How Does a Ceiling Fan Work?


The Power Source

  • When you look up at a ceiling fan, it might be interesting to some to know just how such an appliance works. It seems so simple to just turn on a switch and see the blades turn. What is happening behind the scenes? When you first turn on that switch on the wall, you are actually allowing electrons to flow towards the fan. A pathway has been opened and the electricity can now flow to the fan's motor, causing a reaction.

Motor Action

  • Basically, when the electricity reaches the fan motor, it will enter coils of wire wrapped around a metal base. As the current passes through the wire, it causes a magnetic field to exert forces in a clockwise motion. This will change the electric energy into mechanical energy causing the motor coils to spin.

Air Movement

  • As the coils spin, the fan has been mechanically designed to capture that spinning motion and transfer it to the blades of the fan. The fan blades are engineered to slice through the air and then push it downward causing the breeze we feel when sitting under it. Air will start to circulate throughout the room as air moves in to replace the air pushed down from the ceiling. The air movement across our skin cools the surface perspiration as well as moves away the air warmed by our body heat making us feel cooler.

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