Last updated: August 10, 2021

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If you use your fireplace without a chimney fan, you are missing out on something. First and foremost, it's a lot of heat that collects under your ceiling. If you want to make good use of your fireplace heat, you should get a stove fan. Not only does it reduce your burning costs and save you money, it is also very easy to use.

With our large fireplace fan test 2021 we would like to help you find the best model for your needs. To make this as stress-free and easy as possible for you, we have done some research on the topic. For this purpose, we have compared different chimney fans with each other and summarised the advantages and disadvantages on our page. This should make your purchase decision all the easier.




The most important facts

  • Heat: The fireplace fan helps you to use all the heat from your wood stove. Its rotor blades distribute the air evenly in your rooms and thus ensure efficient heat utilisation.
  • Costs: Except for the purchase, it costs you nothing, because it works without electricity. This is due to the principle of thermoelectrics, called the Seebeck effect.
  • Application: Chimney fans are easy to use, you don't need a specialist to install them. What is important is the correct position and the operating temperature, both of which depend on your stove.

The Best Chimney Fan: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for fireplace fans

In the following, we show you the most important aspects that can help you choose your fireplace fan.

These are the criteria you should consider when buying a stove fan:

In the following sections, we will go into more detail about the above criteria that will help you when buying a stove fan.

Functionality

Basically, you can distinguish between two different modes of operation in the area of chimney fans.

The first type of chimney fan uses the so-called Seebeck effect and is the somewhat cheaper alternative compared to chimney fans with Stirling motors. The different temperatures at the base or back of the fan create a voltage that drives the motor in the fan. This type is very popular among fireplace fans and has become widely accepted.

The second type of chimney fan is driven by a Stirling engine. Here, too, thermoelectrics are used, but the mechanics are somewhat different. To be more precise, two cylinders are used, which are heated or cooled by a gas. This causes a piston to move, which then drives the rotor blades.

Chimney fans with Stirling engines are hard to find. This is partly due to the strong competition, as these fans are comparatively expensive.

Operating temperature

The operating temperature indicates how hot the chimney surface must be for the chimney fan to start rotating. This depends on the respective model, which in turn influences the performance.

If the starting temperature is very high, it takes longer for the chimney fan to start working. For most fireplace fans, this temperature is around 45 to 80 degrees Celsius.

The following rule of thumb applies here: the lower the operating temperature, the better.

You should also not neglect the maximum temperature, because exceeding it could put the chimney fan out of action. As a rule, these fans can withstand very high temperatures - after all, that's what they are made for. Nevertheless, you should inform yourself about your stove before you buy it to avoid making a wrong purchase.

The average maximum temperature is around 340 and 370 degrees Celsius, depending on the manufacturer and model.

Number and size of rotor blades

The number and size of the rotor blades will give you an important clue as to its performance. After all, the blades are responsible for circulating the air.

Tip: The more rotor blades your chimney fan has and the larger they are, the more air is circulated. So if you have a large room, you should also use large fans.

In principle, fireplace fans have no fewer than 2 rotor blades; this has to do with balance.

Theoretically, there is no limit to the number of blades, but the more blades, the louder the fan. However, this difference is often only minimally noticeable.

Most models are equipped with 3 to 4 blades, but there are also models with 5 blades.

Material and heat resistance

Basically, all chimney fans are heat-resistant and therefore made of the appropriate materials.

The materials used:

  • Metal
  • Aluminium and cast iron

How high the heat resistance of your fireplace fan should be depends on your fireplace. You should definitely find out this temperature before buying. Simply measure the surface temperature of your fireplace when it is hottest. You can then compare this temperature with the manufacturer's maximum temperature to find your perfect fan.

Volume

A soft whirring noise occurs from time to time, but it is hardly audible. However, the noise can increase with the number of rotor blades.

Fireplace fans with Seebeck effect are as good as silent.

How strongly you perceive the whirring, or whether you register it at all, varies from person to person. As a rule, manufacturers provide precise information on decibels, so you can find out in advance whether a particular model would be too loud for you.

Price-performance ratio

The market for fireplace fans is broad and therefore the prices vary greatly.

Here you should consider how high your budget is.
Are you looking for an inexpensive model to start with or are you ready for a higher quality version?

If you just want to test whether a fireplace fan is something for you, then a model in the lower to medium price category is perfectly sufficient.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about fireplace fans answered in detail

In the following guide, we would like to answer the most important questions about chimney fans. We have selected the most important questions for you and answered them as briefly as possible and as extensively as necessary.

After reading the guide, you will know all the essential background information about stove fans.

How does a fireplace fan work?

Fireplace fans help you make better use of the heat from your fireplace. They work by using the rising heat to drive the rotor blades. This is done with the help of the so-called Seebeck effect. Since the principle is based on thermoelectrics, it is a powerless drive and therefore good for your wallet.

Kaminventilator-1

If you have never heard of chimney fans or would like to expand your knowledge, then you have come to the right place. We have collected the most important facts and present them to you on our page.
(Image source: 123rf.com / Kuzminov)

Consequently, the chimney fan contributes to lowering your burning costs. Because the heat is better distributed in the room, you have to reheat less, which saves you wood, money and work.

How useful is a chimney fan?

A chimney fan is useful as soon as you have a free-standing fireplace. It helps you to distribute the heat evenly in the room and also makes it noticeable in the adjoining rooms.

A fireplace fan is worthwhile for anyone who wants more.

Due to its low cost and high benefit, a fan is only superfluous if your fireplace is heavily insulated. Tiled stoves and bacon stoves are usually very well insulated, i.e. hardly any heat rises from the surface and the fan can therefore not work.

For this reason, you would have little pleasure with a stove fan. For all other fireplaces, the chimney fan is worthwhile.

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If you are one of the lucky ones with a free-standing fireplace, you can rejoice. Because these are ideally suited for any kind of fireplace fan. Because the stove fan ensures good air circulation and thus a cosy evening in front of the fireplace.
(Image source: Unsplash.com / Matthew Manuel)

Where should I install a stove fan?

For efficient use, it is important to find the right place. Depending on what kind of fireplace you have, you should consider different things. In the following table you will find some useful tips.

Surface type Option A Option B
Rounded These models often have a niche at the front of the fireplace. This is where you can put your fireplace fan. It is best to measure the maximum dimensions of your fan beforehand alternatively, you can also choose a model for direct attachment to the chimney pipe.
Flat Here you have the largest selection, as these are the perfect conditions. It is best to place your chimney fan next to the chimney pipe, facing forward. You should NEVER place it directly in front of the pipe. Whether you place it on the left or right is up to you even with this model, you can alternatively use a fan that attaches to the pipe. This is often safer, especially for children, because the fan is out of reach

Since the fireplace fan is not permanently installed or even screwed down, it is no problem to try it out in different places. This way you can find the best place for your needs.

What types of fireplace fans are there?

The two main types are:

  • Chimney fans with a Seebeck effect
  • Chimney fans with a Stirling engine

To learn more about the different types of fireplace fans, read the following sections.

Fireplace fans with Seebeck effect

Seebeck effect fireplace fans are perfect for those of us who want to save money. This type of fireplace fan works with thermoelectrics and does not require any electricity.

The so-called Seebeck effect describes the voltage that occurs between two different metals in an electric circuit. This voltage occurs due to a difference in the temperature of the two metals. While one metal is on top of the chimney and therefore very hot, the other metal is further up and is much cooler according to the room temperature. This difference causes the rotors to turn and the warm air that rises from the chimney is distributed in the room.

These stove fans convince with the wide range of products, as well as their low price. The low operating temperature is also an advantage, as you don't have to wait long for an effect. A disadvantage is the often simple workmanship and the comparatively low maximum temperature.

Advantages
  • Large selection of products
  • Low operating temperature
  • Low price
Disadvantages
  • Often simple processing
  • Low maximum temperature

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Kaminventilatoren mit einem Stirlingmotor

Chimney fans with a Stirling engine

Chimney fans with a Stirling engine also get by without conventional electricity. They also use the temperature difference to drive their blades. But: the principle can be compared more to a heat pump, as it works with gases that are different temperatures. The thermal energy drives a piston motor that sets the rotors in motion.

The main features of this type of fan are the high average maximum temperature and the long service life. The disadvantage is the comparatively high price and the high operating temperature. In addition, it clearly takes up more space than chimney fans with Seebeck effect.

Advantages
  • Long service life
  • High maximum temperature
Disadvantages
  • High price
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • High operating temperature

Both types of chimney fans are very quiet. The main difference lies in the price and the operating temperature of the two types of product.

What does a fireplace fan cost?

The price of a fireplace fan varies depending on the material, size and manufacturer.

The cheapest models are already available from about 40 EUR, then the prices rise up to about 300 EUR. Especially fireplace fans with Stirling engines, which are comparatively rare to find, are very expensive.

Here you will find an overview:

Type Price range
Entry-level models approx. 25-90 €
All other models approx. 80-300 €

How do I clean a chimney fan?

Cleaning is very easy, best done with a slightly damp cloth.

Simply wipe the front of the stove fan with it. Make sure that the fireplace is not on and that the fan is not moving.

Otherwise you may injure or burn yourself on the rotor blades. Apart from that, you don't have to pay attention to anything else.

What are the alternatives to a chimney fan?

Chimney fans are a group of fans in their own right. Since they are very specific, it is difficult to find an alternative for them. Nevertheless, we have tried for you.

Type Description
Ceiling fan A ceiling fan is especially practical in summer to provide cooling. But you can also use it in winter to distribute the warm air. However, ceiling fans tend to only push the air downwards. Unlike the fireplace fan, it requires a power connection.
Stand fan This fan is also popular on hot days. It is flexible in use, you can move it around according to your wishes. If you want to achieve the same effect as with a chimney fan, things quickly become dangerous. Since these fans are usually made of plastic and other materials that are not heat-resistant, we strongly advise against placing them near the fireplace.

In principle, there are definitely alternatives for the fireplace fan. At the same time, it clearly stands out from the other options due to criteria such as safety aspect, handling and comfort.

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If you already have a normal fan at home, you can basically use it as well. However, there are a few important points you should consider, and in comparison, a real fireplace fan is unbeatable.
(Image source: Unsplash.com / Ava Sol)

Which fireplace fan do I use in large rooms?

For large rooms, you should use a fireplace fan with large rotor blades. These are able to circulate the air more efficiently and therefore better.

In addition to the size of the rotor blades, the number is also important. The more rotor blades a fan has, the more suitable it is for large rooms. Because of the higher number of blades, it also works faster.

Does a fireplace fan also work with a soapstone stove or pellet stove?

Basically yes, but it depends on the surface temperature of your fireplace, which varies from fireplace to fireplace. Especially with soapstone and pellet stoves, it is important to know the exact temperature before you buy. As soon as you know this, you can compare it with the manufacturer's specifications for the operating temperature.

Tip: Pay particular attention to the information on the ideal temperature range, this indicates the range in which the chimney fan works most effectively.

If your value is below this range, a fan is less worthwhile. In this case, your fireplace is well insulated, so the fan would not get enough heat.

Can I build a chimney fan myself?

In principle, it is possible to build a chimney fan yourself.

However, we would advise you not to do so, as home-made chimney fans can be a fire hazard. This can be due to the wrong materials and incorrect handling.

Because we care about your safety, we would therefore advise you not to build a stove fan yourself.
This can quickly become very dangerous.

Image source: James/ flickr.com

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