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architectural notes

       

 
     

Overhead Sweep Fans

The high displacement slow speed fans are used quite extensively in the tropics where the humidity is high and moisture quite plentiful particularly on the surface of the skin.

The gentle movement of any breeze would cool the capillaries if the skin and make conditions more bearable during the wet season in particular.

The original sweep fans employed in the tropics were placed someway down from the high ceiling and avoided drawing the warm air uppermost to the region below.
Today's' overhead fans are some thing quite different in that their location is quite close to the ceiling, drawing the warmer volume into play and their displacement capacity being quite low at slow speed has a detrimental effect on an individuals skin when exposed for prolonged periods of time at the higher speeds

Initially the capillaries secrete token moisture imparting a cooling effect however when the skin is no longer able to surrender any more moisture the skin becomes dry and dehydrates.
This is evident particularly if left on when sleeping, children are thirsty midway through their sleep cycle and women complain of dry skin on their faces and arms.

The overhead sweep fans need to be used prudently as they do not improve the quality of the air as does ventilation.

Very often ventilation is perceived as air movement whereas it is in fact air replacement through movement

Their use as an alternative to ventilation is based on poor assessment and again an attempt to use one medium as a replacement for another.
The reverse motion used to reintegrate warm air with cooler during the winter months has the same effect except the dehydration occurs at a faster rate.

The circulatory function is suited more to outdoor use rather than indoor as natural currents that arise from moment to moment assist in the ventilation through displacement.

The preferred momentum of air movement in the tropics is from side to side and not top to bottom which is why oscillating fans located to one side of a room are far more beneficial, although the dehydration factor is still present

 

 
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