Slow Ceiling Fans?


  #1  
Old 07-16-22, 08:26 PM
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Slow Ceiling Fans?

Hi All,

(The following is bit wordy, but I'm trying to put all details in that I can think of that may matter.)

We have an old ceiling fan in our master bedroom (at least 11 years old, as it was here when we moved in; no older than 22 years when the house was re-modeled), and it seems to move slowly. It has three levels, and "slow" seems, well, slow. Both "medium" and "high" seem to be the same speed, although I do hear a slightly different humming sound when I switch it from "medium" to "high" using the remote. However, both "medium" and "high" still seem relatively slow to me. I'm comparing them to two new fans I've installed in my kids' rooms over the past year or two. When those fans are on "high", you can feel wind whipping around you!

We also have two ceiling fans in our covered front porch (covered overhead only, otherwise its just an outdoor front porch). They are fully wet rated and are now about 2.5 years old. I was hoping that the "high" setting on them would be fast enough to keep me somewhat cool in the summer; however, I can only sort of feel the air moving when I'm sitting directly under them. (The ceiling is not that tall, maybe about the standard 8 or 9 foot ceiling.) These two fans are identical, and the "high" on one seems faster than the "high" on the other, going by what I can see of the fan blade rotation speed. Unlike the master bedroom fan (which is controlled only by a remote), these two fans are on a dimmer-type wall switch inside the house (with low, medium, and high speeds). Both fans are on the same switch, so that when I put the switch to, e.g., "medium", then both fans go to medium. There are also pull chains on the fans, and I have made sure to put those on high as well.

Not sure if it matters, but all three fans also have lights in them, with the master bedroom fan light being controlled by a separate button on the remote, and the two outdoor ceiling fan lights being controlled by a separate dimmer switch (i.e., separate from the fan switch, but both lights work on the same dimmer switch).

So, my questions:
1. Is there a way to actually check the rotation speed of a fan? Any device that will measure the speed?
2. Is there a standard speed that a fan should be at (either overall or for "high")?
3. Is there a way to increase the speed of a fan that seems to be moving slowly?

Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 07-16-22, 08:40 PM
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Air movement is not solely based on fan speed. Higher end fans have stronger motors with blades that are pitched more and turn slower.

An old fan could have worn out capacitors that would cause it to run slow.
A new fan that seems to turn slow would typically be built that way.
I wouldn't think you could modify it spin faster.

Hand held non contact tachometers are relatively inexpensive.
Put white tape on one blade and point the unit at the tape while the blades turn.
Handheld tachometer

 
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Old 07-16-22, 08:43 PM
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Hi PJ,

Thanks (as always) for the info. I'll try that device you mentioned, but the outside fans are all white (including the blades). Will it work on that?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 07-16-22, 08:46 PM
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You might try black tape or a piece of tin foil. Something to differentiate one blade from the others.
 
 

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