Caframo Stove Fans – A Review
What is The Caframo Stove Fans Origin?
If there’s one thing Canadians know, it’s cold, and believe me, they don’t like it any more than you do. That’s why you can trust the stove fans made by Caframo. This privately owned company has been in the business since 1955, and there are few companies in existence today that can match their expertise in the market, or their engineering excellence.
Anyone who relies on a wood stove for home heating knows the inherent limitations of the technology. Wood stoves are fantastic at heating the area right around the stove. In fact, they’re maybe a little too good at that, but the problem is that the heat doesn’t radiate out very far from the stove. What you wind up with then, is a room with uneven temperatures in extremes. It’s too hot right up next to the stove, and it’s too cold on the other side of the room.
That’s precisely the problem that stove fans were created to solve. By gently and steadily moving the warm air away from the stove and circulating it throughout the room, it creates a more comfortable living environment with even temperatures throughout.
In thinking about how the fan works though, you quickly realize some of the engineering challenges that making a good stove fan poses. The big thing is, at least part of the reason you’re relying on a wood stove for heat is so you can save on electricity costs. If the stove fan had to be plugged into the wall, and thus, draw electricity, it would defeat the purpose. Not to mention the fact that the cables would have to be coated with something incredibly heat resistant in order to withstand the kind of heat produced right next to (and actually on) the stove for extended periods of time. This, of course, would make the cost increase to the point where any stove fan would be prohibitively expensive.
Caframo, and other world class manufacturing companies have found solutions to these problems. Solutions that are simple, elegant, and ingenious.
Rather than relying on battery power, or having to draw power from the electrical grid, all of Caframo’s fans are designed in such a way that they are powered by the heat from the stove itself, so there are no batteries to buy, nothing to plug in, and no assembly required. You simply mount the fan where you want it, and as your stove heats up, the fan begins to turn and quietly push the warm air around the room. It’s that simple.
Let’s take a closer look at some of Caframo’s fans then, and give you full details about them so you can make an informed purchasing decision and get the right fan for your home.
The Caframo Ecofan Original – 800
The 800 series is the original fan produced by the company. It is still in production today, because of its rugged design and efficiency. True, the company has since gone on to produce fans with more air moving power, but for many people, the 800-series is perfect.
The dimensions of the 800-series are 3 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches, and it weighs just 1.8 pounds. Given its light weight and no assembly required design, that means installing it and moving it about to find the optimal placement for it couldn’t be easier.
As with all the fans this company makes, it is powered by the heat of the stove itself. The hotter the stove gets, the faster the blades spin. It is whisper-quiet, which means you won’t have to talk over it, and in fact, you may not even be aware that it’s on, except for the occasional warm draft of air you feel moving about the room.
The air moving capacity of the 800-Series is 100 cubic feet per minute. If you have an especially large room then, this fan may struggle to even out the temperatures in the whole room, but for modestly sized or cozy rooms, this is an excellent choice. Priced at just $69.15 at the time this review was written, it’s also the least expensive option from this company.
- Lowest cost Caframo Fan
- Excellence in design, manufacture and durability
- May not be suitable for people who have their stoves in an especially large room
The Caframo Limited Ecofan UltrAir – 810
The Ultra Air is unique among the fans offered by Caframo in that it’s designed to operate at lower temperatures. Let’s face it, some nights aren’t brutally cold, just simply chilly. Because of that, you aren’t going to need to stoke the fire high on those nights, but unless your stove gets hot enough, some of the other designs aren’t going to even activate, which means that they won’t do the job you purchased them to do, of moving the warmer air throughout your living space.
The Ultrair solves this problem, and the solution comes to us from the engineering brilliance of the minds at Caframo. This fan will start to turn at temperatures much lower than the other fans designed by the company. Where the others are rated to start at 85 degrees (Celsius) and automatically cut out at 345 degrees Celsius. In the case of the Ultrair, those figures are 65 degrees (Celsius) with the same top end. That’s twenty full degrees cooler!
The fan is priced in between the two mentioned above ($79.99 at the time this review was written) and has an air moving capacity of 150 cubic feet per minute. Dimensionally, this fan is 3 x 4.8 x. 9 inches and weighs just 1.6 pounds, so again, with no assembly required, setting it up couldn’t be easier.
- Optimized for low temperature use
- Same great engineering and durability that you get in all Caframo products
- Reasonably priced
- If you’re not interested in operating your fan at lower temperatures, then there’s little reason to get this model. One of the others would no doubt better suit your needs.
The Ecofan AirMax – 812
This is the latest design by Caframo. The 812 is functionally similar to fans in the 800-Series, operating on the same heat based principles that power the other fan. The key difference though, is the fact that the 812 pushes 175 cubic feet of air per minute, which is a 75% increase over the original design. Of course, you pay a premium for the extra air moving capacity. At the time this review was written, the 812 was listed at $119.99. Still, if you have a larger room, the simple truth is that you’re going to need a more robust fan with greater air moving capability, and if that describes your situation, then this is probably the one you want.
Like its older cousin, there’s no assembly required with this device, making installation a snap. If you need to adjust its position later, that’s also easily done. Also, like all the fans that Caframo makes, there’s no “on button.” The fan simply comes on as a response to the stove heating up, and begins the good work of quietly moving the air about your room, shutting off automatically as the stove cools down.
Dimensionally, this fan is a bit larger than the 800-Series, but not by much. It’s 3.3 x 5.5 x 10 inches, and weighs just 3.4 pounds. So yes, a bit heavier than the original design, but it’s still not a hardship at all to move it about as needed.
- Greater air moving capability means greater overall efficiency
- Ideal for people with their stove located in a larger room
- The same excellence in design and performance that all of Caframo’s products are known for
- Somewhat more expensive
- May not be right for you if you have a smallish room – it’s just more air moving capacity than you need, and why pay for something you won’t use?
There’s absolutely no reason to spend another chilly night in your home, if you rely on a wood stove for home heating, and especially if you live off-grid, and this is your only option. Investing in a good, high quality stove fan like the ones reviewed above will make your home a warmer, more comfortable place to be, and on those cold winter nights, that’s bound to put a smile on your face!
Original, UltrAir, AirMax
AirMax, Ecofan, Ultrair