How essential is a blower on my fireplace or stove? Does it provide more heat? Are they noisy? These are common questions. For the answer to these and others, keep reading!
A GOOD IDEA!
Nearly all the WE LOVE FIRE experts agree that a fan on your fireplace or stove is a good idea. (For the purpose of this article, the terms: blowers, fans or blower fans are synonymous.) They help distribute warm air from the appliance throughout the room and/or house.
Fireplaces, stoves, and inserts that are fan compatible, use a convective air chamber that is designed within the appliance to house a blower. As the fan draws heavier, cooler air from the floor, the air is heated in this chamber and is then moved back out into the room.
These small “single cage” or “cross flow, dual cage” blower fans are about 3” - 4” in diameter and 12” - 18” (30 to 45cm) in length. Because the blowers are installed below the firebox in the appliance, they are designed to take high temperatures.
HOW BIG, HOW LOUD & HOW MUCH AIR?
Many fans are specific to the model of fireplace or stove. You must replace the fan with a certain model or size, usually supplied by the manufacturer. However, your WE LOVE FIRE dealer has an after-market company that make generic fans for many makes and models of appliances.
Because these fans are mounted beneath the firebox and pull cooler air from the floor, they are prone to get dirty from dust, dog or cat hair, etc. Dirty fans will make strange noises. It’s always a good idea to clean the fan periodically. Be sure to disconnect the fan from its power source before you clean it with the vacuum or a rag. Incidentally, the bearings in blowers are normally sealed and require no oiling.
The speed on most fans is adjustable. The higher the speed, the more noise you will notice. And this stands to reason. When the wind is blowing at 20 mph (ca. 32 km/h), it’s noisier outside than a calm evening. The more air that’s moved by the fan, the noisier it will be. Another noise that might be noticed is a “harmonic hum” from the motor of the fan. Manufacturers have improved this noise over the years. But if this is troublesome, it might be time to replace the blower.
How much air will a small fan in a fireplace move? As mentioned, most fans have variable speeds. You can increase in decrease the amount of air that’s being circulated with a rheostat control. It’s similar to a light switch, but instead of altering the brightness of a light bulb up or down, we’re varying the amount of air being moved through the air chamber. Most blower fans on fireplaces, stoves, and inserts will move air in the 50 – 200 CFM range. That’s in the same range as an effective bathroom exhaust fan. Many people find that the lower 1/3 — ½ range for the fan speed is adequate to move plenty of air and the noise is not objectionable.
ARE BLOWER FANS EXPENSIVE?
Most replacement fans will be in the $150 — $300 price range. Again, some are model specific and others more generic that will fit several models of fireplaces, stoves, and inserts.
Fans typically need between 1 and 1½ amps of electricity. This translates to just pennies per hour of operation. So, the cost of running the fan on your hearth appliance is somewhat insignificant. Blower fans do not operate 24/7. Most operate with a heat sensitive switch. They turn on and off automatically based on the temperature of the unit.
Your WE LOVE FIRE expert is always ready to answer your questions and assist in any way we can. There’s more interesting information to help you make an informed decision, so be sure you take a few minutes to read "Why Do I Need a Blower Fan on My Fireplace".