Which fan to buy?

Hello all,
I've always had one of those little fans that attaches to the top corner of a door, and slowly moves warm air that rises out to the rest of the house. Mine is giving out and I'm wondering what to replace it with. Are these the best option, or is one of those "no power" ones that actually sits on the stove better? I'd like to get whatever does the most work, and gives the most heat to our home, obviously, with price being a distant second, within reason. I heard a comment that the REAL trick was putting a regular fan in such a way that it blows COLD air TOWARD the stove vs. the more typical like I described.

All thoughts appreciated! Thank you.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,681
South Puget Sound, WA
I heard a comment that the REAL trick was putting a regular fan in such a way that it blows COLD air TOWARD the stove vs. the more typical like I described.
Yes, there are several threads here on the topic of Moving the Heat, which should actually be called moving the cold. Cold air is denser and easier to get moving. Once you do a convection loop gets established with warm air replacing the displaced cooler air.

Describe the floorplan and stove location or post a sketch of how the floor is laid out.
 

wncmtns70

New Member
Dec 3, 2019
10
Western North Carolina
Hello all,
I've always had one of those little fans that attaches to the top corner of a door, and slowly moves warm air that rises out to the rest of the house. Mine is giving out and I'm wondering what to replace it with. Are these the best option, or is one of those "no power" ones that actually sits on the stove better? I'd like to get whatever does the most work, and gives the most heat to our home, obviously, with price being a distant second, within reason. I heard a comment that the REAL trick was putting a regular fan in such a way that it blows COLD air TOWARD the stove vs. the more typical like I described.

All thoughts appreciated! Thank you.
I like the Vornado fans. They blow the air in a tubular shape rather than am outward conical shape, thus giving you better control over where you want your heat directed. It doesnt just randomly disperse the warm air, it concentrates it better in a specific place.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,465
Midwest
My .02

The electric / stirling fans 'on' the stove are nice conversation pieces and can move a bit of air, but not really effective at 'whole house' circulation.

Hot air away from the stove / cold air toward the stove - thermodynamically its all about the same.

Draft wise, 'stuffing' cold air into the stove room can sometimes help - especially if the stove is in a basement, or otherwise below the neutral pressure plane, meaning natural draft is already an issue. However you also have to deal with the continual cold-air draft across the floor. Walking through it, setting in it, or otherwise occupying the floor of the space means you're in the chilly / breezy air. On the plus side, outlets are plentiful down low and as you mention, any old fan will generally do.

Hot air across the ceiling means a more diffuse cold air draft across the floor - which is generally more comfortable. All the fast moving air is up high - where people generally aren't. Also if you happen to get a bit of a breeze, then it's typically a warm(er) draft. But this method also generally means stringing fans, cords, brackets, etc up the walls and to the ceiling. I also ran into an issue with a bit of lint / dust build-up one year when I ran a fan blowing air across the ceiling.

So basically decide what you can live with and pick your poison!
 
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JotulOwner

Feeling the Heat
Oct 29, 2007
354
Long Island, New York
Hello all,
I've always had one of those little fans that attaches to the top corner of a door, and slowly moves warm air that rises out to the rest of the house. Mine is giving out and I'm wondering what to replace it with. Are these the best option, or is one of those "no power" ones that actually sits on the stove better? I'd like to get whatever does the most work, and gives the most heat to our home, obviously, with price being a distant second, within reason. I heard a comment that the REAL trick was putting a regular fan in such a way that it blows COLD air TOWARD the stove vs. the more typical like I described.

All thoughts appreciated! Thank you.
I have a couple of heat - driven stove top fans. They do move some air, but I wouldn't say they move a whole lot of air. I like the way they look on the stove which is the main reason I use them. I have an older, more expensive one and a less expensive one that cost about $50. I just bought the inexpensive one and it seems to move more air than the higher priced one. The value may be a question of how long they last (the expensive one is 12 years old and still going strong).

If you need to move a lot of warm air away from the stove area, you probably will need to consider another method.
 
I've attached a very rough floor plan. You'll see there's arrows showing the migration of the heat. It leaves the narrow dining room, migrates into the open kitchen area, makes its way into the double living room / library area, then finally into the front entry area and up the stairs to the 3 bedrooms. This stove ends up providing 100% of our heat here in Central Maine due to the location, and (from what the installer told me) the rotation of the earth helps it move in the direction of the arrows. It's really perfect. It keeps the area LEAST occupied (dining area) at 80 degrees, the living room/family room area (most occupied) at 72, and the bedrooms at 65, for optimum sleeping. So I just want to move that heat out a little faster. It's OK now but the area that the stove is in loses a lot of heat (poorly insulated, 2 large windows and one sliding glass door within 2 feet of the stove).... so the sooner I can grab it and move it into the living areas, the better.

So far the comments lead me to believe I should just stick with my current setup, the little fan that goes in the upper corner. There's a little 12" piece of wall right next to the stove and the bracket is already up there for the one that quit working.

Any comments welcome.
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, that looks ok for natural convection. As a test try the reverse. Put a table fan on the floor at the entrance to the kitchen from the living room so that it is blowing cooler air from the LR toward the stove room. This should help pull replacement warm air into the living room.

Of course the right thing to do is to stop the heat loss in the stove area even if with temporary storm windows and tape to seal things.