By Gene and Katie Hamilton
If you're thinking about adding a ceiling fan to help cool and circulate the air in a room, consider a unit that does double-duty and also circulates warm air in the winter. The Reiker Room Conditioner is a ceiling fan with a light and space heater that pumps warm air circulated by the fan blades. It draws warm air off the ceiling and forces the air through heating elements to dry them, and the fan blades circulate the air through the room.
The fan works with a computer controlled remote thermostat that senses the actual room temperature and turns heating elements off and on to maintain a desired temperature. When the weather turns warm, the unit acts like a typical bladed fan, circulating the air. This zoned heating device is a solution for a room that's always hot and stuffy in the summer or cold in the winter. It adjusts the comfort level in a room depending on what's needed and conserves energy by operating efficiently.
An electrician will replace a ceiling fixture with a heating/cooling fan with a fan brace box for $530, which includes the labor and material. The cost will be more if a new line to power the unit is needed. If you have some experience working with electrical projects, you can buy the fan and a brace box for $425 and install it, saving 20 percent. You'll need Phillips head and slot screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, wire cutters and a stepladder. It helps to have someone on hand to hold the unit while you install it. To get an idea of what's involved in the installation, download the instructions at www.fanheatlight.com.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install a heating/cooling fan with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.