In the past 140 years, room cooling technology has come a long way. Today, central and portable air conditioning systems have evolved into space age marvels that you can control with a phone app halfway around the world.
Throughout that time, the reliable ceiling fan has changed very little. Originally composed of blades powered by a repurposed sewing machine engine, ceiling fans continue to provide relief from the summer heat, whether used alone or in conjunction with an air conditioner.
One thing has changed since the ceiling fan’s 1882 birthdate. Ceiling fans now come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. They fit different room styles, ceiling heights, and individual aesthetic tastes.
Ceiling fans, however, remain a favorite addition to home cooling solutions. They cool a room very well on warm, but not hot days, when the air conditioner is overkill. The breeze of air circulating from a ceiling fan can make a room’s apparent temperature drop by seven degrees. Ceiling fans also have a quiet, old-time charm that more modern cooling systems just cannot replicate.
Most importantly, ceiling fans provide an excellent secondary or even primary method of cooling a room or your home. They are cost and energy efficient and come in enough options to suit any home or business.
Ceiling Fans for Indoor and Outdoor Use
Ceiling fans come with specific designs and material construction depending on, not only whether you place them inside or outside but also humidity levels and temperature.
The most sturdily constructed fans are made primarily for outside use. Designers use weather-resistant materials that can stand up to the elements and also extreme temperature fluctuations. Outdoor ceiling fans come in two types. These are based upon how much exposure the fans have to the elements.
Damp listed ceiling fans are meant for outdoor areas where the fan sits entirely underneath a cover, such as a porch roof. These fans should never be placed in an area where water and other elements consistently strike it. For areas exposed to rain and snow, you should install a wet listed fan.
You should also install a damp listed fan in indoor locations that have consistently high levels of humidity. Damp basements and laundry rooms are optimal indoor locations for a damp listed fan
In a low humidity indoor room, you can hang any ceiling fan that you choose since the potential for abuse by humidity and water is very low.
It is vital that you select the right type of ceiling fan for the environment. This will ensure that you will get maximum use and enjoyment out of your ceiling fan.
Ceiling Fans Come in a Variety of Styles and Materials
Traditionally, ceiling fans come with four blades arranged in a cross pattern. This remains the most popular style for both designers and buyers. While fans can come with three or five blades, experts say that the number of blades has little to do with room cooling performance. Five blade fans generally do cost more than the other options, however.
Blades also come in different lengths. Manufacturers measure blade length by the entire sweep the fan produces. The most common lengths include 30, 42, 44, 46, 50, 52, and 60 inches and most manufacturers only choose two or three of these to offer.
Although fans need to fit a room well both in terms of fitting the physical space and aesthetics, longer blades do move more air and cool a room more effectively.
Depending on how much you want to spend, materials can range from functional to ornate. Some blades are composed of solid wood and have a varnish or painted finish. Many of the more affordable options come in plywood or particle board covered in an attractive veneer.
The most popular wood and wood-finish looks come in natural, appliance white, walnut, oak, cherry, bleached oak, burled camphor, faux granite, rosewood, and black.
You can also choose different blade shapes, although the options here are not as varied. Most fans have the typical paddle-shaped blades, but for a more eclectic and tropical look, you can always choose the large leaf style blades.
Buying the Right Style Fan When on a Budget
Unlike other home furnishings, a ceiling fan’s price can range from very affordable to rather expensive. Fortunately, a simple $135 ceiling fan can have the same cooling effect as a $1350 fan, although it will lack in some quality features such as energy efficiency. The main differences lie in styles and materials. How much you spend depends a great deal on what you want your fan to look like.
Fans for under $150 are ideal for starter homes and apartments or rooms that will not see much traffic. They come in simple, sturdy materials that lack a lighting feature and only operate on a pull chain control. Designs will be very simple and you will have few options.
Spend a little more and you will see more options. These include a wider array of finishes and also lighting features. Styles will often fit between traditional and modern without going too far in either direction. These options will look great in most apartments, homes, and small offices.
If you can spend between $200 and $300, you enter one of the widest ranges of options and styles. The most popular among these are energy saver varieties that run on a DC motor and have LED lighting. Combined, these can reduce energy costs by around 70 percent. You also get more options on controls, designs, and other features, including light dimming. These styles will match almost any house, condo, or apartment.
Willing and able to spend over $300? Now you have entered luxury territory where the fan serves as an active part of high-end decor. Handcrafted blades and glass, deluxe textiles, and the best choice of accessories and options are available at this range. Options also include the widest array of styles from highly traditional to avant-garde. While some styles may overwhelm your decor, a unique ceiling fan can also serve as your room’s centerpiece.
Higher priced fans should offer higher quality and more features. If you spend over $200, you should get a fan that produces less noise, is made with higher quality materials, and comes with a warranty, often ten years.
Deciding Whether or Not to Choose an Energy Star Rated Fan
The Energy Star program was launched by the US Environmental Protection Agency and is currently administered jointly by the EPA and US Department of Energy. Energy Star rated products generally cost about 16 percent more than those without the rating but provide energy savings of about 15 percent.
Energy Star rated fans have specially designed motors and lighting that cost more. This efficient design can save up to $170 in energy costs over the life of the fan. With LED lighting, bulb changes also occur with much less frequency, which can help to save even more money.
You’ll also use less energy when you use your fan, making your home more eco-friendly. Especially for rooms in warmer climates with regular usage, an Energy Star rated device is a smart way to save money and lower your household carbon footprint.
Choosing the Right Size and Style Fan to Fit the Room
When choosing a ceiling fan, you must take into account the room in which you will place it.
First and foremost, you want a fan that looks and feels right for the size of the room. You also want a fan large enough to cool the space. Determine the area of the room by measuring the length, then the width and multiplying the numbers that you get. For a room measuring 75 square feet or less, choose a fan that is 44 inches or smaller. From 75 up to 350 square feet, you will want a fan that measures between 48 and 58 inches. Over 350 square feet, you will want a fan that is 60 or more inches.
Second, consider the height of the ceiling. You may also want to keep in mind the height of the people who will be in the room because no one wants to get smacked in the head with an active ceiling fan blade. In most cases, you want your fan at least seven feet higher than the floor.
Older homes especially often have lower ceilings that range between seven and a half and nine feet off of the ground. For best results and maximum safety for tall people, choose what the industry calls a “hugger mount.” This option places the blades a few inches from the ceiling.
Standard mounts are designed for standard ceilings that range between eight and nine feet off of the floor. They utilize a short downrod to keep the fan at an optimal height for cooling the room, but not so low that it becomes a safety hazard.
For high ceilings of over nine feet, use a specialized down rod that can extend far enough to put the fan at a good cooling height.
Finally, not every ceiling is conveniently flat for mounting a fan. Some homes have angled ceilings that require specialized mounts. Some fans come with the correct equipment to adapt the fan to an angled ceiling, but not all. You should look very carefully at each possible ceiling fan choice because different manufacturers have different specifications. Many fans that do not adjust to sloped ceilings can be installed with an adapter kit, which is sold separately.
Be careful and pay attention, however, because some fans cannot adapt to an angled ceiling under any circumstances.
Which Type of Controls Will You Need?
The simplest and least costly style of fan control lies in the pull chain. To select the desired speed, simply pull the chain over and over until you reach what you need to cool the room. Shutting the fan off entirely can be done by either pulling the chain the requisite number of times or shutting off the fan at the wall switch.
For most households, this does not present much of a problem. In other cases, however, you may need to choose a fan with a different control system. The pull chain could present a problem for seniors or the disabled.
When part of the household would struggle to reach the pull chain, or if the fans are placed on a high or vaulted ceiling, you will need an easily accessible control system to operate it properly.
Many newer ceiling fans utilize a remote control system much like one used for a television set, but this option does have one major flaw. Remotes for the ceiling fan are very easy to lose. An alternative lies in a wall-mounted control system or some combination of the two. The latest technology also offers the option of controlling your fan through an app on your phone called fansync.
Adding a remote to an already installed fan will present a number of difficulties. You may even have to disassemble the fan and install new parts to ensure that it works. You can avoid this by taking the right assessment of your ceiling fan needs prior to purchase and installation.
Contact Us Today
Appliances Connection offers a wide range of top quality appliances and home furnishings at competitive prices. Check out our website to see thousands of home furnishing options, including ceiling fans. Our friendly and courteous staff are among the most knowledgeable in the business and are ready and eager to help you select and purchase a ceiling fan or other home furnishing that suits your needs.
Call 1-800 299 9470 to place an order or to ask for more details. You can also live chat with our staff any time day or night.