Tuesday, December 23, 2008

EcoFan: A Review

I thought I would add an amendment to this review.  It is December 2, 2010, the third year of our using this fan.  I must say that it is still going strong.  We still liove it and think it is a wise investment.  Thanks for looking.



We have heated our house entirely with wood for ten years now. We have a Hearthstone, freestanding fireplace that is awesome. Everything the company says about soapstone radiant heat is true. I digress, for ten years, we have threatened, or, intended to buy one of those EcoFan units we drooled over in the Lehman's catalog. We homestead as lightly as we can, if get my meaning. So this fan was always something that we felt would fit and serve its purpose.
Well, we broke down and finally bought one. It came in a small box, packed very tightly and required no assembly. So, right from the box, I put it on the stove. The fan was very cold to the touch from being on the UPS truck all day, so after 20 minutes or so, it started to spin and has been spinning almost non-stop for two weeks.
I haven't the slightest idea how this thing works, but it generates its own electricity from the heat of the stove. It works very well. We noticed a difference in the house temperature almost immediately. It distributes the heat before it flies up to the ceiling, making it much more comfortable in the house. Another thing we noticed is that the back of the house gets, and stays, much warmer than it had in the past. The very back recesses usually stayed around 60-70, during the day and cooled to about 55-65 at night. With the fan, it is maintaining around 75 during the day and hasn't gotten below 68 at night. Big improvement there. Believe it or not, the fan is spinning in these photos. A testimony to the speed of a digital camera.

We hope to use less wood with this fan as we can keep the house more evenly warm, that remains to be seen yet.

There is one thing that will fool you, as it did me. You put your hand in front of it while it is spinning and you can't really feel the air move. This is deceiving, as I said, it moves a lot of air. All in all, we love this fan and find ourselves wondering why it took us ten years to get one. I'm not kidding, every year I would say, I'm going to buy one of those fans then never did. We are glad we finally made the plunge.

If you would like to purchase one for your wood stove, visit Lehman's non electric store. We have a link to their sight for your convenience, located to the right. Happy shopping, you'll love this fan. I promise.

16 comments:

The Watchman said...

We also heat with wood, we have a Woodstock Soapstone Stove. It came with a catalytic converter. You're right soapstone does everything the manufacturers say, and the converter does everything they say as well. With medium use we keep the house around 70.

A good friend of mine told me about the concept years ago, it's called a stirling engine. Wikipedia has a general idea of how it works if that kinda thing interests you. Great concept. Can I ask how much one of those cost?

Scott or Pam said...

In fact, I am interested. I will check that out.

I believe we paid $120.00 plus shipping. Somewhere in there.

Scott

Anonymous said...

BEWARE!! The EcoFan has a 3 year life and then slows down and ultimately stops. Many, many negative reviews on the internet with this same problem and no credible way to repair.

Nathan said...

Our ecofan quit after being placed in the center of our stove top. I took it apart and scraped all the heat sink compound off both sides of the power plate and replaced it with heat sink compound for pc heat sinks. You can buy the paste at any capable electronics or computer store. It works just as well as new now, so spread the news they can be revived :D

Scott or Pam said...

Good idea, thanks. I will hold on to that info. Ours is still cranking and performing well. I wonder if all the negative reviews are because of improper use? It is understandable as they don't come with the best instructions. Thanks again for your insight!
Scott

Rene Peterson said...

Wondering if Nathan could further describe what he means by scraping the heat sink compound off. Not sure where to find that on the fan as I believe that our fan has died and we'd like to fix it. We love our fan but it just slowed down and ultimately stopped. Much thanks!

Scott or Pam said...

Rene,
The only thing we can hope for is that Nathan sees your question and posts an answer. I tried clicking his name to contact him about it and his profile is inaccessable. Sorry. I will look into it myself and see if I can't answer your question too. Thanks for stopping by and don't be a stranger.
Scott

Anonymous said...

I found this, I think it's Nathan.
"These fans can be rebuilt! Like many others, our fan died after being placed in the center of the stove top. I took the two halves of the fan body apart, and scraped the heat sink compound off either side of the power plate. I then applied CPU heat sink compound that can be found at any computer or electronics store liberally to either side, and put it back together. The fan spins like new, spread the word! "

Anonymous said...

My ecofan died after about 3 years in the same fashion as others indicated. I'm interested in trying the CPU heat sink compound and will report back whether this works.

Scott or Pam said...

Please do keep us informed. We are in year two with ours and it's still going. Waiting and watching. It sounds like it can be fixed, though.

Scott or Pam said...

Year three, still going.

Charlie Drake said...

Very interested to learn more about repairing with heat sinc compound. My fan died after 2 years, sent it back to the manufacturer and they sent me a re-manufactured fan....never worked as well as the original and now it is very slow.

Scott or Pam said...

Well folks, we are entering our fourth season with the Eco Fan and yes, it is still going. Works as it always has.

Alwen said...

We have had an EcoFan on our soapstone woodstove for a long time, I want to say 8 or 9 years, before it finally noticeably slowed down last winter.

This winter it was worse, much slower, and wouldn't always start unless you gave the blade a tap.

So I found Nathan's blog post, and today I gave it a try & it works again!

I'll probably post on my blog later today about what I did and where I put the grease, but mine is the older two-blade model, so yours might be different.

Scott or Pam said...

Excellent, please keep us informed.

Scott or Pam said...

Year 5-still going.