Want to stir things up around the house this summer? Add a ceiling fan. It’s true – stirring up the air will make you feel immediately cooler. But ceiling fans do more than just bring about breezes. Designed with the latest home decor trends in mind, these overhead fans move in fashionable circles. Fans today are design pieces as well as functional appliances.
Fans in all designs
Ceiling fans work well in any home, thanks to a variety of design options. Ornate filigree blade holders offer a graceful, turn-of-the-century ambience. Brushed steel housings and light-colored maple blades offer the ultimate in contemporary styling. Earth tones such as rustic copper and bronze are hot. Painted finishes and washes are terrific too.
Fans in More Places
Fan design isn’t the only thing that’s expanded. Places to put ceiling fans have also increased. Fans bring a breeze to almost any home space, inside or out — from kitchens, bathrooms and dining areas, to porches, patios and gazebos. The soaring ceilings and expansive great rooms in today’s newer homes have increased demand for larger fans with bigger blades and longer down rods that move more air. Manufacturers comply, creating phenomenal fans that move massive quantities of air and work well in 30-foot tall spaces and lofts.
Ceiling Fans and Energy Efficiency
Ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature of a room like an air conditioner. By spinning the air, they make the room actually feel cooler. Fans also augment air conditioning by moving air and creating a wind chill effect. If your air conditioner is set at 72, the wind chill factor of the fan will make it feel like 68 degrees in that room. Best of all, ceiling fans use only about as much energy as a 100-watt light bulb. Studies show that by setting ceiling fans to spin in a counter-clockwise pattern, you can save as much as 40% off summer cooling bills – without sweltering. Simply set the thermostat a few degrees higher and flip on the fan.
In the winter, ceiling fans move warm air back to the center of the room, pushing it down from the ceiling.
With tall ceilings, it can be 10-15 degrees hotter up there than on the floor. Ceiling fans can push that warm air back down to floor level. Studies also reveal that ceiling fans can help homeowners save as much as 10% on their heating bills when you switch the direction of the blades to spin clockwise.
10 TIPS FOR BUYING A CEILING FAN
Finding the fan that works best for your home is a breeze, when you follow experts’ advice:
- Bigger rooms need bigger fans. Choose a 50-to 56-inch fan for rooms up to 225 sq. ft. and larger. Pick up a 42-to 44-inch fan for rooms up to 144 sq. ft. Rooms up to 64 sq. ft. can use a 32-inch fan.
- Ceiling height is also important when choosing a fan. For safe operation, fan blades should be at least seven feet above the floor. A blade height of eight-nine feet is optimum.
- Look for a motor that can do the job. The heart of the fan is its motor. You can’t see it but it is the real workhorse. 155mm is a standard motor size for average bedrooms and dining rooms with (8’-9’ ceilings)
Larger rooms with higher ceilings, look for 188-212mm
- If the fan has less than an eleven or twelve degree blade pitch, it really isn’t moving much air.
The amount of air moved by a ceiling fan depends on the angle, or pitch, of its blades. A pitch of 14 degrees is optimum for maximum air movement.
- Consider your home’s style. If you want the fan to be part of your home’s decor, look for colors and detail that complement. If you want the fan to “disappear,” choose one the color of the ceiling.
Look for light fixtures and fitters that match your fan’s finish and style.
- Ceiling fans run on electricity. Determine if you will need electrical wiring brought to the part of the room you want to add the fan. Since most fans replace existing lights, the wiring is usually already in place.
When adding a fan to the bathroom, look for one specifically designed and UL-listed for damp locations. Want one for the patio? Opt for a fan that is UL-listed for wet locations.
- A ceiling fan is only as good as the company who sells it to you. Look for someone who will be able to help and service you. Buy the best quality you can afford, you’ll get more blade pitch and heavier duty motor with each upgrade. Quality equals air movement and quiet operation