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The ceiling fan can be a significant cost saver during the summer months. Traditional ceiling fans push hot air down and are estimated to save as much as 40% on air conditioning costs during hot weather. Since heat rises, designers developed a heated ceiling fan that not only redirects the hot air down, but also reheats it to provide greater efficiency during the winter months.
A heated ceiling fan is installed just like regular fans. Unlike the regular heating fan, though, the heated ceiling fan has a heating element, which can be turned on or off in order to redirect the flow of warm air downward. Most people, particularly those who live in two-story dwellings, have difficulty maintaining desirable warmth levels in their homes because of heat loss. Those who live in homes with high ceilings often find it takes much more energy to heat a home because the heat naturally escapes to the upper portions of the ceiling, or is released through windows that are not double-paned.
Even with the best traditional forced air, ducted heating systems, energy is wasted because the parts of the home that do not require heating, are heated nonetheless. Heat tends upward, so if one were to accurately measure the temperature of a room with 12 feet (3.66 m) ceilings, one would find higher temperatures toward the top of the ceiling.
A warm ceiling does not translate to warm people, as the bottom half of the room is the last part of the house to receive heat. The heated ceiling fan can at least partially correct this problem by redirecting the flow of air downward, and since it also reheats the air, temperature loss of air flowing downward is minimal.
In homes that are two or more stories high, often the upper stories are a great deal warmer than the lower stories. Thermostats frequently measure the temperature in the bottom half of the house with vented heating systems. So while people on the bottom floor may still feel the house is too cold, those in the upper stories are usually uncomfortably warm.
In these cases, an installation of a heating ceiling fan in the main rooms of the home can, again, redirect the flow of heat to the first floor. Wattage used to reheat is generally far more efficient as well, usually less wattage than it takes to run a hairdryer-between 400-1400 watts. The estimated cost to run the heating element and fan is about .05 US dollars (USD) per hour. Running the fan without the heating element costs approximately .01 USD per hour.
The heated ceiling fan does not differ much in size. Most models are about 54 inches (1.37 m) across. The heated ceiling fan may be slightly longer from ceiling to bottom of the fan to accommodate the heating element.
Price for the heated ceiling fan is moderate. The Reiker model is slightly under 300 USD per fan. Hampton Bay sells a model about 50 USD above this price. Both brands offer limited lifetime guarantee on the parts, and at least offer testimonials to the workability of the fan.
The heated ceiling fan can take the place of a ceiling light fixture, but can be more problematic to install if wiring is not in place for overhead lights, as is the case in many newly built homes. If unavailable in one’s home, installing a heating ceiling fan requires much more work as one will have to wire the room to accept a central light fixture. Unless one is experienced in home electrical systems, hiring an electrician to install wiring for a ceiling light or fan, is prudent, though it will increase expense in installation.
Since the heated ceiling fan is a newly developed product, there are few large hardware stores that carry them. Home Depot can special order the Hampton Bay fan, and one may order the Reiker online at the Reiker home page. Some specialty lighting and fan stores may keep these fans in stock. They are available in a variety of styles to suit different decorating needs, and most come equipped with a lighting element.