Archive for the ‘fans’ category

Quick Tip #5 – Save Money with a Filter Change

March 10th, 2014

H009Maintaining the filter on your air conditioning and heating equipment isn’t fun or glamorous. So why bother? Because a clean filter allows for proper air flow, and that makes the equipment run efficiently, saving you money. Also, a clean filter helps your system perform better, so your home environment will feel more comfortable.

And because a dirty filter restricts air flow and can make a heating unit overheat or an A/C unit freeze up, maintaining the filter helps you avoid a service call.

Filters come in various types, so take a look at your equipment. If you have a cleanable filter, note on your calendar when cleaning is due. Otherwise, buy an appropriate replacement filter to have on hand when you need it. Filters are inexpensive and should be changed or cleaned when they are visibly dirty. When you do change the filter, note the directional arrows on the side. Place the filter so that the arrows point in the direction of air flow.

By Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It

Furnace fan, to distribute heat throughout the house?

January 31st, 2013


I have a two-story house with a basement, built in 1952. Is it a good idea to turn the furnace fan on, to distribute the heat throughout the house?

– Marian


H014 - Warm Air Furnace Fan and MotorYes and no. If you have a problem with a cool area when heating or a warm area when running the air conditioning, operating the fan continuously will even out the temperatures in your home. The downside is this will cost electrical energy to run the fan and cause some wear and tear on the fan. However, you can run a fan on a newer, high efficiency forced air furnace with an ECM or variable speed motor for little cost – about 1/10 the cost of a typical fan motor. Finally, I think your first step is to have a contractor inspect and adjust your system. At times, duct dampers can be adjusted to correct cold spots and air flow problems. Often you need to make a spring and fall damper adjustment for a two story home.

– Mr. Fix-It

Sones – Sound Level of Fans

March 7th, 2010

What do “sones” refer to in exhaust fan sound ratings? If nearly silent is 0.9, how loud is a 4?


That is a great question. I had to do a little research on this. A sone is a measurement of sound in terms of the comfortable hearing level for the average listener. The lower the sone value, the more comfortable the listening environment will be. For your question, a 4-sone rating is about four times a loud as a 0.9 (~1) sone rating.

Sones are not decibels or volume, but rather how sound is sensed. Sones are a linear measurement, like inches. Doubling the sone value is equivalent to doubling the loudness (i.e. one to two, two to four is doubling the sound level twice). Your 4-sone fan will be more than four times a noisy as a 0.9 sone fan.

One sone is equivalent to the sound of a quiet refrigerator in a quiet kitchen. Typically, the sone level is measured at maximum cubic feet per minute (speed), however some newer products are also being tested at normal CFM settings to provide consumers with typical sound level information.

Always look for a quiet fan, or it will not be used. Broan makes fans below 0.3 (really quiet). If you want more information on fans for the bathroom or kitchen, go to They have a great site with lots of information and the sone ratings.

Mr. Fix-It