly half price. Brings the cost down to something reasonable. My best guess is it won't be electric cost, but bearing wear and motor replacement which will determine the true costs. Still, I wanted to play with low energy fans, and this was a way to get a start
     
  15. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Found the cfm/watt for the aeratron fan

    AE2 50"/ 3.9W-18.2W. . 351. 391. 326

    1300 cfm low

    6000 cfm high

    You get different values for different diameter/blade/speed
    Best is 60" 3blade low, ~900 cfm/watt
     
  16. semipro

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    We installed a Fanimation Covert from Lowes f($250) about 2 years ago and it seems to work well. We installed this one outside under an overhead cover. Performance numbers below from the Hansen site for the "Subtle" model which seems to be the same as the Covert that is branded specifically for Lowes.
    upload_2018-4-13_10-40-51.png
     
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  17. georgepds

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  18. fbelec

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    i know this brand if the dc motors are like the ac it will last
     
  19. georgepds

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  20. georgepds

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    In my continuing search for high efficiency low cost fans.. I came across this one on the Energy star most efficient for 2018 site. It has the highest cfm/watt ( 1629 at low speed) on the most efficient list You can get them new at home depot for $299. If it matters, it comes in 3 colors: bronze nickle and white. It uses 31 watts at high speed, and 2.79 watts at low speed

    Now this is the fan I'm looking for. Not a big fan of the remote, but i'll live with it. Run it 24 hours a day for 180 days and you use up 12 kwh.. compared to the 259 kwh for a 60 watt fan that's quite a difference. At this low setting you are moving 4545 cfm, more than enough to stir up the air in the room

    FWIIW.. there is a discrepancy between the energy star cfm and that in the manual. the manual says it gets 2626 cfm at low

    To be honest, I don't know how much (cfm) you need to stir up the air to avoid stratification. I know the existing 54" hampton bay fans at low speed seem to work, so I'm estimating this will work too.

    ~~~from energy star

    Size (Diameter) (in.)Field details 72
    Features

    Kensgrove 72 in. LED Indoor/Outdoor Espresso Bronze Ceiling Fan
    Product Type Ceiling Fan with Light Kit
    Airflow Efficiency by Speed (CFM/Watt)
    Low 1629
    Medium 834
    High 318
    Ceiling Fan Motor Warranty (yrs) 30

    https://www.energystar.gov/most-efficient/me-certified-ceiling-fans

    ~~~~~~~~~~ from description on ebay

    The Home Decorators Collection Kensgrove 72 in. Espresso Bronze ceiling fan is great for large areas and lofts. With its 8-blades it will push out 10,484 CFMs for maximum cooling. The dome style light kit with frosted opal glass includes a 14-Watt LED Samsung light source and is set at 3000K temperature (warm white). The energy efficient DC motor will start saving you on energy expenses while running on high on only 31-Watt. Also this DC motor has 9 speeds which are three times as many as traditional ceiling fans have. The hand held remote control will control the dimming and speed function, battery included. Also Energy Star rated for energy efficiency.


    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Home-Decorators-Kensgrove-72-in-LED-Indoor-Outdoor-Espresso-Bronze-Ceiling-Fan-/263588864052?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10



    ~~~~~~~ manual from home depot

    https://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfImages/5e/5e8afad1-e407-4c01-bea1-6ffdadf58081.pdf
     
  21. fbelec

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    just be careful to much breeze in the winter will make it feel like a draft
     
  22. begreen

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    Looks like it's reversible so it could be set to blow upward on low speed in the winter.
     
  23. fbelec

    fbelec
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    the air blown up just comes down the edges of the room. put a chair or sofa against the wall and sit while the fan is blowing up the breeze comes down the wall and by your head and neck. try it. it will feel like a draft.
     
  24. fbelec

    fbelec
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    if you think about it the fan is moving the air in the room, if it's blown up or down it's doing the same thing it's a matter of where the air comes down
     
  25. georgepds

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    Thanks. Good point. Too much of a good thing, even at the lowest setting


    Might be good in the front hall (2 stories) which is always cold on the first floor in the winter, and unused except to climb to the second floor.
     

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