Fans of Winter

Our heat-activated EcoFan.
I know almost all of us think of fans as summer necessities to move air around our homes until it just gets too hot and we forget about these seemingly primitive inventions in favor of the air conditioner.

But fans play an extremely important role in winter months as well, pushing warm temperatures throughout the house and circulating the air. Here are a few different styles of winter fans and the advantages of utilizing them in your own home:

The Heat-Powered EcoFan
List price: $99.99
Available online through Ace Hardware, or locally at Garlock Building Supplies & Design Center
Vital Stats: 800 HP, heat-powered wood stove fan that creates its own electricity from the heat of the stove. There is nothing to plug in! Warm air is pushed out into the living area rather than simply rising to the ceiling above the stove. The little fan improves the heating effectiveness of the stove and results in greater room comfort and less fuel consumption. The unique blade design delivers a broad cross-section of gentle air movement to avoid uncomfortable drafts.

Room-to-room doorway fan from The Great Hardware Store.
Achla Designs Room-to-Room Fan
List price: $31.63
Available online at The Great Hardware Store
Vital Stats: This tiny (4.75"W x 4.75"H x 1.75"D, 11' Cord With On/Off Switch) fan fits in the upper-corner of any doorway (mounting brackets included) and moves 55 cubic feet of air a minute. It's easy for warm air in one room to get stuck up near the ceiling, unable to sink down and through doorways. These little doorway fans answer that need with minimal electrical requirements, are perfectly quiet, and will make a very big, very noticeable difference in how you can circulate warm air throughout your home.

Minka Air Gyro ceiling fan from

Your Regular Old Ceiling Fan
List Price: Varies
Available: Everywhere
You know that ceiling fan you forget about most times throughout the year? Well consider bringing it back into the rotation all year long. Use of the ceiling fan in winter may see strange, but it can save you lots of money on your heating bills. Why? Because heat rises! A large amount of heated air can collect in a large room with high ceilings before it can be felt. For example: In a room with a 16-foot cathedral ceiling and the thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the uppermost three feet can be 90 degrees or higher before the heater shuts off. But if you flip the reverse switch on your ceiling fan (the blades, if you're looking up at the fan, will then be moving clockwise), running your fan on low speed will force the heat accumulated at the ceiling down along the walls where it will rise again. This mild circulation of air will result in a more evenly heated room that shortens the time it takes for the heater to work. Be sure to keep your fan at a low speed to prevent drafts. For something that uses the same amount of energy as a lightbulb, fans are a great way to control temperature in the home all year round.


Got a great energy-saving tip? E-mail us at

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.