How does the Summer / Winter mode setting work on a ceiling fan?
Summer and Winter mode is basically the ability to change the direction the fan blades spin. On AC type fans there is usually a switch located on the fan itself that can be switched to reverse the direction of the blades while newer DC fans have this reversing switch on the remote control handpiece.
The sole purpose of a ceiling fan is to move the air in the room and create airflow. In summer the air flows down and creates a breeze, as we know a breeze is cooiling especially if we are hot and are perspiring, the breeze flows across our skin and the perspiraton creating a cooling effect.
In Winter when we heat a room (In particular high vaulted ceilings or raked ceilings) the hot air will naturally rise to the top half of the room making the the top hotter than the lower half of the room. Unfortunately we are rugged up on the couch in the lower half of the room, so ceiling fans can be great at moving the air causing the hot air at the top of the room to circulate down to the bottom half of the room. However even though the air is warm, when it blows down with a ceiling fan in normal summer mode it will eventually feel cool like a breeze and the warming effect will be lost. So we reverse the direction of the fan and the air is still moved but it is blown up into the ceiling and tumbles down around the sides of the room. This still moves the air around to distrubute the warm air that has gathered at the top of the room but without the breeze that doesn't feel right on a cold winters night.
What is the difference between AC and DC fans?
There are a couple of differences between AC and DC fans, we will dicuss each point:
- How much power they draw. (Energy efficiency)
- Noise level
- Speed control.
DC fans did not appear in the domestic market until about 2016, so it is safe to say that all fans prior to this were AC style fans. Now days there are equal amounts of AC models to DC models so it is worth noting the differences.
- AC fans typically had a motor in the range of 60watt to 90watts depending on the size of the fan, So when a fan is running on High, it draws the full amount of power (90watts). When the fan was on low they typically drew about 15 - 30watts power.
- There are two types of noises fans make, one is wind rush noise, this is the whoosh sound as a fan is on high. (This noise depends on the blade type and speed, AC or DC does not affect this noise) The other noise we are going to talk about is motor hum noise. This is the noise a fan makes when on low. A good quality fan is very silent on low but cheaper AC fans can typically have an audible hum. The motor hum is not usually an issue on the higher speeds as the wind rush noise drowns out any motor hum noises.
- AC Fans are typically very affordable, at the time we wrote this AC fans could vary in price from $100 up to $500 but there are a number of models availabel below the $200 mark.
- AC fans will nearly always come with a 3 speed wall control - Low, Medium and High. You can use a remote control on AC fans and this will replace the 3 speed switch but this is usually bought as an extra item at the time of purchase.
- DC Fans are very efficient, Most DC fans have a maximum power draw of 35watts on high, and maybe as low as 5 watts on low, so quite a difference to the AC example above.
- DC Fans are very quiet, there is almost no motor hum, This has to do with the DC part of the name - DC stands for Direct current as opposed to AC Alternating current. As the alternating current passes through the motor of an AC fan it can induce a hum causing the noise, but a DC fan does not have same wave form in the power and hence it cannot induce a hum in the motor.
- DC Fans usually cost more, while there are quite a few DC models on the market, at the time of writing this most DC fans started at $300 and up.
- DC Fans cannot be controlled by the traditional 3 speed wall control, they must have a remote control which talks to the electronic in the fan to change the speed of the fan. The Remote control is always included in the box with the fan and it is typically a 5 or 6 speed remote which offers a point of difference to the normal 3 speed AC fans.
How is the airflow measured on a ceiling fan?
In the past we did not measure a fans airflow, we just knew from past experience that a 48inch fan would shift a reasonable amount of air for a bedroom, while a bigger 52inch fan shifted more air and was suitable for a master bedroom or living space. We then saw 56inch fans come about which suited alfresco areas and larger living spaces. We also knew from experience that metal blades shifted more air than timber blades so we also took that into account.
Nowadays there are 3 blade, 4 blade and 5 blade fans, Fans with timber blades, ones with metal blades and even plastic moulded blades, not to mention all the different sizes from 900mm fans right up to 2400mm fans so we needed a more accurate way of comparing the fans performance. Fans are now measured in "Cubic meters of air per hour" (cbm/hr), but what does that mean to the ordinary customer?
At Tillys we like to use this as a comparison to explain the airflow measurement. The standard fan that has been sold for many years for bedrooms was a 4 bladed timber fan with a blade size of 1200mm or 48inches. This sized fan more than likely moved about 7,000 - 8,000 cbm/hr. A 52inch (1300mm) model fan of the same design managed a bit more air movement at about 9,000 - 10,000 cbm/hr so this was pretty adequate for a typical bedroom.
We find that any fan with over 10,000 cbm/hr is performing quite well and will suit any living space, and for comparisions sake the largest 1800mm - 2400mm ceiling fans we sell can get up to 24,000 cbm/hr. Hopefully this will help you understand the amount of air you might be looking for in a ceiling fan.
My ceiling fan appears to be faulty what should I do?
All the ceiling fans we sell here at Tilly's come with a manufacturers warranty, each warranty differs so it is worth checking what you have purchased, however they are similar enough for us to give you a guide. The fans will be covered by an in-home warranty period (usually 2 years). During this time if the fan is faulty, you contact the warranty line of the Company that imported the fan and they will diagnose the problem over the phone and more than likely direct you to fill out the warranty claim form. Their service agent located int he stae where you live will then come and look at the fan.
If the fan is older than 2 years the motor will be covered by a further 3 year warranty (This can vary from each manufacturer), you need to still call the warranty line and try and diagnose the problem and once again fill out a warranty form. The fan then may be replaced but this is up to the manufacturer. If the fan is replaced (or just the motor) the cost of installing the motor will need to be paid by the customer as it is outside the 2 year in-home warranty.
A fault with the fan may lie in the remote control, or receiver, this is usually subject to a different warranty length of time to the fan motor, so it is best to call the warranty line and again see if you can diagnose the fault prior to involving the electrician.
Should I take the fan down off the ceiling?
Don't take the ceiling fan off the ceiling or get your electrician to come back and remove the fan without speaking to the Fan supplier that provided the fan... An electrician returning to the job will more than likely charge you a second call out fee which will not be covered by Tilly's or the fan supplier if you decide to take this step yourself. It is always best to call the warranty line and explain the issue and let them decide the next course of action.
Unfortunately most of the fan suppliers are east-coast based and during summer we need to factor in the 3 hour daylight saving time difference. (they may not answer the phone as they may have closed for the day). Feel free to call Tilly's lights and we will see if we can help, however the warranty line does deal with issues more than us at Tilly's so our help may be limited.
If the warranty line determines that the fan is faulty and needs to be changed, you will be directed to fill out a warranty form and submit it. The Fan supplier will then get their service agent out to fix the fan at their cost, this is why it is important to let the fan supplier know of the faulty fan and not get your electrician to remove it.
How do I know which fan supplier / company to call for warranty?
It is important to keep your receipt for warranty purposes, this will list the model of the fan you bought which will help identify who you should call. It is also important to keep the documentation that came with the fan as this lists the warranty line and the company in charge of this.
If you don't have any of these details (let's face it, these things disappear, are thrown out by the electrican or are in that safe place you can't remember right now) then there are a couple of things you can do. Call Tilly's lights and see if we took your name at the time of sale so we can track your information or you will usually find a sticker of the model number and or the name of the fan importer on the top side of the fan motor housing (facing the ceiling).
I don't have all the details for the warranty form, what can I do?
The fan warranty departments tell us that a high number of warranty claims are installation errors this is why they request certain details on their claim form to be submitted to stop unnecessary claims. You will be asked for a copy of the receipt of purchase (important that you keep this on record). You will also be asked for the detail of the electrician that installed the fan (cash deals with electricians won't get you a receipt and may leave you in a stuck situation). You will also need to agree to a charge if the service agent is sent out and an installation fault is determined and can be easily corrected.
Unfortunately all the fan suppliers are the same and request the same information, so it is important you can provide this information to proceed with the warranty claim. Tilly's lights also require the fan to have been installed by a licensed electrician to be able to help.
I want to purchase a product but it won't let me continue past the post code entry?
We have found that our products vary greatly in physical size and weight which makes calculating shipping very difficult, added to that we are based in Western Australia so freight is always going to be higher that east coast freight.
We have designed a freight calculator which assess the box size of the items you are trying to purchase and the location you live (Postcode). If the box is too big, or has a high risk of being damaged then we have set the calculator to not proceed with the sale as we cannot freight the goods to you.
We are sorry for this inconvenience, these items can be picked up in store but we know this will not suit eastern states customers. (we have had a very high breakage rate with freight items of late.)
Will you ship goods all over Australia?
Yes we can ship goods all over Australia provided they are not flagged as an item that will be too large to ship (causing the freight to be very high) or too delicate and at risk of breakage.
Our Freight calculator will also determine the freight value based on your postcode, unfortunately we need to charge a surcharge for postcodes outside the metro areas.
Will you ship goods overseas?
No sorry, we are not setup to send goods out of Australia.
I am not in Perth and can't seem to buy a Table lamp online?
Sorry but due to a high rate of breakage and dented shades we have decided not to freight any table lamps, online orders will need to be collected at the store.