Review of the Carframo Ecofan

by DJ

I bought a Jotul 602 wood stove at an auction. It is a great little stove with one drawback. It does not have a blower to distribute heat. While browsing through a Lehman’s catalog, I saw the Carframo 812 Airmax Ecofan. The Ecofan is a heat powered free standing fan that is placed on top of a wood or gas stove to circulate air.

This fan does not use batteries and is not plugged into the grid. The fan generates its own electricity using a thermoelectric module which acts as a small generator to power the fan’s motor. The electricity is generated through the temperature difference between the base and the cooling fans on the top so placement of the fan is important.

The base must get hot and there must be a source of cooler air to draw over the cooling fins. My wood stove has a small top and the fan is only 5” away from the stove pipe and a couple of inches from the front of the stove. According to the directions, this is not the ideal situation but the fan runs great.

The Ecofan is not inexpensive. However, I quickly got tired of listening to the Voranado fan noise and turning the fan on and off. The online reviews of the Ecofan are mostly positive. The most common review being that when people opened the box and saw how small the fan was they were disappointed and could not see how it could work as advertised. I had the exact same response but on the wood stove, it went. It took about 2 minutes for the Ecofan to start turning.

While it is not silent it is very quiet and any noise is blocked by background noise. It is rated to move 140 cubic feet of air a minute. The fan speed varies with the heat being put out by your stove. This a great feature as it is self-regulating. If you let your stove cool down the fan will stop and not move cold air around. The fan’s operating range is between 85-345 degrees C. The fan can be damaged by extreme high heat and you must take this into consideration before purchasing.

The 812 Ecofan comes with a 2 year warranty. The electric motor is easy to replace and is not expensive. I am considering ordering a back up electric motor as the cost is minimal and insurance is insurance. Damaging the thermoelectric module with high heat requires sending the fan to Caframo for replacement. The 812 Ecofan is truly an off grid fan. No electricity is needed.

I am very pleased with the 812 Ecofan. The warm air is much better distributed in my house. It is very quiet. It does not require electricity. It is self-regulating so once you set it up you do not have to fiddle with it. If you are looking for a truly off grid fan give the 812 Ecofan consideration. I believe you will be as happy with it as I am.

Comments

  1. I currently don’t have a wood stove, but I have used something similar to this before and at a friend’s cabin. These are excellent!

    Thanks for the review.

  2. I have this fan and have used it this season. very good. I aim it towards the back rooms. I also just ordered the replacement part. It is a small expense just to make sure it will go on working. I might even order another extra part.
    as the saying goes:
    3 is 2, 2 is 1, and 1 is none.

  3. Goldielocks says:

    Ive used this fan for 8 years now. Still works great. Bought mine from Lehman’s on sale.

    • 8 years, awesome. I bought mine during a promotion as well. A great investment as you can place it on the stove and forget it.

  4. The Ecofan on my stove has been there 20+ years. Great little investment, though I balked at handing over some big bills for it even then. I imagine they’ve gone down in price since, but haven’t looked.

    A friend turned me on when he showed me his, which he’d been using for a couple of decades at that time. We’d been discussing heat dispersal with a church group trying to prep for Y2K (we all remember that scare, don’t we?) and several had asked about how to move hot air without electricity. Also, this fan will work when placed on top a circulating wood heater.

    As you noted, there’s not a lot to go wrong with them, even hot as my stove gets, there’s never been a problem. Except dust. Have to keep an eye on the dust, especially the build-up on the fan blades. Wipe them off several times a year (be sure to lift the fan by its carry handle) and be careful to not bend the blades– getting them back to normal is going to be time consuming and will nearly drive you nuts. Blade balance is the major concern there.

    I’ve considered getting a second to mount on the exposed chimney pipe but so far have resisted since I have a small automotive fan wall mounted behind the chimney that works just fine. This is one neat little invention and well worth the price, though there are makes/models much lower costing than the Ecofan and made in America (the Ecofan is made in Canada)..

  5. I’ve got one too and I love it!

  6. Hello all,

    I saw the fan in Lehman’ s catalog, but ended up getting it from The Sporstman’s Guide out of South St. Paul, Minnesota.

    When we purchased our wood stove it had an electric blower option which was great for spreading the heat but even at the lowest speeds was too noisy for me.

    We have used the Ecofan for a couple of weeks and it’s quietness is fabulous.

  7. SouthernNM says:

    I have one that I use on top of my propane room heater. It works well and helps distribute the heat more evenly. It works because the heater has a flat top and has an edge. The fan works on a thermocouple that is dependent on a temperature gradient between the base and the back of the fan. If you don’t have a surface that allows the top and back to be away from the heat, don’t try this on a propane heater.

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