How to Make a Ceiling Fan Spin Faster

How to Make a Ceiling Fan Spin Faster

Ceiling Fan Direction Summer vs. Winter

Mounted in the center of a ceiling and capable of spinning at a variety of speeds, ceiling fans circulate the air and thereby affect how cool or warm a space feels, without actually changing the temperature. Here’s how their function in different seasons stacks up.

The Spin on Summer

In warm weather, the blades of a ceiling fan should turn counterclockwise. This produces a current that moves down and out, which then sends air back up along the walls. Redistributing the air throughout a room in this way works because cooler air naturally pools near the floor while hot air rises; the blades’ counterclockwise spin moves cooler air to a level where you can feel it on your skin. This concept is known as the wind chill effect. Of course, since the temperature in the room is not actually lowering, it’s best to turn off the ceiling fan when people and pets aren’t present to enjoy the benefit.

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Pro tip: Ceiling fans are only considered safe in rooms with 8-foot ceilings or higher, for the safety of people walking around in the room. But to maximize their efficiency, make sure your blades hang 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling and somewhere between 7 and 9 feet from the floor.

Photo: depositphotos.com

The Whirl on Winter

It might seem counterintuitive to turn on a fan when you want to get warm, but in fact, a ceiling fan can help to maintain comfort during the winter. A fan set to move clockwise (opposite the direction for summer) and run at low speed creates an updraft. This pulls cold air up to the ceiling and more evenly distributes the warmth the room receives from your central heating system, space heater, or fireplace. The fan moves the air to keep things cozy throughout your living space instead of letting cold pockets settle anywhere.

Again, the temperature isn’t actually changing; it just feels that way—so, as in the summer, turn the ceiling fan off when exiting the room.

Pro tip: There are ceiling fans with built-in space heaters on the market, and while they may not save you energy or money, they can solve the problem of a perennially cold room when central heat can’t effectively do the job.

H ow Much Electricity Does a Ceiling Fan Use?  

Ceiling fans don’t use much electricity. Most ceiling fans cost around $0.006-$0.01 per hour on average, with a kWh cost of $0.12 (based on the national U.S. average rate, though this can be less with electricity providers such as Tara Energy). However, the ultimate cost depends largely on factors such as fan speed and whether you use lights with your fan or not. 

This low electricity rate is a main reason why ceiling fans are still, to this day, so commonly used. They are unmatched in terms of cost-effectiveness and energy-efficiency.  

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Why Does a Ceiling Fan Make Noise?   

Fans that are not installed flush with the ceiling can make noises — this is especially likely if the fan contains dimmable LED light fixtures or is coupled with a chandelier. However, dust and dirt on fan blades can throw the blades off balance as well, leading to a shaking fan when operational — and subsequently leading to noise. Any warped, damaged, or uneven blades can also lead to unwanted noise. 

Shop for a new capacitor and switch

Note the number of wires and the microfarad (uf) r

Note the number of wires and the microfarad (uf) rating on the old capacitor. Buy a new one with the same number of wires and uf rating.

How to Install Ceiling Fans

Set the transmitter

Flip the DIP switches to change the transmitter fr

Flip the DIP switches to change the transmitter frequency if you have problems with interference. The switch positions on both ceiling fan remote units must match.

There are many “universal” ceiling fan remote control kits on the market for overhead fans controlled by pull chains and a singe wall switch. All of them feature on/off and fan speed control. Others also offer light-dimming and thermostatic control capabilities. But whether you can use a ceiling fan remote kit depends on the amount of free space inside the fan canopy.

Many “ceiling hugger”–style fans have enough free space for the receiver for the ceiling fan remote. But “down-rod” styles may not. Shut off the circuit breaker to the fan and lower the canopy (use a voltage sniffer to make sure the power is really off). Check the fit of the receiver before you commit to wiring it in permanently. Keep your receipt just in case.

With the power off, connect the hot and neutral wires to the “AC-in” wires on the receiver. Then connect the three remaining wires to the fan and light (they’re labeled by the manufacturer).

If you have neighbors nearby, you may have to change the frequency on the ceiling fan remote transmitter and receiver to prevent you or your neighbors from controlling one another’s fans.

With Ceiling Fans, You Get What You Pay For

Finishing Touches

To finish off your blades you can leave them all natural, clear coat them to protect the wood while maintaining their natural look, or paint them any way you choose. Be mindful that when you paint them the paint will add weight to the blades. Take care not to paint one heavier than another.

Making your own ceiling fan blades can be, not only a cost savings, but also a fun project. Some skill is needed to get the weights of the blades exact. This will take time and patience. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the best way to raise the speed of my ceiling fan?

Check the traction chain switch on the fan. A bad switch or missing speed setting will cause the fan to slow down. Turn off the fan and let it stop. Pull the chain and turn the fan to the lowest setting, then listen to the fan motor as you pull the chain and go through the progressive speed setting.

What’s the matter with my ceiling fan whirling so slowly?

Ceiling fans that run slower than usual might cause one of four issues. Two of these issues are mechanical: bearing lubrication loss and blade imbalance. The other two are electrical: either a faulty capacitor or a faulty winding.

Is Will replacing the condenser increase the fan speed?

As you increase the capacity, the fan motor voltage increases, but the capacitor voltage decreases—the fan speed increases. To increase the fan speed, you must increase the capacitor value.

How to slow down the ceiling fan speed?

You can add a resistor, capacitor, or inductor in series with the fan permanently. This increases the overall impedance and reduces the current, reducing the fan speed. Another option is to charge the capacitor in the auxiliary winding from 2.25 mfd to say 1.85 or 2 mfd. This reduces the fan speed.

Can we use two capacitors in the ceiling fan?

Generally, two series-parallel capacitors are used in the ceiling fan. The motor is a “two-value capacitor motor” or a “permanent split capacitor motor. “Here, a high-capacity capacitor will be connected to the starting winding of the split-phase induction motor.

Without a chain, how do I control the speed of my ceiling fan?

To control the fan speed without a switch, you must supply current to the appropriate wires to reach the desired speed. Since this is probably a mechanical (not electronic) device, the only way to change the settings is to physically move the switch to another position.

What’s the deal with my fan only operating at high speed?

When the fan resistance fails, the highest fan speed is usually the only one that still works because it essentially bypasses the resistance and receives the maximum voltage. When the resistor is running, it reduces the amount of voltage, leading to lower fan speeds to rotate more slowly. 

FAQ About Changing a Ceiling Fan Direction

How can you tell if a fan is going clockwise or counterclockwise? Gaze up at the ceiling while it is running on a low setting and watch the blades spin. If they turn to the left—the standard setting, appropriate for warm weather—the fan is going counterclockwise. If the blades turn to the right, the fan  is turning clockwise, the ideal cold-weather setting/

When should I clean my ceiling fan?

Ceiling fans blades can collect a lot of dust, so the ideal time to clean them is twice a year, when you change the direction. While standing on a secure ladder, insert the blades, one at a time, into a clean pillow case and gently wipe both sides clean while drawing the case off the blade. For kitchen ceiling fans that have accumulated grease and dirt as well as dust, the blades may require removal with a screwdriver for cleaning with mild soap and water.

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How do I change the direction of my ceiling fan without a switch?

If there is no switch on the fan housing, use the remote control and the light switch on the wall used for the light on the fan fixture. With the light switch on, hold the fan button down (on position), then turn the light switch off, then on again, and release the button on the remote. Then turn the fan on again, using the remote, and the blades should turn in the opposite direction.

Should ceiling fans be left on all the time?

Most ceiling fans are designed to operate 24/7, but they should only be left on when there are people or pets in the room to enjoy the benefit of feeling cooler or warmer.

To learn more about changing the direction of your ceiling fan, check out this video:

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