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A ceiling fan is a mechanical fan, usually electrically powered, suspended from the ceiling of a room, that uses hub-mounted rotating paddles to circulate air. A ceiling fan rotates much more slowly than an electric desk fan; it cools people effectively by introducing slow movement into the otherwise still, hot air of a room, inducing evaporative cooling. By the 1920s ceiling fans were commonplace in the United States, and had started to take hold internationally.
Meanwhile, they became popular in other countries, particularly those with hot climates such as India but without the infrastructure or financial resources for high-energy-consuming and complex freon induced air conditioning equipment. Due to this renewed commercial success using ceiling fans effectively as an energy conservation application, many American manufacturers also started to produce, or significantly increase production of, ceiling fans. Since 2000 important inroads have been made by companies offering higher price ceiling fans with more decorative value. Some ceiling fans are mechanically reversible (have adjustable blade pitch) instead of an electrically-reversible motor. In summer, the fan's direction of rotation should be set so that air is blown downward (Usually counter-clockwise from beneath). In winter, ceiling fans should be set to turn the opposite direction (usually clockwise; the blades should spin with the downward turned side leading) and on a low speed (or the lowest speed the fan is able to circulate the air down to the floor). Metal arms, called blade irons (alternately blade brackets, blade arms, blade holders, or flanges), which hold the blades and connect them to the motor.
Flywheel, a metal or tough rubber double-torus which is attached to the motor shaft, and to which the blade irons may be attached. Some fans can be mounted using a low-ceiling adapter, a special kit which must be purchased from the fan's manufacturer. In recent years, it has become increasingly common for a ball-and-socket fan to be designed such that the canopy (ceiling cover piece) can optionally be screwed directly into the top of the motor housing; then the whole fan can be secured directly onto the ceiling mounting bracket. A switch housing (also known as a "switch cup" or "nose column"), a metal cylinder mounted below and in the center of the fan's motor. Blade badges, decorative adornments attached to the visible underside of the blades for the purpose of concealing the screws used to attach the blades to the blade irons. Assorted switches used for turning the fan on and off, adjusting the speed at which the blades rotate, changing the direction in which the blades rotate, and operating any lamps that may be present.
Decorative light bulbs mounted inside the motor housinga€”in this type of setup, the motor housing often has glass panel sections which allow light to shine though. Commercial or industrial ceiling fans are usually used in offices, factories or industries. Outdoor ceiling fans are ceiling fans designed for outdoor purposes, they are usually water resistant and made of materials that do not get affected by outside temperatures, weather or humidity. The way in which a fan is operated depends on its manufacturer, style, and the era in which it was made.
The variable-speed dial controlling the fan entirely; to turn the fan on, the user turns the knob until it clicks out of the "off" position, and can then choose the fan's speed. A pull-chain present along with the variable-speed control; the dial can be set in one place and left there, with the pull-chain serving only to turn the fan on and off. Many styles of ceiling fans have been developed over the years in response to several different factors such as growing energy-consumption consciousness and changes in decorating styles.
20 pole Induction "Pancake" motor ceiling fans, with highly efficient cast aluminum housings, were invented in 1957 by Crompton-Greaves, Ltd of India and were first imported into the United States in 1973 by Encon Industries. One disadvantage of this type of fan is that the flywheel, if it is made from rubber, will dry out and crack over time and eventually break; this is usually not dangerous, but it renders the fan inoperable until the flywheel is replaced. Direct-drive ceiling fans employ a motor with a stationary inner core with a shell, made of cast-iron, cast-aluminum, or most commonly stamped steel, that revolves around it (commonly called a "spinner" motor); the blades attach to this shell. Spinner fans employ a direct-drive motor and do not have a stationary decorative cover (motor housing). Spinner-motor fans, sometimes incorrectly referred to as "spinners", employ a direct-drive (spinner) motor and do have a stationary decorative cover (motor housing).
Skeletal motors, which are a high-quality subset of direct-drive motors, can be found on some higher-quality fans. They have an open ("skeletal") design, which allows for far better ventilation and therefore a longer lifespan.
They are typically larger than regular direct-drive motors and, as a result, are more powerful and less prone to burning out.
Hugger ceiling fans (also known as "flush mount" or "low profile" ceiling fans) have no downrod or canopy like a traditional mount fan, and the motor housing is mounted directly to the ceiling. Synchronous motor mini ceiling fans- these are relatively small in size and are made almost completely out of plastic.
Another concern with installing a ceiling fan relates to the height of the blades relative to the floor.
In 2004, MythBusters tested the idea that a ceiling fan is capable of decapitation if an individual was to stick his or her neck into a running fan. First, Kari and Scottie purchased a regular household fan and also an industrial fan, which has metal blades as opposed to wood and a more powerful motor.
They busted the myth in both scenarios with both household and industrial fans, as tests proved that residential ceiling fans are, apparently by design, largely incapable of causing more than minor injury, having low-torque motors that stop quickly when blocked and blades composed of light materials that tend to break easily if impacted at speed (the household fan test of the "lover's leap" scenario actually broke the fan blades.) They did find that industrial fans, with their steel blades and higher speeds, proved capable of causing injury and laceration - building codes require industrial fans to be mounted with blades 10 feet above the floor, and the industrial fan test of the "lover's leap" scenario produced a lethal injury where the fan sliced through the jugular and into the vertebrae - but still lost energy rapidly once blocked and were unable to decapitate the test dummy.
Contrary to popular misconception, wobbling will not cause a ceiling fan to fall.[5] Ceiling fans are secured by clevis pins locked with either split pins or R-clips, so wobbling won't have an effect on the fan's security.
This is the earliest ceiling fan of Encon's Crusader series which appears to have been sold way up into the late 1990s, though in many different forms during the life span of the series.
Fans never actually cool air, unlike air-conditioning equipment, but use significantly less power (cooling air is thermodynamically expensive). In addition to the imported Encon ceiling fans, the Casablanca Fan Company was founded in 1974.
Many small American importers, most of them rather short-lived, started importing ceiling fans. Therefore, ceiling fans that have a mechanism for reversing the direction in which the blades push air (most commonly an electrical switch on the unit's switch housing, motor housing, or lower canopy) can help in both heating and cooling. In this case, the blade should be pitched to the right (or left if the motor spins clockwise) for downdraft, and left (or right if the motor spins clockwise) for updraft. Air naturally stratifiesa€”that is, warmer air rises to the ceiling while cooler air sinks. The flywheel inner ring is locked to the shaft by a lock-screw, and the blade irons to the outer ring by bolts that feed into tapped metal inserts.
First patented by industrial designer Ron Rezek in 1991, the one-piece die cast rotor receives and secures the blades and bolts right to the motor, eliminating most balance problems and minimizing exposed fasteners. With this system, there is a metal or plastic hemisphere mounted on the end of the downrod; this hemisphere rests in a ceiling-mounted metal bracket and allows the fan to move freely (which is very useful on vaulted ceilings). This eliminates the need for a downrod, and is therefore useful in rooms with low ceiling clearance. The switch housing is used to conceal and protect various components, which can include wires, capacitors, and switches; on fans that require oiling, it often conceals the oil reservoir which lubricates the bearings.
Commercial ceiling fans are designed to be more cost effective and more energy efficient then other cooling alternatives.
Usually energy star fans hold the distinction of being more energy efficient (50%), have lower price tags, and save a lot of money on energy savings. These fans, hence the name "mini" ceiling fan are relatively small in size, usually ranging from 16 inches to 36 inches, however some still span to sizes as large as 42 inches in diameter.
This style of fan is equipped with a metal-bead chain or cloth cord which, when pulled, cycles the fan through the operational speed(s) and then back to off.

Many of these fans have an option to wire the light kit to this pull-chain in order to control both the fan and the light with one chain. Such a fan has two speeds controlled by a pull-chain: high (full power, independent of the position of the variable-speed control), and "Vari-Lo" (speed determined by the position of the variable-speed control).
These controls, commonly used on industrial fans, can control more than one (up to 15) fans with one switch.
In recent years, remote controls have dropped in price to become cost-effective for controlling ceiling fans.
The advent and evolution of electronic technology has also played a major role in ceiling fan development. Cast-iron ceiling fans account for almost all ceiling fans made from their invention in 1882 through the 1950s. It has enjoyed the longest production run of any fan in history, dating from 1906 to the present (it is still being manufactured as the "Classic Original", with several spin-off models). This Crompton-Greaves motor was developed through a joint venture with Crompton-Parkinson of England and took 20 years to perfect.
In the late 1970s, due to rising energy costs prompted by the energy crisis, Emerson invented a new style of electric motor designed specifically for ceiling fans, the "stack" motor. Direct-drive motors are the least expensive motors to produce, and on the whole are the most prone to failure and noise generation.[1] While the very first motors of this type (first used in the 1960s) were relatively heavy-duty, the quality of these motors has dropped significantly in recent years.
This accounts for most industrial-style fans (though such fans sometimes have more moderate-quality motors), and some inexpensive residential-style fans (particularly those made overseas[where?]).
Examples of skeletal motors include Hunter's "AirMax" motor, Casablanca's "XTR200" motor, and the motors made by Lasko for use in their ceiling fans.
This is in comparison to a regular direct-drive motor's design, in which the motor's inner workings are completely enclosed within a tight metal shell which may or may not have openings for ventilation; when openings are present, they are almost always small to the point of being inadequate.
This short-lived type of ceiling fan was attempted by companies such as Emerson and NuTone in the late 1970s with little success. These were similar to (and even less common than) the friction drive models; however, instead of a rubber wheel on the motor shaft using friction to turn the flywheel, a gear on the end of the motor shaft meshed with gear teeth formed into the flywheel, thus rotating it. These were also similar in design to gear-drive and friction-drive fans; however, instead of a rubber friction wheel or toothed gear, a small rubber belt linked the motor to the flywheel. As stated earlier in this article, the first ceiling fans used a water-powered system of belts to turn the blades of fan units (which consisted of nothing more than blades mounted on a flywheel). Hugger style fans generally have spinner motors, and use a special mounting bracket that holds the motor assembly and the motor housing. These fans are based on the earliest form of a fan, that was developed in India which was originally cut from an Indian palmyra leaf. This type was introduced in 2012 by Exhale fans and uses a bladeless turbine to push air outwards from the fan rather than downwards towards the floor. These use a brushless DC motor and complex electronic controls to achieve much better efficiency than fans driven with AC motors. While many junction boxes can support that weight while the fan is hanging still, a fan in operation exerts many additional stressesa€”notably torsiona€”on the object from which it is hung; this can cause an improper junction box to fail.
Building codes throughout the United States prohibit residential ceiling fans from being mounted with the blades closer than seven feet from the floor; this often proves, however, to not be high enough.
Two versions of the myth were tested, with the first being the "jumping kid", involving a kid jumping up and down on a bed, jumping too high and entering the fan from below and the second being the "lover's leap", involving a husband dressed in a costume, leaping towards his wife in bed and entering the fan side-on.
They and Tory then fashioned their human analogs - ballistic gel busts of Adam with actual human craniums, pig spines to approximate human spines, and latex arteries filled with fake blood - and then constructed rigs for both scenarios. This can happen due to a variety of factors, including blades being warped, blade irons being bent, blades or blade irons not being screwed on straight, or blades being different weights or shapes or sizes (minute differences matter). Made in Bombay, India by Crompton Greaves, These types of ceiling fans are called the "High Breeze". Lower canopy doesn't house a capacitor compartment as the capacitor is located in the switch housing.
Conversely, a ceiling fan can also be used to reduce the stratification of warm air in a room by forcing it down to affect both occupants' sensations and thermostat readings, thereby improving climate control energy efficiency. Instead, a stream of running water was used, in conjunction with a turbine, to drive a system of belts which would turn the blades of two-blade fan units. Throughout the 1980s the balance of sales between American-made ceiling fans and those imported from manufacturers in India, Taiwan, Hong Kong and eventually China changed dramatically with imported fans taking the lion's share of the market by the late 1980s.
The breeze created by a ceiling fan speeds the evaporation of perspiration on human skin, which makes the body's natural cooling mechanism much more efficient.
Unfortunately, this means it is colder on or near the floor where human beings spend most of their time. Provided the ceiling fan is properly sized for the room in which it is operating, its efficiency of moving air far exceeds that of an air conditioning unit, therefore, for peak efficiency, the air conditioner should be set to a low fan setting and the ceiling fan should be used to circulate the air. A rubber grommet is used to keep the fan in place and helps avoid vibration on the ceiling. The industrial or commercial ceiling fans usually use three blades and operate with a high-speed motor. In cold climates, a ceiling fan may disperse heat to warm up the room as well by dispersing downwards the warm air that rises to the ceiling surface. They are also very small in size, usually about 16" and have a similar construction to that of many pedestal fans and desk fans, and usually have finger guards. This was a dial mounted on the fan which, when turned in either direction, continuously varied the speed at which the blades rotateda€”similar to a dimmer switch for a light fixture. Using this method, the user can have either the fan or light on individually, both on, or both off. Instead, it uses the normal house wiring to send coded electrical pulses to the fan, which decodes and acts on them using a built-in set of electronics. The wall control, which contains a motor speed regulator of some sort, determines how much power is delivered to the fan and therefore how fast it spins.
2.5 to 6 amp controls can typically be installed in "gangs" with other solid-state controls or standard light switches or wiring devices, while 8 to 15 amp controls have a large heat sink and cannot be "ganged" with other devices. A cast-iron housing encases a very heavy-duty oil-bath motor, usually of the shaded-pole variety. The Original employed a shaded-pole motor from its inception until 1984, at which point it was changed to a permanent split-capacitor motor.
It is considered the most energy efficient motor ever manufactured for ceiling fans (apart from the DC motor) since it consumes less energy than a household incandescent light bulb.
Along with Encon's cast aluminum 20 pole motor, this powerful, energy-efficient motor aided in the comeback of ceiling fans in America, since it was far less expensive to operate than air conditioning.
This type of motor has become the standard for today's fans; it has been (and is) used in all Hampton Bay and Harbor Breeze ceiling fans, and has become commonly used by all other brands. Its advantage was its tremendously low power consumption, but the fans were unreliable and very noisy, in addition to being grievously underpowered. The company "Panama" made gear driven ceiling fans and sold them through "Family Handyman" magazine in the 1980s. For period-themed decor, a few companies (notably Fanimation and Woolen Mill) have created reproduction belt-drive fan systems. A punkah fan moves slowly in a pendular manner with a rather large blade and is nowadays electrically powered using a belt-driven system. They usually are a lot quieter than AC motor fans due to the fact they run on direct current and usually have more than three speeds. For this reason, in the United States the National Electric Code (document NFPA 70, Article 314) states that ceiling fans must be supported by an electrical junction box listed for that use. If a person fully extends his or her arms into the aira€”as sometimes happens during normal tasks such as stretching, changing bedsheets, or recreationa€”it is possible for the blades to strike their hands, potentially causing injury.

Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Scottie Chapman took the lead on the investigation, though original MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage also assisted.
Also, if all the blades do not exert an equal force on the air (because they have different angles, for instance), the vertical reaction forces can cause wobbling. However, a severe wobble can cause light fixture shades or covers to gradually loosen over time and potentially fall, posing a risk of injury to anyone under the fan, and also from any resulting broken glass. These systems could accommodate several fan units, and so became popular in stores, restaurants, and offices.
Even the most basic U.S-made fans sold at $200 to $500, while the most expensive imported fans rarely exceeded $150.
A ceiling fan, with its direction of rotation set so that air is drawn upward, pulls up the colder air below, forcing the warmer air nearer the ceiling to move down to take its place, without blowing a stream of air directly at the occupants of the room.
Replacing the flywheel requires disconnecting wiring and removing the switch housing to gain access to the shaft lock-screw. Though the ceiling fan cannot lower room temperatures, when used in tandem with a room air-conditioner it may be able to disperse the cool air all around the room. These are once again, popular mostly in many developing countries as they are a cheap alternative to traditional paddle type ceiling fans. A few fans substituted a rotary click-type switch for the infinite-speed dial, providing a set number of speeds (usually ranging from five to ten). Older such controls employed a chokea€”a large iron-cored coila€”as their regulator; these controls were typically large, boxy, and surface-mounted on the wall. The hand-held remote transmits radio frequency or infrared control signals to a receiver unit installed in the fan. These fans must be oiled periodically, usually once or twice per year, since they use an oil-bath system for lubrication. Though the fan's physical appearance remained unchanged, the motor was further downgraded in 2002 when production was shipped to Taiwan; the motor, though still oil-lubricated, was switched to a "skeletal" design, as discussed below. With this design (which consists of a basic stator and rotor), the fan's blades mount to a central hub, known as a flywheel. Friction-drive ceiling fans employ a low-torque motor that is mounted transversely in relation to the flywheel. The reproduction systems feature an electric motor as the driving force, in place of the water-powered motor. A disadvantage to this design it that since the blades are mounted so close to the ceiling, the air movement is greatly reduced. It is a common mistake for homeowners to replace a light fixture with a ceiling fan without upgrading to a proper junction box. Also, if one is wearing a tall hat, carrying a ladder, long wooden board, pipe, or some other long and awkward object, one end may inadvertently enter the path of rotation of a ceiling fan's blades, which can be dangerous and can cause damage to the fan regardless.
It is also worth mentioning that when the MythBusters were designing a fan with the goal of chopping off someone's head, Scottie used an edge finder to find the exact center of their blades with the aim of eliminating potentially very dangerous wobbling of their steel blades.
These prototype Encon Crusader ceiling fans were offered in Polish Brass, Antique Brass, Enamel White, and Brown finishes. The early version with the same oil bath motor type that are used in 42" Hunter Original Ceiling fans and the version that uses a spinner motor. Some of these systems still survive today, and can be seen in parts of the southern United States where they originally proved useful.
Crompton-Greaves had been manufacturing ceiling fans since 1937 through a joint venture formed by Greaves Cotton of India and Crompton-Parkinson of England, and had perfected the world's most energy efficient ceiling fans thanks to its patented 20 pole induction motor with highly efficient heat-dissipating cast aluminum rotor shell.
This action works to even out the temperature in the room, making it cooler nearer the ceiling, but warmer nearer the floor.
These energy efficient ceiling fans usually push massive amounts of air compared to other ceiling fan types. Many American manufacturers, such as "Fanimation" have started producing high quality designer versions of such fans for their retro design, however, unlike the orbit huggers discussed earlier, these usually include downrods, like many early versions of the orbit fan. However, these may not be ideal for commercial installations as the controllers require batteries.
Because these fans are so sturdily built, and due to their utter lack of electronic components, it is not uncommon to see cast-iron fans aged eighty years or more running strong and still in use today. The flywheel can be made of either metal or reinforced rubber, and can be mounted either flush with the fan's motor housing (concealed) or prominently below the fan's motor housing (known as a "dropped flywheel"). A rubber wheel mounted on the end of the motor's shaft drove a hub (via contact friction, hence the name) which, in turn, drove the flywheel. However, as these types of fans tend to have many electronics, they may be more likely to fail, making them not ideal for commercial installs containing a large number of fans. It is important that, when installing the fan, the installer closely follows the manufacturer's instructions with regard to using proper mounting screws. These Indian manufactured ceiling fans caught on slowly at first, but Markwardt's Encon Industries branded ceiling fans (ENergy CONservation) eventually found great success during the energy crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s, since they consumed far less energy (under 70 watts of electricity) than the antiquated shaded pole motors used in most other American made fans, and far more efficient than using expensive air conditioning units.
Thus the thermostat in the area can be set a few degrees lower to save energy, while maintaining the same level of comfort.
In the 1980s, it was common to find metal-bladed industrial ceiling fans in American households, while industrial fans in household applications are still commonplace today in Middle-Eastern households. Newer versions of this type of control do not use a choke as such, but much smaller capacitors or electronic circuitry; the switch is typically mounted in a standard in-wall gang box. It was a system based on the fact that a low-torque motor spinning quickly can drive a large, heavy device at a slow speed without great energy consumption (see Gear ratio).
They are more expensive than traditional AC ceiling fans due to the fact they use more complex circuitry than normal AC motor fans.
It is also important that all screws (especially the set screws which hold twist-on downrods in place) be tight, and any ceiling fan light fixtures are properly assembled with their shades and covers securely attached. He had engineered the electric motor used in the first electrically powered Singer sewing machines, and in 1882 he adapted that motor for use in a ceiling-mounted fan. It is important to run the fan at a low speed (or a lowest speed the fan is able to circulate the air down to the floor) to minimize the wind chill effect described above. Some manufacturers trademarked their personal incarnation of this motor: for example, Emerson came out with the "K-55" and "K-63" motors, Fanimation with the "FDK-2100", and Casablanca with the "XLP-2000". Uses Encon's True-Mount system which is no different than a ball and socket bracket mounting system. Uses the same bell canopy as a Hunter Original does and uses a ball and socket bracket mounting system. Each fan had its own self-contained motor unit, with no need for belt drive.[1] Almost immediately he faced fierce competition due to the commercial success of the ceiling fan. One of the earliest stack-motor fans was the Emerson "Heat-Fan", aka the "Universal Series" or "Blender Fan" (informally), a utilitarian fan with a dropped metal flywheel and blades made of fiberglass or plastic. He continued to make improvements to his invention and created a light kit fitted to the ceiling fan to combine both functions in one unit. This fan was produced from 1976 through 1983 and, while targeted at commercial settings, also found great success in residential settings. By World War I most ceiling fans were made with four blades instead of the original two, which made fans quieter and allowed them to circulate more air. While this motor is not nearly as widely used as in the 1970s and 1980s, it can still be found in certain high-end Casablanca, Emerson, and Fanimation fans.

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