Ceiling fan over a stairway – a good idea?

You have a two story house. But sometimes it seems like you hae two separate houses – the one with the first floor where you love to spend time in the summer but freezes you in the winter and the one with the second floor that is so comfortable in the winter but unbearable in the summer. It seems like you can never strike a balance. If you heat the house enough to have a warm first floor in the winter, you will be sweating on the second floor (not to mention the heating bills) or the reverse in the summer when you do anything to avoid going upstairs (sleeping on the couch, anyone?)

There is help for your problem! One great solution is to mix the air so that you get the most out of your heating and air conditioning by using ceiling fans in the rooms and especially at the top of a stairway. This will make the rooms more comfortable and the stairwell fan will really help to make the whole house more comfortable. Not to mention the energy and cost savings!

From the California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center:
http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/heating_cooling/ceiling_fans.html accessed February 15, 2013:
“Ceiling fans can help solve other cold weather problems as well. For example, some two-story houses have open stairways. Since heat rises, the upstairs can get hot, while the downstairs – where the thermostat normally is – can stay cold. As a result, the furnace can run more often and heating is uneven. But mounting a ceiling fan at the top of the stairway will mix the air more evenly, making the house much more comfortable and cutting down on heating costs.”

Other ways to save energy and increase comfort that you might want to consider include caulking windows and other openings that let in ouside air and improving the insulation.

If you haven’t wanted to use a ceiling fan in the past because you thought you would never find a nice looking one, you are not alone. That is actually how we got started in the design of ceiling fans – our designer Mark Gajewski was faced with this problem himself. He started designing ceiling fans so that he would be able to use this green, energy-saving device in his home and also be able to view a “thing of beauty” that brings joy.

The ceiling fan shown in these images is the San Francisco ceiling fan with the light, F529-BS/CH, shown here with accessory cherry blades.  These photos were taken in the lovely home of friends who refinished the blades themselves with a beautiful glossy finish.

A question that we often get asked about stairwell fans is whether it is possible to have a control switch at the top and also at the bottom of the stairwell. The answer is that it is definitely possible. It requires the purchase of an additional wall switch and having the correct wiring already installed to the two switches. We have a helpful diagram available that shows how to wire two switches to one fan to have everything operating smoothly.

One other consideration is how much room you have around the fan in the location you plan to install it. For good circulation and quiet fan operation, we recommend that you should have at least 15” from the blade tips to the wall on all sides of the fan for the best operation. The height is up to you as long as the bottom of the blades are more than 7 feet from the floor. The fan will mix the air well at any height.

So, if you are thinking about ways to improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home, consider using a ceiling fan over a stairway. With a beautiful contemporary ceiling fan from G Squared, you will not only be more comfortable but you’ll be enhancing the appearance of your home as well.  We think it is a good idea!

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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