Occasionally, a customer calls to tell us that their wind bell is not ringing. It is hung outside their house, and the wind is blowing, but the bell just hangs motionless. Sometimes there is indeed a problem with the bell, and we will certainly offer to repair or replace it.  Also we always offer the customer the option of trying a different bell or receiving a full refund.


However, usually the problem has more to do with the location of the bell in relation to the direction the wind is coming from. The trees may be swaying in a fresh 10 mph breeze, but down beside the house where the bell is hanging, there may only be a 2 mph zephyr floating past. Our bells vary in their sensitivity, but generally a 3 or 5 mph breeze that truly hits the bell will cause it to ring.


It may be necessary to try your bell in different locations until you find one that is not overly sheltered from the wind. If your home is surrounded by tall trees, there may be little wind down at the level you would hang your bell. I know it can be frustrating when the bell seems to ring best in winter when all your windows are closed and you can’t hear it.


I don’t have a clear answer for you in this situation. I do know that our bells work well at our shop here in Prospect Harbor where we have several on the porch of our store. Trees surround our buildings, but there is an open door-yard approximately 75 feet across. The bells are usually quiet in the morning, and then by midday as the air warms and the winds pick up, they begin to sound.


At our house we have a few bells that are quite well exposed to the South. When wind comes from that direction, they ring fine. When it comes from the West, they are fairly quiet. On stormy days they ring regardless of wind direction because the breezes swirl around the house.


Here the weather is always changing- in times of fair weather, it is clear and quiet in the morning, and then towards midday the breezes will come. In unsettled weather, the nature of the approaching front determines the direction and power of the wind. Weather affects us in many ways, and it is this connection with the changing weather that gives me so much pleasure with wind bells.


-Richard Fisher