Choosing the Right Ceiling Fan

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By: Jonathan Z. Kremer

During the past 10 years ceiling fans have become more technologically advanced, providing cooling in the summer months, and help move the heat around in the cold winter months. While using the amount of energy equal to a 100 watt light bulb, ceiling fans can reduce your electrical bill by about 40% in the summer.

The Right Fan For The Right Room

There are a few things you should take notice of even before going out to pick a fan.

The size of the room and ceiling height are important factors to take into consideration for maximum efficiency. In a room up to 9 square meters, you’ll need a 30-36″ fan. Medium sized rooms up to about 13 square meters can fit ceiling fans requires 42″ fans. The larger bedrooms and family rooms around 20-34 square meters require 54″ fans.

Optimal height for the ceiling fan is around 250 cm. from the floor. If your ceiling is low (220 cm or less), you’ll need a low-profile or ceiling hugger fan. These models provide¬†a little less air movement when compared to the regular “rod” or “stem” type fans, but are still very helpful with circulation. On very high ceilings, downrods can be used to bring the cooling action into the living space of the room. Sloped ceilings require a special angled Ceiling Hugger Fanmount. For safety, all blades must be at least 213 cm above the floor.

It is extremely important that the ceiling where your fan will be installed is strong enough to hold the fan. Ceiling fans can be quite heavy, and the moving fan blades add even more strain to the mount.

Not Just A Matter Of Looks

Fans come in many styles, from antique to modern chic. Motor housings come in brass, steel, nickel, iron, and many other materials and colors. Blades are made from metal, wood, plastic, palm and bamboo. Reversible blades offer a choice between two different looks. But looks aren’t everything.Rod Type Fan

Inexpensive fans will look good when they are new, but in time they will start to warp, become off-balance, make lots of noise, and wear out quickly.

The blades of a ceiling fan should be sealed and treated to resist humidity. The number of blades will make a difference in air flow. More blades will provide more air movement at lower speeds, which means less noise. Normal blade pitch (angle) is 8 to 15 degrees. The larger the pitch, the more air it will move. As the pitch or blade surface increases, the motor size must be increased or the RPMs of the motor will drop. A fan with less than a 12 degree pitch will not circulate air as well and be less efficient.

The motor is responsible for producing quiet operation while driving the blades for air movement. Cheaper fans will most likely have an outer covering over the motor made of very thin material. In the more expensive fans, these parts are castings and approximately 1/8″ thick. The thin components will tend to vibrate and rattle more. Also the plating will not look as good as the years go by.

Look for high-quality motors with heavy-duty windings and sealed bearings that are permanently lubricated. Smaller, less powerful motors found on lower quality fans are usually noisy, deliver lower air circulation, and operate at a higher temperature. Quality motors are designed to work flawlessly for long periods of time and have a longer life span.

 Other Things To Consider

Of course there are a few other things to consider when buying a ceiling fan.

What sort of lighting will be used in the room with the ceiling fan? Ceiling fans usually replace existing light fixtures, therefore many will look for fans with built-in lighting. Many fans come with built-in lights, while others have add-ons or special customized and decorative light kits.

Dimmers are another option. A dimmer switch adjusts the amount of lighting to fit the mood of the moment.

One can choose to have programmable controls which can automatically adjust fan speed to compensate for cooler night air, or can turn off lights and the fan after a certain number of hours.

There are also remote controls that can control both the fan and the lighting from the comfort of your bed or couch.

Warranty

One must be very careful when reading the warranties on ceiling fans. Warranties can range anywhere from one year to a lifetime. It’s very important to read exactly what the warranty covers. Many will give a lifetime warranty on the motor alone, while the rest of the fan will have only a one year warranty. Make sure you know what you are getting.

Installation

Unless you have experience in installing ceiling fans, it’s best to have a licensed electrician do the installation. He will be able to determine if the ceiling is strong enough to support the fan, and make any electrical changes that may be needed for the fan to work the way you want it.

By paying attention to quality, performance, and design, your ceiling fan can provide you with many years of comfort, beauty, and enjoyment.


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