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Review Summary

RRC12009 (Brushed Nickel)
Room Conditioner Ceiling Fans
Suggested Retail $150 to $399
Reviewed by Leon A. Frechette
11/22/05 Revised: 12/21/05

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Reiker - Room conditioner ceiling fans with heater

In the spring of 2005 I received a press release for the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas where the Reiker room conditioner ceiling fans with heat would be showing. I knew as soon as I read the info and visited their site that this was the product I needed to solve a 20-year problem in our home.

We have no heat in our northeast bedroom because I blocked off the register with plywood so it wouldn't dry out the dresser directly in front of it. Even though it gets mighty cold in this room during winter, the fix would require me to relocate ductwork, not something I anticipate doing in the near future.

After seeing the Reiker room conditioner ceiling fan, I couldn't wait for a review sample to arrive for testing.

I found that this incredible product, on the market only since the fall of 2003, really functions as designed. What makes this particular unit special is that it acts as both a space heater in the winter and a cooling fan in the summer.

As a space heater, the ceiling fan recirculates air to deliver an enjoyable comfortable temperature from floor to ceiling. While most electric heaters deliver dry heat after a period of use, I didn't find this to be true with the Reiker fan. The unit continuously draws in 240 cubic feet of air per minute through a filtered intake at the top of the fan. Well-balanced, the fan evenly circulates the air around the room.

I recommend that each season the filters be removed, cleaned under running water, and left to dry. If you detect a burnt smell, then dirt is passing across the heating elements, a sign that the filters need cleaning.

The unit has four ceramic heating elements housed above the fan blades to superheat air. To work efficiently, it needs a four-walled room that is roughly 20'x20'x10'. The fan's five blades, spanning 54 inches and angled at 14 degrees, push the heated air up to and across the ceiling, down the walls, and across the floor. Then it pulls the air back up to start the cycle over again with the blades rotating in reverse.

Reiker - Room conditioner ceiling fans with heater, remote controlThe remote control unit is a big plus in this fan's design. It runs off four AAA batteries and offers the ultimate in convenience for operating all appliance functions. Especially interesting is the well-designed computerized transmitter built into the remote. It checks actual room temperature every three minutes and turns on or off one or more of the heating elements as needed to maintain the desired room temperature. This "smart" remote controls heating functions as well as the ceiling fan and light.

When you first turn on the heat/fan, the fan runs at medium speed. For a room the size of ours (10'6"x16'x8'6"), I found that the unit works most efficiently at a low fan speed. Remember that this 5,000-BTU unit is designed to supplement your heat source. It may reach its maximum heating potential but that depends on criteria such as the room's square footage, the R-value of the room, and—most importantly—the outside temperature.

Outside temperature also impacts whether or not the room being heated by the unit will reach the desired temperature. In our case, since we have no heat source in the bedroom and the basement room beneath it is not insulated or properly heated, I can expect the fan to not deliver enough heat to properly warm the room when the outside temperature dips below zero. Under these circumstances, the fan cannot work to its full potential.

In conditions such as these, set the fan's speed to low so the blades paddle the air rather than totally move it. If the blades are set to medium or high speed, the extended air movement will pick up humidity from the cold walls, windows, and floor and circulate it in the room. The blades will then draw this cold air back into the unit at a time when you really want it to draw in warm air. It is best to run the unit at a low speed so it picks up whatever warm air is in the room until the room fully warms up. Again, depending on circumstances, the room may not fully warm up; however, it does help to keep the door to the room closed while the unit is running to help keep the heat in the room.

At subzero conditions and considering our unique circumstances, I know the temperature in our bedroom will only reach between 64 and 70 degrees. It is unlikely to get any higher unless the situation changes or Reiker develops a unit with more BTUs, something that is not practical and probably won't happen. We have found that we can live with the temperatures that the Reiker unit delivers under these conditions. Some heat is better than no heat!

An LCD window built into the remote displays both the actual room temperature and the desired room temperature. Also shown is an arch-shaped bar divided into four equal segments, each representing one heating element. At a glance you can see how many heaters are running in relation to actual room temperature. You can adjust the desired temperature by tapping the plus or minus buttons on the remote.

An illuminated LCD window and buttons would make this remote more user-friendly, especially when using it in a darkened room.

The remote also has dip switches to allow you to change its signal if you have more than one fan in a room or if two rooms share the same circuit. If two fans share the same circuit, the electrical wires need to be 10 gauge with a 30-amp breaker.

Reiker room conditioner fans use a minimum of 466 watts for the first heating element, 862 watts for the second, 1,143 watts for the third, and a maximum of 1,455 watts for the fourth. The unit is rated to a maximum 12.5 amps so it can use existing 14-gauge wiring on a 15-amp circuit. The maximum output is 5,000 BTU; according to Reiker, the fan in the heating mode operates for a little as 5 cents per hour.

In warm weather the unit works as a normal ceiling fan. While fans do not actually cool the air, the balanced 54-inch blade span of the Reiker room conditioner fan moves a large volume of air so it feels as though the air is actually cooler. Of course, the user can adjust the comfort zone to various fan settings: low, medium and high. The fan is exceptionally quiet when running in the standard ceiling fan mode.

Reiker - Room conditioner ceiling fans with heaterReiker room conditioner fans install similar to other ceiling fans, using two electrical wires (including the ground wire). To meet codes, the blades need to be mounted at least 7 feet off the finish floor; a flush mount on an 8-foot ceiling meets this requirement. The enclosed ball 4- or 6-inch downrod assemblies are useful with higher ceilings, and 12-, 18-, and 24-inch downrods are available as accessory items. It is important that the ceiling mount electrical box be fully secured in place to carry the unit’s overall weight of 35 pounds.

The detailed owner's manual has great illustrations to help you install this unit—it's definitely user friendly. However, Figure 13 on page 7 shows how you can hang the unit from its canopy onto the hook mount plate. I don't recommend this application because the unit is heavy and the weight can distort the canopy.

In a flush application, it's somewhat difficult to install the canopy ring in place by aligning the ring's slots with the canopy screws. There's not much room to comfortably rotate the ring clockwise to lock it in place. The canopy ring could use a redesign to make it more user-friendly during installation in such a tight area.

The best way to install this fan is rest it on top of a ladder that reaches as close as possible to the unit's final installation height. You may need a few phone books on top of the ladder to achieve the height needed to support the unit.

If you are using existing wires, I recommend that you hook up the fan so you can continue to use the wall electrical switch. If you eliminate the wall switch and wire the fan directly to hot wires (i.e., the only way to cut power to the unit is at the circuit breaker), it will be difficult to change the dip switch on the remote if you have more than one fan in the same room or close together in adjacent rooms.

One nice thing about using a wall switch is that if you leave the light on using the remote and turn it off at the switch, then the next time you turn on the switch it remembers its last mode—in this case, the light. Personally, I prefer to turn the light on and off at the wall switch rather than use the light switch on the remote. I guess I'm a creature of habit!

The white alabaster glass dome and two 14-watt fluorescent bulbs (enclosed) create a lot of light. It surprised me the first time I turned on the light; it's definitely not the same as other ceiling lights on the market. This light package is well designed for maximum illumination.

Four color styles are available, including reversible blades with different finishes to fit any room's décor:

  •  Aged Gold with gold on one side of the blades and walnut on the other;
  •  Brushed Nickel with gloss cherry on one side and gloss black on the other;
  •  Swiss Gold with gold on one side of the blades and white on the other; and
  •  Textured White with white on both sides of the blades.

While the fan is on the expensive side, it's worth every penny because the case is all-steel constructed, it's well balanced, it works both as a space heater in the winter and a cooling fan in the summer, and the remote control is incredibly convenient. Reiker offers a limited lifetime warranty: up to one year on the overall fan and lifetime on the motor. You can't go wrong with an investment in this very well-designed unit, impressive in both its stylish design and function.

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RRC120009 Brushed Nickel-Thermostic Remote Control Ceiling Fan With Heater

Copyright © 11/22/05 & 12/21/05 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.

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