Monday, May 26, 2008

Keep Your Fans Clean

*re-post from May 23 2007*
Keep Your Fans Clean

Using electric fans is great way to circulate air around your rabbitry and keep your rabbits more comfortable.

One problem is that rabbits shed fur and this fur can collect on fan blades and housings, reducing the efficiency by blocking air flow. Especially if you have angora rabbits.

This blockage can also lead to motors overheating, causing tripped electric breakers if you are lucky and electrical fires if you are un-lucky.

Cleaning your fans should be an item on your weekly chore list.

The fur and dust can become densely packed on the fan housings like a felt blanket. This can be pulled off by hand, improving the air flow somewhat. There will still be a lot of fur and wool wrapped around the wire or plastic grids on the fan housings. Very diffiicult and tedious
to remove with fingers, tweezers and/or needle nosed pliers.

A faster method is to use a blower. A shop vacuum with blower option, a grooming force air blower, or even a garden leaf blower will work. Unplug the fan. Move the fan outside to an area where you don't mind a lot of dust and lint blowing through.

Take the air flow from the blower and direct it through the fan backward. That is, the direction the air normally comes out from is the direction you will blow air in with the blower. You are sending the fur back out of the fan the way it came.

By now you should have a blizzard of dust and fur blowing out of the fan. Be sure you blow out all the corners of the housing. There may be streamers of wool holding on the fan grid, feel free to grab those and pull them off with your hand.

When you are done with the first side, turn the fan around and be sure to blow out the passages around the motor. Keeping these passages clear will help keep the motors cool, reducing the chances of overheating.

If you can't blow the dust out somewhere on your yard, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the fans. Or you can take the fan outside and with the fan turned on, you can use a whisk broom or a dust brush to brush off the grid, with the fan blowing the dust away as you brush. It doesn't do as well as the other method, but it helps.

One more place to watch is the leading edge of the fan blades. If dust and wool build up on the leading edge of the fan blade the fan doesn't cut through the air as efficiently and the air flow is reduced.

You can open most fans with just a screwdriver. Wipe the leading edge of the fan blades with a cloth. I was surprised how much better the air flow was after I cleaned a couple of fans. Re-assemble the fan.

You may have to do this every one or two months.

I hope this info is helpful.

*Update - You can purchase or make fan covers of cheesecloth or cloth screening to keep dust, fiber, and lint from entering the intake side of the fan. Use elastic bands to secure the cloth to fan. Then remove the cloth screen when it gets clogged and shake it or wash it.*

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
*This article may be cross-posted*

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