You have a few ceiling fans in your home or office, and you yourself clean them or ask your maid to clean them up regularly. You feel good when you look at nice and clean fans, but have you ever wondered if in the process you have mistakenly disturbed the fan blade angle? Recently during one of our visits at a home we found that the angles of ceiling fan blades were completely disturbed (as shown in the image below) and on asking the reason for the same, we found that the maid finds it difficult to reach to the blades to clean them, so she tries to pull them down and in the process the blades have gotten bent completely. However this was one extreme case and we know that the bent blades certainly do not look good, but does it impact electricity consumption? The answer is “Yes” and let’s see how.
How does a ceiling fan work?
Ceiling fan is a very simple assembly. It has a motor at the center that rotates the blades attached to it when it is switched on. The blades rotate at a speed and push the air down. The motion of the blade is very much like an Oar or Blade (चप्पू in hindi) used to row a boat. Like the Oar displaces water and the boat moves ahead, the blade of the ceiling fan pushes the air downwards. As any person who is expert in rowing a boat would say, the best efficiency (more movement with the least effort) is obtained when the oars are used at a specific angle. Similarly the best efficiency of a ceiling fan is obtained if the ceiling fan blade has an angle of 10-12 degrees. Now most manufacturers do take care of these factors while making a ceiling fan. But we should make sure that we do not disturb it while using it.
Like with the Oars, if the angle is less (as in it is used flat), then the effort used would be less, but there will be no movement. A flat ceiling fan blade will be like wing of an airplane that cuts through the air effortlessly, and there will be no air movement. On the other hand if the angle is large, then there will be lot of noise as well as the motor will need more electricity to more the blades through the air, just like if you hold the oar flat and try to row, the amount of effort that you will need will be larger.
Never mix the blades
Blades of different fans have different designs and they are optimized to work in a specific assembly. We have commonly seen that in the name of “Jugaad” some people may attach blade of a different fan to a different machine. Please do not do it as the blades are designed for a specific fan. This could disturb the balance of the fan and can also result in increase of electricity consumption.
So what do you need to do?
Whenever you clean the fan or get it cleaned, just make sure that the blade is not being pulled hard such that the design of the blade is disturbed. Also do make sure that the blades are of same type, size and angle so that the balance of the fan remains and it does not consume more electricity.
About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. More from this author.