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Electric Fan Basics

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See Portable Electric Fans

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See Ceiling Fans

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See Industrial Fans

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See Bathroom Fans



The History of Electric Fans

Mechanical fans first made their appearance in the Middle East during the 1500s.  Known as "punkahs," these fans consisted of a canvas-covered frame that was suspended from the ceiling. Servants pulled ropes connected to the frame to move the fan back and forth in order to produce a cooling effect.

The Industrial Revolution in the 1800s then saw belt-driven fans powered by factory waterwheels, but it wasn't until Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla introduced electric power in the later 1800s and early 1900s that electric fans were readily available to the general public. By this time, most electric fans were not only functional but stylish as well. Equipped with brass blades and cages, they were often used to enhance a home's d??cor. However, although beautiful, these fans were far from safe, as large cage openings often resulted in hand or finger injuries.

Nonetheless, by the 1920s, industrialization allowed for the mass-production of the modern electric fan. By the 1960s, the advent of air conditioning slowed down fan sales, but in recent times, electric fans have seen a resurgence of popularity.  In fact, in many parts of Europe and Asia, electric fans are still commonly used. Although many portable electric fans are now more utilitarian in design as opposed to decorative, they are considered to be more energy efficient than refrigerated cooling and are often used for supplemental or spot cooling.  Moreover, electric fans can be used for a range of purposes besides cooling such as adding ventilation, exhaust, or any other type of gaseous transport.

How Does an Electric Fan Work?

Electric fans come in a range of styles and sizes, but most electric fans used in home or industrial settings utilize the same basic technology.  There are three main types of fan technologies used for air movement: axial, centrifugal, and cross flow.

Most fans used for climate control purposes provide comfort or ventilation via axial flow. These fans have blades which force air to move parallel to the shaft about which the blades rotate and blow across the axis of the fan (hence the name). These are used in variety of applications, from providing personal cooling in personal desk fans to the giant fans commonly found in wind tunnels.

The main parts of a typical electric fan such as aportable electric fan include the base, fan blade, armature and lead wires, motor, blade guard, motor housing, oscillator gearbox, and oscillator shaft. These fans are rated according to type, size, and number of blades. Four-blade electric fans are the most common, and the materials from which an electric fan's components are made often determine its price.


Electric Fan Tip:
Keep in mind that while electric fans provide comfort, they do not actually lower temperatures.  Instead, they simply create a wind chill effect. 

Electric Fan Types and Functions

As mentioned above, there are several different types of electric fans used for several different purposes besides just cooling. From residential to industrial settings, electric fans such as exhaust and window fans can provide additional ventilation and prevent the inhalation of dangerous gases and fumes and even help with odor or moisture control as found in bathroom fans. Here is a breakdown of the most popular electric fans and their functions:

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Portable Electric Fans

A portable electric fan is exactly what the name implies. From simple desktop fans used for personal cooling to larger box fans that have the ability to efficiently distribute large volumes of air for rapid, even cooling, all portable electric fans are fully portable and can be moved from one room to the next. Portable electric fans also encompass many different fan styles, includingfloor fans which are placed on the floor of a home or workplace;pedestal fans which offer the versatility of moving air at shoulder height while being tucked away in a corner behind a table or furniture; and many types ofindustrial fans. The type you choose will generally depend on your location and basic needs. Obviously, smaller table fans are great additions for rooms or offices and provide a comforting breeze, while industrial fans are more suitable for larger spaces that require more powerful air circulation. For more information on portable electric fans,Click Here

Ceiling Fan Basics

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are fans not only help cool a room, they can also complement any type of d??cor. Ceiling fans primarily provide comfort by creating a current of air or breeze. Suspended from the ceiling of a room and employing hub-mounted, rotating paddles constructed of a number of different materials to product a cooling effect. Air is either blown or drawn in to create a draft and in turn, this produces a chill factor on skin. Moreover, ceiling fans are great for airing out or freshening a room. Many people may also be unaware that ceiling fans are multifunctional and can also lower a household's electric bill. When used in the summer, a ceiling fan used in conjunction with a room air conditioner or central AC increases the cooling effect of these appliances but allow you to turn up the temperature on your thermostat, and when used in the winter in reverse, ceiling fans can also increase the efficiency of your heating system by forcing the heat accumulated at the ceiling down along the walls and to occupants. Therefore, no other home appliance can match a ceiling fan's combination of beauty, functionality, and dependability. 

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Exhaust Fans

Again, like many types of portable electric fans, exhaust fans perform many functions, but the two many reasons consumers choose these types of fans are to cool and provide ventilation. Exhaust fans installed in a window (also called "window fans") can greatly add to the comfort of a home and is an alternative to air conditioning. Most window fans have a 20" diameter, and the majority require some sort of mounting kit and side panels. The panels both support the fan and prevent air from circulating around and back into the fan, which may result in performance loss. On the other hand, when used for ventilation, exhaust fans are excellent for areas like attics where moisture and heat can accumulate. This combination of moisture and heat, when not exhausted, can condense. In turn, this condensation can damage and deteriorate insulation and construction materials. Therefore, temperature and moisture control are the major reasons for purchasing an exhaust fan. For more information on exhaust fans,Click Here

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Industrial Fans

Industrial or commercial settings require proper ventilation as well as climate and odor control in order to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers. Thus, high volume, low speed industrial fans provide numerous benefits for chemical, automatic, and construction settings. They are usually placed on the floor, and industrial blowers such as theAir King 9550 are powerful, yet portable. In terms of temperature control, because industrial and commercial settings are usually subject to high heat levels, industrial fans are essential in such areas which usually cannot accommodate traditional air conditioning systems. Also, because industrial fans promote fresh air and circulation, they stir up air in enclosed areas and can regulate odors and gaseous fumes commonly found in chemical or automotive industries. In addition, another type of industrial fan is an industrial blower. These systems also provide air and gas movement, and they are particularly useful for cooling or drying applications.  For more information on industrial fans,Click Here

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Bathroom Exhaust Fans

A bathroom exhaust fan is an absolutely vital component of your home's ventilation system because it can effectively deal with both offensive odors and humidity levels. Moisture is a common problem in bathrooms, and excess moisture can cause paint damage, doors to warp, and even lead to the accumulation of mold spores. There are many types of bathroom exhaust fans available, from simple, no-frills models, to more elaborate units that come with built-in heaters, lights, and even timer units. Most models such as the Broan QTXE150FL are designed to be mounted on the ceiling, but some can be mounted to the walls. Therefore, with a simple exhaust fan, you can greatly decrease or even eliminate the many problems associated with excess bathroom moisture.  For more information on bathroom fans,Click Here

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