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Why Does My Fireplace Have a Fan?

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There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting next to the fireplace when winter arrives once again. The coziest home is the warmest. A well-insulated home is one with a good heat distribution, which can be achieved using a fireplace with a fan.

While some people may agree that a fireplace without a fan works just fine, a fireplace blower fan can be more practical. Fireplaces with fans are usually cheaper than fireplaces without fans. A blower fan can increase the efficiency of your fireplace, hence helping you save more on heating bills.

If your fireplace already has a fan, good for you. In this article, I’ll discuss more fireplaces with fans, including why your fireplace has a fan, why having a fan for your fireplace is a good thing, and how to care for it.

Understanding How Air Flow Works

There’s a common misconception about airflow — that heat rises. But that’s not exactly true. Heat can rise, but it can also fall. Heat can move in many different directions — it flows according to the room’s airflow.

The amount of warmth that your fireplace produces depends on two factors.

Factor #1: Whether It Has a Fan or Not

Heat particles tend to be more spread out than cold ones, which also means that heat is generally lighter than cold. That said, hot air usually sits on top of cold air. In a situation like this, instead of feeling cold, you’ll feel warm.

This, however, can be disrupted. For example, if you have your fan blowing directly upwards at your face in winter, you’ll feel colder, because technically you’re pushing cold air closer to you.

The same rule applies to the fan for your fireplace. If the fan is blowing while your fireplace is running, the fan is going to blow off the hot air that the fireplace is producing into the rest of your home. This is called convective heat.

Without a fan, your fireplace will still warm up your house through radiant heat that comes from the front, back, top, or sides of your fireplace. With a fan, you will get both convective heat and radiant heat.

Factor #2: The Size of Your Home

The size of your home is going to determine how much energy you’re going to use to heat up your home. If you have a big home, your fireplace needs to work extra harder to warm up the whole house.

With a fan for your fireplace, more hot air can be distributed to the right places.

Why Does Your Fireplace Have a Fan?

If your fireplace has a fan, that’s good news. It means that your fireplace gets more help in warming up your home. 

A fireplace fan is very useful as it draws cold air from your home and then straight into the fire. This process creates air circulation that then pushes out hot air back into the room that it’s trying to heat.

Without a fan, your fireplace will still keep you warm through radiant heat, which is heat that comes from the front, the top, the back, and the sides of your fireplace. But with a fan, you get more heat: convective heat and radiant heat.

Why Having a Fireplace With a Fan Is a Good Thing?

Many fireplaces these days come with fans as fans help people save more on heating bills. Some fireplace models don’t come with a fan, but they do provide the option to add a fan. 

Fireplaces with fans are becoming more popular now because they’re more energy-efficient. In other words, they use less energy — good for the environment.

With the help of a fan, your fireplace doesn’t have to work as hard to produce heat, hence lower heating bills for you. 

You can have a fan for your fireplace as long as you have a circulating fireplace. So it doesn’t matter if you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace; you can have a fan for your fireplace.

What Are the Downsides of a Fireplace Fan?

A fireplace without a fan can work just fine; a fan is a bonus. While there are benefits of having a fireplace fan, there are disadvantages to relying on them as well.

Downside #1: A Fireplace Fan Isn’t Quiet

Any fan is going to make some noise when it’s moving air. There are fans that are quieter than others. If you find yours too noisy, then you might want to have it replaced with a fan that’s quieter.

If the noise gets too loud, then that might be an indication that your fan needs to be replaced. That’s common for old fans. If your fan is dirty, it may also cause some noise.

Downside #2: The Fan Doesn’t Work Without Power

When there’s a power outage, your fireplace fan won’t be able to operate. But that’s okay — you will still get warmth from radiant heat.

If you’re living off-grid, then you may want to consider fireplaces with radiant heaters only.

How to Take Care of Your Fireplace Fan

To ensure that your fireplace’s fan will serve you longer, you must always keep it clean. In time, the fan is going to get dirty. So it’s best to clean it every now and then.

If your fan is dirty, it might not be able to function properly. It’s not going to spin properly if it has too much dust. To clean it, you’ll need a vacuum. Use a wand nozzle and a small brush to clean the fan thoroughly. Make sure you’ve unplugged the fireplace fan first.

Final Thoughts

Your fireplace has a fan so that:

  • more heat can be produced, hence warmer living space
  • less energy is used

Even without a fan, your fireplace is able to heat up your home. But with a fan, you get double the warmth you’d get from a fireplace without a fan. If you have a big house, a fireplace fan is going to be very useful.

A fireplace fan is usually inexpensive, considering how much you’ll save on heating bills.

To ensure that heat is distributed properly, make sure that the fan of your fireplace is always clean and working properly.